Hosea 4:19
The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
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Hosea 4:19. The wind hath bound her up in her wings — Or rather, binds, or, is binding her up, the present tense being put to denote instant futurity. The passage is strongly figurative, to signify that they should be suddenly taken away out of their country, and carried with irresistible force, and incredible speed, into a distant land. It is not unusual, in other writers, to attribute wings to the winds, to express their swiftness; and when any thing is said to be bound up in the wings of the wind, the expression must signify its being taken far away with great celerity. “An admirable image this,”

says Bishop Horsley, “of the condition of a people, torn by a conqueror from their native land, scattered in exile to the four quarters of the world, and living thenceforward without any settled residence of their own, liable to be moved about at the will of arbitrary masters, like a thing tied to the wings of the wind, obliged to go with the wind which ever way it set, but never suffered for a moment to lie still. The image is striking now; but must have been more striking when a bird with expanded wings, or a huge pair of wings, without head or body, was the hieroglyphic of the element of the air, or rather of the general mundane atmosphere, one of the most irresistible of physical agents.” And they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices — They shall be confounded to find, by experience, that all their sacrifices to idols have profited them nothing, but brought severe calamities upon them.

4:12-19 The people consulted images, and not the Divine word. This would lead to disorder and sin. Thus men prepare scourges for themselves, and vice is spread through a people. Let not Judah come near the idolatrous worship of Israel. For Israel was devoted to idols, and must now be let alone. When sinners cast off the easy yoke of Christ, they go on in sin till the Lord saith, Let them alone. Then they receive no more warnings, feel no more convictions: Satan takes full possession of them, and they ripen for destruction. It is a sad and sore judgment for any man to be let alone in sin. Those who are not disturbed in their sin, will be destroyed for their sin. May we be kept from this awful state; for the wrath of God, like a strong tempest, will soon hurry impenitent sinners into ruin.The wind hath bound her up in her wings - When God brought Israel out of Egypt, He "bare them on eagle's wings, and brought them unto Himself" Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11. Now they had abandoned God, and God abandoned them as chaff to the wind. The certainty of Israel's doom is denoted by its being spoken of in the past. It was certain in the divine judgment. Sudden, resistless, irreversible are God's judgments, when they come. As if "imprisoned in the viewless winds," and "borne with resistless violence," as it were on the wings of the whirlwind, Israel should be hurried by the mighty wrath of God into captivity in a distant land, bound up so that none should escape, but, when arrived there, dispersed here and there, as the chaff before the wind.

And they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices - They had sacrificed to the calves, to Baal, or to the sun, moon, stars, hoping aid from them rather than from God. When then they should see, in deed, that from those their sacrifices no good came to them, but evil only, they should be healthfully ashamed. So, in fact, in her captivity, did Israel learn to be ashamed of her idols; and so does GOd by healthful disappointment, make us ashamed of seeking out of Him, the good things, which He alone hath, and hath in store for them who love Him.

19. Israel shall be swept away from her land (Ho 4:16) suddenly and violently as if by "the wings of the wind" (Ps 18:10; 104:3; Jer 4:11, 12).

ashamed … of their sacrifices—disappointed to their shame in their hope of help through their sacrifices to idols.

The whirlwind of wrath from God hath already seized this old adulteress, and carried some of her children away already, 2 Kings 15:19,29. Execution of judgment is already begun, and therefore, O Judah, keep distance from Ephraim.

They shall be ashamed; greatly confounded and disappointed of their hopes: as thou, O Judah, wouldst prevent this shame, flee the society of these idolaters.

Because of their sacrifices; what they made their confidence shall be their shame, their own idols cannot help them. but their idolatry shall surely undo them. Their idols which they worshipped and depended on shall be their shame and confusion, for thy God, O Judah, hath cursed such people. Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols, Psalm 97:7. If Israel do, yet, O Judah, do not thou so.

The wind hath bound her up in her wings,.... That is, the wind in its wings hath bound up Ephraim, Israel, or the ten tribes, compared to a heifer; meaning, that the wind of God's wrath and vengeance, or the enemy, the Assyrian, should come like a whirlwind, and carry them swiftly, suddenly, and irresistibly, out of their own land, into a foreign country: the past tense for the future, as is common in prophecy, because of the certainty of it; so Jarchi and Joseph Kimchi: but Aben Ezra, David Kimchi, Abarbinel, and Abendana, render it "she", that is, Israel, "hath bound up the wind in her wings" (b); meaning that they had laboured in vain in their idolatrous worship; and it was all one as if a than should attempt to gather the wind, and bind it up in the skirts of his garment, and when he opens them there is nothing to be found: and to this sense is the Targum,

"the works of their great men are not right, as it is impossible to bind the wind in a wing;''

referring to the sins of their rulers, as before: or rather the sense is, the wind shall get into the loose skirts of the garments of, he Israelites, which shall be as a sail to it, as Schmidt observes, and shall carry them into distant lands; which falls in with the first sense of the words, and is best:

and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices: they of the ten tribes, the people of Israel; or their shields, their rulers, as Aben Ezra, shall be filled with shame, being disappointed of the help they expected from their idols, to whom they offered sacrifices; and the more, inasmuch as they will find that these idolatrous sacrifices are the cause of their ruin and destruction. The Targum is,

"because of the altars of their idols;''

and so the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, "because of their altars".

(b) "ligavit illa ventum in alis suis", Munster, Calvin, Tigurine version.

The wind hath {y} bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

(y) To carry them suddenly away.

19. The wind hath bound her up in her wings] A figure for the suddenness and violence with which the enemy should carry Israel away into exile (comp. Isaiah 57:13), The perfect is that of prophetic certitude.

Hosea 4:19"Their drinking has degenerated; whoring they have committed whoredom; their shields have loved, loved shame. Hosea 4:19. The wind has wrapt it up in its wings, so that they are put to shame because of their sacrifices." סר from סוּר, to fall off, degenerate, as in Jeremiah 2:21. סבא is probably strong, intoxicating wine (cf. Isaiah 1:22; Nahum 1:10); here it signifies the effect of this wine, viz., intoxication. Others take sâr in the usual sense of departing, after 1 Samuel 1:14, and understand the sentence conditionally: "when their intoxication is gone, they commit whoredom." But Hitzig has very properly object to this, that it is intoxication which leads to licentiousness, and not temperance. Moreover, the strengthening of hisnū by the inf. abs. is not in harmony with this explanation. The hiphil hiznâh is used in an emphatic sense, as in Hosea 4:10. The meaning of the last half of the verse is also a disputed point, more especially on account of the word הבוּ, which only occurs here, and which can only be the imperative of יהב (הבוּ for הבוּ), or a contraction of אהבוּ. All other explanations are arbitrary. But we are precluded from taking the word as an imperative by קלון, which altogether confuses the sense, if we adopt the rendering "their shields love 'Give ye' - shame." We therefore prefer taking הבוּ as a contraction of אהבוּ, and אהבוּ הבוּ as a construction resembling the pealal form, in which the latter part of the fully formed verb is repeated, with the verbal person as an independent form (Ewald, 120), viz., "their shields loved, loved shame," which yields a perfectly suitable thought. The princes are figuratively represented as shields, as in Psalm 47:10, as the supporters and protectors of the state. They love shame, inasmuch as they love the sin which brings shame. This shame will inevitably burst upon the kingdom. The tempest has already seized upon the people, or wrapt them up with its wings (cf. Psalm 18:11; Psalm 104:3), and will carry them away (Isaiah 57:13). צרר, literally to bind together, hence to lay hold of, wrap up. Rūăch, the wind, or tempest, is a figurative term denoting destruction, like רוּח קדים in Hosea 13:15 and Ezekiel 5:3-4. אותהּ refers to Ephraim represented as a woman, like the suffix attached to מגנּיה in Hosea 4:18. יבשׁוּ מזּבחותם, to be put to shame on account of their sacrifices, i.e., to be deceived in their confidence in their idols (bōsh with min as in Hosea 10:6; Jeremiah 2:36; Jeremiah 12:13, etc.), or to discover that the sacrifices which they offered to Jehovah, whilst their heart was attached to the idols, did not save from ruin. The plural formation זבחות for זבחים only occurs here, but it has many analogies in its favour, and does not warrant our altering the reading into מזבּחותם, after the Sept. ἐκ τῶν θυσιατηρίων, as Hitzig proposes; whilst the inadmissibility of this proposal is sufficiently demonstrated by the fact that there is nothing to justify the omission of the indispensable מן, and the cases which Hitzig cites as instances in which min is omitted (viz., Zechariah 14:10; Psalm 68:14, and Deuteronomy 23:11) are based upon a false interpretation.
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