صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

7 me. Therefore I will be unto them as a lion; as a leopard • by the way will I observe [them,] I will meet them as a bear,


[that is] bereaved [of her whelps,] and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion the wild beast shall tear them.

O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me [is] thine 10 help; I will be thy king; or, Where is thy king? Hoshea, their last king, being now imprisoned by the Assyrians: where [is any other] that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? 11 officers to attend me. I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took [him] away in my wrath; referring to Saul, and perhaps 12 also to later kings, particularly Hoshea. The iniquity of Ephra

im [is] bound up; his sin [is] hid; rather, sealed up, to be 18 punctually produced at the day of account. The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him he [is] an unwise son; for he should not stay long in [the place of] the breaking forth of children: if a child had reason, it would not continue long in the birth, but endeavour to free itself as soon as possible; but Ephraim showed their folly because they had not hastened to reform and return to God, and so prevent their destruction; but were as it were strangled in the birth. Then follows a very sublime passage, containing purposes of mercy. 14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction; though a dreadful havock shall be made in your country, I will put a stop to it, and destroy the destroyers:† repentance shall be hid from mine eyes; I will not alter my purpose.

15 Though he be fruitful among [his] brethren, an east wind shall come, that is, the Assyrians from the east, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels; though Ephraim, (which signifies fruitful) abound in multitudes of people, and all other outward enjoyments, more than the rest of the tribes. 16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

Bp. Newcome translates the ninth verse thus ; I have destroyed thee, O'Irael, for auko will help thee!

The apostle applies this to the general resurrection; though here it is figuratively used for their future national happiness.

[blocks in formation]




EE how greatly and justly God resents the pride of his favoured people. When Ephraim was humbled, and feared God, then was he exalted; but when he was full, and his heart was exalted, he then became contemptible. Thus men in low circumstances, are often humble and much respected; but when their fortunes are advanced, they think every body else (and even religion itself) beneath them; and then they become an abomination to the Lord, and the end of their pride will be destruction.

2. The destruction of sinners is of themselves, and their salvation of God. This is applicable to the case of men in general; they have destroyed themselves; the blame lies upon themselves only; God has not been accessary to it. But when they are converted and saved, it is the Lord's work. He only can do it, and he will, if they properly seek him. Let awakened sinners lament their own folly, and seek their help in God.

3. God often punishes the inordinate desires of men by granting them. Nothing would serve Ephraim but a king, and God in his anger gave them one; for they suffered by their first king, and by all the kings of the ten tribes. So, when men are greedy of honour and gain, God may gratify their wishes in judgment; and what they set their hearts upon may issue in their disappointment and vexation. Let us therefore moderate our desires, and submit them all to the providence of God.

4. Let us rejoice in the prospect of a glorious resurrection. Whatever inferior event these sublime words may refer to, they may undoubtedly be applied to the resurrection of the saints; and perhaps are to be so applied in their primary sense. God has ransomed them by the blood of his Son: who died, rose again, and revived, for that purpose; and he shall conquer death, their conqueror, and destroy the grave, their destroyer. Let us labour to secure this resurrection; and rejoice in hope of complete victory over the last enemy; that we may join with all the ransomed of the Lord in saying, Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory.


Contains an exhortation to repentance, and a firomise of God's blessing. This chapter probably refers to the latter day, when this exhortation shall be complied with by the Jews as a nation.


ISRAEL, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity; thou hast brought ruin on 2 thyself by thy sins. Take with you words, and turn to the

LORD; say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive [us] graciously; or, let us receive good: so will we render the calves of our lips; the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, which will be more pleasing to thee than calves and bullocks. 3 Ashur shall not save us; we will no longer seek the alliance of the Assyrians; we will not ride upon horses, will not trust in forbidden means, or in our connexion with Egypt; neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, [Ye are] our gods; we will renounce all idolatrous dependences: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy; like poor, helpless orphans, we will seek assistance from thee only.




Then I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, or cheerfully for mine anger is turned away from him; I 5 will not remember their former offences. I will be as the dew unto Israel he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon; I will pour out my spirit in its gracious influбences, and they shall be strong and vigorous, as a people. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive 7 tree, and his smell as the frankincense of Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; or, they shall return and dwell under his shadow; they shall revive [as] the corn, that looks dead in the winter and revives in the spring, and shall grow as the vine: the scent thereof, the memorial, or wine offering, [shall be] as the wine of Lebanon; their services shall 8 be pleasing and acceptable_to_me.* Ephraim [shall say,]

What have I to do any more with idols? avowing his strong resolution to give them up, and his thorough abhorrence of them: I have heard [him] speaking, and observed him : I [am] like a green fir tree; in a thriving, flourishing condition. From me [is] thy fruit found; all thy vigor and fruitfulness is owing 9 to my favour and blessing. Who [is] wise, and he shall understand these [things?] prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD [are] right, and the just shall walk in them but the transgressors shall fall therein. The prophet concludes with an important reflection, applicable to divine revelation in general, viz. that wise and good men, will justify the wisdom, equity, and goodness of the revelation; but those that are perverse will find some things to object against, and so it will prove their fall and ruin.



E are here shown the nature of repentance, and the encouragements we have to it: it is returning to God, from whom we had fallen and backslidden: renouncing every

Pliny mentions a town near Lebanon which was famous for wine; and Maundrel says, it produces the richest and finest in the world.

sin, even the most favourite ones; yea, casting them away, with the utmost detestation, attended with ardent vows of persevering obedience. The encouragement to this is gracious and wonderful God will pardon our sins, heal our spiritual disorders, love us freely, and give us the best and most delightful tokens of his favourable acceptance. Let us therefore take with us such penitent words, and hope in the mercy of the Lord; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

2. See the necessity and happy effects of divine influences. When God is as the dew to his people, and pours out his spirit, their souls grow in knowledge, holiness, comfort, and usefulness; they become strong in religion; they appear amiable in the eyes of all good people, and are real blessings to all about them. Let us constantly depend upon and earnestly pray for these influences; that all these beautiful allusions may be exemplified in us; and that our fruit, which is derived from God, may continually abound to his glory.

3. Wise and upright men will cheerfully submit to divine truths and dispensations: a most important remark, with which Hosea shuts up his prophecy. When men quarrel with the word, or with the providence of God, the fault is in themselves, not in the bible or in divine dispensations. Prudent and wise men are satisfied with the reasonableness of God's laws, and the equity of his providence. Transgressors think they are unreasonable, severe, and unkind; and so are led into sin and ruin: this is the consequence of indulging a perverse and conceited spirit. It is necessary, therefore, that we diligently study the word and prov idence of God, that we may become wise and prudent; then, while others fail in God's ways, we shall continue to walk in them, find them ways of pleasantness, and be led by them to everlasting life.

The Book of the PROPHET



IT is uncertain at what period this prophet wrote: perhaps after the kingdom of Israel was destroyed, and not long before the subversion of Judah. He foretells those calamities which were hastening forward; calls the people to repentance; promises temporal and eternal rewards to the penitent; the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, and the ruin of its adversaries.


This prophecy begins with a threatening of the desolation of Jerusalem and Judah by swarms of locusts; together with excessive heat and drought, whereby their herds and flocks should be almost ready to perish for want of water.




HE word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Peinye thuel. Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all habitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Is not the calamity with which I now threaten you unparalleled ? have the oldest of you ever heard 3 any thing like it? Tell ye your children of it, and [let] your children [tell] their children, and their children another genration, as a most wonderful event, and as a warning to avoid 4 your sins. That which the palmer worm hath left, hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust Bath left, hath the canker worm eaten; and that which the canker worm hath 5 left, hath the caterpiller eaten.† Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth; you may justly consider this as the vengeance of God for your abuse of his bounty. 6 For a nation is come up upon my land, that is, a vast swarm of locusts, poetically called a nation; strong, and without num

Bp. Nercome supposes that he prophesied under the long reign of Manasseh, from about 697 to 660 before Christ.

+ Every country hath its peculiar insects; it is not easy to say what these were. Probably different species of locusts are here described, which, succeeding one another, should eat up all their vegetables: a terrible drought might occasion their becoming so


« السابقةمتابعة »