|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
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.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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.
Hosea 4:19 Parallel Commentaries
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