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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 14

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-9



Verses 1-9:

Verse 1 is a strong, intensive, emotional appeal, from God to Israel, His estranged whoring wife, to return to Him, because of and in spite of her terrible fall into sin and rebellion, Hosea 12:6; Joel 2:13. He desires that she return to Him in genuine repentance. The fall and guilt of the sinful nation has been described, and warning of the pending punishment has been given, yet, God in love calls for her conversion, with view to his extended mercy and restoration of her to himself, for He is yet married to her, Jeremiah 3:14; Jeremiah 3:22.

Verse 2 appeals to Ephraim to take with her words, words of genuine repentance, as David did, Psalms 51:1-3; Psalms 51:7; Psalms 51:12-13, and as the prodigal son did, Luke 15:17-21, asking to be pardoned for personal sins and restored to Divine fellowship, by grace, not by reason of any personal merit, 1 Chronicles 29:14; Titus 3:5. Grace, not works, or moral merit, is always the way for a sinner, or backslider’s return to God. Only then may one offer the "calves of his lips", not slaughtered calves, in praise and testimony to God’s grace, Psalms 78:36. What is true of an individual is also true of a nation, Psalms 107:2; Isaiah 29:13; Hebrews 13:15.

Verse 3 warns that Asshur, Assyria, or Egypt will not save her from certain judgment, her war-horses cannot outrun her judgment, for her idolatry, the works of her hands, are renounced of God, Psalms 33:17; Proverbs 21:31. Israel is to be brought so low that she shall never again trust in or bow before idol gods, who offer help to no one, Psalms 115:4-9. This warning is an inducement for her to turn back to the true God in prayer, Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 10:18; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalms 10:14; Psalms 68:5.

Verse 4 is a Divine pledge that God will heed them, in their prayers of genuine repentance, and heal their backsliding, Hosea 11:7; Jeremiah 3:14; Jeremiah 3:20; Jeremiah 5:6; Jeremiah 14:7. He also pledges to love them freely, without holding back, without pretense, Ephesians 1:6; Romans 3:24; Romans 12:9. Freely, gratuitously, with spontaneity, impelled by His Divine attributes of love, mercy, and holiness He assures Ephraim and Israel that she may find restoration with His anger turned away, on the basis of her repentance and return, Ezekiel 16:60-63; 1 John 4:10; Romans 5:8.

Verse 5 pictures and pledges future divine help for Israel in her return to her God. It is described as a constant dew or continuing refreshing to her, to cause her to grow like a lily of the field or Valley in Israel, Job 29:19; Proverbs 19:12; Isaiah 26:19. The lily is a most beautiful and productive flower in Lebanon, where it is deeply rooted and spreads abundantly, providing up to 50 bulbs to the root. With such, Israel, God’s divorced wife, because of her idolatrous whoredoms, is compared, when she shall have repented of her abominable ways and returned to Him.

Verse 6 further describes Ephraim’s spreading branches and desirable beauty, like the productive olive trees of Israel, and his smell or aroma shall be like that of the flowers of Lebanon, of the then northern kingdom of Israel, where Ephraim was the royal and predominant tribe of the ten, Psalms 52:8; Psalms 128:3. Stability and fruitful propagation are here suggested as future hope for this once backslidden people and nation, Matthew 6:29; Isaiah 10:34.

Verse 7 states that those who dwell or reside under the shadow or will of God shall return to their land. They shall revive as wilted corn after a sea 3oning rain, enjoying new life and grow, spread, or prosper, as a spreading vine, Psalms 17:8; Psalms 91:1. The scene or aroma of her restored obedience and goodness is said to be like the aroma of Israel’s most desired wine in the mountains of Lebanon, Song of Solomon 1:2-3.

Verse 8 describes Ephraim’s lament over her former vanity, with idols, and pledges never again to return to such. For she has tried them and they failed her, but having turned back to her lover, her husband has graciously received and restored her, done for her what idols did not or could not do. She realizes she is not like a green tree, an evergreen, protected and supported by her true lover alike in summer and winter. This is a true lover, one who provides for all her needs, from whom to stray, of whom to disobey, is not wise, John 15:4-5; John 15:8; Philippians 4:19; James 1:17.

Verse 9 concludes Hosea’s prophecy by suggesting that each one who is wise, or exercises true wisdom, shall understand that the things he has prophecied are "the word of the Lord," that came to Him, Hosea 1:1; 2 Peter 1:20-21. He further asserts that those who are prudent shall know, recognize, or accept the message that He has delivered from the Lord, for "the wise shall understand, but none of the wicked shall understand," Daniel 12:10. It is further affirmed that the ways of the Lord are right and the just are to walk in (in harmony with) them, Psalms 1:1-4; Psalms 119:160. But the transgressors of God’s ways, commands, laws shall fall under them, their just judgment, Proverbs 10:29; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Deuteronomy 30:19-20; 1 Corinthians 1:18 But great peace is in God, Psalms 119:165.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Hosea 14". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/hosea-14.html. 1985.
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