Hosea 2:4
And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms.
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(4) Her children.—The children are like their mother: not only are they born of doubtful parentage, but are personally defiled. Not only is idolatry enshrined in the national sanctuary and the royal palace, but the people love to have it so. They endorse the degradation of their mother.

Hosea 2:4-5. And I will not have mercy on her children, &c. — As an injured husband has no regard for the children which his wife has had by another man; so neither will I have pity on thy children which are trained up to practise thy idolatries. For they be the children of whoredoms — Spurious children, not knowing their father: so those might fitly be called who worshipped a plurality of gods; for by worshipping a multiplicity of them, they declared plainly, that they did not know to whom their worship was due, or who was their Creator or original Father. For their mother hath played the harlot — This proves the truth of the above charge, and justifies the severity of the punishment. She that conceived them hath done shamefully — Hath acted like an impudent and shameless harlot, sinning openly and avowedly. She said, I will go after my lovers — By lovers here, are meant, first, The idols, with whom the Israelites committed spiritual adultery: see Jeremiah 3:1; and then the idolatrous nations, whose alliance the Israelites courted, and, in order thereto, practised their idolatries: the word may be understood here in both senses; for they ascribed all the plenty they enjoyed chiefly to the favour of the idol-gods which they worshipped, Jeremiah 44:17; and then they placed their trust and confidence in the confederacies they had made with their neighbouring idolaters; and thought the peace and plenty they possessed were very much owing to their alliance and protection.

2:1-5 This chapter continues the figurative address to Israel, in reference to Hosea's wife and children. Let us own and love as brethren, all whom the Lord seems to put among his children, and encourage them in that they have received mercy. But every Christian, by his example and conduct, must protest against evil and abuses, even among those to whom he belongs and owes respect. Impenitent sinners will soon be stripped of the advantages they misuse, and which they consume upon their lusts.I will not have mercy upon her children - God visits the sins of the parents upon the children, until the entailed curse be cut off by repentance. God enforces His own word "lo-ruhamah, Unpitied," by repeating it here, "lo-arahem," "I will not pity." Reproaches, which fall upon the mother, are ever felt with special keenness. Whence Saul called Jonathan 1 Samuel 20:30, "Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman." Therefore, the more to arouse them, he says, "for they are the children of whoredoms," evil children of an evil parent, as John the Immerser calls the hypocritical Jews, "ye generation of vipers" Matthew 3:7. "This they were, from their very birth and swaddling-clothes, never touching any work of piety, nor cultivating any grace." As of Christ, and of those who, in Him, are nourished up in deeds of righteousness, it is said, "I was cast upon Thee from the womb; Thou art my God from my mother's belly;" so, contrariwise, of the ungodly it is said, "The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies."

And as they who "live honestly, as in the day and in the light," are called "children of the day and of the light," so they who live a defiled life are called the "children of whoredores." : "To call them 'children of whoredoms' is all one with saying, that they too are incorrigible or unchangeable. For of such, Wisdom, after saying, 'executing Thy judgments upon them by little and little,' added immediately (Wisd. 12:10, 11), 'not being ignorant that thy were a naughty generation, and that their malice was bred in them, and that their cogitation would never be changed, for it was a cursed seed from the beginning." All this is here expressed briefly by this word, "that they are the children of whoredoms," meaning that their "malice" too was inbred, and that they, as much as the Ammorite and Hittite, were a "cursed seed." Nor yet, in so speaking, did he blame the nature which God created, but he vehemently reproves the abuse of nature, that malice, which cleaves to nature but was no part of it, was by custom changed into nature."

4. her children—Not even her individual members shall escape the doom of the nation collectively, for they are individually guilty. I will not have mercy: see Hosea 1:6.

Upon her children: by this expression particular persons are severally, as by mother the whole nation was, threatened, that none might flatter themselves with hope of better: it is observable they are called her children, not God’s.

For they be the children of whoredoms; born in whoredom, and, like the mother, addicted to whoredom; as if God had said, They are none of mine by birth, nor any whit like me in disposition, but a spurious and hateful brood, and as such I will use them.

And I will not have mercy upon her children,.... The posterity of the Jews in succeeding ages, until the time of their conversion comes; they persisting in the sins of their forefathers, filling up the measure of their iniquities; remaining in their obstinate rejection of the Messiah, and in the same impenitence and unbelief, and having his blood imprecated upon them:

for they be the children of whoredoms; begotten and born in whoredom, spurious and illegitimate; or that commit whoredoms; imitate their parents; are guilty of the same vices; a generation of vipers. So the Targum,

"for they are children that commit idolatry;''

retain the traditions of the elders; go about to establish their own righteousness, and reject the Messiah.

And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the {f} children of whoredoms.

(f) That is bastards, and begotten in adultery.

4. And upon her children …] No bar shall be opposed, Jehovah declares, to the natural consequence of a corrupt and corrupting religion. Israel, as an independent nation, must at least for a time cease to be. It appears then that the appeal in Hosea 2:4 was uttered as a forlorn hope. All but a few of the Israelites were too far gone to desire to cooperate in a reformation. They were the ‘children of whoredom’, not merely as the children of idolaters, but as idolaters themselves.

Verse 4. - And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms. The connection of this verse is carried on from the preceding, viz. and lest I will not have mercy upon her children. An exceedingly apt illustration of this verse is given by Jerome. It is to this effect: When the children of Israel were brought out of Egypt, the parents perished in the wilderness; but the children of those who had thus perished, and whose caresses had thus fallen in the wilderness, were spared and permitted to enter the land of promise. Now, however, the case is different, and the punishment aggravated. The adulterous parent perishes, and the children of that parent perish also. Further, the reason is assigned in the concluding clause. The children proved themselves no better than the mother that bore them; they were the worthless progeny of a worthless parent. Hosea 2:4"And I will not have compassion upon her children, for they are children of whoredom." This verse is also dependent, so far as the meaning is concerned, upon the pen (lest) in Hosea 2:3; but in form it constitutes an independent sentence. Benē zenūnı̄m (sons of whoredoms) refers back to yaldē zenūnı̄m in Hosea 1:2. The children are the members of the nation, and are called "sons of whoredom," not merely on account of their origin as begotten in whoredom, but also because they inherit the nature and conduct of their mother. The fact that the children are specially mentioned after and along with the mother, when in reality mother and children are one, serves to give greater keenness to the threat, and guards against that carnal security, in which individuals imagine that, inasmuch as they are free from the sin and guilt of the nation as a whole, they will also be exempted from the threatened punishment.
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