Hosea 12:9 MEANING

Hosea 12:9
(9) Tabernacles.--The prophet here speaks of Israel's moral restoration under the form of a return to "the old ideal of simple agricultural life, in which every good gift is received directly from Jehovah's hand." To the true theocratic spirit the condition here spoken of is one of real blessedness, but to the worldly, grasping Canaan or Ephraim it would come as a threat of expulsion, desolation, and despair. (Comp. Hosea 2:14; Hosea 3:3.)

Verse 9. - And I that am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast. This verse consists of two parts which in the original are coordinated; but in the Authorized Version the one is subordinated to the other by supplying an awkward and unnecessary ellipsis. It is better, therefore, to translate thus: And I am the Lord thy God, from the land of Egypt: I will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast. Some understand this verse as a threatening; not a few as a promise; while others combine both.

(1) Theodoret, who may be taken as representing the first class of interpreters, comments thus: "That thou mayest understand this and learn wisdom by thy calamity, I will bring thee back again to that point that thou must again dwell in tents and wander as an exile in a foreign land."

(2) Kimchi may represent those who understand it as a promise, or rather a promise with an implied threatening, and thus combine both. His exposition is as follows: "Even so am I ready to bring you forth out of the captivity where ye shall Be, as I did when I brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, and sustained you in the wilderness and made you dwell in tents; so am I ready yet again, when I shall have brought you forth out of the lands of the Gentiles, to cause you to dwell in tents in the wilderness by the way, and to show you wonders until ye shall return to your land in peace."

(3) Wunsche rejects both the preceding, and refers the statement to the other, present time, taking עוד, not in the sense of "yet again," but in the equally allowable meaning of "further," or "still further;" thus his rendering of the verse is, "And yet I am thy God from Egypt, still I let thee dwell in tents, as in the days of the solemn feast." Thus we have a remembrance of God's goodness to Israel all along from the Exodus to the time then present, including the celebration of their feasts, especially that of Taber-uncles, the most joyful of them all. This is favored by the interpretation of Aben Ezra, which is the following: "The sense is, 'Shouldst thou not remember that I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt in great riches for which thou didst not labor, and nourished thee in the wilderness when thou wast in tents?' In like manner he shall be able to do unto thee as in the days of the solemn feast of thy coming out of Egypt." We prefer, notwithstanding, the exposition number

(2), which includes, or rather implies, a threatening of being driven out of their good laud into a wilderness state, because of their forgetfulness of, and ingratitude to, God, as also because of their proud self-confidence; while, with this implied threat of punishment, God holds out to them the promise and prospect of like guiding care and sheltering guardianship, as in that early period of their history, the remembrance of which was still kept up by the mo'ed, or Feast of Tabernacles, during the seven days of which the people dwelt in booths, in commemoration of their having dwelt in booths in the wilderness after they had been delivered out of the land of Egypt. Thus, as Hengstenberg has well observed, "the preterit is changed into a future through the ingratitude of the nation." Vers. 10 and 11 prove God's continual care for the spiritual welfare and best interests of Israel all along, and, at the same time, the inexcusableness of Israel in forgetting God and in arrogating to themselves the power of controlling their own destinies in the matter of wealth and prosperity; while multiplied prophecies and visions testified to both, vie. to God's care and Israel's recklessness of warnings. Moreover, their persistence in sin prepared them for and precipitated the punishment.

12:7-14 Ephraim became a merchant: the word also signifies a Canaanite. They carried on trade upon Canaanitish principles, covetously and with fraud and deceit. Thus they became rich, and falsely supposed that Providence favoured them. But shameful sins shall have shameful punishments. Let them remember, not only what a mighty prince Jacob was with God, but what a servant he was to Laban. The benefits we have had from the word of God, make our sin and folly the worse, if we put any slight upon that word. We had better follow the hardest labour in poverty, than grow rich by sin. We may form a judgment of our own conduct, by comparing it with that of ancient believers in the like circumstances. Whoever despises the message of God, will perish. May we all hear his word with humble, obedient faith.And I that am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt,.... Ephraim being so very corrupt in things, both religious and civil, and so very impenitent and impudent, is let alone to suffer the just punishment of his sins; but Judah being called to repentance, and brought unto it, gracious promises are here made unto him, to be fulfilled in the times of the Messiah, either at the first or latter part of them; especially the last is to be understood, when indeed all Israel shall return to the Lord, and be saved; and then it will appear, that the Lord, who was their God, as was evident from his bringing them out of Egyptian bondage, and continued to be so from that time to the Babylonish captivity, and even to the times of the Messiah, will now be their God most clearly and manifestly, having redeemed them from worse than Egyptian bondage; from the bondage of sin, Satan, the law, the world, and death; even the Lord Jesus Christ, the true Messiah, they will now seek and embrace, who is God over all, and equal to such a work of redemption and salvation; Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature, our Lord and our God, the God of the Jews now converted, as will be acknowledged, as well as of the Gentiles: and he

will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast; alluding to the feast of tabernacles, kept in commemoration of the Israelites dwelling in tents in the wilderness, Leviticus 23:42; typical of Christ's incarnation, expressed by his tabernacling among men in human nature, John 1:14; and which feast, though abolished by Christ with the rest, yet it is said will be kept by converted Jews and Gentiles in the latter day; which can be understood no otherwise than of their embracing and professing the incarnate Saviour, partaking of the blessings of grace that come by him, and attending on those ordinances of public worship instituted by him; see Zechariah 14:16; and which booths, tents, or tabernacles, the Israelites dwelt in at that feast, were also typical of the churches of Christ under the Gospel dispensation, and which are here meant; and in which it is here promised the converted Jews shall dwell, as they had been used to do in their booths at the solemn feast of tabernacles. These Christian churches resembling them in the matter of them; believers in Christ, the materials of such churches, being compared to goodly trees, to willows of the brook, to palm trees, olive trees, and myrtle trees, with others, the branches of which were used at the above feast, to make their tabernacles with; see Leviticus 23:40; and in the use of them, which was to dwell in during the time of the said feast; as the churches of Christ are the tabernacles of the most High, the dwelling places of Father, Son, and Spirit; and the habitation of the saints, where they dwell and enjoy great plenty and prosperity, tranquillity and security; and here it particularly denotes that joy, peace, and the converted Jews shall partake of in the churches of Christ in the latter day; of which the feast of tabernacles was but a shadow, and which was attended with much rejoicing, plenty of provisions, and great safety.

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