According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)According to their pasture.—Rather, As they pastured. (Comp. the language of Deuteronomy 8:7-18; Deuteronomy 31:20; Deuteronomy 32:15.) The gifts of Divine love concealing the giver.Hosea 13:6-8. According to their pasture, &c. — As I was their shepherd, and provided pasture for them, so they were fully fed; they had an abundant plenty of all things. And their heart was exalted — The consequence of their having this plenty was, that from thence they grew proud and high-minded. Therefore they have forgotten me — They so abused my kindness to them, as to make it the occasion of their ingratitude; “for in the pride of their heart, which the miraculous supply of their wants for so long a time produced in them, they forgot their benefactor.” Therefore I will be unto them as a lion — That suddenly seizes upon and tears his prey: that is, I will utterly consume them from being a nation, and give them up into the hands of such enemies as will show them no mercy; as a leopard by the way — That lies in wait by the way; will I observe them — Watch for them, that I may be sure to take them, or watch all opportunities to destroy them. I will meet them as a bear, &c. — In the greatest fury imaginable; bereaved of her whelps — A circumstance which adds a particular degree of fierceness. “They never venture to fire upon a young bear when the mother is near: for if the cub drop, she becomes enraged to a degree little short of madness; and if she get a sight of the enemy, will only quit her revenge with her life.” — Cook’s Voyage, vol. 3. page 307. And will rend the caul of their heart — The seat of the blood, with which wild beasts love to glut themselves. The wild beast shall tear them — The Assyrian shall prove as a wild beast to them. The word תבקעם, here used, signifies, shall cleave them, or rip them. Bishop Horsley renders it, shall tear them limb from limb; observing, “The verb expresses a violent distraction and severing of united parts in any manner: and is to be differently rendered with regard to the particular agent and patient. When the agent is a wild beast, and the patient the beast’s prey, it must be tearing limb from limb: tearing, by itself, is inadequate.”Numbers 11:4-6. Since they desired such things in such wise, and, desiring, were filled with them to loathing, well are they called 'their pastures.' For they sought God, not for Himself, but for them. They who follow God for Himself, things of this sort are not called 'their' pastures, but the word of God is their pasture, according to that, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word, which proceedeth out of the mouth of God' Deuteronomy 8:3.
These words, 'according to their pastures,' convey strong blame. It is as if he said, 'in their eating and drinking, they received their whole reward for leaving the land of Egypt and receiving for a time the law of God.' It is sin, to follow God for such 'pastures.' Blaming such in the Gospel, Jesus saith, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye seek Me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled. Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life' John 6:26-27. In like way, let all think themselves blamed, who attend the altar of Christ, not for the love of the sacraments which they celebrate, but only to 'live of the altar.' This fullness is like that of which the Psalmist says, 'The Lord gave them their desire and sent leanness withal into their bones' Psalm 106:15. For such fullness of the belly generates elation of spirit; such satiety produces forgetfulness of God." It is more difficult to bear prosperity than adversity. They who, in the waste howling wilderness, had been retained in a certain degree of duty, forgat God altogether in the good land which he had given them. Whence it follows;
They were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten Me - For they owned not that they had all from Him, therefore they were puffed up with pride, and forgot Him in and by reason of His gifts. This was the aggravation of their sin, with which Hosea often reproaches them Hosea 2:5; Hosea 4:7; Hosea 10:1. They abused God's gifts, (as Christians do now) against Himself, and did the more evil, the more good God was to them. God had forewarned them of this peril, "When thou shalt have eaten and be full, beware lest thou forget the Lord which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage" (Deuteronomy 6:11-12; add Deuteronomy 8:11, ...). He pictured it to them with the song of Moses; "Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked; thou art waxen fat; thou art grown thick; thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him; thou hast forgotten God that formed thee" Deuteronomy 32:15, Deuteronomy 32:18.
They acted (as in one way or other do most Christians now,) as though God had commanded what he foretold of their evil deeds, or what he warned them against. "As their fathers did, so did they" Acts 7:51. "They walked in the statutes of the pagan, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel which they made. They did wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger. And the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah by all the prophets and by all the seers, saying, turn ye from your evil ways. And they hearkened not, and hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God" 2 Kings 17:8, 2 Kings 17:11, 2 Kings 17:13-14. : "The words are true also of those rich and ungrateful, whom God hath filled with spiritual or temporal goods. But they, 'being in honor, and having no understanding,' abuse the gifts of God, and, becoming unworthy of the benefits which they have received, have their hearts uplifted and swollen with pride, despising others, 'glorying as though they had not received,' and not obeying the commands of God. Of such the Lord saith in Isaiah, 'I have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against Me. '"
therefore have they forgotten me—the very reason why men should remember God (namely, prosperity, which comes from Him) is the cause often of their forgetting Him. God had warned them of this danger (De 6:11, 12).According to their pasture, so were they filled; when they were come into Canaan, that land of springs, brooks, and rivers, that land of wheat, barley, vines, olives, and figs, as Deu 8:7-9; when they had abundance of all things for delight, as well as for necessary sustenance; when I had, like a good, careful, and wise shepherd, brought them into this rich pasture; they, like hungry beasts, ate to excess, ran into luxury and riot; epicure like, gorged themselves with sweet wines and delicious fare.
They were filled: either this is a reduplication of the charge to confirm it, I say, they thus luxuriously lived; or else it is elliptical, and to be made out thus,
And so soon as they were filled; and thus it will be parallel to that,
Jeshurun waxed fat, Deu 32:13-15.
Their heart was exalted; grew proud, entertained high thoughts of their progenitors’ worth, their nobleness by descent, their worthiness and righteousness above other people; they thought of God as of man, that he proportioned his blessings to what excellency was found in those he did good to.
Therefore have they forgotten me; so they have forgotten me, who found them in slavery, poverty, reproach, and tears in Egypt, out of which I saved them; and they have most scandalously made them gods, Worshipped them, and with sacrilegious unthankfulness given the praise of all I did for them to dumb idols, though I warned them of it beforehand, Deu 6:11,12 8:13,14.
they were filled, and their hearts were exalted: they were elated with their plenty, and grew proud and haughty, and attributed their fulness not to the goodness of God, but to their own excellency and merit; and put their trust and confidence in their affluence, and not in the Lord; and thought themselves safe and secure, and out of all danger, and concluded it would never be otherwise with them:
therefore have they forgotten me; the Author of their beings, the Father of their mercies, and God of all their comforts; they forgot to give him praise and glory for their abundance; to place their trust and have their dependence on him, and to serve and worship him; this was the consequence of their luxury and pride. The Targum is,
"therefore they left my worship;''
they waxed fat, and kicked, and lightly esteemed and forsook the God and Rock of their salvation, Deuteronomy 32:15.According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. According to their pasture, &c.] Rather, When they fed, they waxed full. The idea of the verse is that Israel’s apostasy sprang from his enjoying God’s gifts without thinking of the Giver, comp. Hosea 2:8, Hosea 4:7, Hosea 10:1. The expressions were probably prophetic commonplaces; comp. Deuteronomy 8:11-15; Deuteronomy 31:20; Deuteronomy 32:15; Deuteronomy 32:18.Verse 6. - According to their pasture so were they filled. The literal rendering is, according to their pasturing so were they filled. The reference is rather to the care in pasturing than to the pasture-ground. By God's care to the sheep of his pasture they waxed full. They were filled, and their heart was exalted. Two consequences followed from God's great goodness to Israel - the immediate consequence was pride of heart; the more remote was forgetfulness of God. Perhaps these results should rather be regarded as concurrent, being in point of time simultaneous or nearly so. Therefore have they forgotten me. This forgetfulness of God is identified with the abandonment of his worship in the Chaldee Version, which is, "They have abandoned my service." The metaphor contained in this verse is taken from a domestic animal, which, in a too luxuriant pasture, becomes headstrong and unmanageable. Thus Rash: "As soon as they came into the land of their pasture, they were filled." The last clause of the verse notices the misuse which Israel made of the riches and blessing of Jehovah, by forgetting their gracious Benefactor; this the prophet attributes to the abuse of the blessings so richly bestowed upon them. Aben Ezra identifies the blessings here mentioned with those vouchsafed to them on their entrance into Canaan; thus: "The prophet enumerates the benefits which Jehovah bestowed on their fathers when they came out of the wilderness into the land of Canaan." Kimchi quotes, as a parallel to this passage, Deuteronomy 8, of which it is undoubtedly a reminiscence; he says, "When they entered into the place of their pasture, and it was the land of Canaan, they had all good, and were filled; and their heart was exalted, and they forgot me, as it is said in the Thorah that they were ready to do so. He said, 'Lest when thou hast eaten and art full... then thine heart be lifted up, and then forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt... who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness... who fed thee in the wilderness.'" Hosea 2:18. "And I make a covenant for them in that day with the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and the moving creatures of the earth: and I break in pieces bow, and sword, and battle out of the land, and cause them to dwell securely." God makes a covenant with the beasts, when He imposes the obligation upon them to hurt men no more. "For them:" lâhem is a dat. comm., for the good of the favoured ones. The three classes of beasts that are dangerous to men, are mentioned here, as in Genesis 9:2. "Beasts of the field," as distinguished from the same domestic animals (behēmâh), are beasts that live in freedom in the fields, either wild beasts, or game that devours or injures the fruits of the field. By the "fowls of heaven," we are to understand chiefly the birds of prey. Remes does not mean reptiles, but that which is active, the smaller animals of the land which move about with velocity. The breaking in pieces of the weapons of war and of battle out of the land, is a pregnant expression for the extinction not only of the instruments of war, but also of war itself, and their extermination from the land. Milchâmâh, war, is connected with shâbhar per zeugma. This promise rests upon Leviticus 26:3., and is still further expanded in Ezekiel 34:25. (Compare the parallels in Isaiah 2:4, Isaiah 2:11; Isaiah 35:9, and Zechariah 9:10.)
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