Hosea 10:9
O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.
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(9) O Israel . . . Gibeah.—Thou didst commence thy obscene transgressions long before the disruption of the kingdom of Rehoboam, even at Gibeah. Gibeah is emblematic of gross and cruel sensuality, in allusion to Judges 19:20, just as Sodom is used for unnatural vice.

There they stood.—Or rather, remained sinning after the same manner. The rest of the verse should be rendered, Shall there not overtake them in Gibeah (used mystically) the war made against the wicked? (Comp. Judges 20) But Dr. Pusey and others take it categorically, implying that though the exterminating war against the men of Gibeah did not overtake them, and has not yet, it shall now, and soon. But the former interpretation is to be preferred.

Hosea 10:9. O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah — This is not the first of thy sinning, O Israel, for long ago there was the greatest corruption of manners, and the most flagrant wickedness in Gibeah; and thou hast continued to be wicked ever since that time: see Judges 19. Some render the words, Thou hast sinned more than in the days of Gibeah. Thou hast been guilty of more atrocious crimes than that committed in that place. There — That is, upon that occasion, namely, the quarrel with the tribe of Benjamin, on account of the outrage of the men of Gibeah. They stood — Israel stood there in array, prepared for the attack. This relates to the war which the rest of the Israelites made against the Benjamites, because they would not deliver up the men of Gibeah, who had so shamefully and cruelly abused the Levite’s concubine: see Judges 20. The battle in Gibeah, &c., did not overtake them — By them here is meant not the children of iniquity, but the Israelites who warred against the Benjamites, because they would not deliver up these sinners; and the sense of the expression, the battle did not overtake them, is, that they were not overcome in this their attempt to inflict a just punishment on the perpetrators of a flagrant iniquity; for, though they were overcome in two battles, yet at last they gained an entire victory, and cut off all the Benjamites but six hundred: see notes on Judges 20.10:9-15 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!O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah - There must have been great sin, on both sides, of Israel as well as Benjamin, when Israel punished the atrocity of Gibeah, since God caused Israel so to be smitten before Benjamin. Such sin had continued ever since, so that, although God, in His longsuffering, had hitherto spared them, "it was not of late only that they had deserved those judgments, although now at last only, God inflicted them." "There" in Gibeah, "they stood." Although smitten twice at Gibeah, and heavily chastened, there they were avengers of the sacredness of God's law, and, in the end, "they stood; chastened but not killed." But now, none of the ten tribes took the side of God. Neither zeal for God, nor the greatness of the guilt, nor fear of judgment, nor the peril of utter ruin, induced any to set themselves against sin so great. The sin devised by one, diffused among the many, was burnt and branded into them, so that they never parted with it. : "The battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them," i. e., it did not overtake them then, but it shall overtake them now. Or if we render, (as is more probable,) "shall not overtake them," it will mean, not a battle like that in Gibeah, terrible as that was, "shall" now "overtake them;" but one far worse. For, although the tribe of Benjamin was then reduced to six hundred men, yet the tribe still survived and flourished again; now the kingdom of the ten tribes, and the name of Ephraim, should be utterly blotted out. 9. Gibeah—(Ho 9:9; Jud 19:1-20:48). They are singled out as a specimen of the whole nation.

there they stood—The Israelites have, as there and then, so ever since, persisted in their sin [Calvin]. Or, better, "they stood their ground," that is, did not perish then [Maurer].

the battle … did not overtake them—Though God spared you then, He will not do so now; nay, the battle whereby God punished the Gibeonite "children of iniquity," shall the more heavily visit you for your continued impenitence. Though "they stood" then, it shall not be so now. The change from "thou" to "they" marks God's alienation from them; they are, by the use of the third person, put to a greater distance from God.

O Israel, thou hast sinned; you of the ten tribes with such consent have sinned, that you seem to do it as one man.

From the days of Gibeah; ever since the days, so we; but, as Rivet observes, it will bear a comparative thus, thou hast sinned above, or more than. The ten tribes were greater sinners than those Gibeonites; so the prophet compareth the sins of the present age and that past. See Judges 19, where the story is set down at large. See also Hosea 5:8, the place described.

There they stood; in that day and war some stood, who were a seed for raising up the tribe; so I refer this passage to the six hundred men who fled to the rock Rimmon.

The battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them; that fatal battle did not reach them; but now Israel shall be more severely punished; for who escape the sword shall be carried captives, and they shall be no more a people or kingdom: or else thus; Israel hath sinned more than the Gibeonites, I will therefore punish them more than the Gibeonites; they stood once or twice, but Israel now shall be ever beaten and put to flight; in that war Israel had heart to rally, and after two defeats were victors in the third encounter, but it shall not be so now, a war shall overtake them now, not such to Israel as was that against the Gibeonites, for in that they had at last the better, but in this they shall be totally ruined. O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah,.... This has no respect, as the Targum, and others, to Gibeah of Saul, of which place he was, and the choosing him to be king; but to the affair of the Levite and his concubine at Gibeah in the days of the judges, and what followed upon it, Judges 19:1; suggesting, that the sins of Israel were not new ones; they were the same with what were committed formerly, as early as the history referred to, and had been continued ever since; the measure of which were now filling up: or, as Aben Ezra and Abarbinel interpret it, "thou hast sinned more than the days of Gibeah"; were guilty of more idolatry, inhumanity, and impurity, than in those times; and yet the grossest of sins, particularly unnatural lusts, were then committed:

there they stood; either the men of Gibeah continued in their sins, and did not repent of them; and stood in their own defence against the tribes of Israel, and the Benjamites stood also with them, and by them; and stood two battles, and were conquerors in them; and, though beaten in the third, were not wholly destroyed, as now the Israelites would be: or the tribes of Israel stood, and continued in, and connived at, the idolatry of the Levite; or rather stood sluggish and slothful, and were not eagar to fight with the Benjamites, who took part with the men of Gibeah; which were their sins, for which they were worsted in the two first battles, and in which the present Israelites imitated them:

the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them; the two first battles against the men of Gibeah and the Benjamites, who are the children of iniquity, the one the actors, and the other the abettors and patrons of it, did not succeed against them, but the Israelites were overcome; and the third battle, in which they got the day, did not overtake them so as utterly to cut them off; for six hundred persons made their escape; but, in the present case prophesied of, it is suggested, that as their sins were as great or greater than theirs, their ruin should be entire and complete: or the sense is, that they were backward to go to battle; they were not eager upon it; they did not at once espouse the cause of the Levite; they did not stir in it till he had done that unheard of thing, cutting his concubine into twelve pieces, and sending them to the twelve tribes of Israel; and then they were not overly anxious, but sought the Lord, as if it was a doubtful case; which backwardness was resented in their ill success at first; and the same slow disposition to punish vice had continued with them ever since; so Schmidt.

O Israel, thou hast {k} sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they {l} stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not {m} overtake them.

(k) In those days you were as wicked as the Gibeonites, as God there partly declared: for your zeal could not be good in executing God's judgments, seeing your own deeds were as wicked as theirs.

(l) That is, to fight, or, the Israelites remained in that stubbornness from that time.

(m) The Israelites were not moved by the example of the Gibeonites to cease from their sins.

9. thou hast sinned …] The prophet’s language is correct from his own point of view. True, Israel as a people took summary vengeance on the Benjamites for the outrage of Gibeah. But the seed of wickedness remained, and developed into evil practices worthy only of the Gibeah of old.

there they stood … did not overtake them] The passage is open to various interpretations, but the easiest is as follows,—there they stood that the war against the sons of unrighteousness might not overtake them at Gibeah. It is a historic retrospect, with an implied application to the present. Just as the Benjamites offered a stubborn resistance to the onset of the rest of Israel at Gibeah, so the Israelites now persist in their old iniquities, and defy Jehovah to put them down.

9–15. A fresh demonstration of Israel’s guiltiness. The prevalent depravity is comparable only to that of the men of Gibeah (see on Hosea 9:9). ‘The times are out of joint’; all Israel’s doings are against nature, and the retribution must be equally exceptional.Verse 9. - O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah. Two explanations given of this clause - namely, that which understands, rain comparatively, that is, "more than" - their sins were greater than those of the Benjamites in the days of Gibeah; and that which refers the sin here spoken of to the appointment of Saul, who was of Gibeah of Benjamin, to be king - must be unhesitatingly rejected. Tile sin of the men of Gibeah was the shameful outrage committed on the Levite's concubine by the men of Gibeah, which with its consequences is recorded in Judges 19. and 20. That sin became proverbial, overtopping, as it did, all ordinary iniquities by its shameless atrocity and heinousness. By along-continued course of sin, even from ancient days, Ephraim has been preparing for a fearful doom. There they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them. This portion of the verse is not a little perplexing, and in consequence has called forth considerable diversity of exposition. There is

(1) that which is implied in the Authorized Version, viz. "there they stood," smitten twice but not destroyed, chastened but not killed, the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them then so as utterly to destroy them, but it shall overtake them now. Or if the verb "overtake," which is future, be strictly rendered, the meaning is - Not a battle like that in Gibeah against the children of iniquity shall overtake them, but one much more sanguinary and terrible, resulting, not in the reduction of a single tribe to six hundred men, but in the extirpation of ten tribes.

(2) That of Keil and others, though not the same, is similar. It is: "There, in Gibea, did they remain, persevering in the sin of Gibeah, and yet the war in Gibeah against the sinners has not overtaken them." This makes the meaning of the prophet to be that since the days of Gibeah the Israelites persevered in the same or like sin as the Gibeahites; and, though the Gibeahites were so severely punished, actually destroyed, because of their sin, the ten tribes of Israel, persisting in the same or similar sin, have not yet been resisted with any such exterminating war. Jehovah announces his intention now to visit them with punishment and severest chastisement for all. The meaning which Keil aims at may be better brought out by rendering the latter clause interrogatively; thus: "There they stood - persisting in the criminality of Gibeah - shall there not overtake them, living as they do in Gibeah, the war which exterminated the children of crime?" It is admitted that עמר may have been the meaning of "persevering;" but a better sense

(3) is gained by Wunsche referring the subject of עמדו to the Benjamites; the suffix of תשינם to the בני עולה, or "children of iniquity," that is, their guilty tribesmen in Gibeah; taking the intermediate clause parenthetically; and עמד with על to "stand in defense of;" thus: "Since the days of Gibeah hast thou sinned, O Israel: there they (the Benjamites) stood in defense of the children of iniquity, that the war might not reach them in Gibeah." This gives a satisfactory sense, and intimates that, by a long-continued course of iniquity and crime, the Ephraimites were preparing themselves for a fearful fate. Already from days long gone by grievous guilt cleaved to them; thus in the days of Gibeah they (the Benjamites) stood by their iniquitous brethren that the battle in Gibeah might not reach them. As this was before the disruption, the Benjamites were part and parcel of Israel here represented by them.

(4) Rosenmüller's explanation is the following: "They (the Benjamites) survived (עָמַד, opposed to אָבַד, as in Psalm 102:27) being severely punished, though they did not entirely perish, six hundred being left to revive the tribe." But a still severer punishment awaits the Israelites (the person being changed from the second to the third, and the prophet addressing himself to hearer or reader): not the war waged in Gibeah (or on account of the crime committed there) against the children of iniquity shall overtake them, but a far more deadly and destructive war. The word עלוה is by metathesis for עולה as זְעַוָה for זְוָעָה, commotion; כֶשָׂב for כֶבֶשׂ; and שַׂלְמָה, for שִׂמְלָה. The Close of the Revelation of God and of the Book

As the revelation in Daniel 8 closes with the direction, "Wherefore shut thou up the vision" (Daniel 8:26), so this before us closes with the command (Daniel 12:4), "But thou Daniel shut up these words;" and as in the former case החזון denotes the vision interpreted to him by the angel, so here הדּברים can only be the announcements of the angel, Daniel 11:2-12:3, along with the preceding appearance, Daniel 10:2-11:1, thus only the revelation designated as דּבר, Daniel 10:1. Accordingly, also, סתן is obviously to be interpreted in the meaning illustrated and defended under Daniel 8:25, to shut up in the sense of guarding; and thus also חתם, to seal. Thus all the objections against this command are set aside which Hitzig has derived from the sealing, which he understands of the sealing up of the book, so that he may thereby cast doubt on the genuineness of the book.

It is disputed whether הספר is only the last revelation, Daniel 10-12 (Hvernick, v. Leng., Maurer, Kran.), or the whole book (Bertholdt, Hitzig, Auberlen, Kliefoth). That ספר might designate a short connected portion, a single prophecy, is placed beyond a doubt by Nahum 1:1; Jeremiah 51:63. The parallelism of the members of the passage also appears to favour the opinion that הספר stands in the same meaning as הדּברים. But this appearance amounts to a valid argument only under the supposition that the last revelation stands unconnected with the revelations going before. But since this is not the case, much rather the revelation of these chapters is not only in point of time the last which Daniel received, but also forms the essential conclusion of all earlier revelations, then the expression used of the sealing of this last revelation refers plainly to the sealing of the whole book. This supposition is unopposed. That the writing down of the prophecy is not commanded to Daniel, cannot be objected against. As this is here and in Daniel 8:26 presupposed as a matter of course, for the receiving of a revelation without committing it to writing is not practicable, so we may without hesitation suppose that Daniel wrote down all the earlier visions and revelations as soon as he received them, so that with the writing down of the last of them the whole book was completed. For these reasons we understand by הספר the whole book. For, as Kliefoth rightly remarks, the angel will close, Daniel 12:4, the last revelation, and along with it the whole prophetical work of Daniel, and dismiss him from his prophetical office, as he afterwards, Daniel 12:13, does, after he has given him, Daniel 12:5-12, disclosures regarding the periods of these wonderful things that were announced. He must seal the book, i.e., guard it securely from disfigurement, "till the time of the end," because its contents stretch out to the time of the end. Cf. Daniel 8:26, where the reason for the sealing is stated in the words, "for yet it shall be for many days." Instead of such a statement as that, the time of the end is here briefly named as the terminus, down to which the revelation reaches, in harmony with the contents of Daniel 11:40-12:3, which comprehend the events of the time of the end.

The two clauses of Daniel 12:4 are differently explained. The interpretation of J. D. Michaelis, "Many shall indeed go astray, but on the other side also the knowledge shall be great," is verbally just as untenable as that of Hvernick, "Many shall wander about, i.e., in the consciousness of their misery, strive after salvation, knowledge." For שׁוּט signifies neither to go astray (errare) nor to wander about, but only to go to and fro, to pass through a land, in order to seek out or search, to go about spying (Zechariah 4:10, of the eyes of God; Ezekiel 27:8, Ezekiel 27:26, to row). From these renderings there arises for this passage before us the meaning, to search through, to examine, a book; not merely to "read industriously" (Hitzig, Ewald), but thoroughly to search into it (Gesenius). The words do not supply the reason for the command to seal, but they state the object of the sealing, and are not (with many interpreters) to be referred merely to the time of the end, that then for the first time many shall search therein and find great knowledge. This limiting of their import is connected with the inaccurate interpretation of the sealing as a figure either of the incomprehensibility of the prophecy or of the secrecy of the writing, and is set aside with the correct interpretation of this figure. If Daniel, therefore, must only place the prophecy securely that it may continue to the time of the end, the sealing thus does not exclude the use of it in transcriptions, then there exists no reason for thinking that the searching into it will take place only for the first time in the end. The words וגו רבּים ישׁטטוּ are not connected with the preceding by any particle or definition of time, whereby they should be limited to קץ עת. To this is to be added, that this revelation, according to the express explanation of the angel (Daniel 10:14), refers to all that shall be experienced by the people of Daniel from the time of Cyrus to the time of the end. If, then, it must remain sealed or not understood till the time of the end, it must have lain unused and useless for centuries, while it was given for the very purpose of reflecting light on the ways of God for the pious in all times, and of imparting consolation amid their tribulations to those who continued stedfast in their fidelity. In order to serve these purposes it must be accessible at all times, so that they might be able to search into it, to judge events by it and to strengthen their faith. Kliefoth therefore is right in his thus interpreting the whole passage: "Daniel must place in security the prophecies he has received until the time of the end, so that through all times many men may be able to read them and gain understanding (better: obtain knowledge) from them." הדּעת is the knowledge of the ways of the Lord with His people, which confirms them in their fidelity towards God.

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