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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Hosea 2:10-12

Commentary On Hosea by Jean Calvin

Hosea 2:10-12

10. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand.

10. Et nunc retegam flagitium ejus in oculis amatorum ejus, et nullus eripiet eam e manu mea.

11. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.

11. Et cessare faciam omne gaudium ejus, festivitatem ejus (alii vertunt, tripudium,) novilunium ejus, sabbathum ejus et omnem diem ejus festum.

12. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.

12. Et destruam (vel, in solitudinem redigam) vineam ejus et ficum ejus, de quibus dixit, Merces haec sunt mihi, quam dederunt mihi amatores mei: et ponam eas (vel, redigam, nempe vineas et ficus) in sylvam, et comedat (vel, depascet) eas fera campestris.

He pursues the same subject; and the Prophet explains at large, and even divides what he had briefly said before, into many clauses or particulars. He says firsts I will uncover her baseness. How was this done? By God, when he took away the coverings by which the Israelites kept themselves hid: for, as we have said hypocrites felicitate themselves on account of God's gifts, and thus hide themselves as thieves do in caverns; and they think that they can mock God with impunity; for, through the fatness of their eyes, as it is said in Psalm 73:7, they have but a very dim sight. Now then God declares, that the filthiness of the people would be made to appear, when he deprived them of those gifts with which he had for a time enriched them.

Now, he says, will I uncover her baseness before the eyes of her lovers By this sentence he intimates a change, of which the people were not apprehensive; for, as long as the wicked feel not the strokes, they laugh at all threatening. Hence God, that he might rouse them from such an indifference, says, Now will I uncover her before the eyes of her lovers. The Prophet, no doubt, speaks of false gods, and of all those devices by which the Israelites corrupted the pure worship of God: for I cannot be persuaded to explain this either of the Assyrians or of the Egyptians. I indeed know, as I mentioned briefly yesterday, that the treaties into which the Jews, as well as the Israelites, entered with idolaters, were the tenter-hooks of Satan: this I allow; but at the same time, I look on what the Prophet especially treats of; for he directly inveighs here against absurd and vicious modes of worship. What then does he mean by saying, that God will uncover the baseness of the people before their lovers? He alludes to shameless women, who dare, by terror, to check their husbands, that they may not exercise their own right. |What! do you treat me ill? there is one who will resent this conduct.| Even when husbands indignantly bear their own reproach, they often attempt not to assert their own right, because they see that fear is in the way. But God says, |Nothing will hinder me from chastising thee as thou deserves (for he addresses the people under the character of a wife;) before thy lovers then will I uncover thy baseness.|

And no man shall rescue thee from my hand. The word man is put here for idols; for it is a word of general import among the Hebrews. Sometimes when brute animals are spoken of, this word, man, is used; and it is also applied to the fragments of a carcass. For when Moses describes the sacrifice made by Abraham, Man,' he says, was laid to his fellow;' that is, Abraham joined together the different parts of the sacrifice, as we say in French, Il n'y a piece God then speaks here of idols: No one, he says, shall rescue them from my hand. We now comprehend the meaning of the Prophet.

We must, at the same time, see what he had in view. The Israelites indeed thought, that as long as their corrupt modes of worship prevailed, they were safe and secure: it seemed impossible to them that any adversity should happen to them while idolatry continued. As, then, they imagined their false gods to be to them like an invincible rampart, |Thy idols,| he says, |shall remain, and yet thou shalt fall: for I will before thy lovers uncover thy baseness, and not one of them shall deliver thee from my hand.|

The Prophet now descends to particulars; and, in the first place, he says, that the people would be deprived of their sacrifices and feast-days, and of that whole external pomp, which was with them the guise of religion. He then adds, that they would be spoiled of their food, and all their abundance. He has hitherto been speaking of their nakedness; but he now describes what this nakedness would be: and he specially mentions, that sacrifices would cease, that feast days, new-moons, and whatever belonged to external worship, would cease. I will make to cease, he says, all her joy. He speaks doubtless, of sacred joys; and this may be easily collected from the context. He adds, her every festal-day As they were wont to dance on their festal-days, this word may be referred to that practice. He afterwards adds, |her sabbath|, and all feast-days. Then the first kind of nakedness was, that God would take away from the Israelites that fallacious and empty form of religion in which they foolishly delighted. The second kind of nakedness was, that they were to be stripped of all earthly riches, and be reduced to misery and extreme want. But I cannot finish to-day.

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