|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:1-6 Ephraim feeds himself with vain hopes of help from man, when he is at enmity with God. The Jews vainly thought to secure the Egyptians by a present of the produce of their country. Judah is contended with also. God sees the sin of his own people, and will reckon with them for it. They are put in mind of what Jacob did, and what God did for him. When his faith upon the Divine promise prevailed above his fears, then by his strength he had power with God. He is Jehovah, the same that was, and is, and is to come. What was a revelation of God to one, is his memorial to many, to all generations. Then let those who have gone from God, be turned to him. Turn thou to the Lord, by repentance and faith, as thy God. Let those that are converted to him, walk with him in all holy conversation and godliness. Let us wrestle with Him for promised blessings, determined not to give over till we prevail; and let us seek Him in his ordinances.
Verse 5. - Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial. Here we have at once a confirmation and a pledge of previous promises. Jacob had wronged Esau, and thereby incurred his displeasure; he had offended God by the injury inflicted on his brother. He is consequently in a position of peril with respect to both God and man; he repented of his sin, and with many and bitter tears supplicated safety - salvation in the highest sense. Jacob, or Israel, in Hosea's time were involved in greater guilt and exposed to greater danger; the same unfailing remedy is recommended to them, and the same way of safety is laid open before them; let them only repent, turn to the Lord, and with tears of genuine sorrow seek his face and favor free; and the prospect would soon brighten before them. The Name of God was a sufficient guarantee: he is Jehovah the Everlasting, and therefore Unchanging One - the same to Jacob's posterity as he had been to the patriarch himself, equally ready to accept their repentance and equally willing to bless them with safety and salvation. He is God of hosts, and thus the Almighty One, governing all creatures, guiding all events, commanding all powers both heavenly and earthly, and ruling the whole history of humanity. His name is a remembrancer of all this, and thus his people were assured that he neither lacks the will nor the power to bless them with all needful blessings, and do them greatest good. The name of an individual is that whereby he is known; on mention of his name the memory of him is recalled. The mention of the Divine Name not only reminds us of his being and Godhead, but recalls to our memory his attributes. Rashi has the following brief comment on this verse: "As I have been from the beginning, so am I now; and if ye had walked with me in uprightness as Jacob our father, I would have dealt with you as dealt with him." Thus to Abram in a land of strangers, imperiled and defenseless, God revealed himself as God Almighty; to Moses, after centuries of unfulfilled promise, he made himself known as the Unchanging One, still challenging the confidence of his people; to Hosea he brings to mind his unchanging counsel in regard to all the events of time and his unlimited control over all the realms of space and their inhabitants, and so the suitability of his attributes to the multiplied necessities and varying circumstances of his people.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Even the Lord God of hosts,.... The God Jacob had power over, the Angel he prevailed with, to whom he made supplication with weeping, and who spake with him and his in Bethel, is he whose name is Jehovah; who is the true and living God, the Lord of hosts and armies both in heaven and in earth; of all the angels in heaven, and the legions of them; and of the church militant, and all the saints, who are the good soldiers of Christ, his spiritual militia; and he is the Captain of the Lord's host, and of their salvation, and to whom all the numerous hosts of creatures, be they what they will, are subject: this is observed, to set off the greatness of the person Jacob wrestled with, and his wondrous grace, in condescending to be overpowered by him:
the Lord is his memorial: or his name, Jehovah, which belongs to this angel, the Son of God, as to his divine Father; and which is expressive of his divine existence, of his eternity and immutability; this is his memorial, or the remembrancer of him; which puts his people in all ages in remembrance of him, what he is, what an infinite, almighty, and all sufficient Being he is; and he is always to be believed in, and trusted to, and to be served, adored, and worshipped. The Targum adds, to every generation and generation.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. Lord God—Jehovah, a name implying His immutable constancy to His promises. From the Hebrew root, meaning "existence." "He that is, was, and is to be," always the same (Heb 13:8; Re 1:4, 8; compare Ex 3:14, 15; 6:3). As He was unchangeable in His favor to Jacob, so will He be to His believing posterity.
of hosts—which Israel foolishly worshipped. Jehovah has all the hosts (saba) or powers of heaven and earth at His command, so that He is as all-powerful, as He is faithful, to fulfil His promises (Ps 135:6; Am 5:27).
memorial—the name expressive of the character in which God was ever to be remembered (Ps 135:13).
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