Hosea 2:13
And I will visit on her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgot me, said the LORD.
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(13) The days of Baalim.—The plural Baalim refers to the worship of the same deity in different places, with distinguishing local characteristics. Thus there was a Baal-Zephon, a Baal-Hermon, a Baal-Gad, &c. (See W. R. Smith, Old Testament in the Jewish Church, p. 229.) “The days of Baalim” mean the whole period during which Baal has been worshipped by the faithless Israel.

2:6-13 God threatens what he would do with this treacherous, idolatrous people. They did not turn, therefore all this came upon them; and it is written for admonition to us. If lesser difficulties be got over, God will raise greater. The most resolute in sinful pursuits, are commonly most crossed in them. The way of God and duty is often hedged about with thorns, but we have reason to think it is a sinful way that is hedged up with thorns. Crosses and obstacles in an evil course are great blessings, and are to be so accounted; they are God's hedges, to keep us from transgressing, to make the way of sin difficult, and to keep us from it. We have reason to bless God for restraining grace, and for restraining providences; and even for sore pain, sickness, or calamity, if it keeps us from sin. The disappointments we meet with in seeking for satisfaction from the creature, should, if nothing else will do it, drive us to the Creator. When men forget, or consider not that their comforts come from God, he will often in mercy take them away, to bring them to think upon their folly and danger. Sin and mirth can never hold long together; but if men will not take away sin from their mirth, God will take away mirth from their sin. And if men destroy God's word and ordinances, it is just with him to destroy their vines and fig-trees. This shall be the ruin of their mirth. Taking away the solemn seasons and the sabbaths will not do it, they will readily part with them, and think it no loss; but He will take away their sensual pleasures. Days of sinful mirth must be visited with days of mourning.I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, or Baals - When men leave the one true God, they make to themselves many idols. They act, as if they could make up a god piece-meal out of the many attributes of the One God, and create their Creator. His power of production becomes one God; His power of destroying, another; His providence, a third; and so on, down to the very least acts. So they had many Baals or Lords; a "Baal-berith Judges 8:33, Lord of covenants," who was to guard the sanctity of oaths; "Baal-zebub 2 Kings 1:2, Lord of flies," who was to keep off the plague of flies, and "Baal-Peor" Numbers 25:3, who presided over sin. All these their various idolatries, and all the time of their idolatries, God threatens to visit upon them at once. "The days of punishment shall equal the days of the wanderings, in which she burnt incense to Baal." God spares long. But when persevering impenitence draws down His anger, He punishes not for the last sin only, but for all. Even to the penitent, God mostly makes the chastisement bear some proportion to the length and greatness of the sin.

Wherein she burnt incence unto them - Incense was that part of sacrifice, which especially denoted thanksgiving and prayer ascending to God.

And she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels - Christ says to the bride, "Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold" Sol 1:10. But what He gave her, she threw away upon another, and "cast her pearls before swine." She "decked herself," i. e., made God's ornaments her own, used them not as He gave them, but artificially as an adulteress. And what else is it, to use wit or beauty or any gift of God, for any end out of God? : "The ornament of souls which choose to serve idols, is to fulfill those things which seem good to the unclean spirits. Very beautiful to devils must be the sin-loving soul, which chooses to think and to do whatsoever is sweet to, and loved by them." Sins of the flesh being a part of the worship of Baal, this garish trickery and pains to attract had an immediate offensiveness, besides its belonging to idols. He still pictures her as seeking, not sought by her lovers. "She went after her lovers, and forgat Me." The original has great emphasis. "She went after her lovers, and Me she fogat, saith the Lord." She went after vanities, and God, her All, she forgat. Such is the character of all engrossing passion, such is the course of sin, to which the soul gives way, in avarice, ambition, worldliness, sensual sin, godless science. The soul, at last, does not rebel against God; it "forgets" Him. It is taken up with other things, with itself, with the objects of its thoughts, the objects of its affections, and it has no time for God, because it has no love for Him. So God complains of Judah by Jeremiah, "their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal (Jeremiah 23:27; add Judges 3:7; 1 Samuel 12:9-10; Jeremiah 2:32; Jeremiah 3:20; Jeremiah 13:25; Jeremiah 18:15; Ezekiel 22:12; Ezekiel 23:35; Isaiah 17:10; Psalm 9:17; Psalm 50:22; Psalm 78:11; Psalm 106:13, Psalm 106:21).

13. days of Baalim—the days consecrated to the Baals, or various images of Baal in different cities, whence the names Baal-gad, Baal-hermon, &c.

decked herself with … earrings—rather, "nose-rings" (Isa 3:21; Eze 16:12, Margin), with which harlots decked themselves to attract admirers: answering to the ornaments in which the Israelites decked themselves on the idols' feasts.

forgat me—worse than the nations which had never known God. Israel wilfully apostatized from Jehovah, whom she had known.

I will visit; punish, for the prophet threatens them with this visitation, by which it evidently appears to be a visiting in wrath.

Upon her; the kingdom of Israel.

The days; the sins of those days past.

Of Baalim: Baal was the great idol of the ten tribes, the chief of their idols, their lord (as the word signifieth) and patron; here it is plural, Baalim, either to denote the multitude of idols which they worshipped, all called by this one name, or perhaps because of the multitude of his statues or images, and of his altars and temples, erected to Baal in all places of the land.

Burnt incense to them; sacrificed and worshipped, for this one kind of religious observance is put for all the rest.

She decked herself with her earrings and her jewels; to put the greater honour upon the idol, they put on their richest and best attire, or it may be they blindly thought this rich habit would make them the more acceptable to their senseless idol.

And she went after her lovers; decked thus, strumpet like, she went on by her spiritual adultery to provoke me.

And forgat me; and slighted me, if she did at all think of me, adulteress like. And, I will visit upon her the days of Baalim,.... That is, punish them for all the idolatries committed by their forefathers, in the days that the several Baals, as Baalpeor, and Baalberith, and others, were worshipped by them; they their children, though not worshipping these Baalim, yet other lords, lusts and idols, they set up of themselves, and in their own hearts; see Matthew 23:32,

wherein she burnt incense to them; to the Baalim; this one species of idolatrous worship being put for the rest:

and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels; with her best and richest attire; the latter word signifying in the Arabic language, as Jarchi observes, the ornaments of women; this was done to grace the idolatrous worship, and for the honour of the idols:

and she went after her lovers; the traditions of the elders; the weak and beggarly elements of the ceremonial law now abolished, and their own legal righteousness:

and forgot me, saith the Lord: or, "left my worship", as the Targum; forgot and rejected the true Messiah, his word and ordinances.

And I will visit upon her the days of {n} Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her {o} earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.

(n) I will punish her for her idolatry.

(o) By showing how harlots trim themselves to please others, he declares how superstitious idolaters set a great part of their religion in adorning themselves on their holy days.

13. I will visit upon her the days of Baalim] To ‘visit’ is to examine or take notice of, whether in a favourable sense or the reverse. ‘Baalim’ should rather be the Baalim (the various local Baals). Hosea has referred to the holydays of Jehovah (Hosea 2:11); now he complains of the holydays of the Baalim, which, there is reason to think, are, in name at least, the same holydays as those of the more spiritual worshippers of Jehovah (new moons, sabbaths, and festal assemblies), but differing from these in the total absence of a spiritual element. They are in fact nothing better than sensual merry-makings and displays of finery such as the heathen loved at the turning-points of the agricultural year. But what does Hosea mean by ‘the Baalim’? Certainly not, as some have supposed, statues of a god distinct from Jehovah called Baal—a view which is opposed by Hosea 2:19, ‘I will take away the names (not, the name) of the Baalim out of thy mouth’. The comparison of another Semitic religious vocabulary will here, as so often, facilitate our exegesis. With the Phœnicians the word Baal, ‘lord’, was an appellative term for a god, and was used as well for any local as for the national deity. It occurs in the phrase ‘Melkart, Baal of Tyre’ in the bilingual inscription on two candelabra known as Melitensis prima; and if we only had Canaanitish and Israelitish inscriptions we should doubtless find that the Canaanitish and popular Israelitish usage was identical with that of the Phœnicians. What Hosea does mean by ‘the Baalim’ is the varieties of the one national deity specially worshipped in different Israelitish localities, such as Baal-Hamon, Baal-Hazor, Baal-Shalisha, Baal-Tamar, &c. In spite of the name Baal (see on Hosea 2:16) it was Jehovah who was worshipped at the ‘high places,’ just as in Mohammedan Syria it is Allah who, in name at least, receives the adoration of the fellâhîn. But the worship was, from Hosea’s point of view, a purely nominal one, just as the worship of Allah by the fellâhîn is mixed up with many most un-Mohammedan elements. The Israelites of the north looked upon the Baalim as the givers of their bread and their water, their oil and their ‘drinks’; in short, as in no essential respect different from the heathen Baalim of the Canaanites. This was, no doubt, a backsliding from the spiritual truths which seem to be involved in the revelation of Sinai. But it was a backsliding which can be accounted for; it is not to be traced, as the older writers on the Old Testament naïvely traced it, to a peculiar wickedness in the primitive Israelites. A fusion of the religion brought by the Israelites from Sinai with the religion found by them in Canaan, was, humanly speaking, inevitable; partly because from prehistoric times the Hebrews, equally with the Canaanites had used the term Baal, ‘lord’, as an appellative for a deity, and partly because, like the Cuthæan colonists of the cities of Samaria, they thought it essential to learn ‘the manner (rather, religion) of the god of the land’ (2 Kings 17:26), since the national prosperity seemed to depend on the favour of the territorial deities.

burned incense] The word will also cover the burning of sacrifices upon the altar, as Leviticus 1:9; Leviticus 1:17, &c. Comp. Psalm 66:15 ‘incense [or, the sweet smoke] of rams.’

her earrings and her jewels] Rather, her nose-ring (as only one ring is mentioned, and there is no evidence that Hebrew ladies had a store of these articles), as Genesis 24:47, and her necklace (as Proverbs 25:12). Popular religious ideas required such ornaments for holy days. See Exodus 3:21-22 (comp. Hosea 2:18), and Korán, Sura xx. 61 ‘on the day of ornament’ (i.e. at the festival).Verse 13. - And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her ear-rings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forget me, saith the Lord. The name of Baalim, that is, Baals in the plural, has respect to the various forms of the Baal-idolatry,or modification of the Baal-worship; for example, Baal-peor, Baal-be-rith, Baal-zebub, Baal-perazim, Baal-zephon, Baal-zamar, Baal-shalishu. The name of Baal came to be used generally as the designation of any idol or false god. The days of the Baals were the days consecrated to Baal, and on which the worship of the true God was transferred to that idol. It matters little whether we render "wherein" or "to whom," referring to ימי, in which case, however, we should expect בם, though the latter answers better to the meaning of the preposition le in להם. After mentioning the object of their idolatrous worship, he specifies the manner of it, which was the burning of incense, the part of the process being employed by synecdoche for the whole. Every mincha, or meat offering, which was presented by itself as a free-will offering was accompanied with frankincense; every day, morning and evening, incense was burnt in the holy place; while on the great Day of Atone-meat the high priest carried a censer of coals from the golden altar into the holiest of all and there burnt incense before the mercy-seat. But the word has often a wider sense than that of burning incense, and is applied to the offering of any sacrifice whatever. Just as the festivals of Jehovah were transferred to Baal, so his service was turned into that of Baal. Titus Israel prostituted herself and acted the part of a spiritual adulteress by her worship of idols. The same unsavory figure is resumed; and her assiduous efforts to worship the idol acceptably and propitiate his favor is presented under the figure of a whorish woman decking herself with meretricious ornaments - nose-rings and jewels, thus making up by artificial means for the lack of natural beauty - to attract the attention and gain the admiration of her lovers. Thus Aben Ezra: "The meaning of ותעד is metaphorical in allusion to a whorish woman who puts a nose-ring in her nose and a necklace on her neck to make herself beautiful, in order to find favor in the eves of the adulterer." The word עַד has for its verbal root עדה, to overstep the boundary, transgress, plunder, draw to one's self, put on; while חֶלְיָה, (masculine חְלַיִ) is from חלה, to rub, polish, be smooth. But when all fails to draw lovers unto her, she casts aside the last remaining fragment of female delicacy, and goes in pursuit of lovers. Thus did Israel. She put Baal or other idols in place of Jehovah; she made a transfer of Jehovah's festivals to Baal; she burnt incense or offered sacrifice to her idol instead of the true God; she went to great pains to secure the acceptance of her false deities; "and me," says Jehovah very emphatically," she forgat;" that is, me the true God, her bountiful Benefactor, her gracious Lord. and loving Husband, she forgot. The visitation expressed by פקד with accusative of the thing, and על before the person, is commented by Kimchi as follows: "For the transgressions of her (Israel's) iniquity in the exile I will visit upon her the time that she served Baalim; and I will let them remain long in exile for punishment, because they have left my service and served other gods. And even upon children's children shall come this punishment, although they do not serve strange gods in exile; thus is the sentence [literally, 'judgment'] of their punishment, because their children's children shall not be perfect in the service of God and in his commandments in exile, therefore thus shall the iniquity of their fathers who served strange gods unite with their own punishment." The interpretation of the vision.

Daniel 8:9

Without following the development of the four horns further, the prophecy passes over to the little horn, which grew up out of one of the four horns, and gained great significance in relation to the history of the people of God. The masculine forms מהם and יצא (out of them came) are to be explained as a constructio ad sensum. אחת (one) after קרן (horn) is as little superfluous as is the מן in מצּעירה. אחת is a numeral, one horn, not several; מן is either comparative, less than little, i.e., very little (Ewald), or, as less than insignificance, wretchedness, i.e., in an altogether miserable way (Hv.). The one explanation is more forced than the other, and the idea of wretchedness is altogether untenable. Yet the מן serves as a circumlocution for the superlative equals perpaucus (Gesen., Win., Aub.), while verbal analogies for it are wanting. מן signifies from, out of; but it is not to be united with קרן: one horn of smallness (v. Leng.), in which case מן would be superfluous, but with the verb יצא: it came up out of littleness, a parvo, i.e., a parvis initiis (Maur., Hofm., Kran., Klief.). Thus it corresponds with סלקת זעירה, Daniel 7:8. In the words "it arose out of littleness" there lies the idea that it grew to great power from a small beginning; for it became very great, i.e., powerful, toward the south, toward the east, and toward the הצּבי (the splendour, glory), i.e., toward the glorious land. הצּבי equals הצּבי ארץ, Daniel 11:16, Daniel 11:41. This designation of the land of Israel is framed after Jeremiah 3:19 and Ezekiel 20:6, Ezekiel 20:15, where this land is called "a heritage of the greatest glory of nations" (a goodly heritage of the host of nations, E. V.), "a glory of all lands," i.e., the most glorious land which a people can possess. The expression is synonymous with חמדּה ארץ ("pleasant land"), Jeremiah 3:19; Zechariah 7:14; Psalm 106:24. Canaan was so designate don account of its great fruitfulness as a land flowing with milk and honey; cf. Ezekiel 20:6.

The one of the four horns from which the little horn grew up is the Syrian monarchy, and the horn growing up out of it is the king Antiochus Epiphanes, as Josephus (Ant. x. 11. 7) and all interpreters acknowledge, on the ground of 1 Macc. 1:10. The south, against which he became great, is Egypt (cf. Daniel 11:5 and 1 Macc. 1:16ff.). The east is not Asia (Kranichfeld), but Babylon, and particularly Elymas and Armenia, 1 Macc. 1:31, 37; 3:31, 37; 6:1-4, according to which he subdued Elymas and overcame Artaxias, king of Armenia (App. Syr. c. 45, 46; Polyb. xxxi. 11). Besides the south and the east, Canaan, the holy land, as lying between, is named as the third land, as in Isaiah 19:23. it is named as third, between Egypt and Assyria; but הצּבי ואל ("and toward the glorious land") is not, with Kranichfeld, to be regarded as an exegetical addition to המּזרח ואל ("and toward the east"). Palestine lay neither to the east of Daniel, nor geographically to the east of the kingdom denoted by the little horn, because the text gives no support to the identifying of this kingdom with the Javanic, the horn operating from the west.

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