Hosea 8:1
Set the trumpet to your mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) Eagle.—The image of swiftness (Jeremiah 4:13; Jeremiah 48:40). So Assyria shall come swooping down on Samaria, to which Hosea, though with some irony, gives the name “House of Jehovah,” recognising that the calf was meant to be symbolic in some sense of Israel’s God. (See, however, Note on Hosea 9:15.)

Hosea 8:1. Set the trumpet to thy mouth — The Vulgate renders it, In guttere tuo sit tuba; that is, Let thy throat, or mouth, sound like a trumpet. God speaks in these words, says Grotius, to the prophet, and commands him to proclaim, with a very loud voice, both the sins of the people, and the evils about to come upon them. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord — The words, he shall come, are not in the Hebrew, and seem to be improperly supplied by the translators; the sense of the words appearing to be, that the prophet should warn the people, and denounce the judgments of God against them for their sins, with a voice so loud that it might be heard as far as the cry of the eagle, flying over, or sitting upon, the top of the temple. Because they have transgressed — Or rather, that they have transgressed my covenant. “Hoc enim ipsum est quod proclamari vult Deus;” for this is the thing which God commanded to be proclaimed. — Grotius. Namely, that they had transgressed against God’s covenant, and violated his law.8:1-4 When Israel was hard pressed, they would claim protection from God, but this would be disregarded. What stead will it stand in to say, My God, I know thee, if we cannot say, My God, I love thee, serve thee, and cleave to thee only?The trumpet to thy mouth! - So God bids the prophet Isaiah, "Cry aloud, spare not, llft up thy voice like a trumpet" Isaiah 58:1. The prophets, as watchmen, were set by God to give notice of His coming judgments Ezekiel 33:3; Amos 3:6. As the sound of a war-trumpet would startle a sleeping people, so would God have the prophet's warning burst upon their sleep of sin. The ministers of the Church are called to be "watchmen" . "They too are forbidden to keep a cowardly silence, when "the house of the Lord" is imperilled by the breach of the covenant or violation of the law. If fear of the wicked or false respect for the great silences the voice of those whose office it is to "cry aloud," how shall such cowardice be excused?"

He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord - The words "he shall come" are inserted for clearness. The prophet beholds the enemy speeding with the swiftness of an eagle, as it darts down upon its prey. "The house of the Lord" is, most strictly, the temple, as being "the place which God had chosen to place His name there." Next, it is used, of the kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem, among whom the temple was; from where God says, "I have forsaken My house, I have left Mine heritage; I have given the dearly-beloved of My soul into the hands of her enemies" Jeremiah 12:7, and, "What hath My beloved to do in Mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many?" Jeremiah 11:15. Yet the title of "God's house" is older than the temple, for God Himself uses it of His whole people, saying of Moses, "My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all Mine house" Numbers 12:7. And even the ten tribes, separated as they were from the Temple-worship, and apostates from the true faith of God, were not, as yet, counted by Him as wholly excluded from the "house of God." For God, below, threatens that removal, as something still to come; "for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of My house" Hosea 9:15. The eagle, then coming down "against or upon" the house of the Lord, is primarily Shalmaneser, who came down and carried off the ten tribes. Yet since Hosea, in these prophecies, includes Judah, also, "the house of the Lord" is most probably to be taken in its fullest sense, as including the whole people of God, among whom He dwelt, and the temple where His Name was placed. The "eagle" includes then Nebuchadnezzar also, whom other prophets so call Ezekiel 17:3, Ezekiel 17:12; Jeremiah 48:40; Habakkuk 1:8; and (since, all through, the principle of sin is the same and the punishment the same) it includes the Roman eagle, the ensign of their armies.

Because they have transgressed My covenant - "God, whose justice is always unquestionable, useth to make clear to people its reasonableness." Israel had broken the covenant which God had made with their fathers, that He would be to them a God, and they to Him a people. The "covenant" they had broken chiefly by idolatry and apostasy; the "law," by sins against their neighbor. In both ways they had rejected God; therefore God rejected them.

CHAPTER 8

Ho 8:1-14. Prophecy of the Irruption of the Assyrians, in Punishment for Israel's Apostasy, Idolatry, and Setting Up of Kings without God's Sanction.

In Ho 8:14, Judah is said to multiply fenced cities; and in Ho 8:7-9, Israel, to its great hurt, is said to have gone up to Assyria for help. This answers best to the reign of Menahem. For it was then that Uzziah of Judah, his contemporary, built fenced cities (2Ch 26:6, 9, 10). Then also Israel turned to Assyria and had to pay for their sinful folly a thousand talents of silver (2Ki 15:19) [Maurer].

1. Set the trumpet, &c.—to give warning of the approach of the enemy: "To thy palate (that is, 'mouth,' Job 31:30, Margin) the trumpet"; the abruptness of expression indicates the suddenness of the attack. So Ho 5:8.

as … eagle—the Assyrian (De 28:49; Jer 48:40; Hab 1:8).

against … house of … Lord—not the temple, but Israel viewed as the family of God (Ho 9:15; Nu 12:7; Zec 9:8; Heb 3:2; 1Ti 3:15; 1Pe 4:17).Destruction is threatened both to Israel and Judah for their impiety and idolatry.

The Lord here commands the prophet to publish, as by sound of trumpet, that which God will bring upon apostate Israel, awaken them with the alarm of war.

He; the king of Assyria, Shalmaneser, who carried Israel captive.

As an eagle; swift, hungry, surmounting all difficulties, and which from above seizeth his prey; so shall the Assyrian army come.

Against; or up to, as far as, so some, but it is better as here,

against. The house of the Lord; either so called because the Israelites pretended their temples were not idols’ houses, but houses of Jehovah, and so the prophet for once calls them so, perhaps to intimate to that their sins would bring an enemy against those though they were indeed what they pretend them to be, the house of the Lord; or else by

house of the Lord is meant the family of Israel, or the Israelitish church, which till unchurched might be called the house of the Lord: or it may be a sarcasm or irony against their wilful, brutish ignorance, who would not understand what was most plain, that his house was only at Jerusalem; or a softer derision of them, one of whose principal places of worship was Beth-el, which in signification is near the same with this in the text, house of God.

They have transgressed my covenant; taken other gods instead of me, turned idolaters.

Trespassed against my law: this explains and confirms the former; covenant and law are synonymous, and so are transgressing and trespassing. They have violated the whole law and covenant, and are apostates from their God, rebels against him their King.

Set the trumpet to thy mouth,.... Or, "the trumpet to the roof of thy mouth" (t); a concise expression denoting haste, and the vehemence of the passions speaking; they are either the words of the Lord to the prophet, as the Targum,

"O prophet, cry with thy throat as with a trumpet, saying;''

Aben Ezra take them to be the words of the Lord the prophet, and the sense agrees with Isaiah 58:1. The prophet is here considered as a watchman, and is called upon to blow his trumpet; either to call the people together, "as an eagle to the house of the Lord" (u), as the next clause may be connected with this; that is, to come as swiftly to the house of the Lord, and hear what he had to say to them, and to supplicate the Lord for mercy in a time of distress: or to give the people notice of the approach of the enemy, and tell them that

he shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord; "flying as an eagle over" (w) or "against the house of the Lord": or they are the words of the Lord, or of the prophet, to the enemy, to blow his trumpet, and sound the alarm of war, and call his army together, and bid them fly like an eagle, with that swiftness and fierceness as that creature does to its prey, against the house of the Lord; meaning not the temple at Jerusalem, but the nation of Israel, formerly called the house and family of God, and still pretended to be so. There may be some allusion to Bethel, which signifies the house of God, where they practised their idolatry. This is to be understood, not of Nebuchadnezzar, sometimes compared to an eagle, Ezekiel 17:3; for not the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem is here meant; nor of the Romans, as Lyra seems to understand it, the eagle being the ensign of the Romans; but of Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, compared to this creature for his swiftness in coming, his strength, fierceness, and cruelty; this creature being swift in flight, and a bird of prey. So the Targum interprets it of a king and his army,

"behold, as an eagle flieth, so shall a king with his army come up and encamp against the house of the sanctuary of the Lord.''

Some reference seems to be had to Deuteronomy 28:49;

because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law; the law that was given to Israel by Moses at the appointment of God, to which they assented, and promised to observes: and so it had the form of a covenant to them: the bounds of this law and covenant they transgressed, and dealt perfidiously with, and prevaricated in, and wilfully broke all its commands, by their idolatry, murder, adultery, theft, and other sins.

(t) "adhibita palato tuo buccina", Junius & Tremellius; "adhibe palato buccinam", De Dieu; "ad palatum tuum buccinam", Schmidt. (u) "similis aquilae in domum Jehovae", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (w) "Super domum Domini", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Schmidt; "contra domum Jehovae", Liveleus.

Set the trumpet to thy {a} mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.

(a) God encourages the Prophet to signify the speedy coming of the enemy against Israel, which was once the people of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1–7. In great emotion (which reflects itself in the short clauses) the prophet announces the imminent invasion of N. Israel, and its true causes—idolatry and schism

1. Set the trumpet to thy mouth] Lit., To thy palate the cornet! An abrupt appeal by a heavenly voice to the prophet, who is bidden to give warning of the approach of the foe (comp. Hosea 5:8 note). ‘Palate’, or ‘mouth’, as the organ of speech, as Proverbs 5:3; Proverbs 8:7, &c.

as an eagle] The Hebr. word (nesher) seems to have been specially applied to the great griffon vulture, the carrion-eating habits of which are referred to in Job 39:30; Proverbs 30:17; Matthew 24:28, and its swift flight in Deuteronomy 28:49; 2 Samuel 1:23; Jeremiah 49:22. References to this bird of prey (Assyr. nasru) are frequent in the cuneiform, inscriptions, and figures of it occur in battle-scenes on the monument. The more appropriate is it as an emblem of the Assyrian invaders. Similarly Nebuchadnezzar (whom St Jerome wrongly supposes to be meant here) is called an eagle (or vulture) in Jeremiah 49:22; Ezekiel 17:3.

the house of the Lord] In chap. 2 we had the people of Israel represented as a bride who is sustained and adorned by her husband; here we have the figure completed by the description of the land of Canaan as the divine Bridegroom’s house (as Hosea 9:15, comp. Hosea 8:3). This beautiful figure is obscured if, with Reynolds and Whitehouse, we compare the weakened sense, ‘country’, of Assyr. bît. In the N.T. the house of God, or of Christ, is the Church, see Hebrews 3:6; 1 Timothy 3:15.

my covenant] Most explain this of the ‘covenant’ or contract between Jehovah and Israel. But the phrase is more probably equivalent to ‘mine ordinance’, for the parallel clause has ‘my law.’ The Heb. word (b’rîth) sometimes appears to mean simply ‘appointment’, ‘ordinance’ (so 2 Kings 11:4; Jeremiah 11:6; Jeremiah 34:13; Jeremiah 34:18; Job 31:1; Psalm 105:10), which may even be the primary meaning (comp. Assyr. barû ‘to decide’). Comp. the phrase ‘the book of the covenant’ (Exodus 24:7).

my law] See note on Hosea 8:12.Verse 1. - The exclamation in this verse, A trumpet to thy mouth, supersedes the necessity of supplying a verb. The alarm of war or of hostile invasion is to be sounded by the prophet at the command of Jehovah. The

(1) trumpet is at once to be employed for the purpose. The rendering of both the Targum and Syriac

(2) expresses the same idea, though under a different form; the former has, "Cry with thy throat, as if it were a trumpet;" and the latter, "Let thy mouth be as a trumpet." According to this view, the Prophet Hoses expresses here very briefly what Isaiah has done more fully in the words, "Cry aloud [Hebrew, 'with the throat'] spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins."

(3) The LXX. here deviates considerably from the Maseoretic Hebrew text, translating εἰς κόλπον (תֵיקְך) αὐτῶν, ὡς γῆ, of the meaning of which Jerome acknowledges his ignorance, though he attempts to explain it. Cyril connects the words with the concluding part of the preceding chapter, thus: "This their setting at naught (of me) in the land of Egypt shall come into their own bosom. As the land, as the eagle against the house of the Lord;" while his explanation is as follows: "Since, though I preserved them and instructed them, and gave them victory over their enemies (for I strengthened them), they have impiously set me at naught, worshipping demons for gods, and have trusted to the land of the Egyptians, and have fancied that their help shall be sufficient for their prosperity, therefore their attempt shall return unto their own besom, and they shall find no good reward of their temerity; but they shall receive, as it were, into their bosom the deserved punishment. For he shall come, he shall come who shall lay them waste - the King of Assyria, with an innumerable multitude of warriors, and he shall come to them as the whole land and region and country, that one might think that the whole region of the Persians and Medes had wholly migrated and had come into Samaria. This is the meaning of the whole land (ὡς γῆ). He shall likewise come as an eagle into the house of the Lord." (He shall come) as an eagle against the house of the Lord. These words cannot mean,

(1) as Hitzig thinks, the rapidity with which the prophet is directed to convey his tidings of alarm, as if it were, "Fly [דאה imperfect being supplied], thou prophet, as an eagle;" nor yet, with others, the loudness of the alarm he was to sound. The meaning abruptly though vividly expressed refers

(2) to the approaching invasion of the enemy, though there is no need to supply ידאה, or יבא, It is the substance of the prophet's alarm. As an eagle the enemy (as is evident flora ver. 3) shall come against the house of the Lord. The enemy was, in all probability, the Assyrian, in whose symbolism the eagle bulks largely; while the griffin vulture, scenting from afar, and coming down with rapid and terrific swoop upon its prey, is an appropriate image of the sudden and impetuous character of his invasion. The house of the Lord is neither the temple at Jerusalem, for the prophecy relates to the northern kingdom; nor the temple at Samaria, which could not be called Beta Yehovah, but Bethbamoth; nor the land of Israel, which could not with any propriety be called a house; but the people of Israel, which, owing to God's covenant relation to that people, is called his house, as in Numbers 12:7, "My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house." The figure seems an echo of Deuteronomy 28:49, "The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth;" while it has a parallel in Matthew 24:28, "For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together." Because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my Law. These words exhibit the cause of Israel's being exposed to the sudden hostile attack which the prophet was commissioned to proclaim. The provocations of Israel consisted in violating the covenant which God had been pleased to make with them, and in proving unfaithful to that Law, obedience to which was the condition of the covenant. The explanation of the whole verse thus given is confirmed by the Hebrew commentators; thus Rashi says, "The Shechinah (or Divine Majesty)says to the prophet, 'Let the voice of thy palate be heard and sound the trumpet and say, The enemies fly hither as the eagle flieth and come unto the house of the Lord.'" Abeu Ezra more concisely conveys the same sense: "It is the words of Jehovah to the prophet, ' Set the cornet to thy palate, for the enemy flieth as the eagle against the house of the Lord.'" Kimchi differs in two respects from his brethren, understanding the address to be not that of Jehovah to the prophet, but of the prophet to the people; and the house of the Lord to include the whole laud of Israel and temple at Jerusalem: "The cornet to thy palate, as he said above, 'Sound the trumpet in Gibeah.' Many a time the prophet speaks to the people in the singular and many a time in the plural. He says, 'Put the trumpet to thy mouth, for behold! the enemy flies hither like the eagle over the house of Jehovah; 'he means to say,' Over the whole land and also over the house of Jehovah, in order to destroy it.' And he joins the trumpet to the palate (and yet man sets the trumpet to the mouth) because the voice passes over the way of the palate after it comes out of the throat." The decisive wars - Daniel 11:10-12

Here the suffix in בּנו refers to the king of the north, who in Daniel 11:9 was the person acting. Thus all interpreters with the exception of Kranichfeld, who understand בנו of the son of the Egyptian prince, according to which this verse ought to speak of the hostilities sought, in the wantonness of his own mind, of the king of the south against the king of the north. But this interpretation of Kranichfeld is shattered, not to speak of other verbal reasons which oppose it, against the contents of Daniel 11:11. The rage of the king of the south, and his going to war against the king of the north, supposes that the latter had given rise to this rage by an assault. Besides, the description given in Daniel 11:10 is much too grand to be capable of being referred to hostility exercised in mere wantonness. For such conflicts we do not assemble a multitude of powerful armies, and, when these powerful hosts penetrate into the fortresses of the enemy's country, then find that for the victorious invaders there is wanting the occasion of becoming exasperated for new warfare. The Kethiv בנו is rightly interpreted by the Masoretes as plur., which the following verbs demand, while the singulars ועבר ושׁטף וּבא (shall come, and overflow, and pass through) are explained from the circumstance that the hosts are viewed unitedly in המון (multitude). בּוא בּא expresses the unrestrained coming or pressing forward, while the verbs ועבר שׁטף, reminding us of Isaiah 8:8, describe pictorially the overflowing of the land by the masses of the hostile army. וישׁב (jussive, denoting the divine guidance), and shall return, expresses the repetition of the deluge of the land by the hosts marching back out of it after the עבּר, the march through the land, - not the new arming for war (Hv.), but renewed entrance into the region of the enemy, whereby they carry on the war מעזּה עד, to the fortress of the king of the south, corresponding with the הצּפון מלך בּמעוז in Daniel 11:7 (to the fortress of the king of the north). יתגּרוּ signifies properly to stir up to war, i.e., to arm, then to engage in war. In the first member of the verse it has the former, and in the last the latter meaning. The violent pressing forward of the adversary will greatly embitter the king of the south, fill him with the greatest anger, so that he will go out to make war with him. The adversary marshals a great multitude of combatants; but these shall be given into his hand, into the hand of the king of the south. רב המון העמיד (he raised up a great multitude) the context requires us to refer to the king of the north. בּידו נתּן, v. Leng., Maurer, and Hitzig understand of the acceptance of the command over the army - contrary to the usage of the words, which mean, to give into the hand equals to deliver up, cf. 1 Kings 20:28; Daniel 1:2; Daniel 8:12-13, and is contrary also to the context. The marshalling of the host supposes certainly the power to direct it, so that it needs not then for the first time to be given into the power of him who marshalled it. The expression also, "to give into his hand," as meaning "to place under his command," is not found in Scripture. To this is to be added, that the article in ההמון refers back to רב המון. But if ההמון is the host assembled by the king of the north, then it can only be given up into the hand of the enemy, i.e., the king of the south, and thus the suffix in בּידו can only refer to him. The statements in Daniel 11:12 are in harmony with this, so far as they confessedly speak of the king of the south.

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