We explained yesterday Hosea 10:14, in which the Prophet denounced the vengeance of God on his people, such as they had experienced either when the country was laid waste by the army of Shalmanezar, or when some other slaughter was made. From the words, we certainly learn that a battle had been fought in Arbel, which was a town, as we have said, beyond Jordan. But the Prophet shows also how much had been the atrocity of that battle, and how grievous and dreadful would be that slaughter which he now threatens to the people, by saying that even the mother had been violently thrown upon her children. And the Prophet also shows that God's vengeance would be just, because the Israelites had provoked God by their superstitions.
He then points out in the last verse the cause why the Lord would deal so severely with his people; and his manner of speaking ought to be observed. So, he says, shall Bethel do unto you He might have said, So will God do unto you;' but he more distinctly shows that the evil, or the cause of the evil, was in themselves; Bethel, he says, shall do this unto you. It is certain that the war did not arise from Bethel; but as they had corrupted the worship of God by worshipping the calf, the Prophet says, that the Assyrian was not, properly speaking, the author of this slaughter, but that it was to be imputed to that corruption which had arisen in Bethel. Bethel then shall do this unto you
But he adds, Because of wickedness -- of your wickedness Some give this explanation, |Because of the wickedness of wickedness,| by which is expressed something extreme, as the genitive case is often used by the Hebrews in the place of the superlative degree; but it may be viewed as a simple repetition, |This shall be for wickedness -- your wickedness, and it shall be so, that ye may not be able to transfer the blame to any other cause; for ye are yourselves the authors of all the evils.|
He says, in the last place, In a morning shall the king of Israel be utterly cut off, or, by perishing shall perish. The Prophet means by these words, that the Lord would so punish the people of Israel, that it would appear plain enough, that it was not done by man or by chance; for the Lord would suddenly overturn that kingdom which had been so well fortified, which flourished so much in wealth and power. Cut off then in a morning, or in one morning, shall be the king of Israel. Some read, |as the morning,| instead of, |in a morning,| kschr, cashicher, vschr, beshicher. The king of Israel shall perish like the dawn;' for the dawn, we know, immediately disappears when the sun rises: the sun brings with it the full day, and then the dawn immediately passes away. But the other is the more correct reading, as it has also been more commonly received, that is, |In a morning, or in one morning, shall the king of Israel perish;| as we say in French, Cela n'est que pour un desiuner For that proud people thought that no adversity could happen to them for many years, as they had a blind confidence in their own strength. The Prophet derides this madness, and says, that the slaughter would be sudden, that the king would in a moment be destroyed, though he thought himself well supplied with soldiers and all other defences. Now follows --