Hosea 2:22
And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.I will hear the heavens ... - As all nature is closed, and would refuse her office to those who rebel against her God, so, when He hath withdrawn His curse and is reconciled to man all shall combine together for man's good, and, by a kind of harmony, all parts thereof join their ministries for the service of those who are at unity with Him. And, as an image of love, all, from lowest to highest, are bound together, each depending on the ministry of that beyond it, and the highest on God. At each link, the chain might have been broken; but God who knit their services together, and had before withheld the rain, and made the earth barren, and laid waste the trees, now made each to supply the other, and led the thoughts of people through the course of causes and effects up to Himself, whoever causes all which comes to pass.

The immediate desire of His people was the grain, wine and oil; they needed the fruitfulness of the earth; the earth, by its parched surface and gaping clefts, seemed to crave the rain from heaven; the rain could not fall without the will of God. So all are pictured as in a state of expectancy, until God gave the word, and His will ran through the whole course of secondary causes, and accomplished what man prayed Him for. Such is the picture. But, although God's gifts of nature were gladdening tokens of His restored favor, and now too, under the Gospel, we rightly thank Him for the removal of any of His natural chastisements, and look upon it as an earnest of His favor toward us, the prophet who had just spoken of the highest things, the union of man with God in Christ, does not here speak only of the lowest. What God gives, by virtue of an espousal "forever," are not gifts in time only. His gifts of nature are, in themselves, pictures of His gifts of grace, and as such the prophets employ them. So then God promiseth, and this in order, a manifold abundance of all spiritual gifts. Of these, "corn and wine," as they are the visible parts, so are they often, in the Old Testament, the symbols of His highest gift, the holy eucharist; and "oil," of God's Holy Spirit, through whom they are sanctified.

God here calls "Israel" by the name of "Jezreel," repealing, once more in the close of this prophecy, His sentence, conveyed through the names of the three children of the prophet. The name "Jezreel" combines in one, the memory of the former punishment and the future mercy. God did not altogether do away the temporal part of His sentence. he had said, "I will scatter;" and, although some were brought back with Judah, Israel remained scattered in all lands, in Egypt and Greece and Italy, Asia Minor, and the far East and West. But God turned His chastisement into mercy to those who believed in Him. Now he changes the meaning of the word into, "God shall sow." Israel, in its dispersion, when converted to God, became every where the preacher of Him whom they had persecuted; and in Him - the true Seed. whom God sowed in the earth and it "brought forth much fruit," converted Israel also bore, "some a hundred-fold; some sixty; some thirty."

21. in that day—of grace to Israel.

heavens … hear the earth—personification. However many be the intermediate instruments, God is the Great First Cause of all nature's phenomena. God had threatened (Ho 2:9) He would take back His corn, His wine, &c. Here, on the contrary, God promises to hearken to the skies, as it were, supplicating Him to fill them with rain to pour on the earth; and that the skies again would hearken to the earth begging for a supply of the rain it requires; and again, that the earth would hearken to the corn, wine, and oil, begging it to bring them forth; and these again would hear Jezreel, that is, would fulfil Israel's prayers for a supply of them. Israel is now no longer "Jezreel" in the sense, "God will SCATTER" (Ho 1:4), but in the sense, "God will PLANT" (Ho 1:11).

In that day, when this new alliance is made, or in the day of gospel grace, I will hear: this general promise God gives us to encourage us to cry to him; he will so hear as to answer. Saith the Lord: this is the seal to the truth and certainty of the things promised.

There is a subordination of causes, all second causes do in their ranks (like wheels in a curious engine) move as moved by the first great spring, and so contribute to the good of such as any way depend on them. Thus here, God, the first and universal cause, will influence the heavens, he will command their dew and showers; they would be as iron over us, if God did not command them to distil their drops on the earth; when this is dry, parched, and barren, it does as it were cry to the heavens for refreshing showers, for fruitful rains; when the seed sown, the vines and olives planted, are at a stand, take no rooting, they do as it were cry to the earth for its kindly influences and fatness, that they may spring up and yield fruit for Jezreel: which may call, and cry, and wait, but never be satisfied, if God do not hear them, and command his blessing of fructifying influences, which God here doth promise to his people on renewing covenant with them. God’s seed, his gathered ones, his espoused church, shall be served to hey comfort by all the creatures. When disobedience, backslidings, idolatries, and such-like sins did provoke God to punish them with famine and scarcity; now their repentance and obedience shall be blessed with plenty, and God will set the frame of heaven and earth in due order to effect this, there shall be a harmony and correspondence between all subordinate causes moved by God the first great cause, whence expected events and fruits shall certainly be produced for their good and comfort.

And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil,.... Or "answer" here the corn, and vines, and olive trees, are represented as requesting the earth to be let into it, and receive moisture from it, that they may grow and increase, and bring forth fruit; by which may be meant the fruits and graces of the Spirit, and all spiritual gifts, communicated by means of the word and ordinances; or the fruits brought forth by the church, under the ministry of the word; which serves like "corn" to nourish and strengthen; like "wine" to comfort, cheer, and revive; and like "oil" to heal and soften, as well as make glad,

And they shall hear Jezreel; or "answer"; that is, these trees and fruits shall answer to the requests and desires of Jezreel, who shall be abundantly blessed with them. By "Jezreel" is not meant the name of a place, as Aben Ezra; but the people of Israel, who had before been signified by a son of the prophet of this name, Hosea 1:4, and which name is here continued, to show how unworthy they were of such favours in themselves, and the riches of God's grace in bestowing them on them: or else the word here has a different signification; whereas before it signified their being scattered and dispersed, here their being the seed of God; and which is confirmed by the following words,

I will sow her unto me, &c.: the sum of the whole is, that at the prayers of the Lord's people abundance of spiritual blessings shall be bestowed upon them from Christ by the Spirit, under the ministration of the word and ordinances. The Targum of both verses is,

"I will command the heavens, and they shall let down rain upon the earth; and the earth shall produce corn, and wine, and oil, and they shall be sufficient for the captivity of the people.''

Kimchi says this belongs to the time of salvation; and Aben Ezra to time to come.

And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hosea 2:22"And it comes to pass in that day, I will hear, is the word of Jehovah; I will hear heaven, and it hears the earth. And the earth will hear the corn, and the new wine, and the oil; and they will hear Jezreel (God sows)." God will hear all the prayers that ascend to Him from His church (the first אענה is to be taken absolutely; compare the parallel in Isaiah 58:9), and cause all the blessings of heaven and earth to flow down to His favoured people. By a prosopopeia, the prophet represents the heaven as praying to God, to allow it to give to the earth that which is requisite to ensure its fertility; whereupon the heaven fulfils the desires of the earth, and the earth yields its produce to the nation.

(Note: As Umbreit observes, "It is as though we heard the exalted harmonies of the connected powers of creation, sending forth their notes as they are sustained and moved by the eternal key-note of the creative and moulding Spirit.")

In this way the thought is embodied, that all things in heaven and on earth depend on God; "so that without His bidding not a drop of rain falls from heaven, and the earth produces no germ, and consequently all nature would at length be barren, unless He gave it fertility by His blessing" (Calvin). The promise rests upon Deuteronomy 28:12, and forms the antithesis to the threat in Leviticus 26:19 and Deuteronomy 28:23-24, that God will make the heavens as brass, and the earth as iron, to those who despise His name. In the last clause the prophecy returns to its starting-point with the words, "Hear Jezreel." The blessing which flows down from heaven to earth flows to Jezreel, the nation which "God sows." The name Jezreel, which symbolizes the judgment about to burst upon the kingdom of Israel, according to the historical signification of the name in Hosea 1:4, Hosea 1:11, is used here in the primary sense of the word, to denote the nation as pardoned and reunited to its God.

This is evident from the explanation given in Hosea 2:23 : "And I sow her for myself in the land, and favour Unfavoured, and say to Not-my-people, Thou art my people; and it says to me, My God." זרע does not mean "to strew," or scatter (not even in Zechariah 10:9; cf. Koehler on the passage), but simply "to sow." The feminine suffix to זרעתּיה refers, ad sensum, to the wife whom God has betrothed to Himself for ever, i.e., to the favoured church of Israel, which is now to become a true Jezreel, as a rich sowing on the part of God. With this turn in the guidance of Israel, the ominous names of the other children of the prophet's marriage will also be changed into their opposite, to show that mercy and the restoration of vital fellowship with the Lord will now take the place of judgment, and of the rejection of the idolatrous nation. With regard to the fulfilment of the promise, the remarks made upon this point at Hosea 1:11 and Hosea 2:1 (pp. 33, 34), are applicable here, since this section is simply a further expansion of the preceding one.

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