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Commentary On Hosea by Jean Calvin

Lecture Third

We have to explain first this clause, I will save the house of Judah neither by the bow, nor by the sword, nor by war, nor by horses, nor by horsemen. What the Prophet had touched upon before is here more clearly expressed, and that is, that God has no need of foreign aids, for he is content with his own power. But Hosea continues his contrast; for the people of Israel, as they possessed much carnal power, thought themselves, as they say, beyond the reach of darts: but the kingdom of Judah was exposed to all dangers, as it was not powerful in forces and arms. This folly the Prophet exposes to contempt, and says, that safety is dependent on God alone, that men in vain trust in their own valour, and that there is no reason why the needy and destitute should despair of their safety, as God alone is abundantly sufficient to preserve the faithful. The meaning then is, that though the destitute condition of the kingdom of Judah was an object of contempt to all, yet this would be no obstacle, that it should not be preserved through God's favour, though it obtained no aid from men. And let us learn from this place, that we are not so preserved by the Lord, that he never employs any natural means; and further, that when he has no recourse to them, he is abundantly sufficient to secure our safety. We ought then so to ascribe our safety to the Lord as not to think that any thing comes to us through ourselves, or through angels, or through men. Let us now proceed --
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