6. It shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.
6. Etiam ipse in Assyriam feretur munus regi Jareb: puderem Ephraim accipiet, et pudefiet Israel a consilio suo.
Here the Prophet expresses more clearly the cause of mourning to the priests and to the whole people, The calf, he says, |shall be carried into Assyria, and carried as a present to king Jareb|. It is probable, that when extreme danger came, the king of Israel was constrained either to cast the calf into a new form, or to break it in pieces, to redeem peace from the Assyrian king. As then the whole kingdom was reduced to great want, we may infer from this place that the calf or calves, were carried into Assyria for pacifying the king. Since then the Israelites saw that they were stripped of their protection, (for they were now without any hope of safety, as there was no God among them,) the Prophet mentioned above their grief: but he now shows that exile was nigh at hand, not only to the Israelites, but also to the calves which they worshipped and by whose aid they thought themselves to be secure and safe in their country.
There is a particular emphasis in the particle gm, gam, as though the Prophet said, |Not only the Israelites shall migrate, but the very calf shall also be carried into Assyria.| Of the word |Jareb,| we have spoken in the commentary on Hosea 5, it seems to have been the proper name of a man. Some conjecture it to be a city in Assyria, though not noticed by writers. Others think it to be the name of a neighbouring king to the Assyrian, but without reason, and they are refuted by this very passage; for the Prophet doubtless points out here the Assyrian king. He yet calls him Jareb; it may be that he was as yet a private man, or he may have so called him by way of reproach. This is however uncertain. Jerome renders the word, |avenger.| But it is sufficiently evident that it was a proper name, not of a city or place, but, as it has been said, of a man. And I am disposed to think, that he calls him king Jareb by way of contempt, for this contempt prevailed among the Israelites as long as they thought themselves strong enough to resist. But the Lord afterwards checked this pride: hence the Prophet says now in a cutting manner, |The calf shall be carried into Assyria to pacify king Jareb.|
He afterwards adds, Ephraim shall receive shame, or reproach; Israel shall be made ashamed of his counsel. He says the same thing in different ways and not without reason; for it was difficult at first to persuade the Israelites that what they thought to have been wisely contrived would turn out to their shame. The king Jeroboam the first, when he erected temples did indeed think it the best device to prevent the people, were they to repent, from submitting themselves again to the posterity of David. Hence he thought that the ten tribes were wholly torn away, when he set up that peculiar worship, which had nothing in common with that of the tribe of Judah. And doubtless had the ten tribes worshipped the true God at Jerusalem, this union might have been the means of again reuniting them into one body under one head. Hence the king Jeroboam thought that he had provided well for his kingdom, to render it permanent, by cutting off all communication between the two people: and there was none in Israel who did not approve of this counsel; for they took delight in their wealth, in the number of their men, and in other advantages. Since then the kingdom of Judah was much inferior, the Israelites were vastly pleased with themselves. This is the reason why the Prophet says, Ephraim shall receive shame; Israel shall be made ashamed of his counsel But this, as I have said, could not appear credible at first. For men promise to themselves the success they wish in their own craftiness: and hence it comes also, that they dare to attempt any thing they please without the aid of God. This is the reason why the Prophet repeats the same sentence, |Ephraim,| he says, |shall receive shame; Israel shall be made ashamed,| -- for what? for their counsel. They think that their own counsel will be most useful to them; yea, they place their safety in their own craftiness. But the Lord will overrule for their shame whatever they have devised. It follows --