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Commentary On Hosea by Jean Calvin

Hosea 11:10-11

10. They shall walk after the Lord: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.

10. Post Jehovam ambulabunt, et quasi leo ruget: quum ipse ruget, tunc pavebunt filii a mari (vel, occidente; mare enim vocatur occidentalis regio, respectu ipsius Judeae.)

11. They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the Lord.

11. Pavebunt quasi passer (vel, avis; tam species est quam genus) ab Aegypto; et quasi columba a terra Assur (hoc est, ab Assyriis) et habitare eos faciam in dominibus suis, dicit Jehova.

When the Prophet says, that they shall walk after Jehovah, he proceeds farther than before; for here he refers not to the mitigation of punishment, but promises restoration. He had said before, that though the Lord would deal severely with his people, there would yet be some moderation in his wrath, so that he would not destroy the whole people. Now, it follows, that God, after having thus restrained himself, will extend his favour even to the restoration of the people, and bring to life those who seemed to have been dead. We now then perceive what the Prophet means.

But to expound this, -- they shall walk after Jehovah, of the obedience of the people, as it is done by interpreters, does not seem right to me. It is indeed certain that no people can be restored except they repent; yea, it is the main beginning of God's favour, when he chastises men and heals them of their wickedness. But here the Prophet handles another thing, even that the Lord will show himself a leader to his people, who had been for a time dispersed. As long as the people were scattered in Assyria and in other distant lands, they were without any head, as a mutilated body. But when the ripened time of restoration came, the Lord revolved to deliver them, and proclaimed himself the leader of his people; and in this manner the people were gathered to God. This is what the Prophet now means when he says, after Jehovah: that is, for a time, indeed, God will forsake them, that they may languish in their dispersion; but at length he will gather them, and show himself as their leader in their journey, that he may restore them to their country. They shall then, he says, follow Jehovah, and he shall roar as a lion: when he shall roar, then children from the sea shall tremble|; that is, God will be formidable to enemies so that none will hinder the return of his people. Many, indeed, will be the enemies, many will labour to set up opposition: but the people shall nevertheless come forth free. How so? For the Lord will fill all with dread, and restrain all the efforts of their enemies; so that they shall be constrained to withdraw from the Assyrians, as well as from the Egyptians. Though, on one side, the Egyptians may resist, and, on the other, the Assyrians, they shall not yet impede the return of the people. Why? Because the Lord will put them to flight, and he will be to them as a lions and fill them all with terror. But the rest we shall defer.

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