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Commentary On Hosea by Jean Calvin

Hosea 12:14

14. Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.

14. Provocavit Ephraim excelsis suis, et sanguis ejus super eum manebit (vel, fundetur:) et opprobrium ejus reddet illi Dominus suus.

The Prophet says first, that Ephraim had provoked God by his high places Some, however, take the word tmrvrym, tamerurim, for bitternesses. Then it is, |Israel or Ephraim have provoked God to bitterness.| But since this word in other places as in the thirty-first of Jeremiah, is taken for high places and as it clearly appears that the Prophet here inveighs avowedly against Israel and their vicious worship, I doubt not but that he points out these high places in which the Israelites appointed their false and impious modes of worship. Ephraim then have provoked him with their high places: Ephraim having in so many ways immersed themselves in their superstitions, provoked God in their high places.

Then his blood shall remain on him. As the word nts, nuthesh, signifies |to pour out,| and signifies also to |remain,| some render it, |His blood shall remain;| others |Shall be poured upon him.| But this makes but a little difference as to what is meant; for the Prophet intends to show, that Ephraim would have to suffer the punishment of their impiety; as though he said, |They shall not at last escape from the hand of God, they shall receive the wages of their iniquities.|

And his reproach shall his Lord return unto him Here he calls God himself the Lord of Israel, though Israel had shaken off the yoke, and alienated themselves from the service of God. They cannot, he says, escape the authority of God, though they have spurned his law; though they have become wanton in their superstitions, they shall yet know that they remain under the hand and power of God, they shall know that they effect nothing by this their petulance; though they thus wander after their abominations, yet the Lord will not lose his right, which he had obtained for himself by redeeming Israel. Their Lord then shall render to them their own reproach, of which they are worthy.

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