Hosea 3:1
Then said the LORD to me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) Adulteress.—The woman described here is the daughter of Diblaim—beloved of her friend; better rendered, loved by another. This is preferable to the LXX., “a lover of evil,” which is based on a different reading of the same original text. Gomer is now the concubine slave of another—possibly in poor and destitute condition. And yet the prophet’s love for her is like Jehovah’s love for “the children of Israel, even when they are turned to other gods, and love grape-cakes”—the luscious sacrificial cakes used in idolatrous worship: a term generally descriptive of the licentious accompaniments of the Ashtoreth worship. (Comp. Jeremiah 7:18.)

Hosea 3:1. Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman — This is the literal meaning of the Hebrew עוד לךְ אהב אשׁה, and is the sense in which It is understood by the LXX., who read, ετι πορευθητι, και αγαπησον γυναικα; and by the Vulgate, which renders it, Adhuc vade et dilige mulierem. A different woman from the person whom he had espoused before seems evidently to be intended. Thus St. Jerome and St. Cyril of Alexandria understand the words, considering the connection here spoken of as a new one, formed after the dismission of Gomer; in which opinion they are followed by Estius, Menochius, Tirinus, and many other expositors. The injunction, Archbishop Newcome supposes, was given after the death of Hosea’s former wife. But if not, it was undoubtedly given after she was divorced, for her unfaithfulness to her husband; in consequence of which, according to the law, he could not take her back again. Beloved of her friend — That is, her husband. But the LXX. render the words, αγαπωσαν πονηρα, loving evil things; a reading which accords with that of the Arabic and Syriac, and is approved both by Archbishop Newcome and Bishop Horsley; the former of whom renders the clause, A lover of evil, and the latter, addicted to wickedness, observing, “I adopt the rendering of the LXX. and Syriac, which nothing opposes but the Masoretic pointing.” And an adulteress — That is, who had been such, and that not only in the spiritual sense, of forsaking God, but according to the carnal meaning of the term. According to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel — After the manner of Jehovah’s love for the children of Israel, who look to other gods, or, although they look to other gods, and are addicted to goblets of wine. So Bishop Horsley, who observes, that “children of Israel, and house of Israel, are two distinct expressions, to be differently understood. The house of Israel, and sometimes Israel by itself, is a particular appellation of the ten tribes, a distinct kingdom from Judah. But the children of Israel, is a general appellation for the whole race of the Israelites, comprehending both kingdoms. Indeed it was the only general appellation, before the captivity of the ten tribes; afterward, the kingdom of Judah only remaining, Jews came into use as the name of the whole race, which before had been the appropriate name of the kingdom of Judah. It occurs, for the first time 2 Kings 16., in the history of Ahaz. It is true, we read in Hosea 1:11, of the children of Judah, and the children of Israel; but this is only an honourable mention of Judah, as the principal tribe, not as a distinct kingdom. And the true exposition of the expression is, ‘the children of Judah, and all the rest of the children of Israel.’ We find Judah thus particularly mentioned, as a principal part of the people, before the kingdoms were separated: see 2 Samuel 24:1; 1 Kings 4:20; 1 Kings 4:25. And yet, at that time, Israel was the general name, 1 Kings 4:1.” The expression, And love flagons of wine, implies, that they loved to drink wine in the temples of their idols. They were wont to pour out wine to their false gods, and, it is probable, drank the remainder even to excess. The festivity, or rather dissoluteness, which was used by the heathen in the worship of their gods, seems to have been one principal thing that made the Israelites so fond of their rites of worship. Some think that the words, rendered here flagons, or goblets, of wine, should be translated cakes of dried grapes. The expression, according to the love of the Lord, &c., means, Let this be an emblem of my love to the children of Israel; or, By this I intend to let Israel know how I have loved them, and what returns they have made for my love. How great and constant my love has been to them, and how inconstant and insincere theirs has been to me. The words seem, in general, to express their leaving the service of the true God, and imitating the idolaters, in following after false gods, bodily delights and pleasures, as gluttony, drunkenness, and the like, which the service of idols did not only permit, but require.3:1-3 The dislike of men to true religion is because they love objects and forms, which allow them to indulge, instead of mortifying their lusts. How wonderful that a holy God should have good-will to those whose carnal mind is enmity against Him! Here is represented God's gracious dealings with the fallen race of mankind, that had gone from him. This is the covenant of grace he is willing to enter into with them, they must be to him a people, and he will be to them a God. They must accept the punishment of their sin, and must not return to folly. And it is a certain sign that our afflictions are means of good to us, when we are kept from being overcome by the temptations of an afflicted state.Go yet, love a woman, beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress - This woman is the same Gomer, whom the prophet had before been bidden to take, and whom, (it appears from this verse) had forsaken him, and was living in adultery with another man. The "friend" is the husband himself, the prophet. The word "friend" expresses, that the husband of Gomer treated her, not harshly, but mildly and tenderly so that her faithlessness was the more aggravated sin. "Friend or neighbor" too is the word chosen by our Lord to express His own love, the love of the good Samaritan, who, not being akin, became "neighbor to Him who fell among thieves," and had mercy upon him. Gomer is called "a woman," in order to describe the state of separation, in which she was living. Yet God bids the prophet to "love her," i. e., show active love to her, not, as before, to "take" her, for she was already and still his with, although unfaithful. He is now bidden to buy her back, with the price and allowance of food, as of a worthless slave, and so to keep her apart, on coarse food, abstaining from her former sins, but without the privileges of marriage, yet with the hope of being, in the end, restored to be altogether his wife. This prophecy is a sequel to the former, and so relates to Israel, after the coming of Christ, in which the former prophecy ends.

According to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel - The prophet is directed to frame his life, so as to depict at once the ingratitude of Israel or the sinful soul, and the abiding, persevering, love of God. The woman, whom God commands him to love, he had loved before her fall; he was now to love her after her fall, and amid her fall, in order to rescue her from abiding in it. His love was to outlive her's, that he might win her at last to him. Such, God says, "is the love of the Lord for Israel." He loved her, before she fell, for the woman was "beloved of her friend, and yet an adulteress." He loved her after she fell, and while persevering in her adultery. For God explains His command to the prophet still to love her, by the words, "according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, while they look to other gods, literally, and they are looking." The words express a contemporary circumstance. God was loving them and looking upon them; and they, all the while, were looking to other gods.

Love flagons of wine - Literally, "of grapes," or perhaps, more probably, "cakes of grapes," i. e., dried raisins. Cakes were used in idolatry Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:19. The "wine" would betoken the excess common in idolatry, and the bereavement of understanding: the cakes denote the sweetness and lusciousness, yet still the dryness, of any gratification out of God, which is preferred to Him. Israel despised and rejected the true Vine, Jesus Christ, the source of all the works of grace and righteousness, and "loved the dried cakes," the observances of the law, which, apart from Him, were dry and worthless.

CHAPTER 3

Ho 3:1-5. Israel's Condition in Their Present Dispersion, Subsequent to Their Return from Babylon, Symbolized.

The prophet is to take back his wife, though unfaithful, as foretold in Ho 1:2. He purchases her from her paramour, stipulating she should wait for a long period before she should be restored to her conjugal rights. So Israel is to live for a long period without her ancient rites of religion, and yet be free from idolatry; then at last she shall acknowledge Messiah, and know Jehovah's goodness restored to her.

1. Go yet—"Go again," referring to Ho 1:2 [Henderson].

a woman—purposely indefinite, for thy wife, to express the separation in which Hosea had lived from Gomer for her unfaithfulness.

beloved of her friend—used for "her husband," on account of the estrangement between them. She was still beloved of her husband, though an adulteress; just as God still loved Israel, though idolatrous (Jer 3:20). Hosea is told, not as in Ho 1:2, "take a wife," but "love" her, that is, renew thy conjugal kindness to her.

who look to other gods—that is, have done so heretofore, but henceforth (from the return from Babylon) shall do so no more (Ho 3:4).

flagons of wine—rather, pressed cakes of dried grapes, such as were offered to idols (Jer 7:18) [Maurer].By the prophet taking unto him an adulteress is showed the desolation of Israel, and their restoration.

Then, or And, Heb. or Furthermore.

Said the Lord; commanded. Unto me; Hosea. Go yet; again, or once more; so it implieth he had once already been commanded and done some such-like thing.

Love a woman: in the former he was commanded to marry, in this he is commanded to love, (the reason of which will appear in the application of the parable,) a woman, though described by her character, yet not named; and though her character would suit well enough to Gomer, yet it was not she, for this woman was to abide for him, Hosea 3:3, but Gomer was presently married to him, or at least so represented; this was brought, Gomer was not.

Beloved of her friend; her husband, though some think it may be some other person or lover.

An adulteress; either already tainted, or that certainly will be tainted with that vice; a divorced woman, separate from her husband because of her falseness to him.

According to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel; let this be the emblem of my love to the children of Israel: by this I intend, saith God, to let Israel know how I have loved, and how she hath loved: how greatly, dearly, constantly on my part; how slightly, inconstantly, falsely on her part.

Who look to other gods: when I adopted them to be a peculiar people to me, to take me for their God, and required they shall have none other, (which relation is well expressed by that of husband and wife,) they have looked, liked, loved other gods, and depended on them, and their hearts have been estranged from me, they have turned downright idolaters. Love flagons of wine; loved the feasts of their idols, where they drank wine to excess, by too great measures, which, without dispute, was usual in the idol feasts, Amos 2:8 1 Corinthians 10:21; or else these flagons of wine speak their loose, drunken, and riotous living.

Then said the Lord unto me,.... Or, as the Targum,

"the Lord said unto me again'';

for the word yet or again is to be joined to this, and not the following clause; and shows that this is a new vision, prophecy, or parable, though respecting the same persons and things:

go, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress; not the prophet's wife, not Gomer, but some other feigned person; beloved either of her own husband, as the Targum and Jarchi, notwithstanding her unchastity and unfaithfulness to him; or of another man, as Aben Ezra, who had a very great respect for her, courted her, and perhaps had betrothed her, but had not yet consummated the marriage; and, though a harlot, loved her dearly, and could not get off his affections from her, but hankered after her; or of the prophet, as Kimchi, who paraphrases it,

"thou shall love her, and be to her a friend;''

to protect and defend her, as harlots used to have one in particular they called their friend, by whose name they were called, and was a cover to them. The sense is, that the prophet was to go to the people of Israel, and deliver this parable to them, setting forth their state and condition, and their behaviour towards God, and his great love to them, notwithstanding all their baseness and ingratitude; it was as if a woman that was either married or betrothed, or that either had a husband or a suitor that so dearly loved her, that though she was guilty of uncleanness, and continued in it, yet would not leave her; and which is thus expressed by the Targum,

"go, deliver a prophecy against the house of Israel, who are like a woman dear to her husband; and though she commits fornication against him, yet he so loves her that he will not put her away:''

according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel; or such is the love of the Lord to them; for though they were guilty of idolatry, intemperance, and other immoralities, yet still he loved them, and formed designs of grace and goodness for them. And thus, though God does not love sinners as such; yet he loves them, though they are sinners, and when and while they are such; as appears by his choice of them, and covenant with them, by Christ's dying for them while sinners, and by his quickening them when dead in trespasses and sins:

who look to other gods; or "though they look to other gods" (c); look to them and worship them, pray unto them, put their trust in them, and expect good things from them:

and love flagons of wine, or "tubs of grapes" (d); or of wine made of them; or lumps of raisins, cakes or junkets made of them and other things, as the Septuagint; and may respect either the drunkenness and intemperance of the ten tribes; see Isaiah 28:1, they loved, as Kimchi says, the delights of the world, and not the law and commandments of God; or the feasts that were made in the temples of their idols they loved good eating and drinking, and that made them like idolatry the better for the sake of those things; see Exodus 32:6, for the Heathens used to eat and drink to excess at their sacrifices: hence Diogenes (e) the philosopher was very angry with those who sacrificed to the gods for their health, yet in their sacrifices feasted to the prejudice of their health.

(c) "quamvis respiciant", Piscator. (d) "dolia uvarum", Pagninus, Montanus, Zanchius; "soa", some in Drusius. (e) Laertius in Vit. Diogenis, p. 382.

Then said the LORD unto me, {a} Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and {b} love flagons of wine.

(a) In this the Prophet represents the person of God, who loved his Church before he called her, and did not withdraw his love when she gave herself to idols.

(b) That is, gave themselves wholly to pleasure, and could not stop, as those that are given to drunkenness.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. Go yet, love] Rather, Once more go love, indicating that the narrative dropped at Hosea 1:9 is now resumed. (Notice also in this connexion the change of the third person into the first in chap. 3) It is the same woman who is meant; otherwise a different form of expression would have been used (like that in Hosea 1:2), besides which the allegory would have been spoiled had there been two women concerned. Gomer is throughout the symbol of faithless but not forsaken Israel. The narrative is told in a condensed allusive style, which makes some demand on the imagination of the reader. If Gomer is to be taken back, it is clear that she must have left her husband, and the price at which (Hosea 3:2) she has to be brought back shews that she had fallen into depths of misery.

beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress] Rather, beloved of a paramour, and an adulteress. As if Jehovah had said, Love her just as she is; the definition is added for the reader’s sake, to show how great an act was demanded of Hosea, like ‘Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest’ (Genesis 22:2). For the rendering ‘paramour’, comp. Jeremiah 3:20; Lamentations 1:2.

who look …] Rather, whereas they (on their side) turn.

flagons of wine] Rather, cakes of grapes. Cakes of dried grapes were common articles of food, mentioned with cakes of figs, bread, and wine, and parched corn (1 Samuel 25:18). The cakes here mentioned, however, must have been of a superior kind; they bear a different name, and appear from Isaiah 16:7 (corrected translation) to have been considered as luxuries. They formed part of David’s royal bounty on the removal of the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:19), or more correctly of the sacrificial feast implied by the context. This latter point is interesting as it suggests that Baal-worship was closely related to the festivities of the vintage (Prof. Robertson Smith, The Old Testament in the Jewish Church, p. 434). Hosea too seems to refer to these cakes in connexion with the sacrificial feasts, not without a touch of sarcasm.

I bought her to me] Why Hosea had to buy his wife back from her paramour, does not appear; had he lost his rights over her by her flight and adultery? Perhaps it was simply to avoid an altercation with the adulterer, or we may imagine such a scene as is depicted by Dean Plumptre in his poem Gomer’ (Lazarus p. 87). The view of Pococke and Pusey that Hosea means to explain how he undertook to allow his wife just sufficient for a decent maintenance till she should be reinstated in her full position, accounts no doubt for grain being given as well as money, but does violence to the letter of the text, as there is no sufficient proof of the rendering ‘I provided her with food’.

for fifteen pieces of silver, and for a homer of barley, and a half homer of barley] In 2 Kings 7:18 two seahs of barley are rated at a shekel. This however was immediately after the siege of Samaria had been raised; the normal rate would probably have been lower, say three seahs at a shekel, so that a homer (= 30 seahs) would have cost ten shekels and a homer and a half fifteen. The total price paid by Hosea would therefore be thirty shekels (about £ 3. 15s.) the average value of a slave (see Exodus 21:32). Why it was paid partly in money, partly in kind, cannot be determined. Hosea only tells us enough to make the allegory intelligible. Gomer in her misery is a type of Israel in her unhappy alienation from her God.

a half-homer] Strictly, a lethech. The Sept. has ‘a bottle of wine’ (νέβελ οἴνου). Probably the translator was unacquainted with the ‘lethech’, which was apparently not a primitive measure. Its precise relation to the homer is uncertain; A.V. however is borne out by the Jewish tradition. There is nothing analogous to it in the Egyptian dry measure, which in other details agrees exactly with the Hebrew (Révillout, Revue égyptologique 11. 190).Verse 1. - The general meaning of this verse is well given in the Chaldee Targum: "Go, utter a prophecy against the house of Israel, who are like a woman very dear to her husband, and who, though she is unfaithful to him, is nevertheless so greatly loved by him that he is unwilling to put her away. Such is the love of the Lord towards Israel; but they turn aside to the idols of the nations." The word mr is in contrast with 'techillath, as the second part of Jehovah's continued discourse. It is erroneously and, contrary to the accents, constructed with "said" by Kimchi and others (Ewald considers it admissible, Umbreit preferable). Kimchi's comment on this verse is: "After the prophet finished his words of consolation, he returns to words of censure, turning to the men of his own time. And it is the custom of the prophets to intermingle reproofs with consolations in their discourses. But he says yet (again), because he had already commanded him to marry a wife of whoredoms, and now he speaks to him another parable." This time he does not employ the ordinary and usual word "take," but "love." plainly implying that he had already married her, so that her unfaithfulness took place in wedlock; or rather indicating the object of the union. Beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress. Her friend or companion is

(1) her lawful husband, but contemporaneously and continuously with her husband's love to her are her adulteries with others, as is implied by the participles.

(2) רֵע, being indefinite as not having article or suffix, is understood by some to be an acquaintance or lover, and preferred, as a milder term, to מְאַהֵב. The contrast was realized in Jehovah's love for Israel, notwithstanding their spiritual adultery in worshipping other gods. According to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel who look (turn) to other gods. Two expressions in this clause recall, if they do not actually reflect, the words of two older Scriptures; thus in Deuteronomy 7:8 we read, "Because the Lord loved you;" and in Deuteronomy 31:18, "They are turned unto ether gods."

(3) The LXX. has γυναῖκα ἀγαπῶσαν πονηρά, having probably read אֹהֶבֶת רַע. And love flagons of wine (margin, grapes). The term ashishe, according to Rashi and Aben Ezra, means "bowls," that is, "bowls of wine" (literally, "of grapes"). They probably connected the word with the root shesh, six, a sextorius, and hence any other wine-vessel. The Septuagint, however, renders the word πέμματα μετὰ σταφίδος, "cakes with dried grapes." This meaning is to be preferred, whether we derive the word from אִשַׁשׁ, to press together, or from אֵשׁ, fire; according to the former and correct derivation, the sense being cakes of grapes pressed together; according to the latter, cakes baked with fire. Gesenius differentiates the word from צִמּוּק, dried grapes, but not pressed together into a cake, and from דְּבֵלַה, figs pressed together into a cake. These raisin-cakes were regarded as luxuries and used as delicacies; hence a fondness for such indicated a proneness to sensual indulgence, and figuratively the sensuous service belonging to idol-worship. Since, from the explanation given by the angel in this verse, the vision relates to the Medo-Persian and the Javanic world-kingdoms, and to the persecuting kingdom of Antiochus which arose out of the latter, so it cannot be disputed that here, in prophetic perspective, the time of the end is seen together with the period of the oppression of the people of God by Antiochus, and the first appearance of the Messiah with His return in glory to the final judgment, as the latter is the case also in Daniel 2:34., 44f., and Daniel 7:13, Daniel 7:25. If Kliefoth objects: The coming of the Messiah may certainly be conceived of as bound up with the end of all things, and this is done, since both events stand in intimate causal relation to each other, not seldom in those O.T. prophets who yet do not distinguish the times; but they also know well that this intimate causal connection does not include contemporaneousness, that the coming of the Messiah in the flesh will certainly bring about the end of all things, but not as an immediate consequence, but after a somewhat lengthened intervening space, that thus, after the coming of the Messiah, a course of historical events will further unfold themselves before the end comes (which Daniel also knew, as Daniel 9 shows), and where the supposition is this, as in Daniel, there the time before the appearance of Christ in the flesh cannot be called the time of the end: - then the inference drawn in these last passages is not confirmed by the contents of the book of Daniel. For in the last vision (Daniel 10-12) which Daniel saw, not only the time of oppression of Antiochus and that of the last enemy are contemplated together as one, but also the whole contents of this one vision are, Daniel 10:14, transferred to the "end of the days;" for the divine messenger says to Daniel, "I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the end of the days, for the vision yet relates to the days." And not only this, but also in Daniel 11:35 it is said of the tribulation brought upon the people of God by Antiochus, that in it many would fall, to cleanse them and to purify them to the time of the end, for it is yet for the appointed time. Here, beyond doubt, the time of the persecution by Antiochus is placed in intimate union with the time of the end, but, as is to be particularly observed, not so that the two are spoken of as synchronous. This point is of importance for the right exposition of the verse before us. If, in Daniel 11:35, Daniel 11:40, it is twice said laמועד קץ עוד כּי (the end is yet for the appointed time), and thus does not begin with the oppression of the people of God by Antiochus, so we may not conclude from these verses - and in this Kliefoth is perfectly justified - that Daniel expected the erection of the Messianic kingdom and the end of all history with the overthrow of Antiochus. If, however, on the whole, the intimate causal connection of the two periods of tribulation placed together in Daniel 11 in one vision neither demands nor even permits us to regard the two as synchronous, so this erroneous conclusion drawn from these verses before us, in connection with an incorrect interpretation of Daniel 11:36-45, is sufficiently obviated, both by Daniel 2 and 7, according to which the fourth world-kingdom shall precede the erection of the everlasting kingdom of God and the manifestation of the Son of man, as also by Daniel 9:24-27, where - as our exposition will show - the coming of the Messiah and the perfecting of the kingdom of God by the overthrow of the last enemy are dependent on one another in point of time - the coming of the Messiah after seven weeks, the perfecting of the kingdom of God will follow, but not trill after the lapse of seventy weeks.

This passage is to be understood according to these distinct revelations and statements, and not that because in them, according to prophetic perspective, the oppression of the people of the saints by Antiochus, the little horn, is seen in one vision with the tribulation of the end-time, therefore the synchronism or identity of the two is to be concluded, and the erection of the regnum gloriae and the end of the world to be placed at the destruction of this little horn. The words, "the vision relates to the time of the end," thus only declare that the prophecy has a reference to Messianic times. As to the nature of this reference, the angel gives some intimation when, having touched the prophet, who had fallen in amazement to the ground, he raised him up and enabled him to listen to his words (Daniel 8:18), the intimation that he would make known to him what would happen in the last time of violence (Daniel 8:19). הזּעם is the wrath of God against Israel, the punishment which God hung over them on account of their sins, as in Isaiah 10:5; Jeremiah 25:17; Ezekiel 22:24, etc., and here the sufferings of punishment and discipline which the little horn shall bring over Israel. The time of this revelation of divine wrath is called אחרית because it belongs to the הימים אחרית, prepares the Messianic future, and with its conclusion begins the last age of the world, of which, however, nothing more particular is here said, for the prophecy breaks off with the destruction of the little horn. The vision of the eleventh chapter first supplies more particular disclosures on this point. In that chapter the great enemy of the saints of God, arising out of the third world-kingdom, is set forth and represented as the prefiguration or type of their last enemy at the end of the days. Under the words יהיה אשׁר (which shall be) the angel understands all that the vision of this chapter contains, from the rising up of the Medo-Persian world-kingdom to the time of the destruction of Antiochus Epiphanes, as Daniel 8:20-25 show. But when he adds הזּעם אחרית, he immediately makes prominent that which is the most important matter in the whole vision, the severe oppression which awaits the people of Israel in the future for their purification, and repeats, in justification of that which is said, the conclusion from Daniel 8:17, in which he only exchanges עת for מועד is the definite time in its duration; קץ מועד thus denotes the end-time as to its duration. This expression is here chosen with regard to the circumstance that in Daniel 8:14 the end of the oppression was accurately defined by the declaration of its continuance. The object of these words also is variously viewed by interpreters. The meaning is not that the angel wished to console Daniel with the thought that the judgment of the vision was not yet so near at hand (Zndel); for, according to Daniel 8:17, Daniel was not terrified by the contents of the vision, but by the approach of the heavenly being; and if, according to Daniel 8:18, the words of the angel so increased his terror that he fell down confounded to the earth, and the angel had to raise him by touching him, yet it is not at the same time said that the words of the angel of the end-time had so confounded him, and that the subsequent fuller explanation was somewhat less overwhelming than the words, Daniel 8:17, something lighter or more comforting. Even though the statement about the time of the end contributed to the increase of the terror, yet the contents of Daniel 8:19 were not fitted to raise up the prophet, but the whole discourse of the angel was for Daniel so oppressive that after hearing it, he was for some days sick, Daniel 8:27. From Daniel's astonishment we are not to conclude that the angel in Daniel 8:17 spoke of the absolute end of all things, and in Daniel 8:19, on the contrary, of the end of the oppression of the people of Israel by Antiochus. By the words, "the vision relates to the appointed end-time," the angel wished only to point to the importance of his announcement, and to add emphasis to his call to the prophet to give heed.

Daniel 8:20-26

After the introductory words, we have now in these verses the explanation of the chief points of the vision.

Daniel 8:20-22 explain Daniel 8:3-8. "The kings of Media and Persia" are the whole number of the Medo-Persian kings as they succeed each other, i.e., the Medo-Persian monarchy in the whole of its historical development. To הצּפיר the epithet השּׂעיר, hairy, shaggy, is added to characterize the animal as an he-goat. The king of Javan (Greece) is the founder and representative of the Macedo-Grecian world-kingdom, or rather the royalty of this kingdom, since the great horn of the ram is forthwith interpreted of Alexander the Great, the first king of this kingdom. The words והנּשׁבּרת to תּחתּיה (Daniel 8:22) form an absolute subject-sentence, in which, however, ותּעמדנה is not to be taken ἐκβατικῶς, it broke in pieces, so that ... (Kran.); for "the statement of the principal passage may not appear here in the subordinate relative passage" (Hitzig); but to the statement beginning with the participle the further definition in the verb. in. with וconsec. is added, without the relative אשׁר, as is frequently the case (cf. Ewald's Lehr. 351), which we cannot give with so much brevity, but must express thus: "as concerning the horn, that it was broken in pieces, and then four stood up in its place, (this signifies) that four kingdoms shall arise from the people." מגּוי without the article does not signify from the people of Javan, for in this case the article would not have been omitted; nor does it signify from the heathen world, because a direct contrast to Israel does not lie before us; but indefinitely, from the territory of the people, or the world of the people, since the prophecy conceives of the whole world of the people (Vklerwelt) as united under the sceptre of the king of Javan. יעמדנה is a revived archaism; cf. Genesis 30:38; 1 Samuel 6:12; Ewald, 191; Gesen. Gramm. 47. - בכוחו ולא, but not in his power, not armed with the strength of the first king, cf. Daniel 11:4.

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