I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; You have chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke…
I. AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT.
1. Inefficacy of former corrections.
2. Though corrections are calculated to produce amendment, it is evident, from observation and experience, they often fail in accomplishing the effect.
3. Ephraim is here represented as reflecting upon it. (Proximate causes of the inefficacy of correction by itself.)
4. Inattention to the hand of God, and, as a natural consequence, their neglecting to pass from the contemplation of their sufferings to their sins. Religion begins with consideration.
5. In the serious purpose of a religious life, formed under afflictive dispensations, too many depend entirely upon resolutions formed in their own strength. To such purposes may be applied the beautiful image of Nahum: "And as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known."
II. THE PRAYER.
1. The plea of necessity. There is no other resource.
2. To entreat God to turn is not to ask an impossibility. The residue of the Spirit is with Him.
3. It is worthy of His interposition. The turning of the heart is a fit occasion on which Omnipotence may act.
4. The plea may be enforced by precedents. It implies no departure from His known methods.
5. We may force it by a reference to the Divine mercy.
(Robert Hall, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.