Hosea 2:8
For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.
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(8) Translate in the present tense: and she knows not that it is I who gave, &c. This yearning of Jehovah over the results of his chastisements is a wonderful anticipation of Luke 15.

Corn, and wine . . .—Corn, wine, and oil are here mentioned as the chief indigenous products of Canaan (Genesis 27:28; Deuteronomy 33:28, &c.). Gold was largely imported from Ophir (probably the west coast of India, where Tamil is spoken: Delitzsch, Genesis, pp. 258-9. On the other hand, Fried. Delitzsch, in his work on the Site of Paradise, p. 99, holds that Ophir was a coast or island between the north end of the Persian Gulf and the south-west corner of Arabia). Silver was obtained from Tarshish, through Phœnician markets. Observe that Israel at this time abounded in the possession of precious metals. (Comp. Isaiah 2:7; Wilkins, Phœnicia and Israel, pp. 111-116.)

Which they . . . Baal.—They have transformed Jehovah’s gift into an image of Baal. Baal-worship was anterior to calf-worship (Judges 2, 3, 8), and was diametrically opposed to Jehovah-worship, as gross Pantheism is to pure and stern Monotheism.

Hosea 2:8-9. For she did not know — Or, as Bishop Horsley renders it, But she would not know, that I gave her corn, &c. — She did not, or would not consider that all the necessaries she enjoyed, as well as her riches and ornaments, were my gifts, which yet she ungratefully employed in the service of her idols, and in making images of false gods to worship instead of me. Therefore — Or, for the punishment of her ingratitude; will I take away my corn in the time thereof — I will change my manner of acting toward her, and deprive her of the good things she hopes infallibly to enjoy. At the time when she expects to reap the fruits of the earth, her enemies shall invade her and destroy them, or unfavourable seasons shall entirely blast them, or other causes prevent her enjoying them; and will recover my wool and my flax — Will take back again the proper materials I gave for clothing her. This verse, according to Bishop Horsley, speaks “of calamities already begun, and the next describes the progress and increase of them. It appears from all the prophets, and particularly from Amos and Joel, that the beginning of judgment upon this refractory, rebellious people, was in unfruitful seasons, and noxious vermin, producing a failure of the crops, dearth, murrain of the cattle, famine, and pestilential diseases.”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.For she did not know - The prophet having, in summary Hosea 2:5-7, related her fall, her chastisement, and her recovery, begins anew, enlarging both on the impending inflictions, and the future mercy. She "did not know," because she would not; she "would not retain God in her knowledge" Romans 1:28. "Knowledge," in Holy Scripture, is not of the understanding, but of the heart and the will.

That I gave her corn ... - The I is emphatic (אנכי( ci). "She did not know, that it was I who gave her." God gave them the "corn, and wine, and oil," first, because He gave them the land itself. They held it of Him as their Lord. As He says, "The land is Mine, and ye are strangers and sojourners with Me" Leviticus 25:23. He gave them also in the course of His ordinary providence, wherein He also gave them "the gold and silver," which they gained by trading. Silver He had so multiplied to her in the days of Solomon, that it was in "Jerusalem as stones, nothing accounted of" 1 Kings 10:27, 1 Kings 10:21, and gold, through the favor which He gave him 1 Kings 9:14; 1 Kings 10:10, 1 Kings 10:14, was in abundance above measure.

Which they prepared for Baal - Rather, as in the English Margin, "which they made into Baal" (see Hosea 8:4; Ezekiel 16:17-19). "Of that gold and silver, which God had so multiplied, Israel, revolting from the house of David and Solomon, made, first the calves of gold, and then Baal." Of God's own gifts they made their gods. They took God's gifts as from their gods, and made them into gods to them. "Baal," Lord, the same as Bel, was an object of idolatry among the Phoenicians and Tyrians. Its worship was brought into Israel by Jezebel, daughter of a king of Sidon. Jehu destroyed it for a time, because its adherents were adherents of the house of Ahab. The worship was partly cruel, like that of Moloch, partly abominable. It had this aggravation beyond that of the calves, that Jezebel aimed at the extirpation of the worship of God, setting up a rival temple, with its 450 prophets and 400 of the kindred idolatry of Ashtaroth, and slaying all the prophets of God.

It seems to us strange folly. They attributed to gods, who represented the functions of nature, the power to give what God alone gives. How is it different, when people now say, "nature does this, or that," or speak of "the operations of nature," or the laws of "nature," and ignore God who appoints those laws, and "worketh hitherto" John 5:17 "those operations?" They attributed to planets (as have astrologers at all times) influence over the affairs of people, and worshiped a god, Baal-Gad, or Jupiter, who presided over them. Wherein do those otherwise, who displace God's providence by fortune or fate or destiny, and say "fortune willed," "fortune denied him," "it was his fate, his destiny," and, even when God most signally interposes, shrink from naming Him, as if to speak of God's providence were something superstitious? What is this, but to ascribe to Baal, under a new name, the works and gifts of God? And more widely yet. Since "men have as many strange gods as they have sins," what do they, who seek pleasure or gain or greatness or praise in forbidden ways or from forbidden sources, than make their pleasure or gain or ambition their god, and offer their time and understanding and ingenuity and intellect, yea, their whole lives and their whole selves, their souls and bodies, all the gifts of God, in sacrifice to the idol which they have made? Nay, since whosoever believes of God otherwise than He has revealed Himself, does, in fact, believe in another god, not in the One True God, what else does all heresy, but form to itself an idol out of God's choicest gift of nature, man's own mind, and worship, not indeed the works of man's own hands, but the creature of his own understanding?

8. she did not know that I—not the idols, as she thought: the "lovers" alluded to in Ho 2:5.

which they prepared for Baal—that is, of which they made images of Baal, or at least the plate covering of them (Ho 8:4). Baal was the Phœnician sun-god: answering to the female Astarte, the moon-goddess. The name of the idol is found in the Phœnician Hannibal, Hasdrubal. Israel borrowed it from the Tyrians.

For; this unexampled ignorance, or inconsiderateness, was the cause of all this lost labour, and unthankfulness to God.

She, in her rayons and prosperity, as were the days of Jeroboam, in which much of this lewdness was committed, and in which the prophet calls them to repentance,

did not know; considered not, but carried it toward God as if indeed she did not know; nor did she own it or acknowledge it by any suitable obedience and thankfulness to the God of her mercies.

That I gave, without desert or worthiness; it was mercy, and this free, from whence all she had came.

Corn; which is the stay and strength of our life; one necessary corn fort put for all the rest.

Wine and oil: these cheer the heart, and include all provision for delight and sweetness.

And multiplied her silver and gold: the treasures of gold and silver, and all precious things brought in by trade, and increased among them, were the effect of mine undiscerned and unacknowledged bounty and goodness.

Which they, the generality or body of the Jews, these idolatrous Jews,

prepared for Baal; first made the idol with the gold and silver, and next dedicated it to the service of the idol. Sottish ignorance, that with one part of the gold and silver make a god, with the other part provide for sacrifices to be offered to it. Thus one part is advanced to be a deity, the other part of the same mass consecrated to the service of its fellow lump. What absurdities will not down with such fools and sots? For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil,.... This is a reason, not of her resolution to return to her first husband, but to go after lovers, and of her ascribing these things to them, Hosea 2:5, and why the Lord would behave towards her as he determined to do, Hosea 2:6, this ignorance was wilful and affected, and therefore blameable; she might have known, but she would not; she did not set her mind to know; she did not consider who gave her these things, nor behave as if she knew, as Jarchi: or she did not own and acknowledge God to be the author and giver of them, as she should have done; which was ingratitude rather than ignorance, and is a heinous sin, and to be resented; since all good things, temporal and spiritual, as daily bread, all the necessaries of life, signified by these things, so the word, and ordinances, and spiritual gifts, which they may be emblems of, come from God, and should be acknowledged; but the Jews, as in the times of Isaiah, did not know him, and acknowledge his benefits, Isaiah 1:2, so, in the times of Christ, they did not know him to be the God of Israel, God over all, blessed for ever; from whom, and for whose sake, who was to be, and was born of them, they enjoyed the privileges they did, John 1:10.

And multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal; the relative "which" may refer to all that goes before; and the sense be, that these gifts of God, and which should have been owned as such, and employed in his service, and to his glory; some were made use of in meat and drink offerings to Baal; and others in decking themselves to appear in his worship to his honour; or in ornamenting the idol therewith, or in making it thereof, so the Targum and Syriac version: and all this may be said to be done, when these things are spent in the service of other lords than the Lord himself; when they are abused to sinful purposes, and consumed on the lusts of men, to gratify their sensuality, pride, and vanity, which the Jews did.

For she did not know that I {k} gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.

(k) This declares that idolaters defraud God of his honour, when they attribute his benefits to their idols.

8. For she did not know that I …] Rather, and she (the recipient of such favours) hath not taken notice that it was I who gave her the corn, and the new wine, and the fresh oil. Corn, new wine, and fresh oil, are the three great material blessings of the land of Canaan (see Deuteronomy 7:13; Deuteronomy 11:14; Deuteronomy 12:17, &c.).

silver and gold] The fruits of commerce, then, are also the gifts of Jehovah (contrast the language of Isaiah in a different mood, Isaiah 2:7). The riches of N. Israel are testified to by the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser II., where ‘silver and gold, bowls of gold, cups of gold, bottles of gold, vessels of gold’ are mentioned in the tribute paid by Yahua habal Khumri (Jehu, son of Omri) to the Assyrian king.

which they prepared for Baal] Rather, which they have used in the service of the Baal, (i.e. the pretended Baal or ‘lord’ whom they worship). This may allude partly to the overlaying of images with silver and gold, as was the practice in Judah in the time of Isaiah (Isaiah 30:22), but no doubt refers chiefly to the molten images in the form of a calf (i.e. a small bull), which the first Jeroboam placed on the bâmôth or high places at Bethel and at Dan, and doubtless elsewhere. It is possible, however, to render ‘and who multiplied silver for her, and gold, which (viz. which gold) they have used,’ &c. In this case the reference will be exclusively to the golden bulls. This view is favoured by the Hebrew accentuation.

8–13. The offended Husband describes the compulsion which he will employ towards his faithless wife.Verse 8. - For she din not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. From vers. 6 to 13 inclusive, the suffering and sorrow consequent on, and occasioned by, her sins are enumerated; yet now and again certain aggravations of her guilt crop up. Here we have an account of her ignorance of, and ingratitude to, the true and or of her mercies, together with her sinful misuse and sad abuse of those mercies. The products of the earth which God bestowed on her were corn and wine and oil - all that was needed for food, refreshment, and even luxury; the prosperity in trade or commerce with which he favored her resulted in the multiplied increase of silver and gold. The perversion of these blessings consisted in her employment of them in the service of Baal or of idolatry in general. The sin of refusing to acknowledge the Author of such manifold mercies was grievously augmented by this gross abuse of them. The last clause is a relative one, asher, as frequently being understood; while the words asu labbaal do not signify that they made those metals into images of Baal, as implied in the Authorized Version; nor vet that they offered them to Baal according to Gesenius; but that they prepared or employed them in the worship of that idol and the service of idolatry in general. דֶגן rad. דגה, to cover, multiply, i.e. multitude and plenty covering ever everything; comp. tego, תֶירושׁ rad. ירשׁ, take possession of the brain in intoxicating: יצהר, rad. צהר, to shine. Kimchi remarks as follows: "All the goodness in the possession of which she was, she had not except from me; because I sent my blessing on the corn and wine and oil, and sent my blessing upon the work of their hands, so that they had abundance of silver and gold; but Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked." The vision. - Daniel 8:3. Daniel first sees one ram, איל, standing by the river. The אחד (one) does not here stand for the indefinite article, but is a numeral, in contradistinction to the two horns which the one ram has. The two horns of the ram were high, but the one was higher than the other, the higher coming up later. האחת does not mean the first, but the one, and השּׁנית the other; for the higher grew up last. This is not to be understood as if Daniel first saw the ram without horns, and then saw the horns grow up, and at length the one horn become higher than the other (v. Leng., Hitzig); but that from the first Daniel saw the ram with two horns, but afterwards saw the one horn grow higher than the other (Kliefoth). The angel (Daniel 8:20) explains the ram with two horns of the king of Media and Persia. This does not mean that the two horns are to be understood (with Theodoret) of the two dynasties of Cyrus and of Darius Hystaspes; but since the ram represents the one kingdom of the Medes and Persians, so the two horns represent the people of the Medes and Persians, from the union of which the Medo-Persian kingdom grew up. Both nations were the horns, i.e., the power of the monarchy; therefore are they both high. The one horn, which afterwards grew up higher than the other, represents the Persians, who raised themselves above the Medians. A ram and goat, as emblems of kings, princes, chiefs, often occur; cf. Isaiah 14:9; Ezekiel 34:17; Ezekiel 39:18; Jeremiah 50:8; Zechariah 10:3. In Bundehesch the guardian spirit of the Persian kingdom appears under the form of a ram with clean feet and sharp-pointed horns, and, according to Amm. Marcell. xix. 1, the Persian king, when he stood at the head of his army, bore, instead of the diadem, the head of a ram (cf. Hv.). The point of resemblance of this symbol is to be sought, not in the richness (the wool) and in the aggressive nature (the horns) of the ram (Theod., Venema), but the ram and the he-goat form, as Hofmann has justly remarked, a contrast to dull firmness and nimble lightness, as the bear and the panther.

The ram stands by the river and pushes toward the west, north, and south, but not toward the east. The river is thus not the one flowing on the east of Susa, for, standing there, the ram pushing toward the west from Susa would push against the capital of his kingdom, but the one flowing on the west; and the ram is to be conceived of as standing on the western bank of this river, from whence he pushed down with his horns all beasts before him, i.e., subdued all nations and kingdoms to his power in three regions of the earth. In the west he pushed against Babylon, Syria, and Asia Minor; in the south, Egypt; in the north, the Armenian and Scythian nations. These he subdued and incorporated in the Persian kingdom. He did not push toward the east - not because he could only push forwards and against that which was nearer, but not, without changing his position, backwards (Hitzig); nor because the Medo-Persians themselves came from the east (v. Leng., Kran.); not yet because the conquests of the Persians did not stretch toward the east (Hv.), for Cyrus and Darius subdued nations to the east of Persia even as far as to the Indus; but because, for the unfolding of the Medo-Persian monarchy as a world-power, its conquests in the east were subordinate, and therefore are not mentioned. The pushing toward the three world-regions corresponds to the three ribs in the mouth of the bear, Daniel 7:5, and intimates that the Medo-Persian world-kingdom, in spite of the irresistibility of its arms, did not, however, extend its power into all the regions of the world. חיּוח, to push, of beast, Exodus 21:28, in the Piel figuratively is used of nations, Deuteronomy 33:17; Psalm 44:6. יעמדוּ is potentialis: could not stand. The masculine is here used, because חיּות (beasts) represents kingdoms and nations. כרצנו עשׂה, did according to his will, expresses arbitrary conduct, a despotic behaviour. הגדּיל, became great. The word does not mean to become haughty, for בּלבבו, in his heart, is not added here as it is in Psalm 44:25, but to magnify the action. It is equivalent to לעשׂות הגדּיל in Joel 2:20 (hath done great things), and Psalm 126:2-3, in the sense of to become great, powerful; cf. Daniel 8:8.

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