View Hosea 12 in the note window.
A high charge against Israel and Judah for various sins, yet
with intimations of mercy, ver. 1 - 14.
1: Feedeth on wind - It is a proverbial speech; denoting his
supporting himself with hopes, as unfit to sustain him as the wind
is to feed us. Increaseth lies - By making new leagues, and fortifying
himself with them, against the menaces of God by his prophets.
Desolation - Which will only hasten and increase his desolation.
Oil - Not common oil for trade, but rich and precious oils, to procure
friendship there too.
2: Jacob - Ephraim and Judah are of Jacob, both have
corrupted themselves, and therefore I will proceed against both.
3: He - Jacob. Took his brother - The design of mentioning this
is to mind them of that goodness which God shewed them in their father
Jacob. His strength - This strength was not of nature, but of grace.
Strength received of God was well employed betimes; in it he wrestled
for and obtained the blessing.
4: The angel - Called ver.(3), God; and ver.(5),
Jehovah, Lord of hosts. He was no created angel, but the Messiah;
eternal God by nature and essence, angel by office, and voluntary
undertaking. He wept - He prayed with tears from a sense of his own
unworthiness, and with earnestness for the mercy he desired. He - God.
Him - Jacob full of weariness, fears, and solicitude on his journey
to Laban. He - God. With us - Being then in Jacob's loins.
5: The Lord God of hosts - He that appeared and spake, who promised
the blessing and commanded the reformation at Beth - el was Jehovah,
the eternal and unchangeable God; who can perform his promise, and
execute his threat, who is a most terrible enemy, and most desirable
friend. The Lord - Jehovah, repeated for confirmation.
His memorial - By this he will be known.
6: Turn - Repent, leave idols and all sins. He worshipped God alone,
do you so; he cast idols out of his family, do you so too; be Jacob's
children herein. Mercy - Shew kindness to all who need it.
Judgment - Wrong none; but with justice in dealings, in judicatures; and
public offices, render to every one their due. Wait on thy God - In public
worship and private duties serve and trust God alone: let not idols have
either sacrifice, prayer, praise, or trust from you; and let your hope
and worship, be for ever continued.
7: A merchant - Ephraim is so far from being as Jacob, that
you may account him a Canaanite, a subtle merchant.
8: I am rich - Whatever is said, yet I get what I aim at.
They shall find - Yet he hugs himself in the apprehension of close
carriage of his affairs, so that no great crime can be found in
him: none, that is sin, that is any great enormity.
9: From Egypt - From the time I brought thee out of it.
In tabernacles - I have given thee all these blessings and comforts,
expressed proverbially in allusion to the joy which they had at the
feast of tabernacles.
10: Spoken - To warn them of their danger.
11: In Gilead - Tiglah Pileser had formerly took Gilead among
other towns, leading the inhabitants captive. By this the prophet
minds the Ephraimites what they must expect, and doth it in this
pungent question, Is there iniquity in Gilead? Is it there only?
Be it, Gilead was all iniquity; Gilgal is no better.
They - They that come up to Gilgal to sacrifice, are idolaters.
In the furrows - They are for number like heaps of stones, gathered
out of plowed land and laid in furrows.
12: Fled - For fear of Esau.
13: A prophet - By Moses. Israel - Your forefathers.
Preserved - In the wilderness. The aim of the prophet seems to be
this, to prevent their vain pride, and boasting of their ancestors.
14: His blood - He shall bear the punishment of all his blood; his
murders of the innocent, and his own guilt too. His reproach - Which
Ephraim hath cast upon the prophets, the worshippers of God, and on
God; preferring idols before him. His Lord - God who is Lord of all.