Hosea 10:10
It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows.
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(10) Translate (see Margin; so Jerome), When I desire, I will chastise them, and peoples shall be gathered against them, when I chastise them for their two iniquities (i.e., the two calves which had been the source of heresy and treason against Jehovah).

Hosea 10:10. It is my desire that I should chastise them — Then I protected and gave them success, but now it is my desire that they should suffer due punishment; and I will bring punishment upon them. And the people shall be gathered against them — Either the Assyrians, whose alliance they formerly sought after; or those people whose idolatry they had complied with. When they shall bind themselves in their two furrows — The LXX. give a much plainer and easier sense of the words, who follow the marginal reading of the Hebrew, and render it, When I shall chastise them for their two iniquities; namely, the calves of Dan and Beth-el. Bishop Horsley, however, understands the passage in a sense somewhat similar to that given in our translation. His version of it is, When they are tethered down to their two furrows, which he explains as follows: “When they are tied to their two faults; that is, when they are reduced to a situation of such difficulty and danger, as to have no hope of deliverance by any measures of human policy, in which alone they place their confidence, but by choosing one or other of two alliances, the Egyptian or the Assyrian; in the forming of either of which they are criminal, having been repeatedly warned against all foreign alliances.”

10:9-15 Because God does not desire the death and ruin of sinners, therefore in mercy he desires their chastisement. The children of iniquity still remained in Israel. The enemies would be gathered against them. It is just with God to make those know what hardships mean, who indulge themselves in ease and pleasure. Let them cleanse their hearts from all corrupt affections and lusts, and be a broken and contrite spirit. Let them abound in works of piety towards God, and of justice and charity towards one another: herein let them sow to the Spirit. Seeking the Lord is to be every day's work, but there are special occasions when to seek him. Christ shall come as the Lord our righteousness, and grant us of it abundantly. If we sow in righteousness, we shall reap according to mercy; a reward not of debt, but of grace. Even the gains of sin yield the sinner no satisfaction. As our comforts, so our confidences in the service of sin will certainly fail us. Come and seek the Lord, and thy hope in him shall not deceive thee. See what cruel work war makes. Whatever mischief is done, it is sin that does it. What miseries men's sins bring on them, even in this world!It is in My desire that I should chastise them - God "doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men" Lamentations 3:33. Grievous then must be the cause of punishment, when God not only chastens people, but, so to speak, longs to chasten them, when He chastens them without any let or hindrance from His mercy. Yet so God had said; "It shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and to multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and to bring you to nought" Deuteronomy 28:63. God willed to enforce His justice, with no reserve whatever from His mercy. His whole mind, so to speak, is to punish them. God is "without passions." Yet, in order to impress on us the truth, that one day there will, to some, be "judgment without mercy" James 2:13, He speaks as one, whose longing could not be satisfied, until the punishment were executed. So He says, "I will ease Me of Mine adversaries" Isaiah 1:24; "Mine anger shall be accomplished and I will cause My fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted" Ezekiel 5:13.

And the people shall be gathered against him - "As all the other tribes were gathered against Benjamin at Gibeah to destroy it, so, although that war did not overtake them, now "against him," i. e., against Ephraim or the ten tribes, "shall be gathered" divers "peoples" and nations, to destroy them." The number gathered against them shall be as overwhelming, as that of all the tribes of Israel against the one small tribe of Benjamin. : "As of old, they ought to have bound themselves to extinguish this apostasy in its birth, as they bound themselves to avenge the horrible wickedness at Gibeah. But since they bound themselves not against sin, but to it, God says that He would gather Pagan nations against them, to punish their obstinate rebellion against Himself. They who will neither be drawn by piety, nor corrected by moderate chastisements, must needs be visited by sharper punishments, that some, who will not strive to the uttermost against the mercy of God, may be saved."

When they shall bind themselves in their two furrows - They "bind themselves" and Satan "binds them" to their sin. In harmony and unity in nothing else, they will bind themselves, and plow like two oxen together, adding furrow to furrow, joining on line to line of sin. They who had thrown off the light and easy yoke of God, who were ever like a restive, untamed, heifer, starting aside from the yoke, would "bind" and band themselves steadily in their own ways of sin, cultivating sin, and in that sin should destruction overtake them. People who are unsteady and uneven in everything besides, will be steadfast in preening sin; they who will submit to no constraint, human or divine, will, in their slavery to their passions, submit to anything. No slavery is so heavy as that which is selfimposed.

This translation has followed an old Jewish tradition, expressed by the vowels of the text, and old Jewish authorities. With other vowels, it may be rendered, literally, "in their binding to their two transgressions," which gives the same sense, "because they bound themselves to their two transgressions," or, passively, "when they are bound, on account of their two transgressions." The "two transgressions," may designate the two calves, "the sin of Israel," or the twofold guilt of fornication, spiritual, and in the body; the breach of both tables of God's law; or as Jeremiah says, "My people hath committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, which can hold no water" Jeremiah 2:13. : "This could not be said of any other nation, which knew not God. For if any such worshiped false gods, they committed only one transgression; but this nation, in which God was known, by declining to idolatry, is truly blamed as guilty of "two transgressions;" they left the true God, and for, or against, Him they worshiped other gods. For he hath twofold guilt, who, knowing good, rather chooseth evil; but "he" single, who, knowing no good, taketh evil for good. That nation then, both when, after seeing many wonderful works of God, it made and worshiped one calf in the wilderness; and when, forsaking the house of David and the temple of the Lord, it made itself two calves; yea, and so often as it worshiped those gods of the beathen; and yet more, when it asked that Barabbas should be released but that Christ should be crucified, committed two transgressions, rejecting the good, electing the evil; "setting sweet for bitter, and bitter for sweet; setting darkness as light, and light as darkness" Isaiah 5:20.

10. my desire … chastise—expressing God's strong inclination to vindicate His justice against sin, as being the infinitely holy God (De 28:63).

the people—Foreign invaders "shall be gathered against them."

when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows—image from two oxen ploughing together side by side, in two contiguous furrows: so the Israelites shall join themselves, to unite their powers against all dangers, but it will not save them from My destroying them [Calvin]. Their "two furrows" may refer to their two places of setting up the calves, their ground of confidence, Dan and Beth-el; or, the two divisions of the nation, Israel and Judah, "in their two furrows," that is, in their respective two places of habitation; Ho 10:11, which specifies the two, favors this view. Henderson prefers the Keri (Hebrew Margin) "for their two iniquities"; and translates, "when they are bound" in captivity. English Version is best, as the image is carried out in Ho 10:11; only it is perhaps better to translate, "the people (the invaders) binding them," that is, making them captives; and so Ho 10:11 alludes to the yoke being put on the neck of Ephraim and Judah.

Our version leaves this verse somewhat obscure, but our reading in the margin doth much clear the words, and maketh them much more easily intelligible.

It is in my desire that I should chastise them; I am resolved to punish them as I see good; they have deserved the utmost that I shall lay upon them, and therefore I will punish as I see meet.

The people shall be gathered; the forces of the Assyrian empire shall be gathered in arms against them, I will bring Shalmaneser upon this sinful, idolatrous nation.

Against them; Israel, or Ephraim.

When they shall bind themselves in their two furrows; when I shall bind them, or when they shall be bound, for their two transgressions; so the marginal reading: and then it is plain, if once it appear what were their two transgressions; either corporal and spiritual adultery; and what if it were their revolt from David’s house, their ancient rebellion and idolatry? or revolt from God: these were the two main spring-heads of their other particular sins, and for these they shall be bound as prisoners and captives, and carried away into Assyria.

It is in my desire that I should chastise them,.... Or, "bind them" (a), and carry them captive; and by so doing correct them for their sins they have so long continued in: this the Lord had in his heart to do, and was determined upon it, and would do it with pleasure, for the glorifying of his justice, since they had so long and so much abused his clemency and goodness:

and the people shall be gathered against them; the Assyrians, who, at the command of the Lord, would come and invade their land, besiege their city, and take it, and bind them, and carry them captive:

when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows; when, like heifers untamed, and bound in a yoke to plough, do not make and keep in one furrow, but turn out to the right or left, and make cross furrows; so it is intimated that this was the reason why the Lord would correct Israel, and suffer the nations to gather together against them, and carry them captive, because they did not plough in one furrow, or keep in the true and pure worship of God; but made two furrows, worshipping partly God, and partly idols: or, "when they", their enemies, "shall bind them", being gathered against them, and carry them captive, they shall make them plough in "two furrows", the one up, and the other down; and to this hard service they shall keep them continually. There is a double reading of this clause; the "Cetib", or textual writing or reading, is, "to their two eyes", or "fountains": alluding, as Jarchi observes, to the binding of the yoke on oxen on each side of their eyes: or to the fountains in the land of Israel, the abundance of wine, milk, and honey; for the sake of which the people got together, broke in upon them, and bound them, in order to drink of. So Gussetius (b) renders the words, "and they shall bind them to drink of their fountains". The "Keri" or marginal reading is, "their two iniquities"; which the Septuagint follows, rendering it,

"in chastising them, or when they are chastised for their two iniquities;''

so the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions; meaning either their worshipping the two calves at Dan and Bethel; or their corporeal and spiritual adultery; or their forsaking the true God, and worshipping idols; see Jeremiah 2:13. Schmidt understands all this, not as a punishment threatened, but as an instance of the love of God to them, in chastising them in a loving and fatherly way; which had a good effect upon them, and brought them to repentance; partly in the times of the judges, but more especially in the days of Samuel, when they behaved well; and particularly in the reigns of David and Solomon; and when the people were gathered, not "against", but "to" them; either became proselytes to them, or tributaries, or coveted their friendship; and when they themselves lived in great concord, in one kingdom, under one king, like oxen ploughing in two contiguous furrows.

(a) "et, vel ut vinciam eos", Junius & Tremellius, Drusius, Grotius; "colligabo eos", Cocceius. (b) Comment. Ebr. p. 591, 892.

It is in my desire {n} that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two {o} furrows.

(n) Because they are so desperate, I will delight to destroy them.

(o) That is, when they have gathered all their strength together.

10. Jehovah’s rejoinder to this tacit challenge. It is in my desire …] Rather, When I desire, I will chastise them, and peoples (i. e. hostile armies), &c.

when they shall bind themselves, &c.] Rather, when I chastise them (or, when I bind them, or, when they shall be bound) for their two iniquities, viz. for their revolt from ‘Jehovah their God and David their king’ (Hosea 3:5). The rendering ‘furrows’ adopted in A.V. from the Targum has no support in Hebrew usage, and yields no intelligible sense. ‘Iniquities’ is the rendering of the Septuagint and the Vulgate, as well as of Hitzig, Keil, &c., though these scholars prefer the version ‘bind to’, and explain that punishment is viewed as the necessary concomitant of transgression.

Verse 10. - It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them. This is better translated thus: When I desire it, then (vav of the apodosis) shall I chastise them; and the peoples shall be gathered against them. This expresses God's determination to punish sin and vindicate his justice as the infinitely Holy One. It means, not only that his desire to punish them does exist, but that, this desire being taken for granted, there shall be no let nor hindrance; nothing can stay his hand. Then the mode and means of chastisement are indicated - peoples, foreign invaders, shall be gathered against them. The verb אָסֹר is future Qal of יסר irregularly, as if coming from נסד, the daghesh in samech compensating for the absorbed yod. When they shall bind themselves in their two furrows; margin, When I shall bind them for their two transgressions, or, in their two habitations.

(1) Gesenius, Ewald, and others, abiding by the Kethir or textual reading of the original, translate, "Jehovah will chastise them before with their eyes," that is, not in secret, but openly before the world. They thus refer the word to עַיִן, eye, but עְינָות is "fountains," not "eyes."

(2) The Hebrew commentators, Aben Ezra and Kimchi, explain the word in the sense of "two furrows" as in Authorized Version; and refer them to Judah and Ephraim. Thus Kimchi says, "The prophet compares Judah and Ephraim to two plowing oxen. I thought they would plough well, but they have ploughed ill, since they have bound themselves together one with the other and have allied themselves the one with the other to do evil in the eyes of Jehovah." Similarly Rosenmüller: "To be bound to two furrows is said of oxen plowing when they are bound together in a common yoke, so that in two adjacent furrows they walk together and with equal pace."

(3) The Septuagint rendering, based on the Qeri and followed by the Syriac and Arabic, gives a better and clearer sense than the preceding. It is, Ἐν ταῖς δυσὶν ἀδικίαις αὐτῶν, and is followed by Jerome in Super duas iniquitates suas, as also by the most judicious expositors of ancient and modern times. Yet there is great variety as to what those iniquities are. Some, like Jerome, refer to the double idolatry - that of Micah and that of Jeroboam; others, like Dathe, to the two golden calves set up at Dan and Bethel; Cyril and Theodoret to the apostasy of Israel from Jehovah, and devotion to idols; De Wette and Keil to the double unfaithfulness of Israel to Jehovah and the royal house of David. The exact rendering would, according to any of these views, be, "When I bind them to their two transgressions," or, "When I allow the foreigners to bind them on account of their two transgressions;" that is to connect or yoke them to their two transgressions by the punishment, so that they, like beasts of burden, must drag them after them, whatever be the view we take of the nature of those transgressions. Hosea 10:10After the threatening of punishment has thus been extended in Hosea 10:8, even to the utter ruin of the kingdom, the prophet returns in Hosea 10:9 to the earlier times, for the purpose of exhibiting in a new form and deeply rooted sinfulness of the people, and then, under cover of an appeal to them to return to righteousness, depicting still further the time of visitation, and (in Hosea 10:14, Hosea 10:15) predicting with still greater clearness the destruction of the kingdom and the overthrow of the monarchy. Hosea 10:9. "Since the days of Gibeah hast thou sinned, O Israel: there have they remained: the war against the sons of wickedness did not overtake them at Gibeah. Hosea 10:10. According to my desire shall I chastise them; and nations will be gathered together against them, to bind them to their two transgressions." Just as in Hosea 9:9, the days of Gibeah, i.e., the days when that ruthless crime was committed at Gibeah upon the concubine of the Levite, are mentioned as a time of deep corruption; so are those days described in the present passage as the commencement of Israel's sin. For it is as obvious that מיממי is not to be understood in a comparative sense, as it is that the days of Gibeah are not to be taken as referring to the choice of Saul, who sprang from Gibeah, to be their king (Chald.). The following words, שׁם עמדוּ גגו, which are very difficult, and have been variously explained, do not describe the conduct of Israel in those days; for, in the first place, the statement that the war did not overtake them is by no means in harmony with this, since the other tribes avenged that crime so severely that the tribe of Benjamin was almost exterminated; and secondly, the suffix attached to תּשּׂיגם evidently refers to the same persons as that appended to אסּ'רם in Hosea 9:10, i.e., to the Israelites of the ten tribes, to which Hosea foretels the coming judgment. These are therefore the subject to עמדוּ, and consequently עמד signifies to stand, to remain, to persevere (cf. Isaiah 47:12; Jeremiah 32:14). There, in Gibeah, did they remain, that is to say, they persevered in the sin of Gibeah, without the war at Gibeah against the sinners overtaking them (the imperfect, in a subordinated clause, used to describe the necessary consequence; and עלוה transposed from עולה mo, like זעוה in Deuteronomy 28:25 for זועה). The meaning is, that since the days of Gibeah the Israelites persist in the same sin as the Gibeahites; but whereas those sinners were punished and destroyed by the war, the ten tribes still live on in the same sin without having been destroyed by any similar war. Jehovah will now chastise them for it. בּאוּתי, in my desire, equivalent to according to my wish - an anthropomorphic description of the severity of the chastisement. ואסּ'רם from יסר (according to Ewald, 139, a), with the Vav of the apodosis. The chastisement will consist in the fact, that nations will be gathered together against Israel בּאסרם, lit., at their binding, i.e., when I shall bind them. The chethib עינתם cannot well be the plural of עין, because the plural עינות is not used for the eyes; and the rendering, "before their two eyes," in the sense of "without their being able to prevent it" (Ewald), yields the unheard-of conception of binding a person before his own eyes; and, moreover, the use of שׁתּי עינות instead of the simple dual would still be left unexplained. We must therefore give the preference to the keri עונת, and regard the chethib as another form, that may be accounted for from the transition of the verbs עי into עו, and עונת as a contraction of עונת, since עונה cannot be shown to have either the meaning of "sorrow" (Chald., A. E.), or that of the severe labour of "tributary service." And, moreover, neither of these meanings would give us a suitable thought; whilst the very same objection may be brought against the supposition that the doubleness of the work refers to Ephraim and Judah, which has been brought against the rendering "to bind to his furrows," viz., that it would be non solum ineptum, sed locutionis monstrum. לשׁתּי עונתם, "to their two transgression" to bind them: i.e., to place them in connection with the transgressions by the punishment, so that they will be obliged to drag them along like beasts of burden. By the two transgressions we are to understand neither the two golden calves at Bethel and Daniel (Hitzig), nor unfaithfulness towards Jehovah and devotedness to idols, after Jeremiah 2:13 (Cyr., Theod.); but their apostasy from Jehovah and the royal house of David, in accordance with Hosea 3:5, where it is distinctly stated that the ultimate conversion of the nation will consist in its seeking Jehovah and David their king.
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