Amos 2:11
And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O you children of Israel? said the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11, 12) God added to the mercies of His providence, the transcendent blessings of special revelation. The prophets of Israel were numerous, and renowned, and exposed to frequent persecution, e.g., the cases of Micaiah, Elijah, and others. “The Nazarite vow to abstain from wine, which, in the earliest case, that of Samson, appears a life-long vow, was undoubtedly a religious protest against Canaanite civilisation in favour of the simple life of ancient times.” (W. R. Smith, Prophets of Israel, p. 84.) The Nazarite was, moreover, a link between the prophet and the priest, upon whom, without hereditary rank or sacerdotal rite, great privileges were bestowed. The assault upon both is highly characteristic of the disloyalty of Israel.

Amos 2:11-12. I raised up your sons for prophets — Such were Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and many others; and of your young men for Nazarites — Who, by devoting themselves to my service in a peculiar manner, and by observing peculiar rites, were an honour to you. But ye gave the Nazarites wine — Ye tempted the Nazarites to violate their vow and contemn God’s law, persuading them to drink wine; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not — You bid the prophets hold their peace, and not speak against your actions, nor denounce any punishments against you for them. An example of this we have in Amos himself, chap. 7.2:9-16 We need often to be reminded of the mercies we have received; which add much to the evil of the sins we have committed. They had helps for their souls, which taught them how to make good use of their earthly enjoyments, and were therefore more valuable. Faithful ministers are great blessings to any people; but it is God that raises them up to be so. Sinners' own consciences will witness that he has not been wanting to them in the means of grace. They did what they could to lead believers aside. Satan and his agents are busy to corrupt the minds of young people who look heavenward; they overcome many by drawing them to the love of mirth and pleasure, and into drinking company. Multitudes of young men who bade fair as professors of religion, have erred through strong drink, and have been undone for ever. The Lord complains of sin, especially the sins of his professing people, as a burden to him. And though his long-suffering be tired, his power is not, and so the sinner will find to his cost. When men reject God's word, adding obstinacy to sin, and this becomes the general character of a people, they will be given up to misery, notwithstanding all their boasted power and resources. May we then humble ourselves before the Lord, for all our ingratitude and unfaithfulness.And I raised up of your sons for prophets - Amos turns from outward mercies to inward, front past to present, from miracles of power to miracles of grace. God's past mercies live on in those of today; the mercies of today are the assurance to us that we have a share in the past; His miracles of grace are a token that the miracles of His power are not our condemnation. God had, from the time of Moses, "raised up" prophets. Eldad and Medad Numbers 11:26-29 were images Of those, whom God would raise up beyond the bounds of His promise. Samuel was an Ephrathite 1 Samuel 1:1; Ahijah the Shilonite, that is, of Shiloh in Ephraim, lived on to old age in the kingdom of the ten tribes after their schism, the witness against the apostasy of Jeroboam 1 Kings 14:7-14; 1 Kings 15:29, yet acknowledged by the king whose rise and of the destruction of whose house he prophesied 1 Kings 14:2, 1 Kings 14:4.

Jehu, son of Hanani, was the prophet of both kingdoms 1 Kings 16:1, 1 Kings 16:7, 1 Kings 16:12; 2 Chronicles 19:2; 2 Chronicles 20:34; Micaiah, son of Imlah, was well known to Ahab, as "prophesying evil concerning him" 1 Kings 22:8, 1 Kings 22:18 continually; unknown to Jehoshaphat 1 Kings 22:7. That wondrous pair, marvelous for superhuman sanctity and power among the marvelous miracles of God, Elijalh and Elisha, were both "sons" of Israel, whom God "raised up; Elijjah the Tishbite" 1 Kings 17:1, born doubtless at Thisbe, a village of Naphthali , and one of the sojourners in Gilead; Elisha of Abelmeholah 1 Kings 19:16, on the west side of the valley of the Jordan . And even now He had raised up to them of their own "sons," Hosea and Jonah. Their presence was the presence of God among them, who, out of the ordinary way of His Providence, "raised" them "up" and filled them with His Spirit; and where the presence of God is, if there is fear, yet there is also hope.

And of your young men for Nazarites - The Nazarite was a fruit of the grace of God in its moral and religions workings, superhuman in holiness and self-denial, as the prophets were of that same grace, conferring superhuman wisdom and knowledge also. Of both, God says, "I raised up," teaching that both alike, holiness of life and superhman wisdom, were His own special gift to each individual, His own creation. God survived His people, called, and "raised up," by His grace, out of the crowd, those souls which responded to His call. The life of the Nazarites was a continual protest against the self-indulgence and worldliness of the people. It was a life above nature. Unless any prophet like Samuel 1 Samuel 1:11, was also a Nazarite, they had no special office except to live that life. Their life taught. Nay, it taught in one way the more, because they had no special gifts of wisdom or knowledge, nothing to distinguish them from ordinary people, except extraordinary grace.

They were an evidence, what all might do and be, if they used the grace of God. The power of the grace of God shows itself the more wondrously in these who have nought beside. The essence of the Nazarite life, as expressed by its name, was "separation," separation from things of the world, with a view to God. The separation was not, necessarily, for more than a limited time. In such case, it answered to the strictness of the Christian Lent. It was a considerable discipline for a time. In those simpler days, when luxury had not been so busy , the absolute prohibition of anything fermented Numbers 6:3-4, whether from the grape or any other substance or vinegar made of either, or any liquor or refreshing food or drink, made in any way from the grape, fresh or dry, its husks or its kernels, while it cut off every evasion, involved the giving up not only every drink, in any way exciting or stimulating, but very much also, which was refreshing. Water, which in the east has seldom the freshness of ours, was their only drink. This, which to individuals may be an easy rule, would not be so in the main.

Those only think an undeviating rule slight, who have never tried one, nor set themselves on system to conquer self-will. Such a rule would not be acted upon, except for God. The long never-shorn hair was probably intended to involve the neglect of personal appearance. Yet this was the body only of the vow; its soul was the dedication to God. The Nazarite not only "separated himself from" Numbers 6:3 those earthly things; he "separated himself to" the Lord Numbers 6:2, Numbers 6:5-6 : he "consecrated to the Lord the days of his separation Numbers 6:12 : all the days of his separation he was holy to the Lord Numbers 6:8 : the separation of his God was upon his head." Numbers 6:7. The vow was a great and singular thing. "When man or woman shall vow a special vow of a Nazarite" Numbers 6:2. The ritual of the Nazarite likened him to the priest. Giving him no priestly office, it yet even intensified some of the rules of the priesthood.

The priest was to abstain from wine and strong drink, only "when" he "went into the tabernacle of the congregations," that he might "put difference between holy and unholy, and teach Israel the statutes" of the Lord Leviticus 10:9-11 : the Nazarite, so long as he remained such. The priest might defile himself for certain very near dead Leviticus 21:1-3; the high priest alone and the Nazarite, "neither for father nor mother" Leviticus 21:11-12; Numbers 6:7 : and that for the kindred reason; the high priest, "because the crown of the anointing oil of his God" was "upon him;" the Nazarite, "because the consecration of his God was upon his head!" His consecrated hair was called by the self-same name Numbers 6:19 as the mitre of the priest. It appears to have been woven into "seven locks" Judges 16:13, itself a number of consecration. If his consecration came to an end, that hair was mingled with the sacrifice Numbers 6:18, and on "his" hands alone, besides the priest's at his consecration, was part of the offering laid Numbers 6:19.

All Israel was, in God's purpose, "a kingdom of priests" Exodus 19:6; and, among them, the Nazarite was brought yet nearer, not to the priest's office, but to his character. This must have diffused itself indefinitely through the outward and inward life. Further strictness probably lay in the spirit of the vow. The outward appearance of the Nazarites appears to have been changed by their abstemiousness. "Her Nazarites were purer than snow; they were whiter than milk" Lamentations 4:7. Their countenance had that transparent purity, which sometimes results from a pure abstemious life; as Athanasius is said to have been "bloodless." John the Immerser, the counterpart of Elijah, ate only of the food of the wilderness, "locusts and wild honey;" his clothing was the hair cloth Luke 1:15; Luke 7:33; Matthew 3:4.

Of James the Just it is related with reference to the Nazarite vow ; "He was holy from his mother's womb; wine and strong drink he drank not, nor ate any living thing; the razor came not up upon his head; he anointed him not with oil, and he used not a bath." Nazarites there had been in the most disorganized times of Israel. The histories of Samson and Samuel stand over against one another, as Nazarites who, the one forfeited, the other persevered in, his vocation. Elijah's ascetic character is as if he had been one of them, or deepened the lines of their rule. Ahaziah's ungodly messengers described him contemptously as "a man, lord of hair," as though he had nothing but his prophet's broad mantle of hair, and "the leather girdle about his loins" .

The Rechabites, although Kenites by origin 1 Chronicles 2:55, had been enrolled in the people of God, and had received a rule from their father, uniting with the abstinence of the Nazarites, a mode of life which kept them aloof from the corruptions of cities Jeremiah 35:7, Jeremiah 35:9. The rules of their Nomadic life were consecrated to God, for He says, "There shall not be cut off from Jonadub, the son of Rechab, a man standing before Me for ever" Jeremiah 35:19, that is, as the servant of God. God uses as to them the term which marks the service of the Levites Deuteronomy 10:8, priests Judges 20:28, and prophets 1 Kings 17:1. Jonadab, the author of their rule, was plainly an ascetic, through whose presence Jehu hoped to cast a religious character over his ambitious execution of God's command .

But the value which the artful, though impetuous 2 Kings 9:20, bloodstained, captain attached to the presence of the ascetic shows the weight which they had with the people. Strange sight it must have been, the energetic warrior in his coat of mail, and the ascetic, as energetic, in his hair-cloth. Deeper far the cotrast within. But the more marvelous the contrast, the more it attests the influence which the unworldly ascetic had over the world. Like the garb of the prophets, their appearance was a standing rebuke to a life of sense. Like the patriarchs, it professed that they were "strangers and pilgrims upon the earth." They who sought nothing of the world or of time, were a witness to the belief in their eternal home. The Nazarites must now have been a numerous body, since Amos speaks of them, as a known class, like the prophets, of whose numbers we hear incidentally .

Yet the memory of these, who, amid the general corruption, were, each in his own sphere, centers of pure faith and life, is embalmed in these few words only. So little reason is there to think that God's commands were neglected by all, because their observance is not related. Amos appeals publicly to the people that the fact was so, that God had raised up Nazarites as well as prophets among them. He had His "little flock" Luke 12:32, His "seven thousand" 1 Kings 19:18, who escaped the eye even of Elijah. The gift of the Nazarites was a special favor to Israel, as a memorial what the grace of God could do for man, what man could do, with the grace of God. His "raising up Nazarites, out of their young men," men in their first bloom of unmarried , virgin (Deuteronomy 32:25; 2 Chronicles 36:17; Jeremiah 51:22; and in the plur. Psalm 78:63; Psalm 148:12; Isaiah 23:4;. Jeremiah 31:13; Lamentations 1:18; Lamentations 2:21; Zechariah 9:17; and by Amos himself, Amos 8:13), life their picked "very chosen men," such as furnished the prime of their warriors , stengthened that teaching.

Even now, one devoted to God in his youth is a witness for God, leaven of the world around him. But the Nazarite had also to bear an outward mark for good, to be singular. His appearance bespoke that he had chosen God. His vow was not only a living up to the law; it lay beyond the law, the free-will offering of those whom God called. At an age, when so many do things unlawful, to gratitfy passion, these abstained even from things lawful. "Canst thou not do what these youths and these maidens can? or can they either in themselves, and not rather in the Lord their God?" was Augustine's upbraiding of himself , on the eve of his conversion, in thought of those who were living a devoted virgin life.

Is it not even thus? - It were enough that God, the Truth, said it. But He condemns not, without giving space for excuse or defense. So he describes the Day of Judgment Matthew 25:24-30, Matthew 25:41-45; Matthew 22:11. "The books were opened - and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" Revelation 20:12. Now, in the time of grace, the question asks, what, written under the picture of Christ crucified, once converted a sinner; "This have I done for thee: What doest thou for Me?" What did they? What had they done? What would they do?

11. Additional obligations under which Israel lay to God; the prophets and Nazarites, appointed by Him, to furnish religious instruction and examples of holy self-restraint.

of your young men—It was a specimen of Israel's highly favored state, that, of the class most addicted to pleasures, God chose those who by a solemn vow bound themselves to abstinence from all produce of the vine, and from all ceremonial and moral defilement. The Nazarite was not to shave (Nu 6:2, &c.). God left nothing undone to secure the purity of their worship and their faithfulness to it (La 4:7). The same comes from a Hebrew root, nazar, "to set apart." Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist were Nazarites.

Is it not even thus—Will any of you dare to deny it is so?

I raised up; gave prophetic endowments, stirred up their minds, commissioned them to prophesy, and carried them through by an undaunted courage given to them, that they, should not fear to set upon, or faint in attending to, their office.

Of your sons for prophets; did not employ strangers, whose affections you might with some colour of reason suspect, but your own sons, whose affections to you and to their own country are unquestionable, were sent prophets to tell you of your sins, to foretell your dangers, and to importune you to repent of your sins, and to prevent your dangers.

Your young men; though that age be generally inclined to please their own fancies, to walk after the sight of their eyes, Ecclesiastes 11:9, yet did God change the mind of some of them in their youth, and inclined them to eminency in religion, to be examples to others.

Nazarites; which were religious persons under vow bound to a very sober, abstemious, and holy life; either for some certain limited time, or for their whole life: see Numbers 6:1,2, &c. These were not to drink any strong or intoxicating liquors.

Is it not even thus? God appeals to them in this matter whether he had not done this for them, given prophets to teach them, and Nazarites to be examples to them, in both which God showed his love and care of them.

Ye children of Israel; apostatized Israel, you of the ten tribes.

Saith the Lord: this is added to excite them to serious pondering what is said to them. And I raised up of your sons for prophets,.... Such as Moses, Joshua, and the seventy elders, and others; not only to foretell things to come, but to teach and instruct the people in the doctrines and duties of religion, and to warn them of their sins, and the danger of them:

and of your young men for Nazarites: as Samson, Samuel, and others; whose vow not only obliged them from shaving their hair, but to abstain from drinking wine, and eating grapes, which the youthful age is inclined unto; but such grace was given them, as enabled them to deny themselves sensual gratifications, and to be examples of piety and constant attendance on the service of God, and instructing the people. The Targum is,

"of your young men for teachers;''

these were the spiritual mercies, as the former were the temporal ones, the Lord bestowed on these people, for the truth of which he appeals to them:

is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord? can ye deny it? the thing was too notorious to be contradicted.

And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of {i} your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the LORD.

(i) You condemned my benefits, and abused my graces, and craftily went about to stop the mouths of my Prophets.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. raised up] Cf. Deuteronomy 18:15, Jeremiah 6:17 : similarly of judges, Jdg 2:16; Jdg 2:18; deliverers (ib. Jdg 3:9; Jdg 3:15); a priest, 1 Samuel 2:35; kings or other rulers, 2 Samuel 7:8, Jeremiah 23:4-5; Jeremiah 30:9, Ezekiel 34:23. “God is said to raise up, when by His providence, or His grace, He calls forth those who had not been called before, for the office for which He designs them” (Dr Pusey on Amos 6:14).

for prophets] as Moses himself (Deuteronomy 34:10; Hosea 12:13), Samuel, Nathan, Gad, Ahijah, Shemaiah, Jehu son of Hanani, Micaiah son of Imlah, Elijah, and Elisha: to say nothing of many, not named individually (comp. 1 Samuel 28:15; Hosea 4:5; Hosea 6:5; Hosea 9:7-8; Hosea 12:10; ch. Amos 3:7, and on ch. Amos 7:14). A succession of prophets had, in various ways, by example and precept, held up before Israel the ideal of a righteous life: but they had refused to listen to them: comp. Hosea 6:5, and especially Amos 9:7-8, a passage which illustrates the opposition and hostility to which, in the age of Amos, the prophets were exposed. On the prophets in early Israel, see an excellent chapter in G. A. Smith’s Book of the Twelve Prophets, Amos 1:11-15 (cf. also pp. 44–58).

Nazirites] The Heb. nâzîr signifies properly one separated from the people at large, or consecrated (though without the special ideas attaching to ḳâdôsh, holy), the particular direction in which the ‘separation’ in question takes effect being fixed by usage. Comp. the corresponding verb (in different applications), Hosea 9:10; Leviticus 15:31; Leviticus 22:2; Ezekiel 14:7; Zechariah 7:3; and with special reference to the ‘separation’ of the Nazirite, Numbers 6:2-3; Numbers 6:5-6; Numbers 6:12 : also the subst. nézer, “separation,” ib. Numbers 6:4-21 (repeatedly). The Nazirites were men who, when the sensual and self-indulgent habits of the Canaanites threatened to make their way into Israel, endeavoured by a vow of abstinence to set an example of moderation and self-denial, which might help to preserve the old simplicity of Israelitish life. The chief obligations of the Nazirite were to abstain from all intoxicating drinks, to eat no “unclean” thing[145], and (according to Numbers 6:6 f.) to avoid the ceremonial “uncleanness” occasioned by contact with a corpse: as a sign of his “separation” (cf. Numbers 6:7 end), also, his hair was not shaved, but suffered to grow in its natural state[146]. The only certain historical example of a Nazirite, mentioned in the O.T., is Samson (cf. Jdg 13:5; Jdg 13:7; Jdg 13:14; Jdg 16:17). Samuel, however, is often considered to have been a Nazirite (cf. 1 Samuel 1:11; 1 Samuel 1:28), though the term itself is not actually applied to him[147]. But from the present passage it may be inferred that they formed a numerous class. The law regulating the vow of the Nazirite is codified in Numbers 6:1-21 : but this, in its present form, springs probably from a later age than that of Amos, and represents the form which the regulations on the subject finally assumed. Samson was dedicated to the life of a Nazirite before his birth, and so also was Samuel (if he is rightly treated as a Nazirite): but this, no doubt, was exceptional; it is implied by Amos that “young men,” when they felt the inner call, spontaneously dedicated themselves to the ascetic life. The Rechabites (Jeremiah 35), whose founder was a contemporary of Jehu’s (2 Kings 10:15 ff.), were a sect or guild, established with the same object of maintaining a simple habit of life, in contrast to the laxity and effeminacy too often prevalent in these cities. Amos regards the Nazirites as a living protest against the luxury and sensuality to which Israel was now too much addicted (cf. Amos 4:1, Amos 6:3-7); and sees in their appearance, as in that of the prophets, a mark of God’s care for the higher welfare of His people. See further, on the Nazirites, Nowack, Hebr. Archäologie, II. pp. 133–138.

[145] At least this may be inferred from the condition imposed upon Samson’s mother (Jdg 13:4; Jdg 13:7; Jdg 13:14).

[146] Cf. with this the rule by which the Arabs, while a sacred obligation rests upon them (as the duty of blood-revenge, or during a pilgrimage) never shave their hair (Wellhausen, Reste Arab. Heidentumes, pp. 116 ff.). Comp. also 1 Samuel 1:11 (of Samuel).

[147] At least, until Sir 46:13 (Heb. and Syr.).

saith Jehovah] more lit. “(’tis) Jehovah’s whisper (or oracle)!” a solemn asseverative interjection, usually thrown in parenthetically in the middle or at the end of a sentence. It is very common in the prophets, occurring for instance in this book, Amos 2:16, Amos 3:10; Amos 3:13; Amos 3:15, Amos 4:3; Amos 4:5-6; Amos 4:8 &c. (in Amos 1:8; Amos 1:15, Amos 2:3, Amos 5:16-17; Amos 5:27, Amos 7:3, Amos 9:15, on the contrary, the word is the usual one for say). Only very rarely is a human speaker the subject, if the reference be to some prophetic or oracular declaration (Numbers 24:3; Numbers 24:15; 2 Samuel 23:1; Proverbs 30:1; cf. Psalm 36:1). The word is in form a passive participle, from a verb which however does not appear to have been generally in use, though it is coined from the subst. for a special purpose in Jeremiah 23:31 (“and say, ‘He saith’,” i.e. use this solemn prophetic formula without authority [cf. Ezekiel 13:6-7]: more lit. “and oracle oracles”). The root in Arabic signifies to utter a low sound; and hence the Hebrew term probably denoted properly a whispered or murmured utterance, of a revelation heard quietly by the mental ear: cf. Job 4:12 (though the word here rendered whisper is a different one); and the expression to uncover the ear (viz. to whisper something into it) said of a man, 1 Samuel 20:2; 1 Samuel 20:12-13 al., and of God, speaking to the mental ear, 1 Samuel 9:15, Job 33:16; Job 36:10; Job 36:15; cf. Verse 11. - Having mentioned two temporal benefits conferred on Israel, the prophet now names two spiritual favours - the presence of holy speakers and holy doers. I raised up. The prophet and the Nazarite were alike miracles of grace. The former gave heavenly teaching, the latter exhibited holiness of life. It was the Lord who gave the prophet power and authority to proclaim his will; it was the Lord who inspired the vow of the Nazarite and enabled him to carry it out in practice. Prophets. To Israel belonged Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1), Ahijah of Shiloh (1 Kings 14:2, 4), Jehu, son of Hanani (1 Kings 16:7), Elijah and Elisha, Hosea and Jonah. Young men. In the height of their passions, lusty and strong. Nazarites. The law concerning the Nazarites is given in Numbers 6. The special restrictions by which they bound themselves (viz. abstention from strong drink, from the use of the razor, and from all ritual defilement) were the outward signs of inward purity and devotion to God. Their very name implied separation from the world and devotion to God. They were, in fact, the religious of the old Law, analogous to the monks of Christian times. The vow was either temporary or lifelong. Of perpetual Nazarites we have as instances Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist. Is it not even thus? Is not the existence of prophets and Nazarites among you a proof that you are signally favoured by God, separate from other nations, and bound to be a holy people? Taking the general import of the passage and the signification of the word "Nazarite," the LXX. renders, εἰς ἀγιασμόν, "I took... and of your young men for consecration." The prophet goes back a third time (cf. Hosea 10:1; Hosea 9:10) to the early times of Israel, and shows how the people had repaid the Lord, for all the proofs of His love, with nothing but ingratitude and unfaithfulness; so that it would have merited utter destruction from off the earth, if God should not restrain His wrath for the sake of His unchangeable faithfulness, in order that, after severely chastening, He might gather together once more those that were rescued from among the heathen. Hosea 11:1. "When Israel was young, then I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt. Hosea 11:2. Men called to them; so they went away from their countenance: they offer sacrifice to the Baals, and burn incense to the idols." Hosea 11:1 rests upon Exodus 4:22-23, where the Lord directs Moses to say to Pharaoh, "Israel is my first-born son; let my son go, that he may serve me." Israel was the son of Jehovah, by virtue of its election to be Jehovah's peculiar people (see at Exodus 4:22). In this election lay the ground for the love which God showed to Israel, by bringing it out of Egypt, to give it the land of Canaan, promised to the fathers for its inheritance. The adoption of Israel as the son of Jehovah, which began with its deliverance out of the bondage of Egypt, and was completed in the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai, forms the first stage in the carrying out of the divine work of salvation, which was completed in the incarnation of the Son of God for the redemption of mankind from death and ruin. The development and guidance of Israel as the people of God all pointed to Christ; not, however, in any such sense as that the nation of Israel was to bring forth the son of God from within itself, but in this sense, that the relation which the Lord of heaven and earth established and sustained with that nation, was a preparation for the union of God with humanity, and paved the way for the incarnation of His Son, by the fact that Israel was trained to be a vessel of divine grace. All essential factors in the history of Israel point to this as their end, and thereby become types and material prophecies of the life of Him in whom the reconciliation of man to God was to be realized, and the union of God with the human race to be developed into a personal unity. It is in this sense that the second half of our verse is quoted in Matthew 2:15 as a prophecy of Christ, not because the words of the prophet refer directly and immediately to Christ, but because the sojourn in Egypt, and return out of that land, had the same significance in relation to the development of the life of Jesus Christ, as it had to the nation of Israel. Just as Israel grew into a nation in Egypt, where it was out of the reach of Canaanitish ways, so was the child Jesus hidden in Egypt from the hostility of Herod. But Hosea 11:2 is attached thus as an antithesis: this love of its God was repaid by Israel with base apostasy. קראוּ, they, viz., the prophets (cf. Hosea 11:7; 2 Kings 17:13; Jeremiah 7:25; Jeremiah 25:4; Zechariah 1:4), called to them, called the Israelites to the Lord and to obedience to Him; but they (the Israelites) went away from their countenance, would not hearken to the prophets, or come to the Lord (Jeremiah 2:31). The thought is strengthened by כּן, with the כּאשׁר of the protasis omitted (Ewald, 360, a): as the prophets called, so the Israelites drew back from them, and served idols. בּעלים as in Hosea 2:15, and פּסלים as in 2 Kings 17:41 and Deuteronomy 7:5, Deuteronomy 7:25 (see at Exodus 20:4).
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