Hosea 2:18
And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Make a covenant . . .—There shall be harmony without corresponding to the moral harmony within. The brute creation shall change from hostility to man. (Comp. Hosea 2:12; so also Isaiah 11:6-9.) Wars with foreign foes shall not desolate Israel’s borders.

Hosea 2:18. And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, &c. — That is, a covenant of security from the evils which, in the days of my vengeance, arose from beasts, and birds of prey, and venomous creatures. Or the words may be understood figuratively, of the final conversion of the most ignorant and vicious of the heathen to the true faith; the effect of which will be, that they shall live in peace and friendship with the re-established nation of the Jews. In this sense the passage is understood by Bishop Horsley. And I will break the bow, &c. — I will cause that there shall be no more wars, either foreign or domestic. A universal peace, and freedom from all enemies, is mentioned by the prophets, as a concomitant of that flourishing state of the church which shall commence at the restoration of the Jews, and the coming in of the Gentiles: see Isaiah 11:6-7. And will make them to lie down safely — Being gathered under the wings of my protection, they shall repose themselves upon my power and providence, committing themselves to my care in well doing. Observe, reader, all true and solid security, all real peace, whether inward or outward, flows from God’s favour.

2:14-23 After these judgments the Lord would deal with Israel more gently. By the promise of rest in Christ we are invited to take his yoke upon us; and the work of conversion may be forwarded by comforts as well as by convictions. But usually the Lord drives us to despair of earthly joy, and help from ourselves, that, being shut from every other door, we may knock at Mercy's gate. From that time Israel would be more truly attached to the Lord; no longer calling him Baali, or My lord and master, alluding to authority, rather than love, but Ishi, an address of affection. This may foretell the restoration from the Babylonish captivity; and also be applied to the conversion of the Jews to Christ, in the days of the apostles, and the future general conversion of that nation; and believers are enabled to expect infinitely more tenderness and kindness from their holy God, than a beloved wife can expect from the kindest husband. When the people were weaned from idols, and loved the Lord, no creature should do them any harm. This may be understood of the blessings and privileges of the spiritual Israel, of every true believer, and their partaking of Christ's righteousness; also, of the conversion of the Jews to Christ. Here is an argument for us to walk so that God may not be dishonoured by us: Thou art my people. If a man's family walk disorderly, it is a dishonour to the master. If God call us children, we may say, Thou art our God. Unbelieving soul, lay aside discouraging thoughts; do not thus answer God's loving-kindness. Doth God say, Thou art my people? Say, Lord, thou art our God.And in that day - o: "Truly and properly is the time of the Incarnation of the Only-Begotten called "the Day," wherein darkness was dispelled in the world, and the mist dispersed, and bright rays shed into the minds of believers, and the Sun of Righteousness shone upon us, pouring in the light of the true knowledge of God, to those who could open wide the eye of the mind."

And I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field ... - God promises to do away the whole of the former curse. Before, He had said that their vineyards should be laid waste "by the beasts of the field;" now, He would make an entire and lasting peace with them. He, whose creatures they are, would renew for them in Christ the peace of Paradise, which was broken through Adam's rebellion against God, and would command none to hurt them. The blessings of God do not correspond only, they go beyond the punishment. The protection is complete. Every kind of evil animal, beast, bird and reptile, is named. So Peter "saw all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air." All were to be slain to their former selves, and pass into the Church. Together the words express, that God would withhold the power of all enemies, visible or invisible; worldly or spiritual. Each also may denote some separate form or character of the enemy. Thus "wild beasts" picture savageness or bloodthirstiness, the ceasing whereof Isaiah prophesies under the same symbols of beasts of prey, as the leopard, lion, wolf, and bear, or of venomous reptiles, as the asp or the basilisk. The "fowls of heaven" denote stealthy enemies, which, unperceived and unawares, take the word of God out of the heart; "creeping things," such as entice to degrading, debasing sins, love of money or pleasure or appetite, "whose god is their belly, who mind earthly things" Philippians 3:19. All shall be subdued to Christ or by Him; as He says, "I give you power over serpents and scorpions, and all the power of the enemy: and Thou shalt go upon the lion and the adder; the young lion and the adder shalt thou trample underfoot" Luke 10:19; Psalm 91:13.

I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth - God foretells much more the greatness of what He would do for man, than the little which man receives. The Gospel brings peace within, and, since "wars and fightings come from" James 4:1 evil passions and lusts, it brings "peace," as far it prevails, without also; peace, as the "borders of" the Church Psalm 147:14; peace in the world, as far as it is won to Christ by the Church; peace to the soul of the believer, so far as he loves God and obeys the Gospel.

And will make them to lie down safely - that is, in confidence. God gives not outward peace only, but fearlessness. Fearless, the Christian lies down during life, at peace with God, his neighbor, and his own conscience; fearless, because "perfect love casteth out fear 1 John 4:18; and fearless in death also, because resting in Jesus, in everlasting, unfailing, unfading peace.

18. for them—for their benefit.

covenant … with the beasts—not to hurt them (Job 5:23). They shall fulfil the original law of their creation by becoming subject to man, when man fulfils the law of his being by being subject to God. To be realized fully in millennial times (Isa 11:6-9).

break the bow … out of the earth—rather, "out of the land"; that is, I will break and remove war out of the earth (Ps 46:9); and "out of the land" of Israel first (Isa 2:4; Eze 39:9, 10; Zec 9:9, 10).

lie down—A reclining posture is the usual one with Orientals when not in action.

safely—(Jer 23:6).

In that day: see Hosea 2:16.

Make a covenant; command or enjoin, and these creatures shall as duly observe the command as just ones keep a covenant.

For them; true converts, the Israel of God.

With the beasts of the field, & c.; with all the creatures that might either serve or hurt them; it is a full and gracious promise of abundance of peace, safety, and love among all, through the creation, for the comfort of God’s people.

And I will break the bow, & c: but if brute beasts do not hurt, yet unless more brutish creatures, bloody men, be tamed, there will be little safety to the church; therefore God will put an end to wars, and make men peaceable in their disposition, far more peaceable than heretofore they have been.

And will make them to lie down safely; by a special care of, love for, and presence with them, God will provide for their safety. Now I doubt not but all this in some measure was made good to the Jews returning out of captivity, among whom were also some thousands of the house of Israel, who had their share in this promised peace, safety, and prosperity; but the full accomplishment is to be to the church of Christ, and in spiritual blessings shadowed out by these temporal blessings.

And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field,.... That is, so as to be at peace with them, as the Targum is; see Job 5:23, the sense is, the Lord here promises this unto them, and that it shall be as sure and firm, and to be as much depended upon, as if it was established and settled by covenant, and should be enjoyed as a covenant mercy and blessing; and the creatures should as strictly observe it, and answer to it, as if bound by covenant: and this should reach not only to the beasts of the field, the wild beasts of prey, "but the fowls of heaven"; as the locusts and others, as Kimchi observes, which should not eat up the fruits and increase of the earth: "and the creeping things of the ground": as serpents and scorpions, as the same writer suggests. Some think this was fulfilled in the first times of the Gospel, when the apostles took up serpents, and trod on scorpions, without any hurt; but then nothing was more common than for the Christians to be thrown to the lions, and devoured by beasts of prey. Others refer it to the last days, the times of the restitution of all things, when they suppose all creatures will be restored to their paradisiacal estate, and be in entire subjection to men. Rather the sense is, that whereas noisome beasts, and other things, were one of God's sore judgments, with which he threatened his people, when they sinned against him, now they should no more be hurt by them in a way of judgment; and, indeed, should cease from being among them, so that they should be in no fear of them any more; see Leviticus 26:22. Though the words may be understood figuratively and mystically, either of deliverance from all spiritual enemies by Christ, as sin, Satan, and the world, and all others; or of freedom from all wicked men, cruel and crafty ones, open and secret persecutors of the saints: persecution will cease at the time of the Jews' conversion; antichrist, and all the antichristian states, will be destroyed; the beast and false prophet will be taken and cast into the furnace of fire; the old serpent, the devil, will be bound, during the Millennium; and there will be none to hurt in God's holy mountain, neither in the spiritual nor personal reign of Christ.

And I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth; all the instruments of war shall be no more, these mentioned being put for all the rest; and there shall be no more battles fought after that at Armageddon; swords shall be beat into ploughshares, and spears into pruning hooks; there shall be no more wars, nor rumours of wars, but perfect external peace from all enemies on all sides, as well as spiritual and internal peace in the breast of the saints; and of both there shall be abundance, and without end, Psalm 72:7,

and will make them to lie down safely; under the protection of the King Messiah, David their Prince, who shall be over them, and whom they shall own, acknowledge, and serve, and so dwell in the utmost safety and security, not fearing any enemy whatever; they may lie down on their couches at meals, or on their beds at night for rest, or as flocks of sheep in their folds and pastures, and none make them afraid; see Jeremiah 23:5.

And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the {x} beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.

(x) Meaning that he will so bless them that all creatures will favour them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. I will make a covenant …] The language reminds us of Zechariah 11:10, where Jehovah ‘breaks his covenant which he has made with all the peoples’, restraining them from injuring the Israelites, and still more of Ezekiel 34:25 (evidently based on this passage). The ‘covenant’ (Heb. b’rîth) is in fact an ordińance imposed by Jehovah; it is not correct to say that it is a ‘treaty’ between Israel and the wild beasts. Probably ‘ordinance’ is the original meaning, which was afterwards widened into ‘covenant’. Comp. Hosea 6:7; Deuteronomy 33:9; 2 Kings 11:4; Jeremiah 11:6; Job 31:1; Psalm 105:10.

and I will break … out of the earth] Comp. Psalm 46:9. But the context requires the rendering, out of the land. All the ‘equipment of war’ (see on Hosea 1:7) of Israel’s enemies shall be destroyed (comp. Psalm 76:3).

Verse 18. - A state of tranquility was to follow, a sort of golden age was to ensue. With both the rational and irrational creation they would be at peace, enjoying security from the one and safety from the other. Peace would be established with the hostile forces of the outer world, and peace at the same time national and political. With the beasts of the field - viz, the wild beasts, as contrasted with behemah, tame animals - and with the fowls of heaven - i.e. birds of prey, destructive of the fruits of the field - and with the creeping things of the ground, detrimental to the products of the earth, they would be in league; while weapons of war would be devoted to destruction, the bow and the sword and the battle being broken, and not only so, but banished out of the earth, so that Israel, free from the alarm of a night attack, and protected by night as well as by day, would be made to lie down safely. Milchamah is constructed with by zeugma; or it includes, as Kimchi explains it, "all the implements of war except the bow and sword, which he has already mentioned." Hosea 2:18With the complete abolition of idolatry and false religion, the church of the Lord will attain to the enjoyment of undisturbed peace. 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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