|New International Version (©2011)|
Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? I will answer him and care for him. I am like a flourishing juniper; your fruitfulness comes from me."
New Living Translation (©2007)
"O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me."
English Standard Version (©2001)
O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like a luxuriant cypress; From Me comes your fruit.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Ephraim, why should I have anything more to do with idols? It is I who answer and watch over him. I am like a flourishing pine tree; your fruit comes from Me.
International Standard Version (©2012)
"Ephraim, what have I in common with idols? I have listened and will pay attention to him. I am like a flourishing cypress; in me will your fruit be found."
NET Bible (©2006)
O Ephraim, I do not want to have anything to do with idols anymore! I will answer him and care for him. I am like a luxuriant cypress tree; your fruitfulness comes from me!
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
"The people of Ephraim will have nothing more to do with idols. I will answer them and take care of them. I am like a growing pine tree. Their fruit comes from me."
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green cypress tree. In me is your fruit found.
American King James Version
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is your fruit found.
American Standard Version
Ephraim'shall say , What have I to do any more with idols? I have answered, and will regard him: I am like a green fir-tree; from me is thy fruit found.
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I will hear him, and I will make him flourish like a green fir tree: from me is thy fruit found.
Darby Bible Translation
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? (I answer him, and I will observe him.) I am like a green fir-tree. From me is thy fruit found.
English Revised Version
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have answered, and will regard him: I am like a green fir tree; from me is thy fruit found.
Webster's Bible Translation
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir-tree. From me is thy fruit found.
World English Bible
Ephraim, what have I to do any more with idols? I answer, and will take care of him. I am like a green fir tree; from me your fruit is found."
Young's Literal Translation
O Ephraim, what to Me any more with idols? I -- I afflicted, and I cause him to sing: 'I am as a green fir-tree,' From Me is thy fruit found.
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:4-8 Israel seeks God's face, and they shall not seek it in vain. His anger is turned from them. Whom God loves, he loves freely; not because they deserve it, but of his own good pleasure. God will be to them all they need. The graces of the Spirit are the hidden manna, hidden in the dew; the grace thus freely bestowed on them shall not be in vain. They shall grow upward, and be more flourishing; shall grow as the lily. The lily, when come to its height, is a lovely flower, Mt 6:28,29. They shall grow downward, and be more firm. With the flower of the lily shall be the strong root of the cedar of Lebanon. Spiritual growth consists most in the growth of the root, which is out of sight. They shall also spread as the vine, whose branches extend very widely. When believers abound in good works, then their branches spread. They shall be acceptable both to God and man. Holiness is the beauty of a soul. The church is compared to the vine and the olive, which bring forth useful fruits. God's promises pertain to those only that attend on his ordinances; not such as flee to this shadow only for shelter in a hot gleam, but all who dwell under it. When a man is brought to God, all who dwell under his shadow fare the better. The sanctifying fruits shall appear in his life. Thus believers grow up into the experience and fruitfulness of the gospel. Ephraim shall say, God will put it into his heart to say it, What have I to do any more with idols! God's promises to us are more our security and our strength for mortifying sin, than our promises to God. See the power of Divine grace. God will work such a change in him, that he shall loathe the idols as much as ever he loved them. See the benefit of sanctified afflictions. Ephraim smarted for his idolatry, and this is the fruit, even the taking away his sin, Isa 27:9. See the nature of repentance; it is a firm and fixed resolution to have no more to do with sin. The Lord meets penitents with mercy, as the father of the prodigal met his returning son. God will be to all true converts both a delight and a defence; they shall sit under his shadow with delight. And as the root of a tree; From me is thy fruit found: from Him we receive grace and strength to enable us to do our duty.
Verse 8. - Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? This is full, final, and for over a renunciation of idolatry on the part of Israel. I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. This is God's promise, that his eye is fixed on Israel in order to look after him, care for him, and provide for him, and to protect and prosper him; while the figure of a green fir tree is the pledge of shelter and security. But, though the fir tree is evergreen, it is fruitless; and therefore it is added that God will prove the Source of fruitfulness, and supply all that his people shall or can ever need.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ephraim shall say, what have I to do any more with idols?.... This is to be understood, not of apostate Ephraim, as in the times of the prophet, who was so wedded and glued to the idols, that there was no hope of getting him from them; and therefore is bid to let him alone, Hosea 4:17; but of Ephraim Israel returning to God at his call, under the influence of his grace, in the latter day, Hosea 14:1. Idols are the same with the works of their hands, Hosea 14:3; and to be interpreted, not of graven or molten images, to the worship of which the Jews have not been addicted since their captivity to this day; see Hosea 3:4; but of the idols of their hearts, their impiety, their unbelief, their rejection of the Messiah, which, at the time of their conversion, they will loath, abhor, and mourn over; likewise the traditions of their elders, they are now zealous and tenacious of, and prefer even to the written word; but will now relinquish them, and embrace the Gospel of Christ; as well as the idol of their own righteousness they have always endeavoured to establish; but shall now renounce, and receive Christ as the Lord their righteousness. The like to this is to be found in common in all truly penitent and converted sinners; who, being made sensible of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, detest and abhor it, and declare they will have nothing to do with it; not but that it continues in them, and has to do with them, and they with that; yet not so as to live and walk in it; to yield their members as instruments of it; to serve and obey it as their master; to make provision for it, and to have the course of their lives under the direction and power of it; and so likewise, being convinced of the imperfection and insufficiency of their own righteousness to justify them, they will have nothing to do with that in the business of justification before God, and acceptance with him: now these are the words of the Lord, affirming what Ephraim should say, as Kimchi rightly observes; he promises for him, as he well might, since it is he that gives repentance to Israel, and works in his people principles of grace, and enables them both to will and to do, to make such holy resolutions, and perform them. Some render the words, "O Ephraim, what have I to do" (i)? &c. and take them to be words of God concerning himself, declaring he would have nothing to do with idols, nor suffer them in his service, nor should they; for "what concord hath Christ with Belial?" or "what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" 2 Corinthians 6:15; but the former sense is much best; rather what Schmidt suggests is more agreeable, who, rendering the words in the same way, makes them to be the words of a believing Gentile returning and dwelling under the shadow of Israel; so he interprets Hosea 14:7, and takes this to be the language of such an one throughout. The Targum is,
"they of the house of Israel shall say, what is it to us to serve idols any more?''
I have heard him; says the Lord; Ephraim bemoaning himself, repenting of his sins, and confessing them; his prayers for pardon and acceptance, and the resolutions made by him in the strength of divine grace, Hosea 14:2; see Jeremiah 31:18; and this is what his idols he once served could not do, who had ears, but heard not; but the Lord not only heard, but answered, and granted his request. So the Targum,
"I by my Word will receive the prayer of Israel, and will have mercy on him:''
and observed him; looked at him, and on him; with an eye of pity and compassion; with a favourable and propitious look, as the Lord does towards those that are poor, and of a contrite spirit; observed the ways and steps he took in returning to him; marked his tears and humiliations, groans and moans, and took notice of his wants in order to supply them;
I am like a green fir tree: these are the words of the Lord continued; though some take them to be the words of Ephraim; or, as Schmidt, of the Gentile believer, like those of David, Psalm 52:8; but they best agree with Christ, who may be compared to such a tree, as he is to many others in Scripture; because a choice one, as he is to his Father, and to all believers, chosen and precious, lovely and beloved; a tall tree, so Christ is highly exalted as Mediator, higher than the kings of the earth, above the angels in heaven, yea, higher than the heavens. The boughs of this tree, as Jarchi and Kimchi observe, bend downward so low as to be laid hold on; Christ, though the high and lofty One, dwells with humble souls, and suffers himself to be laid hold upon by the faith of everyone that comes to him. Pliny says (k), that this tree is of a cheerful aspect, smooth, and scarce any knots upon it; and its leaves so thick that a shower of rain will not pass through it: Christ is most amiable, and altogether lovely to look at in his person and fulness; and he looks in a loving smiling manner upon his people; he is without any knot of sin or corruption in him, as to principle or practice; and is a delightful shade from the wrath of God, or rage of man, from the heat of a fiery law, and the darts of Satan: and as this tree, as here, is ever green, so he is always the same; he ever lives, and his people in him, and by him; his fulness always continues to supply them. Once more, the fir tree is the habitation of the stork, an unclean creature by the law of God; so Christ is the dwelling place of sinners, he receives them, and converses with them, Psalm 104:17. The Septuagint version renders it, "as a thick juniper tree": which naturalists say (l) has such a virtue in it, as by the smell to drive away serpents. So the old serpent the devil was drove away by Christ in the wilderness, in the garden, and on the cross; and resisting by faith, holding out his blood and righteousness, causes him to flee from the saints, The Arabic version is, "as the fruitful cypress tree"; which is of a good smell, and its wood very durable; and so may be expressive of the savour of Christ, his righteousness and sacrifice, the graces of his Spirit, and of his duration. Some take this to be a promise that Ephraim should be as a green fir tree, so Aben Ezra; with which agrees the Targum,
"I by my word will make him as the beautiful fir tree;''
and to which sometimes the saints are compared; see Isaiah 41:19; and this being a tree that bears no fruit, it follows, to make up that defect in the metaphor,
from me is thy fruit found; from Christ are all the spiritual blessings of grace, peace, pardon, righteousness, adoption, a right and meetness for eternal life, and that itself; all the fruits and graces of the Spirit, as faith, hope, love, &c. and all good works, which spring from union with him, are done in his strength, and influenced by his grace and example; see Philippians 1:11.
(i) "Ephraim, vel O quid mihi amplius", &c. Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Tigurine version, Castalio, Cocceius, Schmidt, Burkius. (k) Nat. Hist. l. 16. c. 10. (l) Varinus apud Rivet. in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Ephraim shall say—being brought to penitence by God's goodness, and confessing and abhorring his past madness.
I have heard … and observed him—I Jehovah have answered and regarded him with favor; the opposite of God's "hiding His face from" one (De 31:17). It is the experience of God's favor, in contrast to God's wrath heretofore, that leads Ephraim to abhor his past idolatry. Jehovah heard and answered: whereas the idols, as Ephraim now sees, could not hear, much less answer.
I am … a green fir—or cypress; ever green, winter and summer alike; the leaves not falling off in winter.
From me is thy fruit found—"From Me," as the root. Thou needest go no farther than Me for the supply of all thy wants; not merely the protection implied by the shadow of the cypress, but that which the cypress has not, namely, fruit, all spiritual and temporal blessings. It may be also implied, that whatever spiritual graces Ephraim seeks for or may have, are not of themselves, but of God (Ps 1:3; Joh 15:4, 5, 8; Jas 1:17). God's promises to us are more our security for mortifying sin than our promises to God (Isa 27:9).
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