|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-7 The piercing eye of God saw secret liking and disposition to sin, the love the house of Israel had to their sins, and the dominion their sins had over them. Pride makes men obstinate in other sins. And as Judah was treading in the same steps, they would fall with Israel. By dealing treacherously with the Lord, men only deceive themselves. Those that go to seek the Lord with their flocks and their herds only, and not with their hearts and souls, cannot expect to find him; nor shall any speed who do not seek the Lord while he may be found. See how much it is our concern to seek God early, now, while it is the accepted time, and the day of salvation.
Verse 6. - They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the Lord. In this way they attempt to break, if not pro-vent, their fall. With numerous and costly sacrifices they endeavor to propitiate Jehovah. With sheep and goats out of their flocks, and with bullocks and heifers out of their herd, they try to make reparation for the past or to secure present and future favor. But in vain. Israel might go to Bethel and Judah to Jerusalem; but to no purpose. They shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself. Their repentance came too late; or when it did come it wanted sincerity; or it was a wrong motive which prompted it - fear of approaching calamity and not love to their Creator; or their sins ran parallel with their sacrifice. Forgetting that obedience is better than sacrifice, they cherished a disobedient spirit or continued in their course of disobedience notwithstanding their outward sacrificial service. For one cause or other they fail in their efforts to find him; for, instead of being a present help in time of trouble, he has withdrawn beyond their reach; he has removed the Shechinah-glory of his presence from among them; or he has loosed himself from all those ties that once bound him in mercy to them, just as a husband frees himself from all responsibilities and disarms all liabilities on behalf of a faithless partner whom he has been forced to divorce. And such is the specific reason assigned in the next verse.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the Lord,.... Not only the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, to whom Kimchi, Aben Ezra, and Abarbinel, restrain the words; but the ten tribes of Israel also, who, when in distress, and seeing ruin coming upon them, should seek the Lord; seek help from him against their enemies, and the pardon of their sins; seek his face and favour, and to appease his wrath, by bringing a multitude of sacrifices out of their flocks and herds; such a number of them, as if they brought all their flocks and herds with them; but not with true repentance for their sins, nor with faith in the great sacrifice, which legal sacrifices, rightly performed, prefigured. Kimchi refers this to the times of Josiah; but, as it respects Israel as well as Judah, it seems to design some time a little before the ruin of them both:
but they shall not find him; shall not find grace and mercy with him; he will not be favourable to them, will not afford them any help, but give them up to utter ruin and destruction; as he did Israel at the Assyrian captivity, and Judah at the Babylonish captivity:
he hath withdrawn himself from them; the glory of the Lord departed from them; his Shechinah, or divine Majesty, as the Targum, removed from them, because of their idolatry, and other sins; they sought him not where and while he was to be found; and therefore, when they sought him, found him not, because he had withdrawn his presence from among them, being provoked by their iniquities.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. with … flocks—to propitiate Jehovah (Isa 1:11-15).
seek … not find—because it is slavish fear that leads them to seek Him; and because it then shall be too late (Pr 1:28; Joh 7:34).
Hosea 5:6 Parallel Commentaries
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