Hosea 10:10 MEANING

Hosea 10:10
(10) Translate (see Margin; so Jerome), When I desire, I will chastise them, and peoples shall be gathered against them, when I chastise them for their two iniquities (i.e., the two calves which had been the source of heresy and treason against Jehovah).

Verse 10. - It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them. This is better translated thus: When I desire it, then (vav of the apodosis) shall I chastise them; and the peoples shall be gathered against them. This expresses God's determination to punish sin and vindicate his justice as the infinitely Holy One. It means, not only that his desire to punish them does exist, but that, this desire being taken for granted, there shall be no let nor hindrance; nothing can stay his hand. Then the mode and means of chastisement are indicated - peoples, foreign invaders, shall be gathered against them. The verb אָסֹר is future Qal of יסר irregularly, as if coming from נסד, the daghesh in samech compensating for the absorbed yod. When they shall bind themselves in their two furrows; margin, When I shall bind them for their two transgressions, or, in their two habitations.

(1) Gesenius, Ewald, and others, abiding by the Kethir or textual reading of the original, translate, "Jehovah will chastise them before with their eyes," that is, not in secret, but openly before the world. They thus refer the word to עַיִן, eye, but עְינָות is "fountains," not "eyes."

(2) The Hebrew commentators, Aben Ezra and Kimchi, explain the word in the sense of "two furrows" as in Authorized Version; and refer them to Judah and Ephraim. Thus Kimchi says, "The prophet compares Judah and Ephraim to two plowing oxen. I thought they would plough well, but they have ploughed ill, since they have bound themselves together one with the other and have allied themselves the one with the other to do evil in the eyes of Jehovah." Similarly Rosenmüller: "To be bound to two furrows is said of oxen plowing when they are bound together in a common yoke, so that in two adjacent furrows they walk together and with equal pace."

(3) The Septuagint rendering, based on the Qeri and followed by the Syriac and Arabic, gives a better and clearer sense than the preceding. It is, Ἐν ταῖς δυσὶν ἀδικίαις αὐτῶν, and is followed by Jerome in Super duas iniquitates suas, as also by the most judicious expositors of ancient and modern times. Yet there is great variety as to what those iniquities are. Some, like Jerome, refer to the double idolatry - that of Micah and that of Jeroboam; others, like Dathe, to the two golden calves set up at Dan and Bethel; Cyril and Theodoret to the apostasy of Israel from Jehovah, and devotion to idols; De Wette and Keil to the double unfaithfulness of Israel to Jehovah and the royal house of David. The exact rendering would, according to any of these views, be, "When I bind them to their two transgressions," or, "When I allow the foreigners to bind them on account of their two transgressions;" that is to connect or yoke them to their two transgressions by the punishment, so that they, like beasts of burden, must drag them after them, whatever be the view we take of the nature of those transgressions.

10:9-15 Because God does not desire the death and ruin of sinners, therefore in mercy he desires their chastisement. The children of iniquity still remained in Israel. The enemies would be gathered against them. It is just with God to make those know what hardships mean, who indulge themselves in ease and pleasure. Let them cleanse their hearts from all corrupt affections and lusts, and be a broken and contrite spirit. Let them abound in works of piety towards God, and of justice and charity towards one another: herein let them sow to the Spirit. Seeking the Lord is to be every day's work, but there are special occasions when to seek him. Christ shall come as the Lord our righteousness, and grant us of it abundantly. If we sow in righteousness, we shall reap according to mercy; a reward not of debt, but of grace. Even the gains of sin yield the sinner no satisfaction. As our comforts, so our confidences in the service of sin will certainly fail us. Come and seek the Lord, and thy hope in him shall not deceive thee. See what cruel work war makes. Whatever mischief is done, it is sin that does it. What miseries men's sins bring on them, even in this world!It is in my desire that I should chastise them,.... Or, "bind them" (a), and carry them captive; and by so doing correct them for their sins they have so long continued in: this the Lord had in his heart to do, and was determined upon it, and would do it with pleasure, for the glorifying of his justice, since they had so long and so much abused his clemency and goodness:

and the people shall be gathered against them; the Assyrians, who, at the command of the Lord, would come and invade their land, besiege their city, and take it, and bind them, and carry them captive:

when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows; when, like heifers untamed, and bound in a yoke to plough, do not make and keep in one furrow, but turn out to the right or left, and make cross furrows; so it is intimated that this was the reason why the Lord would correct Israel, and suffer the nations to gather together against them, and carry them captive, because they did not plough in one furrow, or keep in the true and pure worship of God; but made two furrows, worshipping partly God, and partly idols: or, "when they", their enemies, "shall bind them", being gathered against them, and carry them captive, they shall make them plough in "two furrows", the one up, and the other down; and to this hard service they shall keep them continually. There is a double reading of this clause; the "Cetib", or textual writing or reading, is, "to their two eyes", or "fountains": alluding, as Jarchi observes, to the binding of the yoke on oxen on each side of their eyes: or to the fountains in the land of Israel, the abundance of wine, milk, and honey; for the sake of which the people got together, broke in upon them, and bound them, in order to drink of. So Gussetius (b) renders the words, "and they shall bind them to drink of their fountains". The "Keri" or marginal reading is, "their two iniquities"; which the Septuagint follows, rendering it,

"in chastising them, or when they are chastised for their two iniquities;''

so the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions; meaning either their worshipping the two calves at Dan and Bethel; or their corporeal and spiritual adultery; or their forsaking the true God, and worshipping idols; see Jeremiah 2:13. Schmidt understands all this, not as a punishment threatened, but as an instance of the love of God to them, in chastising them in a loving and fatherly way; which had a good effect upon them, and brought them to repentance; partly in the times of the judges, but more especially in the days of Samuel, when they behaved well; and particularly in the reigns of David and Solomon; and when the people were gathered, not "against", but "to" them; either became proselytes to them, or tributaries, or coveted their friendship; and when they themselves lived in great concord, in one kingdom, under one king, like oxen ploughing in two contiguous furrows.

(a) "et, vel ut vinciam eos", Junius & Tremellius, Drusius, Grotius; "colligabo eos", Cocceius. (b) Comment. Ebr. p. 591, 892.

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