Hosea 4:19
The wind has bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
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Hosea 4:19. The wind hath bound her up in her wings — Or rather, binds, or, is binding her up, the present tense being put to denote instant futurity. The passage is strongly figurative, to signify that they should be suddenly taken away out of their country, and carried with irresistible force, and incredible speed, into a distant land. It is not unusual, in other writers, to attribute wings to the winds, to express their swiftness; and when any thing is said to be bound up in the wings of the wind, the expression must signify its being taken far away with great celerity. “An admirable image this,”

says Bishop Horsley, “of the condition of a people, torn by a conqueror from their native land, scattered in exile to the four quarters of the world, and living thenceforward without any settled residence of their own, liable to be moved about at the will of arbitrary masters, like a thing tied to the wings of the wind, obliged to go with the wind which ever way it set, but never suffered for a moment to lie still. The image is striking now; but must have been more striking when a bird with expanded wings, or a huge pair of wings, without head or body, was the hieroglyphic of the element of the air, or rather of the general mundane atmosphere, one of the most irresistible of physical agents.” And they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices — They shall be confounded to find, by experience, that all their sacrifices to idols have profited them nothing, but brought severe calamities upon them. 4:12-19 The people consulted images, and not the Divine word. This would lead to disorder and sin. Thus men prepare scourges for themselves, and vice is spread through a people. Let not Judah come near the idolatrous worship of Israel. For Israel was devoted to idols, and must now be let alone. When sinners cast off the easy yoke of Christ, they go on in sin till the Lord saith, Let them alone. Then they receive no more warnings, feel no more convictions: Satan takes full possession of them, and they ripen for destruction. It is a sad and sore judgment for any man to be let alone in sin. Those who are not disturbed in their sin, will be destroyed for their sin. May we be kept from this awful state; for the wrath of God, like a strong tempest, will soon hurry impenitent sinners into ruin.The wind hath bound her up in her wings - When God brought Israel out of Egypt, He "bare them on eagle's wings, and brought them unto Himself" Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11. Now they had abandoned God, and God abandoned them as chaff to the wind. The certainty of Israel's doom is denoted by its being spoken of in the past. It was certain in the divine judgment. Sudden, resistless, irreversible are God's judgments, when they come. As if "imprisoned in the viewless winds," and "borne with resistless violence," as it were on the wings of the whirlwind, Israel should be hurried by the mighty wrath of God into captivity in a distant land, bound up so that none should escape, but, when arrived there, dispersed here and there, as the chaff before the wind.

And they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices - They had sacrificed to the calves, to Baal, or to the sun, moon, stars, hoping aid from them rather than from God. When then they should see, in deed, that from those their sacrifices no good came to them, but evil only, they should be healthfully ashamed. So, in fact, in her captivity, did Israel learn to be ashamed of her idols; and so does GOd by healthful disappointment, make us ashamed of seeking out of Him, the good things, which He alone hath, and hath in store for them who love Him.

19. Israel shall be swept away from her land (Ho 4:16) suddenly and violently as if by "the wings of the wind" (Ps 18:10; 104:3; Jer 4:11, 12).

ashamed … of their sacrifices—disappointed to their shame in their hope of help through their sacrifices to idols.

The whirlwind of wrath from God hath already seized this old adulteress, and carried some of her children away already, 2 Kings 15:19,29. Execution of judgment is already begun, and therefore, O Judah, keep distance from Ephraim.

They shall be ashamed; greatly confounded and disappointed of their hopes: as thou, O Judah, wouldst prevent this shame, flee the society of these idolaters.

Because of their sacrifices; what they made their confidence shall be their shame, their own idols cannot help them. but their idolatry shall surely undo them. Their idols which they worshipped and depended on shall be their shame and confusion, for thy God, O Judah, hath cursed such people. Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols, Psalm 97:7. If Israel do, yet, O Judah, do not thou so. The wind hath bound her up in her wings,.... That is, the wind in its wings hath bound up Ephraim, Israel, or the ten tribes, compared to a heifer; meaning, that the wind of God's wrath and vengeance, or the enemy, the Assyrian, should come like a whirlwind, and carry them swiftly, suddenly, and irresistibly, out of their own land, into a foreign country: the past tense for the future, as is common in prophecy, because of the certainty of it; so Jarchi and Joseph Kimchi: but Aben Ezra, David Kimchi, Abarbinel, and Abendana, render it "she", that is, Israel, "hath bound up the wind in her wings" (b); meaning that they had laboured in vain in their idolatrous worship; and it was all one as if a than should attempt to gather the wind, and bind it up in the skirts of his garment, and when he opens them there is nothing to be found: and to this sense is the Targum,

"the works of their great men are not right, as it is impossible to bind the wind in a wing;''

referring to the sins of their rulers, as before: or rather the sense is, the wind shall get into the loose skirts of the garments of, he Israelites, which shall be as a sail to it, as Schmidt observes, and shall carry them into distant lands; which falls in with the first sense of the words, and is best:

and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices: they of the ten tribes, the people of Israel; or their shields, their rulers, as Aben Ezra, shall be filled with shame, being disappointed of the help they expected from their idols, to whom they offered sacrifices; and the more, inasmuch as they will find that these idolatrous sacrifices are the cause of their ruin and destruction. The Targum is,

"because of the altars of their idols;''

and so the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, "because of their altars".

(b) "ligavit illa ventum in alis suis", Munster, Calvin, Tigurine version.

The wind hath {y} bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

(y) To carry them suddenly away.

19. The wind hath bound her up in her wings] A figure for the suddenness and violence with which the enemy should carry Israel away into exile (comp. Isaiah 57:13), The perfect is that of prophetic certitude.The prayer for the turning away of God's anger follows, and is introduced by a repetition of the address, "O Lord," and by a brief condensation of the motive developed in Daniel 9:15, by the words כּכל־צדקתיך. צדקות does not mean in a gracious manner, and צדק is not grace, but proofs of the divine righteousness. The meaning of the words כּכל־צדקתיך is not: as all proofs of Thy righteousness have hitherto been always intimately connected with a return of Thy grace, so may it also now be (Kran.); but, according to all the proofs of Thy righteousness, i.e., to all that Thou hitherto, by virtue of Thy covenant faithfulness, hast done for Israel. צדקות means the great deeds done by the Lord for His people, among which the signs and wonders accompanying their exodus from Egypt take the first place, so far as therein Jehovah gave proof of the righteousness of His covenant promise. According to these, may God also now turn away His anger from His city of Jerusalem! The words in apposition, "Thy holy mountain," refer especially to the temple mountain, or Mount Zion, as the centre of the kingdom of God. The prayer is enforced not only by כּל־צדקריך, but also by the plea that Jerusalem is the city of God (Thy city). Compare Psalm 79:4 and Psalm 44:14.
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