Hosea 9:1
Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.
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(1) For joy.—Better, to exultation. “The harlot’s hire on every corn-floor” expresses in bold imagery the prophet’s scorn for the idolatrous corruption of the people. The bounteous yield of the harvest is called the “harlot’s hire,” which lures Jehovah’s faithless bride to worship the false deity from whose hands these gifts were supposed to come. The people’s momentary prosperity is attributed to their idols. (See Hosea 2:12; Jeremiah 44:17-19.)

Hosea 9:1-2. Rejoice not, O Israel — It should seem that this prophecy was delivered at a time when the situation of public affairs was promising; perhaps after some signal success, which had given occasion to public rejoicings. As other people — Hebrew, כעמים, as, or like, the nations, that is, the heathen nations, or the peoples, as Bishop Horsley renders it, paraphrasing the words thus: “Those national successes, which might be just cause of rejoicing to other people, are none to thee; for thou liest under the heavy sentence of God’s wrath, for thy disloyalty to him; and all thy bright prospects will vanish, and terminate in thy destruction. The Gentiles were not guilty in an equal degree with the Israelites; for, although they sinned, it was not against the light of revelation, in contempt of the warnings of inspired prophets, or in breach of any express covenant.” For thou hast gone a whoring from thy God — Hast been alienated from the love and service of God, and hast broken covenant with him by serving other gods, and thereby hast exposed thyself to his just displeasure. Thou hast loved a reward — Or hire, (such as was given by adulterers to lewd women,) upon every corn-floor — Thou hast loved to see thy floor full, and hast attributed thy plenty to thy idols, and rejoiced before them at the ingathering of thy corn. Bishop Horsley renders the clause, Thou hast set thy heart upon the fee of prostitution, namely, says he, “the fruits of the earth; which they ascribed to the heavenly bodies, and other physical agents which they worshipped.” The floor — The corn which is gathered into the floor; and the wine-press — The wine that is pressed out into it; shall not feed them — Shall not nourish and strengthen the idolaters. And the new wine shall fail in her — Samaria and all Israel expect a full vintage; but they expect it from their idols, and therefore shall be disappointed. Archbishop Newcome renders it, The choice wine shall deceive them, or, shall lie unto them, as the word may be rendered. We find similar expressions in Horace, as fundus mendax, the lying farm, and spem mentita seges, the crop-deceiving hope.

9:1-6 Israel gave rewards to their idols, in the offerings presented to them. It is common for those who are stubborn in religion, to be prodigal upon their lusts. Those are reckoned as idolaters, who love a reward in the corn-floor better than a reward in the favour of God and in eternal life. They are full of the joy of harvest, and have no disposition to mourn for sin. When we make the world, and the things of it, our idol and our portion, it is just with God to show us our folly, and correct us. None may expect to dwell in the Lord's land, who will not be subject to the Lord's laws, or be influenced by his love. When we enjoy the means of grace, we ought to consider what we shall do, if they should be taken from us. While the pleasures of communion with God are out of the reach of change, the pleasant places purchased with silver, or in which men deposit silver, are liable to be laid in ruins. No famine is so dreadful as that of the soul.Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people - Literally, "rejoice not to exultation," so as to bound and leap for joy (as in Job 3:22). The prophet seems to come across the people in the midst of their festivity and mirth, and arrests them abruptly stopping it, telling them, that had no cause for joy. Hosea witnessed of Israel's prosperity under Jeroboam II; the land had peace under Menahem the departure of Pul; Pekah was even strong, so as, in his alliance with Rezin, to be an object of terror to Judah Isaiah 7, until Tiglath-Pileser came against him. At some of these times, Israel seems to have given himself to exuberant mirth, whether at harvest-time, or on any other ground, enjoying the present, secure for the future. On this rejoicing Hosea breaks in with his stern, "rejoice not." "In His presence is fulness of joy," true, solid, lasting joy" Psalm 16:11. How then could Israel joy, "who had gone a whoring from his God?" Other nations might joy, for they had no imminent judgment to fear.

Their sins had been sins of ignorance; none had sinned like Israel. They had not even Jeremiah 2:11 "changed their gods, which were no gods. If" other "people" did not thank God for His gifts, and thanked their idols, they had not been taught otherwise. Israel had been taught. and so his sin was sin against light. Whence God says by Amos, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities" Amos 3:2. : "It was ever the sin of Israel to wish to joy as other nations. So they said to Samuel, "make us a king to judge us, like all the nations." And when Samuel "told the people the word of God, they have rejected Me that I should not reign over them," they still said, "Nay, but we will have a king over us, that we may be like all the nations" 1 Samuel 8:5, 1 Samuel 8:10, 1 Samuel 8:7, 1 Samuel 8:19-20. This was the joy of the nations, to have another king than God, and with this joy Israel wished to exult, when it asked for Saul as king; when it followed Jeroboam; when it "denied" Christ "before the presence of Pilate, saying, we have no king but Caesar." But the people who received the law, and professed the worship of God, might not exult as other people who had not the knowledge of God, that, like them, it should, after forsaking God, be allowed to enjoy temporal prosperity, like theirs.

He says, "rejoice not like the nations," namely, for it is not allowed thee. Why? "for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God." The punishment of the adulteress, who departs by unfaithfulness from her husband, is other than that of the harlot, who had never plighted her faith, nor had ever been bound by the bond of marriage. Thou obtainedst God for thy Husband, and didst forsake Him for another, yea, for many others, in the desert, in Samaria, even in Jerusalem, for the golden calves, for Baal, and the other monstrous gods, and lastly, when, denying Christ, thou didst prefer Barabbas. "Rejoice not" then, with the "joy" of the "nations;" for the curses of the law, written against thee, allow thee not. "Cursed shalt thou be in the city, cursed in the field; cursed thy basket and thy store; cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land; the increase of thy kine and the flocks of thy sheep; cursed thou in thy coming in, and cursed thou in thy going out" Deuteronomy 28:16-19. Other nations enjoyed the fruit of their own labors; thou "tookest the labors" of others as a hire, "to observe His laws" Psalm 105:45.

Thou hast loved a reward - (Literally, "the hire" Hosea 2:12; Hosea 8:9; Ezekiel 21:31, 34; Micah 1:7 of a harlot) "on every grain-floor." Israel had no heart, except for temporal prosperity. This he loved, wheresoever he found it; and so, "on every grain-floor," whereon the fruits of the earth were gathered for the threshing, he received it from his idols, as the "hire," for which he praised them "for the good tilings which he had received from a better Giver." : "Perverse love! Thou oughtest to "love" God to use His rewards. "Thou" lovedst "the reward," despisedst God. So then thou "wentest whoring from thy God," because thou didst turn away the love, wherewith thou oughtest to love God, to love the hire: and this not sparingly, nor any how, but "on every barnfloor," with avarice so boundless and so deep, that all the barn-floors could not satisfy thee." The first-fruits, and the free-willoffering, they retained, turned them away from the service of God, and offered them to their idols.


Ho 9:1-17. Warning against Israel's Joy at Partial Relief from Their Troubles: Their Crops Shall Fail, and the People Leave the Lord's Land for Egypt and Assyria, Where They Cannot, If So Inclined, Serve God According to the Ancient Ritual: Folly of Their False Prophets.

1. Rejoice not … for joy—literally, "to exultation." Thy exultation at the league with Pul, by which peace seems secured, is out of place: since thy idolatry will bring ruin on thee.

as other people—the Assyrians for instance, who, unlike thee, are in the height of prosperity.

loved a reward upon every corn floor—Thou hast desired, in reward for thy homage to idols, abundance of corn on every threshing-floor (Ho 2:12).The distress and captivity of Israel for their sins, especially their idolatry.

Rejoice not: this might seem a morose humour of a discontented, sullen preacher: what! forbid a people to rejoice when things prosper with them? when should a people rejoice if not then? The prophet, who had a deeper reach, and took a larger prospect of things. had good cause to advise, or warn, or forbid as he doth, for he saw more cause to grieve than to rejoice, and to mourn than to be merry; the reason you will have presently.

O Israel; you of the ten tribes.

For joy; for any thing that is counted just matter of joy; though at present you prosper either under Jeroboam the Second’s victorious arms, or under Menahem, and the safety he hath procured by a confederacy with Assyria, though at other times these might be matter of rejoicing, now in thy circumstances, O Israel, it is not meet thou shouldst show any gladness.

As other people; with feastings, public games, and triumphs, or with solemn sacrifices of thanksgiving, or with erecting statues to the memory of your great and brave commanders, or for continuing the remembrance of their achievements.

For thou hast gone a whoring from thy God; with thee, O Israel, it is as unseemly as it is for an adulterous wife to rejoice and be jovial, whilst the guilt of her adulteries, and the shame of her lewdnesses, and the displeasure of her husband, fly in her face and whisper reproofs in her ear.

Thou hast loved a reward, such as is given by adulterers to lewd women,

on every corn-floor; thou hast loved to see thy floor full, and hast thought, and said thy idols had so furnished thee, and therefore thou didst love them. Though mirth might become an honest woman, it doth not so well suit with a dishonest adulteress; the very place, the Company and occasion, do upbraid such a one rejoicing with her lewd adulterers: besides, this adulteress’s joys will be short, and end in sorrows and shame; so will thine, O Israel.

Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people,.... But rather mourn and lament, since such a load of guilt lay upon them, and they had so highly provoked the Lord to anger by their sins, and punishment would quickly be inflicted on them; and though they might be now in prosperity, through Jeroboam's success against their enemies, who by his victories had enlarged their border; yet they should not rejoice at it, as other people used to do on such occasions, by illumination of houses, making fires in the streets, feasting, and the like, since this prosperity would be but short lived: or if it was on account of the league made by Menahem with the king of Assyria, this would not last long; or on account of a good harvest, they need not so much rejoice as they that rejoice in harvest, since there would quickly be a famine among them: or rather it may respect rejoicing at their idols, and in their idolatrous worship, as other people, which is forbidden; such as instituting plays to the honour of them, making feasts before them, and dancing about them; whatever others might do, who knew not the true God, had not his law before them, nor his prophets sent to them to make known his will; who had been brought up in idolatry, adhered to their gods, and never forsook them; it ill became Israel to do the like. So the words may be rendered, "rejoice not, O Israel", at an idol (q), or idols, "as other people", idolatrous ones; the word signifies "similitude" (r) or "likeness", which an idol is:

for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God; playing the harlot with many lovers; committing adultery with stocks and stones; worshipping idols, and so departing from God, the true God, they had professed to be their God, their God in covenant; who stood in the relation of a husband to them, but they proved treacherous to him, and were guilty of spiritual adultery, which is idolatry; and therefore had no cause to rejoice as other nations that never left their gods, but to take shame to themselves, and mourn over their sad departure; see Hosea 1:3;

thou hast loved a reward upon every corn floor; alluding to the hire of a harlot, prostituting herself for it on a corn floor, or any where else, and that for a measure of corn, or for bread: it may point either at their giving the times of their corn floors to their idols, instead of giving them to the Lord; or to their ascribing their plenty of corn, and all good things to their worship of them, which they called their rewards, or hires their lovers gave them, Hosea 2:5; or to their erecting of altars on their corn floors; as David erected one to the true God on the threshing floor of Araunah, 2 Samuel 24:24; and which they might do, either by way of thanksgiving for a good harvest, which they imputed to them; or in order to obtain one, but in vain, as follows. The Targum is,

"for you have erred from the worship of your God; you have loved to serve idols on all, corn floors.''

(q) "super similitudine, seu idolo" Schmidt. (r) signifies a likeness of age, stature, and complexion, in Dan. i. 10. an idol is the similitude or likeness of anything in heaven or is earth, Exodus 20.4.

Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, {a} as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved {b} a reward upon every cornfloor.

(a) For even though all other people should escape, yet you will be punished.

(b) You have committed idolatry in hope of reward, and to have your barns filled (Jer 44:17), as a harlot that had rather live by playing the whore, than to be provided for by her own husband.

1. for joy] Rather, too loudly (lit. ‘unto exultation’).

as other people] Rather, as the peoples. The exuberant joy of the wild nature-worships of Palestine was abhorrent to the calm and deep moral religion of the prophets. To the heathen nations certain material blessings were the final object of the forms of worship; to the prophets and their disciples, the outward gifts of the Deity stood in a close relation to states of the character, as being the rewards of moral obedience (comp. Deuteronomy 28:1-4).

for thou hast gone …] The blessings of the ingathering were falsely ascribed by Israel to the Baalim (see on Hosea 2:13). As long as they were enjoyed, Israel felt as much pledged by them to her false gods as the harlot is bound by her ‘hire’ to her paramour. At every recurring season of harvest Israel gratefully connected these blessings with her supposed protectors, and offered first-fruits to them, or, as Hosea puts it, she loved a harlot’s hire (comp. on Hosea 2:12) upon all corn-floors, alluding to the various local festivals (comp. on Hosea 12:9). Observe, Hosea finds fault with the Israelites, not for neglect of a centralizing ordinance, such as Deuteronomy 16:15, but for honouring the Baalim in preference to the true spiritual God. Contrast the reference to the autumn festival in a post-exile prophecy (Zechariah 14:16-19).

1–9. A vivid picture of the bitterness of the calamity in prospect. It does but equal the Gibeah-like wickedness of Israel.

Verses 1-9 contain a warning against security arising from temporary prosperity. Verse 1. - Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people. The occasion on which the prophet penned this section was so no idolatrous merry-making in connection with harvest, and not any change of political situation.

(1) The literal rendering of the first clause is, rejoice not unto exultation, or exceedingly, as the same expression is translated in Job 3:22; it is thus climactic.

(2) The old versions take el-gil as imperative, and read אַל; μηδὲ εὐφραίνον, equivalent to "nor make merry;" and the Vulgate has noli exultare; but al is constructed with the future, not with the imperative. Again, some read be instead of ke, and so render, "among the peoples," the words being addressed, not to Israel in exile, but still resident in their own land. For thou hast gone a-whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every corn-floor.

(1) According to this, which is the common rendering. the clause with ki assigns a reason for their foregoing such joy. But

(2) Ewald and others translate by "that or for that thou hast committed whoredom," understanding this clause to express the object of their joy. We prefer the former, for their faithlessness and foul idolatry were sufficient reasons to prevent Israel indulging in the joy of harvest. The blessings of the harvest were regarded by them as rewards for the worship of their idol-gods, in other words, as gifts from Baalim and Ashtaroth or other idols, and thus as ethnan, a harlot's hire; not as tokens and pledges of the favor of Jehovah. Hosea 9:1Warning against false security. The earthly prosperity of the people and kingdom was no security against destruction. Because Israel had fallen away from its God, it should not enjoy the blessing of its field-produce, but should be carried away to Assyria, where it would be unable to keep any joyful feasts at all. Hosea 9:1. "Rejoice not, O Israel, to exult like the nations: for thou hast committed whoredom against thy God: hast loved the wages of whoredom upon all corn-floors. Hosea 9:2. The threshing-floor and press will not feed them, and the new wine will deceive it." The rejoicing to which Israel was not to give itself up was, according to Hosea 9:2, rejoicing at a plentiful harvest. All nations rejoiced, and still rejoice, at this (cf. Isaiah 9:2), because they regard the blessing of harvest as a sign and pledge of the favour and grace of God, which summon them to gratitude towards the giver. Now, when the heathen nations ascribed their fights to their gods, and in their way thanked them for them, they did this in the ignorance of their heart, without being specially guilty on that account, since they lived in the world without the light of divine revelation. But when Israel rejoiced in a heathenish way at the blessing of its harvest, and attributed this blessing to the Baals (see Hosea 2:7), the Lord could not leave this denial of His gracious benefits unpunished. אל־גּיל belongs to תּשׂמח, heightening the idea of joy, as in Job 3:22. כּי זנית does not give the object of the joy ("that thou hast committed whoredom:" Ewald and others), but the reason why Israel was not to rejoice over its harvests, namely, because it had become unfaithful to its God, and had fallen into idolatry. זנה מעל, to commit whoredom out beyond God (by going away from Him). The words, "thou lovest the wages of whoredom upon all corn-floors," are to be understood, according to Hosea 2:7, Hosea 2:14, as signifying that Israel would not regard the harvest-blessing upon its corn-floors as gifts of the goodness of its God, but as presents from the Baals, for which it had to serve them with still greater zeal. There is no ground for thinking of any peculiar form of idolatry connected with the corn-floors. Because of this the Lord would take away from them the produce of the floor and press, namely, according to Hosea 9:3, by banishing the people out of the land. Floor and press will not feed them, i.e., will not nourish or satisfy them. The floor and press are mentioned in the place of their contents, or what they yield, viz., for corn and oil, as in 2 Kings 6:27. By the press we must understand the oil-presses (cf. Joel 2:24), because the new wine is afterwards specially mentioned, and corn, new wine, and oil are connected together in Hosea 2:10, 24. The suffix בּהּ refers to the people regarded as a community.
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