Hosea 5:7
They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) Strange children refers to offspring that followed in the ways of their mother. (Comp. Hosea 1) Some reference is involved to the consequences of intermarriage with heathen. The “month” may be a personification of the period of a month (Henderson), during which takes place the now closely impending (perhaps already commenced) invasion by Tiglathpileser (2Kings 15:29; 2 Chron. 19:21). This invasion was due in part to Ahaz having sought the aid of Assyria against Pekah and Rezin.

Hosea 5:7. They have dealt treacherously against the Lord — The word בגד, rendered, to deal treacherously, signifies properly, a wife’s being false to her husband; see Jeremiah 3:20; from whence it is applied to the sin of idolatry, which was being false to the true God, or giving to creatures, or mere imaginary beings, the affection and regard due to him, and therefore it is often in Scripture styled spiritual whoredom. For they have begotten strange children — A race of aliens, as Bishop Horsley renders it: that is, children trained from their earliest infancy in the habits and principles of idolatry, and growing up aliens with respect to God, (for all are not Israel that are of Israel,) alienated from him in their affections, and in their sentiments and practice mere heathen. The expression alludes to children not lawfully begotten, or not born in wedlock. Now shall a month devour them — A very short time shall complete their destruction. It shall be sudden and unexpected. With their portions — That is, their allotments. “They shall be now totally dispossessed of their country, and the boundaries of the separate allotments of the several tribes shall be confounded and obliterated, and new partitions of the land into districts shall be made, from time to time, at the pleasure of its successive masters. The captivity of the ten tribes was completed soon after Hezekiah’s attempted reformation, and the kingdom of Judah not long survived Josiah’s.” It is probable the month alludes to these events.5:1-7 The piercing eye of God saw secret liking and disposition to sin, the love the house of Israel had to their sins, and the dominion their sins had over them. Pride makes men obstinate in other sins. And as Judah was treading in the same steps, they would fall with Israel. By dealing treacherously with the Lord, men only deceive themselves. Those that go to seek the Lord with their flocks and their herds only, and not with their hearts and souls, cannot expect to find him; nor shall any speed who do not seek the Lord while he may be found. See how much it is our concern to seek God early, now, while it is the accepted time, and the day of salvation.They have dealt treacherously - Literally, "have cloaked," and so, acted deceitfully. The word is used of treachery of friend toward his friend, of the husband to his wife, or the wife husband. "Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord" Jeremiah 3:20. God, even in His upbraiding, speaks very tenderly to them, as having been in the closest, dearest relation to Himself.

For they have begotten strange children - God had made it a ground of the future blessing of Abraham, "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment" Genesis 18:19. But these, contrariwise, themselves being idolaters and estranged from God, had children, who fell away like themselves, strangers to God, and looked upon as strangers by Him. The children too of the forbidden marriages with the pagan were, by their birth, strange or foreign children, even before they became so in act; and they became so the more in act, because they were so by birth. The next generation then growing up more estranged from God than themselves, what hope of amendment was there?

Now shall a month devour - The word now denotes the nearness and suddenness of God's judgments; the term "month," their rapidity. A "month" is not only a brief time, but is almost visibly passing away; the moon, which measures it, is never at one stay, waxing until it is full, then waning until it disappears. Night by night bears witness to the month's decay. The iniquity was full; the harvest was ripe; "now," suddenly, rapidly, completely, the end should come. One month should "devour them with their portions." God willed to be the Portion of His people; He had said, "the Lord's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance" Deuteronomy 32:9. To Himself He had given the title, "the protion of Jacob" Jeremiah 10:16. Israel had chosen to himself "other portions" out of God, for these, he had forsaken his God; therefore he should be consumed with them. "All that they had, all that they possessed, enjoyed, trusted in, all, at once, shall that short space, suddenly and certainly to come; devour, deprive and bereave them of; none of them shall remain with them or profit them in the day of wrath."

7. treacherously—as to the marriage covenant (Jer 3:20).

strange children—alluding to "children of whoredoms" (Ho 1:2; 2:4). "Strange" or foreign implies that their idolatry was imported from abroad [Henderson]. Or rather, "regarded by God as strangers, not His," as being reared in idolatry. The case is desperate, when not only the existing, but also the rising, generation is reared in apostasy.

a month—a very brief space of time shall elapse, and then punishment shall overtake them (Zec 11:8). The allusion seems to be to money loans, which were by the month, not as with us by the year. You cannot put it off; the time of your destruction is immediately and suddenly coming on you; just as the debtor must meet the creditor's demand at the expiration of the month. The prediction is of the invasion of Tiglath-pileser, who carried away Reuben, Gad, Naphtali, and the half tribe of Manasseh.

portions—that is, possessions. Their resources and garrisons will not avail to save them. Henderson explains from Isa 57:6, "portions" as their idols; the context favors this, "the Lord" the true "portion of His people" (De 32:9), being in antithesis to "their portions," the idols.

They, the whole house of Israel, priests, people, and princes, and their kings with them,

have dealt treacherously; have falsified their word and promise of fidelity and constancy, of love and affection, when they entered covenant with me; have turned idolaters, and worshipped and relied on false gods.

They have begotten strange children; as if it were not enough that they were idolaters, they have trained up their children in the same idolatry, partly by their instruction, and more by their examples.

Now, or therefore, or ere long, as Hosea 2:10.

A month; either the new moon, one particular species of ceremonial, superstitious worship put for all the rest, as some interpret, or rather, a time not long (as an age); not as to the old world, nor as to Nineveh, forty days, but a shorter time: possibly it may refer to Shallum’s short time of usurpation, which lasted but a month; a month shall devour them, the Assyrians shall make a speedy conquest over you.

With their portions; not only persons, but their goods and chattels, are exposed to speediest spoiling; and as a token of such future speedy desolation, the prophet points out a short reign of one of the usurpers, and foretells the precise time of his continuance, that when they shall see this come to pass. They might believe the rest foretold by the prophet should also come to pass. Nor is this conjecture without some ground, since we know that Shallum slew Zachariah before the people, 2 Kings 15:10, implying the people’s concurrence herein, and their accepting of Shallum with expectation of peace and prosperity, to the increase of their portion under his government, all which was blasted at the month’s end. They have dealt treacherously against the Lord,.... Which was the reason of his departure from them; as a woman deals treacherously with her husband when she is unfaithful to him, and commits adultery; so Israel and Judah dealt treacherously with the Lord, who stood in the relation of a husband to them in covenant, by committing idolatry;

for they have begotten strange children; either of strange women, the daughters of idolatrous Heathens they married, so the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi; or rather their natural children, though born of Israelitish or Jewish parents, both such; yet being educated by them in an idolatrous way, and brought up in the commission of the evils their parents were guilty of, are said to be strange children to the Lord, alienated from him and his worship, and as such to be begotten:

now shall a month devour them with their portions; the Jews understand this literally of the month Ab, the time of Jerusalem's destruction, so Jarchi and R. Jeshuah in Aben Ezra and Ben Melech; or the month Tammuz, in which the city was broke up, and the month Ab, in which it was destroyed, as Kimchi; or rather, which is also a sense he mentions, it signifies a short time, a very little while before the destruction should come; and compares it with Zechariah 11:8; though, according to the Targum, it is to be understood of every month; and so denotes the continual desolation that should be made, until they were utterly destroyed; but others seem better to interpret it of their new moon, or first day of the month, which they observed in a religious way, by offering sacrifice, &c. and on which they depended; but this should be so far from being of any service to them, that it should turn against them; and, because of the idolatry committed in them, the Lord would hate them, and destroy them on account of them; even their farms, and fields, and vineyards, which were their portions and inheritances; see Isaiah 1:13; unless it is rather to be understood of the parts of the beasts slain in sacrifice on those days, to appease the Lord; which would be so far from doing it, that they would provoke him yet more to wrath, and slay them.

They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten {f} strange children: now shall {g} a month devour them with their portions.

(f) That is, their children are degenerate, so that there is no hope in them.

(g) Their destruction is not far off.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. Why Jehovah has withdrawn himself, dealt treacherously] i.e. faithlessly. The word is used of an adulteress, Jeremiah 3:20.

they have begotten strange children] The subject of the verb are the Israelites individually, of whom the same statement is made which we have already met with respecting the nation in Hosea 2:4-5.

now shall a month devour them] The time for punishment has arrived. Instead of watching gladly for the new moon to fix the various hallowed festivals (comp. Hosea 2:11), they should have a ‘fearful looking for of judgment’ increasing as each new moon arose. If not this, then perhaps the next would bring with it a slaughtering, plundering horde of invaders. ‘Month’ should rather be new moon (as nothing is added to qualify the sense).

with their portions] i.e. the lands assigned to the several tribes and families (comp. ‘the portion of Jezreel,’ 2 Kings 9:10).Verse 7. - They have dealt treacherously against the Lord: for they have begotten strange children. This may refer to inter. marriages with idolaters, when the offspring of such forbidden unions departed still further from the worship of Jehovah; or the children of godless Jewish parents reflected yet more the wicked works and ways of such parents. In consequence of the infidelity of the wife, the children were not the offspring of lawful wedlock or conjugal union; in other words, they were children of whoredom - an adulterous generation. Lord's infidelity to the holy covenant had as its result a graceless, godless race - children strange and supposititions in the spiritual sense. Now shall a month devour them with their portions. If

(1) "month" be the right rendering, it is a note of time like "the day of the Lord;" and the sense is that a short time shall see the end of them - not only of their persons, but their properties, that is, their hereditary portions in Palestine. But

(2) if "new moon" be the correct translation, the new moon, or sacrificial feasts celebrated at that season, will only rut,, not relieve, them. Their sinful sacrifices and vain oblations, on which they now placed their reliance, will procure, not their salvation, but perdition. ויּבן, he gave understanding, insight, as Daniel 8:16. The words point back to Daniel 9:2. First of all Gabriel speaks of the design and the circumstances of his coming. עתּה יצאתי, now, viz., in consequence of thy morning prayer, I am come, sc. from the throne of God. להשׂכּילך בינה, to instruct thee in knowledge. This is more particularly declared in Daniel 9:23. At the beginning of Daniel's prayer a word, i.e., a communication from God, came forth, which he brought. דּבר, not a commandment, or the divine commandment to Gabriel to go to Daniel, but a word of God, and particularly the word which he announced to Daniel, Daniel 9:24-27. The sentence, "for thou art a man greatly beloved" (חמוּדות equals חמוּדות אישׁ, Daniel 10:11, Daniel 10:19, vir desideriorum, desideratissimus), does not contain the reason for Gabriel's coming in haste, but for the principal thought of the verse, the going forth of the word of God immediately at the beginning of Daniel's prayer. המּראה stands not for revelation, but is the vision, the appearance of the angel by whom the word of God was communicated to the prophet. מראה is accordingly not the contents of the word spoken, but the form for its communication to Daniel. To both - the word and the form of its revelation - Daniel must give heed. This revelation was, moreover, not communicated to him in a vision, but while in the state of natural consciousness.
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