Hosea 8:13
They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.
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(13) They sacrifice flesh . . .—Should be, “They sacrifice the sacrifices of my gifts—flesh, and eat it.” Clear reference to the Mosaic institute. Ye shall go back to Egypt, says the prophet, and there learn again the bitter lessons of the past—either the positive return to Egypt or the disastrous hankering after Egyptian alliances.

Hosea 8:13. They sacrifice flesh, &c., and eat it, but the Lord accepteth them not — They offer sacrifices indeed, but their sacrifices are not acceptable to God, not being offered with a pious and devout mind. Dr. Wheeler translates the clause, They have sacrificed the choicest sacrifices, and have eaten flesh: Jehovah taketh not delight therein. Now will he remember their iniquity, &c. — God supported the Jews, that they might support the true religion; which as they had now neglected to do, there was no reason why God should support and defend them against their enemies. They shall return to Egypt — Going into Egypt seems to have been a proverbial expression for extreme misery; and may here denote, that they should go into a state of captivity and bondage as bad as that which their forefathers had suffered in Egypt. Or else, taken literally, it might be intended to signify, that they should seek the alliance and friendship of Egypt, contrary to the faith they had given to the Assyrians, which would bring on their destruction. This proved to be the case, as the reader will see by consulting 2 Kings 17:4-5, “The king of Israel sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and brought no presents to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year; therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. Then the king of Assyria came up throughout the land, took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria.”

8:11-14 It is a great sin to corrupt the worship of God, and will be charged as sin on all who do it, how plausible soever their excuses may seem to be. The Lord had caused his law to be written for them, but they cared not to know, and would not obey it. Man seems by the temples he builds to be mindful of his Maker, yet really he has forgotten him, because he has cast off all his fear; but none ever hardened his heart against God and prospered. So long as men despise the truths and precepts of God's word, and the ordinances of his worship, all the observances and offerings, however costly, of their own devising, will be unto them for sin; for those services only are acceptable to God, which are done according to his word, and through Jesus Christ.They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of Mine offerings, and eat it; but the Lord accepteth them not - As they rejected God's law, so God rejected their "sacrifices," which were not offered according to His law. They, doubtless, thought much of their sacrifices; and this the prophet perhaps expresses by an intensive form ; "the sacrifices of My gifts, gifts," as though they thought, that they were ever giving. God accounted such sacrifices, not being hallowed by the end for which He instituted them, as mere "flesh." They "offered flesh" and "ate" it. Such was the beginning, and such the only end. "He" would "not accept them." Nay, contrariwise, "now," now while they were offering the sacrifices, God would show in deed that He "remembered" the sins, for which they were intended to atone. God seems to man to forget his sins, when He forbears to punish them; to "remember" them, when He punishes.

They shall return to Egypt - God had commanded them to return no more to Egypt Deuteronomy 17:16 of their own mind. But He had threatened that, on their disobedience, "the Lord would bring them back to Egypt by the way, whereof He spake unto them, Thou shalt see it no more again" Deuteronomy 28:68. Hosea also foretells to them, that they (i. e., many of them) should go to Egypt and perish there Hosea 9:3, Hosea 9:6. Thence also, as from Assyria, they were to be restored Hosea 12:11. Most probably then, Hosea means to threaten an actual return to Egypt, as we are told, that some of the two tribes did go therefor refuse, against the express command of God Jeremiah 42-43. The main part of the ten tribes were taken to Assyria, yet as they were, even under Hosea, conspiring with Egypt 2 Kings 17:4, such as could, (it is likely) took refuge there. Else, as future deliverance, temporal or spiritual, is foretold under the image of the deliverance out of Egypt, so, contrariwise, the threat, "they shall return to Egypt," may be, in figure, a cancelling of the covenant, whereby God had promised, that His people should not return: a threat of renewed bondage, "like" the Egyptian; an abandonment of them to the state, from which God once had freed them and had made them His people.

13. sacrifices of mine offerings—that is, which they offer to Me.

eat it—Their own carnal gratification is the object which they seek, not My honor.

now—that is, "speedily."

shall return to Egypt—(Ho 9:3, 6; 11:11). The same threat as in De 28:68. They fled thither to escape from the Assyrians (compare as to Judah, Jer 42:1-44:30), when these latter had overthrown their nation. But see on [1124]Ho 9:3.

They sacrifice; or, As for sacrifices, my gifts, so some, taking the words absolute and in apposition, read them, and perhaps they are plainer and closer connected with the former when so taken. I have written to them, and they count it a strange thing; and the sacrifices and gifts which they call mine, I tell you what I account them to be; as for sacrifices, which now they pretend to give me, it is flesh they sacrifice, and eat it when they have done, and I account no more of it: they sacrifice that they may feast and fill themselves with wine and mirth, and what is that to me?

The Lord accepteth them not; neither owneth them as his, nor taketh any pleasure at all in them. These sacrifices shall never expiate their sins, nor reconcile me to them, saith God. I think here is a meiosis in these words, they may be a softer expression of hatred and detestation, which God bears towards such.

Now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins; in his just and hot displeasure, he will reckon with them, and, by punishing them for all, make them know he remembers all their sins. Here remembering and visiting are the same, and include punishment.

They shall return to Egypt; either alluding to their bondage in Egypt; so Assyria shall use them. Or else it is an upbraiding them for and minding them of their perfidiousness to Shalmaneser. They had been ever covenant-breakers with God and man; this last part of treachery God will punish. Or else, they shall return to Egypt, i.e. many shall to save their lives flee from the Assyrian into Egypt, and there seek their safety; and if they preserve their life there, the punishment of their sins shall follow them; exile, with misery as bad as captivity, shall be their lot there. So Hosea 9:6.

They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings,

and eat it,.... Or, "as to the sacrifices mine offerings" or "gifts, they sacrifice flesh, and eat it" (o); these sacrifices, which, according to the law, should given to God when they offered them, they did not give them to him, they took them to themselves, and ate them; they were carnal offerings, and offered with a carnal mind, without faith and piety, without any regard to the glory of God, but merely for the sake of caring: the Targum interprets it of sacrifices got by rapine, which God hates, Isaiah 61:8;

but the Lord accepteth them not; neither the sacrifices, nor the sacrificers, but despised and abhorred them; no sacrifice was acceptable to God but what was offered according to law, and where he directed, and in the faith of Christ, and through him:

now will he remember their iniquities, and visit their sins; he will not pardon them, but punish for them; so far were their sacrifices making atonement for them, as they expected, they added to the measure of their iniquities:

they shall return into Egypt; either flee thither for refuge, many of them it seems did, when the king of Assyria entered their land, and besieged Samaria; where they lived miserably, as in exile, and were there buried, and never returned to their own land any more; see Hosea 9:3; or they should be carried captive into Assyria, where they should be in a like state of bondage as their fathers were in Egypt. Some render it, "they return into Egypt" (p); and consider it not as their punishment, but as their sin; that when the Lord was about to visit them for their transgressions, they being made tributary to the Assyrians, instead of returning to the Lord, and humbling themselves before him, they sent to the king of Egypt for help, 2 Kings 17:4.

(o) "quod attinet ad sacrificia donariorum meorum, sacrificant illi quidem carnem, et comedunt", Piscator, De Dieu; "quantum ad sacrificia", &c. Schmidt. So Reinbeck. De Accent. Hebr. p. 445. (p) "illi in Aegyptum redeunt", Cocceius; "revertuntur", Schmidt. So Tarnovius.

They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the {k} LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.

(k) Saying that they offer it to the Lord, but he accepts no service which he himself has not appointed.

13. They sacrifice, &c.] Rather, My sacrificial gifts they sacrifice; (yea,) flesh, and they eat it; i.e., their sacrifices are a mere form, Jehovah abhors them; the only positive result is that the sacrificer has the luxury of a dinner of flesh-meat. (Comp. a similar accusation against the priests, Hosea 4:8.) That sensual appetites were partly concerned in the offering of sacrifices even in times of national trouble may perhaps be inferred from Isaiah 22:13, the eating of animal food being only allowed, especially we may suppose in Jerusalem, in connexion with a sacrificial act; comp. Leviticus 17:3-6; Deuteronomy 13:15-16 (a mitigation of a primitive rule). [The word rendered ‘gifts’ is uncertain.]

now] The climax of Israel’s iniquity has been reached; Jehovah will now prove in act that He has not forgotten their transgressions.

they shall return to Egypt] Some think this is a kind of poetical expression for being carried into captivity—a most unnatural supposition. In Isaiah 7:18 we find a threat of a double invasion from Egypt and from Assyria, and why can we not imagine that a people who were ever vacillating between Egyptian and Assyrian alliances should be threatened with an Egyptian as well as an Assyrian captivity? Comp. the prophecies of restoration from Egypt in Isaiah 11:11; Micah 7:12. The word ‘return’ is pointed with the terrible associations of the ‘house of bondage’; comp. Deuteronomy 28:68. Hosea repeats the threat in Hosea 9:3; Hosea 9:6, Hosea 11:5.

Verses 13, 14. - For the sacrifice of mine offerings, they sacrifice flesh and eat it; but the Lord accepteth them not. The mention of altars naturally suggests that of sacrifices, and, as a matter of fact, with the multiplication of those altars riley multiplied their sacrifices, so that the latter kept pace with the former, and a due proportionateness maintained between them. And yet, numerous as those sacrifices were, they were not real sacrifices; they were no more and no better than slaying so many animals and feasting on their flesh; the spirit of devotion was absent, therefore God did not accept them. Now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt. The turning-point was now reached, their iniquity was full, and the time of punishment had arrived. God had delivered their fathers out of the bondage of Egypt; now he will send their posterity into a bondage similar to or even worse than that of Egypt. For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples (or, palaces). Here Israel's sin, with the consequent suffering, is traced to its source. The origin of all was their forgetfulness of God and false confidence in man - them-selves and others or both. And Judah hath multiplied fenced cities. Israel forgot his Maker, and built shrines on high places, "consecrating," as Jerome says, "whole hills and mountains and shady trees to Baal and Ashtaroth and other idols." Judah also, though aware that Israel had renounced the love of Jehovah and had been punished for their sins, did not return to God, but trusted in fenced cities. But I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof. To the word for "city" the masculine suffix is attached; while with "palaces" the feminine suffix is employed. With the proper names of peoples either gender is used:

(a) the masculine with reference to the people or population, and the feminine in relation to the country; or the reference may be to Israel and Judah, the masculine referring to their respective peoples, and feminine to their lands; though

(b) Aben Ezra refers the feminine suffix of "palaces" to עיר, city, which is feminine.

(c) The Septuagint has τὰ θεμέλια, foundations, instead of palaces

Hosea 8:13"Slain-offerings for gifts they sacrifice; flesh, and eat: Jehovah has no pleasure in them: now will He remember their transgression, and visit their sins: they will return to Egypt. Hosea 8:14. And Israel forgot its Creator, and built palaces: and Judah multiplied fortified cities: and I shall send fire into its cities, and it will devour its castles." With the multiplication of the altars they increased the number of the sacrifices. הבהבי is a noun in the plural with the suffix, and is formed from יהב by reduplication. The slain-offerings of my sacrificial gifts, equivalent to the gifts of slain-offerings presented to me continually, they sacrifice as flesh, and eat it; that is to say, they are nothing more than flesh, which they slay and eat, and not sacrifices in which Jehovah takes delight, or which could expiate their sins. Therefore the Lord will punish their sins; they will return to Egypt, i.e., be driven away into the land of bondage, out of which God once redeemed His people. These words are simply a special application of the threat, held out by Moses in Deuteronomy 28:68, to the degenerate ten tribes. Egypt is merely a type of the land of bondage, as in Hosea 9:3, Hosea 9:6. In Hosea 8:14 the sin of Israel is traced back to its root. This is forgetfulness of God, and deification of their own power, and manifests itself in the erection of היכלות, palaces, not idolatrous temples. Judah also makes itself partaker of this sin, by multiplying the fortified cities, and placing its confidence in fortifications. These castles of false security the Lord will destroy. The 'armânōth answer to the hēkhâloth. The suffixes attached to בּעריו and ארמנתיה refer to both kingdoms: the masculine suffix to Israel and Judah, as a people; the feminine to the two as a land, as in Lamentations 2:5.
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