Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passes away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Early dew . . .—Better, dew that early passeth away, like chaff that flies in a whirlwind from the threshing-floor, and like smoke from the window (i.e., the lattice beneath the roof through which it vanished).Hosea 13:3-5. Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, &c. — All the comparisons in this verse are intended to express a quick destruction, or that they should soon come to nothing. Yet I am the Lord thy God, &c. — Notwithstanding thy recourse to idols, I am the Lord thy God, who delivered thee out of the bondage of Egypt. And thou shalt know — That is, thou oughtest to acknowledge; no god but me — For thou hast never yet proved, and thou never wilt prove by experience, the power and protection of any other. Those whom thou callest thy gods will be able to do nothing for thee; for there is no saviour besides me — No one who can deliver, or preserve thee from evil as I have done. I did know thee in the wilderness, &c. — That is, I acknowledged thee as my peculiar people, by my watchful care of thee. I was attentive to thee, protecting thee in all dangers, and supplying all thy wants.
While these four emblems, in common, picture what is fleeting, two, the "early dew" and the "morning cloud," are emblems of what is in itself good, but passing ; the two others, the chaff and the smoke, are emblems of what is worthless. The dew and the cloud were temporary mercies on the part of God which should cease from them, "good in themselves, but to their evil, soon to pass away." If the dew have not, in its brief space, refreshed the vegetation, no trace of it is left. It gives way to the burning sun. If grace have not done its work in the soul, its day is gone. Such dew were the many prophets vouchsafed to Israel; such was Hosea himself, most brilliant, but soon to pass away. The chaff was the people itself, to be carried out of the Lord's land; the smoke, "its pride and its errors, whose disappearance was to leave the air pure for the household of God." : "So it is written; 'As the smoke is driven away, so shalt thou drive' them 'away; as wax melteth before the fire, so shall the ungodly perish before the presence of God' Psalm 68:2; and in Proverbs; 'As the whirlwind passeth' Proverbs 10:25, so is 'the wicked no' more; 'but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.' Who although they live and flourish, as to the life of the body; yet spiritually they die, yea, and are brought to nothing, for by sin man became a nothing. Virtue makes man upright and stable; vice, empty and unstable. Whence Isaiah says, 'the wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest' Isaiah 57:20; and Job; 'If iniquity be in thy hand, put it far away; then shalt thou be steadfast.' Job 11:14-15."
the floor—the threshing-floor, generally an open area, on a height, exposed to the winds.
chimney—generally in the East an orifice in the wall, at once admitting the light, and giving egress to the smoke.Therefore; for these sins in multiplied idolatries and trusting to idols.
They, Ephraim, his king, his captains, his fortresses, and aids, shall be, in the day of the Assyrian invasion, suddenly, easily, totally, and finally dispersed, expressed here by four similes, every one very apt and full, clear and easy to be understood.
and as the early dew it passeth away; as soon as the heat of the sun is felt, when the earth is left dry; so these people, though they seemed to be in great prosperity, and to be very fruitful in children, and in substance, and promised themselves much more; yet in a little time their land would become desolate, and they stripped of all that was dear and valuable to them these metaphors are used in Hosea 6:4;
as the chaff that is driven with a whirlwind out of the floor; signifying that these idolatrous people were like chaff, fight and empty, useless and unprofitable, fit for nothing but burning; and that they would be driven out of their own land through the Assyrian, that should come like a whirlwind with great three and power, as easily and as quickly as chaff is drove out of a threshing floor of corn with a strong blast of wind; see Psalm 1:5;
and as the smoke out of the chimney; which rises up in a pillar, and is so on dissipated by the wind, or dissolved into air; and is no sooner seen but it disappears; see Psalm 68:2. All these similes show how easily, suddenly, and quickly, the destruction of this idolatrous nation would be brought about.Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. the early dew, &c.] Rather, the night-mist that early passeth away. See on Hosea 6:4.
as the chaff … the floor] A familiar figure, but here expressed with more fulness than usual. The point of it is partly in the elevated situation of ‘the floor’ (comp. 1 Samuel 19:22 Sept.; 2 Samuel 24:18; 2 Chronicles 3:1), partly in the suddenness of the whirlwinds in Palestine, which start up ‘as if by magic or spirit-influence’ (Thomson, The Land and the Book, p. 154).
chimney] Rather, lattice.Verse 3. - Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind cut of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney. The illative particle with which the verse begins has reference to the sins of Israel, so great and multiplied that punishment could not be long delayed. Their irrational and God-dishonoring conduct was bringing on them sure and swift destruction. The prophet employs four figures to exhibit their political extinction. Two of these, the morning cloud and early dew, or rather the dew early passing away, have already been employed by him to characterize the transient nature of Israel's goodness; here they denote the evanescent nature of their national existence. The other two are the chaff and the smoke; the former whirled away by the storm-wind from the threshing-floor, the latter dissipated and speedily vanishing as soon as it escapes from the chimney or lattice. Such shall be the utter extermination of Israel. The senselessness of their idolatry had been treated with derision in the preceding verse; the punishment of their sin is sternly denounced in this. Kimchi comments concisely and correctly thus: "Therefore they shall go to destruction, and shall be as the morning cloud, or as the dew speedily disappearing in the morning, width vanishes when the heat of the sun has touched it; so they shall go away speedily. So also shall they be as chaff - it is the fine particles of straw, which the wind whirls away from the threshing-floor; thus shall they be whirled away from their land. Or as a pillar of smoke which goes forth out of the lattice, which shall speedily disperse and cease." Instead of אֲרֻבָּה lattice, from ארב, to knit or twist, the Septuagint, according to Jerome, read אַרְבֶּה locusts, as may be inferred from their rendering ἀτμὶς ἀπὸ ἀκρίδων in the Complete-Man edition of the LXX., erroneously written in some copies δακρύων, that is, vapor from locusts or from tears. Hosea 2:14 the promise is introduced quite as abruptly as in Hosea 2:1, that the Lord will lead back the rebellious nation step by step to conversion and reunion with Himself, the righteous God. In two strophes we have first the promise of their conversion (Hosea 2:14-17), and secondly, the assurance of the renewal of the covenant mercies (Hosea 2:18-23). Hosea 2:14, Hosea 2:15. "Therefore, behold, I allure her, and lead her into the desert, and speak to her heart. And I give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor (of tribulation) for the door of hope; and she answers thither, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt." לכן, therefore (not utique, profecto, but, nevertheless, which lâkhēn in Hosea 2:6 and Hosea 2:9, and is connected primarily with the last clause of Hosea 2:13. "Because the wife has forgotten God, He calls Himself to her remembrance again, first of all by punishment (Hosea 2:6 and Hosea 2:9); then, when this has answered its purpose, and after she has said, I will go and return (Hosea 2:7), by the manifestations of His love" (Hengstenberg). That the first clause of Hosea 2:14 does not refer to the flight of the people out of Canaan into the desert, for the purpose of escaping from their foes, as Hitzig supposes, is sufficiently obvious to need no special proof. The alluring of the nation into the desert to lead it thence to Canaan, presupposes that rejection from the inheritance given to it by the Lord (viz., Canaan), which Israel had brought upon itself through its apostasy. This rejection is represented as an expulsion from Canaan to Egypt, the land of bondage, out of which Jehovah had redeemed it in the olden time. פּתה, in the piel to persuade, to decoy by words; here sensu bono, to allure by friendly words. The desert into which the Lord will lead His people cannot be any other than the desert of Arabia, through which the road from Egypt to Canaan passes. Leading into this desert is not a punishment, but a redemption out of bondage. The people are not to remain in the desert, but to be enticed and led through it to Canaan, the land of vineyards. The description is typical throughout. What took place in the olden time is to be repeated, in all that is essential, in the time to come. Egypt, the Arabian desert, and Canaan are types. Egypt is a type of the land of captivity, in which Israel had been oppressed in its fathers by the heathen power of the world. The Arabian desert, as the intervening stage between Egypt and Canaan, is introduced here, in accordance with the importance which attached to the march of Israel through this desert under the guidance of Moses, as a period or state of probation and trial, as described in Deuteronomy 8:2-6, in which the Lord humbled His people, training it on the one hand by want and privation to the knowledge of its need of help, and on the other hand by miraculous deliverance in the time of need (e.g., the manna, the stream of water, and the preservation of their clothing) to trust to His omnipotence, that He might awaken within it a heartfelt love to the fulfilment of His commandments and a faithful attachment to Himself. Canaan, the land promised to the fathers as an everlasting possession, with its costly productions, is a type of the inheritance bestowed by the Lord upon His church, and of blessedness in the enjoyment of the gifts of the Lord which refresh both body and soul. דּבּר על לב, to speak to the heart, as applied to loving, comforting words (Genesis 34:3; Genesis 50:21, etc.), is not to be restricted to the comforting addresses of the prophets, but denotes a comforting by action, by manifestations of love, by which her grief is mitigated, and the broken heart is healed. The same love is shown in the renewed gifts of the possessions of which the unfaithful nation had been deprived.
In this way we obtain a close link of connection for Hosea 2:15. By משּׁם ... נתתּי, "I give from thence," i.e., from the desert onwards, the thought is expressed, that on entering the promised land Israel would be put into immediate possession and enjoyment of its rich blessings. Manger has correctly explained משּׁם as meaning "as soon as it shall have left this desert," or better still, "as soon as it shall have reached the border." "Its vineyards" are the vineyards which it formerly possessed, and which rightfully belonged to the faithful wife, though they had been withdrawn from the unfaithful (Hosea 2:12). The valley of Achor, which was situated to the north of Gilgal and Jericho (see at Joshua 7:26), is mentioned by the prophet, not because of its situation on the border of Palestine, nor on account of its fruitfulness, of which nothing is known, but with an evident allusion to the occurrence described in Joshua 7, from which it obtained its name of ‛Akhōr, Troubling. This is obvious from the declaration that this valley shall become a door of hope. Through the sin of Achan, who took some of the spoil of Jericho which had been devoted by the ban to the Lord, Israel had fallen under the ban, so that the Lord withdrew His help, and the army that marched against Ai was defeated. But in answer to the prayer of Joshua and the elders, God showed to Joshua not only the cause of the calamity which had befallen the whole nation, but the means of escaping from the ban and recovering the lost favour of God. Through the name Achor this valley became a memorial, how the Lord restores His favour to the church after the expiation of the guilt by the punishment of the transgressor. And this divine mode of procedure will be repeated in all its essential characteristics. The Lord will make the valley of troubling a door of hope, i.e., He will so expiate the sins of His church, and cover them with His grace, that the covenant of fellowship with Him will no more be rent asunder by them; or He will so display His grace to the sinners, that compassion will manifest itself even in wrath, and through judgment and mercy the pardoned sinners will be more and more firmly and inwardly united to Him. And the church will respond to this movement on the part of the love of God, which reveals itself in justice and mercy. It will answer to the place, whence the Lord comes to meet it with the fulness of His saving blessings. ענה does not mean "to sing," but "to answer;" and שׁמּה, pointing back to משּׁם, must not be regarded as equivalent to שׁם. As the comforting address of the Lord is a sermo realis, so the answer of the church is a practical response of grateful acknowledgment and acceptance of the manifestations of divine love, just as was the case in the days of the nation's youth, i.e., in the time when it was led up from Egypt to Canaan. Israel then answered the Lord, after its redemption from Egypt, by the song of praise and thanksgiving at the Red Sea (Exodus 15), and by its willingness to conclude the covenant with the Lord at Sinai, and to keep His commandments (Exodus 24).
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