Hosea 9:17
My God will cast them away, because they did not listen to him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) Wanderers.—Strangely confirmed from Assyrian monuments and the entire subsequent history of the bulk of Israel; and Israel still wanders, not coalescing with any nation, unless they lose their ancient faith by corruption into idolatry, or conversion to Christianity. (See Pusey.)

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.My God hath cast them away - "My God" (he saith) as if God were his God only who clave to him, not their's who had, by their disobedience, departed from Him. "My God." "He had then authority from Him," whom he owned and who owned "him," and who bade him so Speak, as though God were "his" God, and no longer their's. God "casts them away," lit. "despises them," and so rejects them as an object of aversion to Him, "because they did not hearken to Him." "God never forsakes unless He be first forsaken." When they would not hearken, neither doing what God commanded, nor abstaining from what He forbade, God at last rejected them, as worthless, lacking altogether to that end for which He created them.

And they shall be wanderers among the nations - This was the sentence of Cain Genesis 4:12; "a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." So God had forewarned them. "The Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth - and among these nations shalt there find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest" Deuteronomy 28:64-65.

The words of the prophet imply an abiding condition. He does not say, "they shall wander, but, they shall be wanderers." Such was to be their lot; such has been their lot ever since; and such was not the ordinary lot of those large populations whom Eastern conquerors transported from their own land. Those conquerors took away with them into their own land, portions of the people whom they conquered, for two ends. When a people often rebelled, they were placed where they could rebel no more, among tribes more powerful than they, and obedient to the rule of the conqueror. Or they were carried off; as slaves to work in bricks, like Israel in Egypt .

Their workmen, smiths, artificers, were especially taken to labor on those gigantic works, the palaces and temples of Nineveh or Babylon. But, for both these purposes, the transported population had a settled abode allotted to it, whether in the capital or the provinces. Sometimes new cities or villages were built for the settlers . Israel at first was so located. Perhaps on account of the frequent rebellions of their kings, the ten tribes were placed amid a wild, warlike, population, "in the cities of the Medes." 2 Kings 17:6. When the interior of Asia was less known, people thought that they were still to be found there.

The Jews fabled, that the ten tribes lay behind some mighty and fabulous river, Sambatyon , or were fenced in by mountains . Christians thought that they might be found in some yet unexplored part of Asia. Undeceived as to this, they still asked whether the Afghans, or the Yezides, or the natives of North America were the ten tribes, or whether they were the Nestorians of Kurdistan. So natural did it seem, that they, like other nations so transported, should remain as a body, near or at the places, where they had been located by their conquerors. The prophet says otherwise. He says their abiding condition shall be, "they shall be wanderers among the nations," wanderers among them, but no part of them. Before the final dispersion of the Jews at the destruction of Jerusalem, "the Jewish race," Josephus says ," was in great numbers through the whole world, interspersed with the nations."

Those assembled at the day of Pentecost had come from all parts of Asia Minor but also from Parthia, Media, Persia, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Egypt, maritime Lybia, Crete, and Italy Acts 2:9-11. Wherever the Apostles went, in Asia or Greece, they found Jews, in numbers sufficient to raise persecution against them. James writes to those whom, with a word corresponding to that of Hosea, he calls, "the dispersion." "James ... to the twelve in the dispersion" . The Jews, scoffing, asked, whether our Lord would go to "the dispersion among the Greeks" . They speak of it, as a body, over against themselves, to whom they supposed that He meant to go, to teach them, when He said, "Ye shall seek Me and shall not find Me." The Jews of Egypt were probably the descendants of those who went there, after the murder of Gedaliah. The Jews of the North, as well as those of China, India, Russia, were probably descendants of the ten tribes.

From one end of Asia to the other and onward through the Crimea, Greece and Italy, the Jews by their presence, bare witness to the fulfillment of the prophecy. Not like the wandering Indian tribe, who spread over Europe, living apart in their native wildness, but settled, among the inhabitants of each city, they were still distinct, although with no polity of their own; a distinct, settled, yet foreign and subordinate race. : "Still remains unreversed this irrevocable sentence, as to their temporal state and face of an earthly kingdom, that they remain still "wanderers" or dispersed among other nations, and have never been restored, nor are in likelihood of ever being restored to their own land, so as to call it their own. If ever any of them hath returned thither, it hath been but as strangers, and all, as to any propriety that they should challenge in it, to hear the ruins and waste heaps of their ancient cities to echo in their ears the prophet's words, "Arise ye and depart, for this is not your rest;" your ancestors polluted it, and ye shall never return as a people thither, to inhabit it, as in your former condition" Micah 2:10.

"Meanwhile Ephraim here is an example, not only to particular persons, that as they will avoid personal judgments, so they take care faithfully to serve God and hearken unto Him; but to nations and kingdoms also, that as they will prevent national judgments, so they take care that God be truly served, and the true religion maintained in purity and sincerity among them. Ephraim, or lsrael, held their land by as good and firm tenure as any people in the world can theirs, having it settled on them by immediate gift from Him who is the Lord of the whole earth, who promised it to their forefathers, Abraham and his seed forever Genesis 13:14-15; Deuteronomy 34:4, called therefore the land which the Lord sware unto them Numbers 14; and which He had promised them Deuteronomy 9:28, the land of promise Hebrews 11:9. Who could have greater right to a place, better and firmer right, than they had to the Lord's land, by "His" promise which never fails, and "His" oath who will not repent, confirmed to them?

Certainly, if they had observed conditions and kept covenant with Him, all the people in the world could never have driven them out, or dispossessed them of it. But, seeing they revolted and brake His covenant, and did not hearken to Him, He would not suffer them longer to dwell in it, but drave and cast them out of it, so that they could never recover it again, but continue to this day "wandering among the nation," having no settled place of their own, nowhere where they can be called a people, or are for such owned. If God so dealt with Israel on their disobedience and departing from His service, to whom He had so particularly engaged himself to make good to them the firm possession of that land; how shall any presume on any right or title to any other, or think to preserve it to themselves by any force or strength of their own, if they revolt from Him, and cast off thankful obedience to Him? The Apostle cautioneth and teacheth us so to argue, "if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee," and therefore warneth, "be not high-minded," and presumptuous, "but fear" Romans 11:20-21.

17. My God—"My," in contrast to "them," that is, the people, whose God Jehovah no longer is. Also Hosea appeals to God as supporting his authority against the whole people.

wanderers among … nations—(2Ki 15:29; 1Ch 5:26).

My God; no more thy God, O Ephraim, thou canst no more have hope on that account, but my God, saith the prophet, my God who hath revealed his purpose to me, and who will accomplish it, who will make good the word I have spoken against you.

Will cast them away: your sins have been a weariness, a loathing to my God, and now as a vile, loathed, and wearisome thing is cast off by a man, so shall you be cast off from your God.

They did not hearken unto him; neither did hearken to God to prevent apostacy, nor would ever after hearken to God at first to repent and turn to him; like a wilful adulteress, they would not keep faithful to their Husband, nor return to him when once departed from him.

They shall be wanderers; have no city of their own, no settled dwelling-place; as much suspected, hated, ill used, and punished as vagabonds are in well-ordered commonwealths; all which is fully come upon them.

Among the nations: Gentiles were such the proud circumcision did despise and hate, but now the sins of the circumcised shall bring them under as much contempt with the nations; nay, these proud apostates from God, when cast off and wanderers, shall account it a favour to be admitted to incorporate with, and so to grow up heathens among heathens, as after long time they did. My God will cast them away,.... With loathsomeness and contempt, having sinned against him, and done such abominable things; cast them out of their own land, as men not fit to live in it; cast them out of his sight, as not able to endure them; cast them away, as unprofitable and good for nothing; reject them from being his people; no more own them in the relation they had stood in to him; nor show them any more favour, at least until the conversion of them in the times of the Messiah. These are the words of the prophet, who calls the Lord his God, whom he worshipped, by whom he was sent, and in whose name he prophesied; and this in opposition to, and distinction from Israel, who worshipped other gods, and who had cast off the true God, and were now, or would be, cast away by him, and so no longer their God:

because they did not hearken unto him; to his word, as the Targum; to him speaking by his prophets; to the instructions, admonitions, threatenings, and predictions delivered to them from him; they did not obey his law, regard his will, or attend his worship; which was the cause of the rejection of them, and a just one:

and they shall be wanderers among the nations; being dispersed by the Assyrians in the several nations of the world, where they were fugitives and vagabonds; as their posterity are to this day.

My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. The prophet has quelled his brief paroxysm, and calmly proceeds. But the threat is not now extermination.

My God] No longer, alas! Israel’s God. Comp. Isaiah’s ‘this people’ for ‘my people’ (Isaiah 6:9).

wanderers] Or, fugitives (it is the participle of the verb used in Hosea 7:13, see note).The last Undertakings of the Hostile King, and His End

By the words קץ בּעת, which introduce these verses, the following events are placed in the time of the end. Proceeding from the view that the whole of the second half of this chapter (vv. 21-45) treats of Antiochus and his undertakings, most modern interpreters find in the verses the prophecy of a last expedition of this Syrian king against Egypt, and quote in support of this view the words of Jerome: Et haec Porphyrius ad Antiochum refert, quod undecimo anno regni sui rursus contra sororis filium, Ptolem. Philometorem dimicaverit, qui audiens venire Antiochum congregaverit multa populorum millia, sed Antiochus quasi tempestas valida in curribus et in equitibus et in classe magna ingressus sit terras plurimas et transeundo universa vastaverit, veneritque ad Judaeam et arcem munierit de ruinis murorum civitatis et sic perrexerit in Aegyptum. But regarding this expedition not only are historians silent, but the supposition of such a thing stands in irreconcilable contradiction to the historical facts regarding the last undertakings of Antiochus. According to 1 Macc. 3:27ff., Antiochus, on receiving tidings of the successful insurrection of the Maccabees, and of the victory which Judas had won, since he found that money was wanting to him to carry on the war, resolved to return to Persia, "there to collect the tribute of the countries" (1 Macc. 3:31); and after he had made Lysias governor, he delivered to him the one half of his army, that he might with it "destroy and root out the strength of Israel," and with the other half departed from Antioch and crossed the Euphrates into the high countries, i.e., the high-lying countries on the farther side of the Euphrates (1 Macc. 3:33-37). There he heard of the great treasures of a rich city in Persia, and resolved to fall upon this city and to take its treasures; but as the inhabitants received notice of the king's intention, he was driven back and compelled to return to Babylon, having accomplished nothing. On his return he heard in Persia the tidings of the overthrow of Lysias in a battle with the Maccabees, and of the re-erection of the altar of Jehovah at Jerusalem; whereupon he was so overcome with terror and dismay, that he fell sick and died (1 Macc. 6:1-16). The historical truth of this report is confirmed by Polybius, who mentions (Fragm. xxxi. 11) that Antiochus, being in difficulty for want of money, sought to spoil the temple of Artemis and Elymas, and in consequence of the failure of his design he fell ill at Tabae in Persia, and there died. By these well-established facts the supposition of an invasion of Egypt by Antiochus in the eleventh, i.e., the last year of his reign, is excluded. The Romans also, after they had already by their intervention frustrated his design against Egypt, would certainly have prevented a new war, least of all would they have permitted an entire subjugation of Egypt and the south, which we must accept after Daniel 11:42, Daniel 11:43. Besides, the statement made by Porphyry shows itself to be destitute of historical validity by this, that according to it, Antiochus must have made the assault against Egypt, while on the contrary, according to the prophecy, Daniel 11:40, the king of the south begins the war against the king of the north, and the latter, in consequence of this attack, passes through the lands with a powerful host and subdues Egypt.

For these reasons, therefore, v. Lengerke, Maurer, and Hitzig have abandoned the statement of Porphyry as unhistorical, and limited themselves to the supposition that the section (Daniel 11:40-45) is only a comprehensive repetition of that which has already been said regarding Antiochus Epiphanes, according to which "the time of the end" (Daniel 11:40) denotes not the near time of the death of Antiochus, but generally the whole period of this king. But this is, when compared with Daniel 11:27, Daniel 11:35, impossible. If thus, according to Daniel 11:35, the tribulation with which the people of God shall be visited by the hostile king for their purification shall last till the time of the end, then the time of the end to which the prophecies of Daniel 11:40-45 fall cannot designate the whole duration of the conduct of this enemy, but only the end of his reign and of his persecutions, in which he perishes (Daniel 11:40). On the contrary, the reference to Daniel 8:17 avails nothing, because there also קץ עת has the same meaning as here, i.e., it denotes the termination of the epoch referred to, and is there only made a more general expression by means of לעת than here, where by בּעת and the connection with Daniel 11:35 the end is more sharply defined. To this is to be added, that the contents of Daniel 11:40-45 are irreconcilable with the supposition that in them is repeated in a comprehensive form what has already been said of Antiochus, for here something new is announced, something of which nothing has been said before. This even Maurer and Hitzig have not been able to deny, but have sought to conceal as much as possible, - Maurer by the remark: res a scriptore iterum ac saepius pertractatas esse, extremam vero manum operi defuisse; and Hitzig by various turnings - "as it seems," "but is not more precisely acknowledged," "the fact is not elsewhere communicated" - which are obviously mere make-shifts.

Thus Daniel 11:40-45 do not apply to Antiochus Epiphanes, but, with most ancient interpreters, they refer only to the final enemy of the people of God, the Antichrist. This reference has been rightly vindicated by Kliefoth. We cannot, however, agree with him in distinguishing this enemy in Daniel 11:40 from the king of the south and of the north, and in understanding this verse as denoting "that at the time of this hostile king, which shall be the time of the end, the kings of the south as well as of the north shall attack him, but that he shall penetrate into their lands and overthrow them." Without taking into account the connection, this interpretation is not merely possible, but it is even very natural to refer the suffix in עליו and in עמּו to one and the same person, namely, to the king who has hitherto been spoken of, and who continues in Daniel 11:40-45 to be the chief subject. But the connection makes this reference impossible. It is true, indeed, that the suffix in עמּו refers without doubt to this king, but the suffix in עליו can be referred only to the king of the south named immediately before, who pushes at him, because the king against whom the king of the south pushes, and of whom mention is made vv. 21-39, is not only distinctly designated as the king of the north (Daniel 11:13-21), but also, according to Daniel 11:40-43, he advances from the north against the Holy Land and against Egypt; thus also, according to Daniel 11:40-43, must be identical with the king of the north. In Daniel 11:40-43 we do not read of a war of the hostile king against the king of the south and the king of the north. The words in which Kliefoth finds indications of this kind are otherwise to be understood.

Daniel 11:40

If we now more closely look into particulars, we find that קץ עת is not the end of the hostile king, but, as in Daniel 11:27, Daniel 11:35, the end of the present world-period, in which also, it is true, occurs the end of this king (קצּו, Daniel 11:45). For the figurative expression יתנגּח (shall push), cf. Daniel 8:4. In the word there lies the idea that the king of the south commences the war, makes an aggression against the hostile king. In the second clause the subject is more precisely defined by "the king of the north" for the sake of distinctness, or to avoid ambiguity, from which it thence follows that the suffix in עליו refers to the king of the south. If the subject were not named, then "the king of the south" might have been taken for it in this clause. The words, "with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships," are an oratorical exemplification of the powerful war-host which the king of the north displayed; for the further statement, "he presses into the countries, overflows and passes over" (ועבר שׁטף as Daniel 11:10), does not agree with the idea of a fleet, but refers to land forces. The plur. בּארצות (into the countries) does not at all agree with the expedition of a Syrian king against Egypt, since between Syria and Egypt there lay one land, Palestine; but it also does not prove that "the south-land and the north-land, the lands of the kings of the south and of the north, are meant" (Klief.), but it is to be explained from this, that the north, from which the angry king comes in his fury against the king of the south, reached far beyond Syria. The king of the north is thought of as the ruler of the distant north.

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