|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:1-6 Israel gave rewards to their idols, in the offerings presented to them. It is common for those who are niggardly in religion, to be prodigal upon their lusts. Those are reckoned as idolaters, who love a reward in the corn-floor better than a reward in the favour of God and in eternal life. They are full of the joy of harvest, and have no disposition to mourn for sin. When we make the world, and the things of it, our idol and our portion, it is just with God to show us our folly, and correct us. None may expect to dwell in the Lord's land, who will not be subject to the Lord's laws, or be influenced by his love. When we enjoy the means of grace, we ought to consider what we shall do, if they should be taken from us. While the pleasures of communion with God are out of the reach of change, the pleasant places purchased with silver, or in which men deposit silver, are liable to be laid in ruins. No famine is so dreadful as that of the soul.
Verses 1-9 contain a warning against security arising from temporary prosperity. Verse 1. - Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people. The occasion on which the prophet penned this section was so no idolatrous merry-making in connection with harvest, and not any change of political situation.
(1) The literal rendering of the first clause is, rejoice not unto exultation, or exceedingly, as the same expression is translated in Job 3:22; it is thus climactic.
(2) The old versions take el-gil as imperative, and read אַל; μηδὲ εὐφραίνον, equivalent to "nor make merry;" and the Vulgate has noli exultare; but al is constructed with the future, not with the imperative. Again, some read be instead of ke, and so render, "among the peoples," the words being addressed, not to Israel in exile, but still resident in their own land. For thou hast gone a-whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every corn-floor.
(1) According to this, which is the common rendering. the clause with ki assigns a reason for their foregoing such joy. But
(2) Ewald and others translate by "that or for that thou hast committed whoredom," understanding this clause to express the object of their joy. We prefer the former, for their faithlessness and foul idolatry were sufficient reasons to prevent Israel indulging in the joy of harvest. The blessings of the harvest were regarded by them as rewards for the worship of their idol-gods, in other words, as gifts from Baalim and Ashtaroth or other idols, and thus as ethnan, a harlot's hire; not as tokens and pledges of the favor of Jehovah.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people,.... But rather mourn and lament, since such a load of guilt lay upon them, and they had so highly provoked the Lord to anger by their sins, and punishment would quickly be inflicted on them; and though they might be now in prosperity, through Jeroboam's success against their enemies, who by his victories had enlarged their border; yet they should not rejoice at it, as other people used to do on such occasions, by illumination of houses, making fires in the streets, feasting, and the like, since this prosperity would be but short lived: or if it was on account of the league made by Menahem with the king of Assyria, this would not last long; or on account of a good harvest, they need not so much rejoice as they that rejoice in harvest, since there would quickly be a famine among them: or rather it may respect rejoicing at their idols, and in their idolatrous worship, as other people, which is forbidden; such as instituting plays to the honour of them, making feasts before them, and dancing about them; whatever others might do, who knew not the true God, had not his law before them, nor his prophets sent to them to make known his will; who had been brought up in idolatry, adhered to their gods, and never forsook them; it ill became Israel to do the like. So the words may be rendered, "rejoice not, O Israel", at an idol (q), or idols, "as other people", idolatrous ones; the word signifies "similitude" (r) or "likeness", which an idol is:
for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God; playing the harlot with many lovers; committing adultery with stocks and stones; worshipping idols, and so departing from God, the true God, they had professed to be their God, their God in covenant; who stood in the relation of a husband to them, but they proved treacherous to him, and were guilty of spiritual adultery, which is idolatry; and therefore had no cause to rejoice as other nations that never left their gods, but to take shame to themselves, and mourn over their sad departure; see Hosea 1:3;
thou hast loved a reward upon every corn floor; alluding to the hire of a harlot, prostituting herself for it on a corn floor, or any where else, and that for a measure of corn, or for bread: it may point either at their giving the times of their corn floors to their idols, instead of giving them to the Lord; or to their ascribing their plenty of corn, and all good things to their worship of them, which they called their rewards, or hires their lovers gave them, Hosea 2:5; or to their erecting of altars on their corn floors; as David erected one to the true God on the threshing floor of Araunah, 2 Samuel 24:24; and which they might do, either by way of thanksgiving for a good harvest, which they imputed to them; or in order to obtain one, but in vain, as follows. The Targum is,
"for you have erred from the worship of your God; you have loved to serve idols on all, corn floors.''
(q) "super similitudine, seu idolo" Schmidt. (r) signifies a likeness of age, stature, and complexion, in Dan. i. 10. an idol is the similitude or likeness of anything in heaven or is earth, Exodus 20.4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ho 9:1-17. Warning against Israel's Joy at Partial Relief from Their Troubles: Their Crops Shall Fail, and the People Leave the Lord's Land for Egypt and Assyria, Where They Cannot, If So Inclined, Serve God According to the Ancient Ritual: Folly of Their False Prophets.
1. Rejoice not … for joy—literally, "to exultation." Thy exultation at the league with Pul, by which peace seems secured, is out of place: since thy idolatry will bring ruin on thee.
as other people—the Assyrians for instance, who, unlike thee, are in the height of prosperity.
loved a reward upon every corn floor—Thou hast desired, in reward for thy homage to idols, abundance of corn on every threshing-floor (Ho 2:12).
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