|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:11-17. God departs from a people, or from a person, when he withdraws his goodness and mercy from them; and when the Lord is departed, what can the creature do? Even though, for the present, good things seem to remain, yet the blessing is gone if God is gone. Even the children should perish with the parents. The Divine wrath dries up the root, and withers the fruit of all comforts; and the scattered Jews daily warn us to beware, lest we neglect or abuse the gospel. Yet every smiting is not a drying up of the root. It may be that God intends only to smite so that the sap may be turned to the root, that there may be more of root graces, more humility, patience, faith, and self-denial. It is very just that God should bring judgments on those who slight his offered mercy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Give them, O Lord: what wilt thou give them?.... The prophet foreseeing the butchery and destruction of their children, his heart ached for them; and, to show his tender affection for this people, was desirous of putting up a supplication for them; but was at a loss what to ask, their sins were so many, and so aggravated, and the decree gone forth for their destruction: or, "give them what thou wilt give them" (l); so Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abarbinel, what thou hast threatened before to give them, Hosea 9:11; do not give them to be butchered and murdered before the eyes of their parents by their enemies; but rather let them die in the womb, or as soon as born; so it follows:
give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts; the latter being a sign of the former, as physicians observe; or the words may be rendered disjunctively, give them one, or the other; that is, to the wives of the people of Israel, if they conceive, let them miscarry, prove abortive, rather than bring forth children to be destroyed in such a cruel manner by murderers; or if they bear them to the birth, and bring them forth, let their breasts be dried up, and afford no milk for their nourishment; and so die for lack of it, rather than fall into the hands of their merciless enemies: thus, of two evils, the prophet chooses and prays for the least. Some interpret this as a prediction of what would be, or an imprecation of it; but it rather seems a pathetic wish, flowing from the tender affection of the prophet, judging such a case to be preferable to the former; see Luke 23:29; though the other sense seems best to agree with what follows, and which is favoured by the Targum,
"give thou, O Lord, the recompence of their works; give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.''
(l) "da eis quod daturus es", Junius & Tremellius, Vatablus, Grotius; "da illis id quod dabis", Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. what wilt thou give?—As if overwhelmed by feeling, he deliberates with God what is most desirable.
give … a miscarrying womb—Of two evils he chooses the least. So great will be the calamity, that barrenness will be a blessing, though usually counted a great misfortune (Job 3:3; Jer 20:14; Lu 23:29).
Hosea 9:14 Parallel Commentaries
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