Hosea 8:3
Israel has cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.
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(3) Cast off.—Jehovah’s reply to Israel’s hollow repentance. The word “cast off” means a scornful loathing of what is putrescent or obscene. “The thing that is good” is the name of God, which is the salvation of Israel (Aben Ezra).

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?Israel has cast off the thing that is good - Or (since the word means "to cast off with abhorrence" "Israel hath east off and abhorred Good," both "Him who is Good" and "that which is good." The word "tob" includes both. They rejected good in rejecting God , "Who is simply, supremely, wholly, universally good, and good to all, the Author and Fountain of all good, so that there is nothing simply good but God; nothing worthy of that title, except in respect of its relation to Him who is "good and doining good" Psalm 119:68. So then whatsoever any man hath or enjoys of good, is from his relation to Him, his nearness to Him, his congruity with Him. "The drawing near to God is good to me" Psalm 73:28. All that any man hath of good, is from his being near to God, and his being, as far as human condition is capable of, like unto Him. So that they who are far from Him, and put Him far from them, necessarily "cast off" all that is "good."

The enemy shall pursue him - "Forsaking God, and forsaken by Him, they must needs be laid open to all evils." The "enemy," i. e., the Assyrian, "shall pursue him." This is according to the curse, denounced against them in the law, if they should forsake the Lord, and break His covenant, and "not hearken to His voice to observe to do His commandments" Deuteronomy 28:15-25.

3. Israel—God repeats the name in opposition to their use of it (Ho 8:2).

the thing that is good—Jerome translates, "God" who is good and doing good (Ps 119:68). He is the chief object rejected, but with Him also all that is good.

the enemy shall pursue him—in just retribution from God.

This seems to be the answer God by his prophet gives to Israel; in the first part of the verse he doth refute their pretence of a peculiar relation and interest in God, in the latter he tells them what they must expect.

Israel, the whole house of Israel, hath. east off, with an abhorrence, as an adulterous wife puts away her husband.

Good; moral good to be done, all virtue and goodness; and the supreme good to be enjoyed, God, true religion and virtue; all cast off for idols, false religion, and debaucheries. Such a nation cannot be my people, nor do they know me.

The enemy shall pursue him; that enemy he would be delivered from, the Assyrian army, shall overthrow, and then pursue, till he have cooped him up in Samaria, and till he have brought them captives out of their own land into Chalah, Chabor, and Gozan, &c. By this they shall know that I know them, their transgressions and hypocrisy. Israel hath cast off the thing that is good,.... Or "rejected him that is good" (y); that is, God, as Kimchi observes; for there is none good but him, Matthew 19:17; he is the "summum bonum", "the chiefest good" to men, and is essentially, originally, and infinitely good in himself, and the fountain of all goodness to his creatures; and yet Israel has rejected him with detestation and contempt, as the word (z) signifies, though they pretended to know him, which shows their hypocrisy; and therefore it is no wonder that their prayers were rejected by him: or they rejected the good word of God, the law, or doctrine contained in it, and the good worship, service, and fear of God, and indeed everything that was good, just, and right. Cocceius renders it, "the good One", or he that is God, the good God, "hath cast off Israel". This reading of the words Drusius also mentions, and seems to like best, and as agreeing with what follows; so Rivet; but the position of the words in the Hebrew text, and the accents, do not favour it;

the enemy shall pursue him; who is before compared to an eagle, which flies swiftly, and pursues its prey with eagerness and fierceness: Shalmaneser is meant, who should invade the land, come up to Samaria, besiege and take it; nothing should stop him, nor should Israel escape from him, since they had cast off the Lord, and everything that was good. The Targum is,

"the house of Israel have erred from my worship, for the sake of which I brought good things upon them; henceforward the enemy shall pursue them.''

(y) "deseruit Israel bonum, i. e. Deum", Vatablus, Munster, Tarnovius, Zanchius. (z) "Abominatus est", Calvin, Zanchius.

Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.
3. The appeal is dismissed; Israel’s piety is but superficial (comp.Hosea 6:1-4); his ‘knowledge of God’ is not that which Jehovah expects.

hath cast off] Not merely put aside out of caprice, but (as the word implies) cast off with loathing (see Hosea 8:5).Verse 3. - Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him. This is the reply of Jehovah. The good which Israel rejected is not exactly God the One Good, nor Jehovah the greatest Good, nor the Law, which was good; but all the goodness which he bestows on such as keep his covenant. This Israel rejected, and in turn is rejected of God and delivered up into the hands of his pursuers. This verse illustrates the last clause of Daniel 11:11, i.e., explains more fully how the great multitude of the enemy are given into his hand. The first two clauses of Daniel 11:12 stand in correlation to each other, as the change of the time and the absence of the copula before ירוּם show (the Keri ורם proceeds from a misunderstanding). The meaning is this: "As the multitude rises up, so his heart is lifted up." ההמון, with the article, can only be the host of the king of the north mentioned in Daniel 11:12. The supposition that the Egyptian army is meant, is the result of the difficulty arising out of the misapprehension of the right relation in which the perfect ונשּׂא (hath lifted up raised) stands to the imperfect ירוּם. נשּׂא as in Isaiah 33:10 : they raise themselves to the conflict. לבב רוּם, the lifting up of the heart, commonly in the sense of pride; here the increase of courage, but so that pride is not altogether to be excluded. The subject to ירוּם is the king of the south, to whom the suffix to בּידו, Daniel 11:11, points. With excited courage he overthrows myriads, namely, the powerful multitude of the enemies, but he yet does not reach to power, he does not attain to the supremacy over the king of the north and over his kingdom which he is striving after. The Vulgate, without however fully expressing the meaning, has rendered יעוז ולא by sed non praevalebit.
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