10:9-15 Because God does not desire the death and ruin of sinners, therefore in mercy he desires their chastisement. The children of iniquity still remained in Israel. The enemies would be gathered against them. It is just with God to make those know what hardships mean, who indulge themselves in ease and pleasure. Let them cleanse their hearts from all corrupt affections and lusts, and be a broken and contrite spirit. Let them abound in works of piety towards God, and of justice and charity towards one another: herein let them sow to the Spirit. Seeking the Lord is to be every day's work, but there are special occasions when to seek him. Christ shall come as the Lord our righteousness, and grant us of it abundantly. If we sow in righteousness, we shall reap according to mercy; a reward not of debt, but of grace. Even the gains of sin yield the sinner no satisfaction. As our comforts, so our confidences in the service of sin will certainly fail us. Come and seek the Lord, and thy hope in him shall not deceive thee. See what cruel work war makes. Whatever mischief is done, it is sin that does it. What miseries men's sins bring on them, even in this world!
10. my desire … chastise—expressing God's strong inclination to vindicate His justice against sin, as being the infinitely holy God (De 28:63).
the people—Foreign invaders "shall be gathered against them."
when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows—image from two oxen ploughing together side by side, in two contiguous furrows: so the Israelites shall join themselves, to unite their powers against all dangers, but it will not save them from My destroying them [Calvin]. Their "two furrows" may refer to their two places of setting up the calves, their ground of confidence, Dan and Beth-el; or, the two divisions of the nation, Israel and Judah, "in their two furrows," that is, in their respective two places of habitation; Ho 10:11, which specifies the two, favors this view. Henderson prefers the Keri (Hebrew Margin) "for their two iniquities"; and translates, "when they are bound" in captivity. English Version is best, as the image is carried out in Ho 10:11; only it is perhaps better to translate, "the people (the invaders) binding them," that is, making them captives; and so Ho 10:11 alludes to the yoke being put on the neck of Ephraim and Judah.