Hosea 9:12
Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!
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9:11-17. God departs from a people, or from a person, when he withdraws his goodness and mercy from them; and when the Lord is departed, what can the creature do? Even though, for the present, good things seem to remain, yet the blessing is gone if God is gone. Even the children should perish with the parents. The Divine wrath dries up the root, and withers the fruit of all comforts; and the scattered Jews daily warn us to beware, lest we neglect or abuse the gospel. Yet every smiting is not a drying up of the root. It may be that God intends only to smite so that the sap may be turned to the root, that there may be more of root graces, more humility, patience, faith, and self-denial. It is very just that God should bring judgments on those who slight his offered mercy.Though they bring up children - God had threatened to deprive them of children, in every stage before or at their birth. Now, beyond this, he tells them, as to those who should escape this sentence, he would bereave them of them, or make them childless.

That there shall not be a man left - Literally, "from man." The brief word may be filled up, as the English Version has done (by not infrequent an idiom):

(1) "from there being a man;" or

(2) "from" among "men;" as Samuel said to Agag (1 Samuel 15:33; add Proverbs 30:14), "as thy sword has made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women;" or

(3) "from" becoming "men," i. e., from reaching man's estate.

The prophet, in any case, does not mcan absolute excision, for he says, "they shall be wanderers among the nations," and had foretold, that they should abide, as they now are, and be converted in the end. But since their pride was in their numbers, he says, that these should be reduced in every stage from conception to ripened manhood. So God had forewarned Israel in the law, "If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law - ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude" Deuteronomy 28:58, Deuteronomy 28:62. A sentence, felt the more by Ephraim, as being the head of the most powerful division of the people, and himself the largest portion of it.

Yea - (literally, "for") woe also unto them, when I depart from them This is, at once, the ground and the completion of their misery, its beginning and its end. God's departure was the source of all evil to them; as He foretold them, "I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they shall say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?" Deuteronomy 31:17. But His departure was itself above all. For the prophet says also; "for woe also unto them." This was the last step in the scale of misery. Beyond the loss of the children, whom they hoped or longed for, beyond the loss of their present might, and all their hope to come, there is a further undefined, unlimited, evil, "woe to them also," when God should "withdraw," not His care and providence only, but Himself also from them; "when I depart from them." They had "departed" and turned away, from or "against" God (see the note at Hosea 7:13). It had been their characteristic Hosea 4:16. Now God Himself would requite them, as they had requited Him. He would depart from them. This is the last state of privation, which forms the "punishment of loss" in Hell. When the soul has lost God, what has it?

12. Even though they should rear their children, yet will I bereave them (the Ephraimites) of them (Job 27:14).

woe … to them when I depart—Yet the ungodly in their madness desire God to depart from them (Job 21:14; 22:17; Mt 8:34). At last they know to their cost how awful it is when God has departed (De 31:17; 1Sa 28:15, 16; compare Ho 9:11; 1Sa 4:21).

Or suppose neither of these, but that their children live, grow up and come to some maturity, yet God, provoked by their sins, will deprive them of their children by famine; or by civil wars, which were long and bloody on each other; or by pestilence; or by captivity, and dispersing them among enemies, to whom they shall be slaves, and, as slaves, beget children not to themselves, but to their masters.

There shall not be a man left; there shall be a total extirpation of them and their memory; or else, I will cut them off from among men, as the phrase will bear.

Woe also to them when I depart from them! to complete their misery, I will leave them, I will depart from them. It is sad to lose children, it is sadder to lose their God.

Though they bring up their children,.... Though this be the case of some, as to be conceived, carried in the womb to the full time, and be born, and brought up to a more adult age, and appear very promising to live, and perpetuate the names of their fathers and their families:

yet will I bereave them; their parents of them, by the sword, famine, pestilence, or by carrying them captive into a foreign country:

that there shall not be a man left; in the whole land of Israel, but all shall be destroyed, or carried captive; or, "from men" (i); that is, either from being men, as the Targum; though they are brought up to some ripeness, and a more adult age than others, yet arrive not to such a time and age as to be called men, as Kimchi observes; or from being among men, being either taken away by death, or removed from the society of men to live among beasts, and to he slaves like them:

yea, woe also to them, when I depart from them; withdraw my presence, favour, and protection from them; or remove my Shechinah from them, as the Targum; and leave them to the spoil and cruelty of their enemies, which would be a greater calamity and judgment than the former. The Septuagint, and so Theodotion, render it, "woe is to them, my flesh is of them"; which some of the ancients interpret of the incarnation of Christ, not considering that the words are spoken of Ephraim, or the ten tribes; whereas the Messiah was to spring, and did, from the family of David, and tribe of Judah.

(i) "ab homine", Montanus, Tigurine version, Schmidt; "ut non sint homines", Pagninus.

Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!
12. But what shall be the fate of the children already born? A lurid light is next thrown upon this.

Though] Rather, Yea, though.

bereave them] Or, ‘make them childless’; comp. 1 Samuel 15:33.

when I depart from them] Better, (reading with a Shin instead of a Sin), when I look away from them. The sense of the passage is, even to turn away my face would sink them in an abyss of ruin. The ordinary reading does not allow us easily to account for the ‘also’, or rather, ‘even’, which precedes.

Hosea 9:12It is very evident that this is what he has in his mind, and that he regards the apostasy of the ten tribes as merely a continuation of that particular idolatry, from the punishment which is announced in Hosea 9:11, Hosea 9:12, as about to fall upon Ephraim in consequence. Hosea 9:11. "Ephraim, its glory will fly away like a bird; no birth, and no pregnancy, and no conception. Hosea 9:12. Yea, though they bring up their sons, I make them bereft, without a man; for woe to them when I depart from them!" The glory which God gave to His people through great multiplication, shall vanish away. The licentious worship of luxury will be punished by the diminution of the numbers of the people, by childlessness, and the destruction of the youth that may have grown up. מלּדה, so that there shall be no bearing. בּטן, the womb, for pregnancy or the fruit of the womb. Even (kı̄ emphatic) if the sons (the children) grow up, God will make them bereft, מאדם, so that there shall be no men there. The grown-up sons shall be swept away by death, by the sword (cf. Deuteronomy 32:25). The last clause gives the reason for the punishment threatened. גּם adds force; it usually stands at the head of the sentence, and here belongs to להם: Yea, woe to them, if I depart from them, or withdraw my favour from them! שׂוּר stands for סוּר, according to the interchangeableness of שׂ and ס (Aquila and Vulg.). This view has more to support it than the supposition that שׂוּר is an error of the pen for שׁוּר (Ewald, Hitzig, etc.), since שׁוּר, to look, construed with מן, in the sense of to look away from a person, is never met with, although the meaning is just the same.
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