I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.
When God redeems and shelters His people by the blood of the Paschal Lamb, — i.e., of Christ our Passover sacrificed for us — and gives them His law, telling them to serve Him, He does not leave them to their own strength, but gives them power to do what He bids them: He teaches them how to go, taking them, as a nurse would, by the arms. Our obedience is not the cause which procures or awakens God's love to us, but His love is the cause that procures and awakens our obedience. The text tells us what God is doing for the true disciples of Jesus, and how God undertakes to teach them how to go. "Taking them by the arms." As a nurse teaches a helpless child to walk, He invites us to rely upon His strength and watchful care. He knows our weakness. The thought may be illustrated by Deuteronomy 32:11. In this life we cannot go without the support of Christ; but there are different ways in which He gives this to His people. At first He teaches them to fight against their own evil passions, to resist their own wayward wills, to quench their fiery temptations. But soon they pass onward. The new nature moves, stirs, waxes stronger, grows; the old decays. At first He leads, He guides them against their will, then without it, and it is a happy day when their will cheerfully goes along with His; then they are taught to go.
Parallel VersesKJV: I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.