Hosea 8:6
For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.
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(6) It is best to abandon the Masoretic punctuation, and translate, For it (i.e., the calf) is from Israel (not of Divine origin); as for it, an artificer made it, and it is no god. Yea, the calf of Samaria shall be shattered to fragments (literally, become splinters or fine dust).

8:5-10 They promised themselves plenty, peace, and victory, by worshipping idols, but their expectations came to nothing. What they sow has no stalk, no blade, or, if it have, the bud shall yield no fruit, there was nothing in them. The works of darkness are unfruitful; nay, the end of those things is death. The hopes of sinners will deceive them, and their gains will be snares. In times of danger, especially in the day of judgment, all carnal devices will fail. They take a course by themselves, and like a wild ass by himself, they will be the easier and surer prey for the lion. Man is in nothing more like the wild ass's colt, than in seeking for that succour and that satisfaction in the creature, which are to be had in God only. Though men may sorrow a little, yet if it is not after a godly sort, they will be brought to sorrow everlastingly.For - This verse may assign the reasons of God's displeasure, "mine anger is kindled;" or of Israel's impenitency, "How long will it be?" This indeed is only going a little further back, for Israel's incorrigibleness was the ground of God's displeasure. And they were incorrigible; because they had themselves devised it; "for from Israel was it also." Those are especially incorrigible, who do not fall into error through ignorance, but who through malice devise it out of their own heart. Such persons act and speak, not as seduced by others, but seducing themselves, and condemned by their own judgment. Such were Israel and Jeroboam his king, who were not induced or seduced by others to deem the golden calf to be God, but devised it, of malicious intent, knowing that it was not God. Hence, Israel could be cured of the worship of Baal, for this was brought from without by Jezebel; and "Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel." But of the sin of the calf they could not be healed. In this sin all the kings of Israel were impenitent.

From Israel was it also - Their boast, that they were of Israel, aggravated their sin. They said to God, we, Israel, know thee. So then their offence, too, their brutishness also, was from those who boasted themselves of bearing the name of their forefather, Israel, who were the chosen people of God, so distinguished by His favor. The name of Israel, suggesting their near relation to God, and the great things which He had done for them, and their solemn covenant with Him to be His people as He was their God, should, in itself, have made them ashamed of such brutishness. So Paul appealeth to us by our name of Christians, "Let every one who nameth the Name of Christ depart from iniquity" 2 Timothy 2:19.

The workman made it, therefore it is not God - The workman was rather a god to his idol, than it to him, for "he" made it; "it" was a thing made. To say that it was made, was to deny that it was God. Hence, the prophets so often urge this special proof of the vanity of idols. No creature can be God. Nor can there be anything, between God and a creature. : "Every substance which is not God is a creature; and that which is not a creature, is God." God Himself could not make a creature who should be God. The Arian heresy, which imagined that God the Son could be a creature and yet an object of our worship, or that there could be a secondary god, was folly as well as blasphemy. They did not conceive what God is. They had low, debased notions of the Godhead. They knew not that the Creator must be removed as infinitely above His most exalted creature, as above the lowest.

Nor do the prophets need any subtleties (such as the pagan alleged) that their idol might be indwelt by some influence. Since God dwelt not in it, any such influence could only come from a creature, and that, an evil one.

The calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces - The calves were set up at Bethel and at Dan, but they were the sort of tutelar deity of the ten tribes; therefore they are called "the calf of Samaria." They represented one and the same thing; from where they are called as one, the calf, not "calves." A thing of nought it was in its origin, for it had its form and shape from man; a thing of nought it should be in its end, for it should be "broken in pieces," or become "chips, fragments," for fire.

6. from Israel was it—that is, the calf originated with them, not from Me. "It also," as well as their "kings set up" by them, "but not by Me" (Ho 8:4). For, or because,

from Israel, by their invention and authority, was it also, both the idol and the worship of it.

The workman, the founder, silversmith, or goldsmith,

made it; fashioned the calf.

Therefore it is not God; you are sottish fools to think it is a god: if the making it will not convince you it is no god, yet I hope the destroying it will prove, whatever it was made for, or whatever thought to be, yet it was not, nor could it ever be, a god.

But the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces; but when the idol is broken into pieces, Samaria shall see it was but a calf, and confess their folly in worshipping it; however, the destruction of it will be a perpetual witness of Samaria’s sin, and God’s just displeasure in its ruin. For from Israel was it also,.... That is, the calf was from Israel; it was an invention of theirs, as some say; they did not borrow it from their neighbours, as they did other idols, but it was their own contrivance: but this tines not seem to be fact; for the calf, the making of it indeed, was of themselves, but the worship of it they borrowed from the Egyptians; with this difference, the Egyptians worshipped a living cow or ox, these the golden image of a calf: but rather the sense is, that this calf was made by the advice of Israel, by the advice of Jeroboam their king, and of their princes, they assenting to it, so Aben Ezra; or the gold and silver of which it was made was exacted on them, and collected from them, as the Targum and Jarchi; or workmen were employed by them to make it; and so it was of them also, as any other work that was done by their advice and direction, and at their expense; and therefore could never have any divinity in it, any more than other things they did; though this is commonly interpreted as having respect to the making of the golden calf by Aaron, that this also was of Israel as well as that:

the workman made it; therefore it is not God; a strong and invincible reason this; for, since the call was the work of an artificer, of the goldsmith or founder, it could not be God; there could not be deity in it; for a creature cannot make a God, or give that which itself has not; if the workman was not God, but a creature, if deity was not in him, he could never give it to a golden image, a lifeless statue fashioned by him: this, one would think, should have been a clear, plain, striking, and convincing argument to them, that their calf was, as the Targum has it,

"a deity in which there was no profit:''

but the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces; or "for (f) the calf of Samaria", &c. being another reason to prove it could not be God; if the former would not convince them, this surely would, when they should see it broke to pieces by the enemy, from whom it could not save itself; and therefore could not be a god that could be of any service to them, or save them. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "for the calf of Samaria shall become spiders webs": and Jerom says he learned it of a Jew that the word so signifies; but his Jew imposed upon him: it, does not appear to be any where so used, either in the Bible, or in any other writings. Kimchi interprets it shivers, fragments, broken pieces of anything. Jarchi says it signifies, in the Syriac language, beams, planks, and boards, pieces of them; so the Targum and Ben Melech from the Rabbins; or rather the dust which falls from them in sawing, sawdust; to dust as small as that should this calf be reduced, as the golden calf was ground to powder by Moses, to which, it is thought, there is an allusion.

(f) "nam", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "quia", Schmidt; "quoniam", Pagninus, Montanus.

{e} For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.

(e) Meaning the calf was invented by themselves, and by their fathers in the wilderness.

6. For from Israel was it also] Rather, was this also; i. e. this idol too (as well as the usurping kings) was Israel’s work, unsanctioned by me. But the construction is very dubious, and the integrity of the text may well be questioned.

the workman made it; therefore it is not God] Lit., ‘and it is not God.’ It has a merely fictitious existence (so Hosea 13:2). The sarcastic words of Hosea contain the germ of the vehement polemic of the later prophets against idolatry in general.

but … in pieces] Rather, yea, Samaria’s calf shall be (broken to) shivers (Targum, ‘chips of boards’).Verse 6. - For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God. The prophet here vindicates the justness of Jehovah's complaint and the folly of Israel's conduct. The first clause points out the orion of this idolatry - this god of gold was out of Israel, it proceeded from them and was invented by their kings. The second clause shows that it was of human manufacture; while the natural inference follows in the third clause to the effect that, having its origin with man and being made by man, it could not be God. Or if the rendering, "Thy calf disgusts," be adopted, the ki introduces the explanation of the disgust which that abomination caused. This idol was of home manufacture, not imported from abroad, as Baal and Ashtaroth from the Sidoniaus, Chemosh from the Moabites, and Moloch from the Ammonites. The Israelites themselves and their king Jeroboam made for the northern kingdom what had been learnt in Egypt. Thus Israel's god was a creature of Israel's own devising. How stupid and how absurd! Israel's god man-made, how enormous and abominable the iniquity! But the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. It shall become splinters; the hapaz legomenon, שבי is derived from an Arabic root, shaba, to cut; and thus, as the calf at Sinai was burnt and pulverized, the calf of Samaria shall be broken into splinters and destroyed. The whole verse is well explained by Kimchi: "Now ye will see if the calf is able to deliver its worshippers; it cannot even deliver itself, for it shall become splinters, as if he said that the enemies shall break it up and carry it away for the worth of the gold, not for any utility that is in it while it is still in the form of a calf. שבי is equivalent to שבדים (broken pieces, shivers), fragments." The Septuagintal rendering, πλανῶν, is probably due to the reading שׁובֵב, Micah 2:4, "turning away." In this verse, with ויבא the בּוא eht וי יבוא, Daniel 11:13, is again assumed, and the consequence of the war announced. סוללה שׁפך, to heap up an entrenchment; cf. Ezekiel 4:2; 2 Kings 19:32. מבצרות עיר, city of fortifications, without the article, also collectively of the fortresses of the kingdom of the south generally. Before such power the army, i.e., the war-strength, of the south shall not maintain its ground; even his chosen people shall not possess strength necessary for this.
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