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This is a short but interesting Chapter. The Lord commissions the Prophet, under the same figure of an Adulteress, to set forth the very shameful departure of Israel from the Lord; and his grace in Christ for their recovery.
In a vision it should seem, that the Lord spake to the Prophet in this manner. As if he had said, See Hosea! whether there be such affection in human-kindness, that a man will still go on to love a woman that is requiting his affection with committing adultery. Will he still love her? yet such hath been my love to Israel, that no change hath taken place in me towards them, though they have left me days without number. Reader! do not fail to remark this grace of God, for surely it is most precious. Turn to those scriptures; Isaiah 43:22-25 ; Jeremiah 31:3 .
The Prophet's purchase hath doubtless an allusion to the redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ. It was spoken of as a goodly price, the Redeemer was bought for, Zechariah 11:12 . Here the Prophet gave but half that sum. But it is remarkable, that the price of retribution to a man-servant, or maid-servant, hurt by an ox was double this sum. Precious Jesus! was thy precious blood so little set by! Exodus 21:32 . And how graciously doth the Lord plead for the Church to be faithful. Jesus cannot admit a rival. If the heart be not given to him, there is nothing else he can accept. Reader! think of the graciousness of the Lord, as set forth under these figures. Fifteen piece of silver was but about the value of one pound seventeen shillings of our money. And as for the homer, and half homer of barley, the coarsest of grain, the value of it must have been inconsiderable indeed. And if the figure here used did refer to Christ, to the price given for him, what a gracious representation of the Redeemer's unequalled humility? Some have thought, that beside this, it had another reference, namely, to the dowry of Christ's Church, in her lost, ruined, and undone estate. Those who are of this opinion suppose, that an allusion was made to it by David. 1 Samuel 18:25 .
There is a great beauty in this verse, as well as a great and blessed doctrine veiled under it. Jehovah Jesus might very justly have put away forever his Israel for their whoredoms, and made the divorce binding; but not so according to the riches of his grace. Israel shall be divorced, if divorced at all, only many days, that is, until the fulness of the Gentiles be completed; then will the Lord call his ancient people home, and their union with him, their glorious head shall be shown, that Israel could never be for another; neither could Jesus be but for them. Reader! consult those sweet scriptures in confirmation of the doctrine, and the beauty and grace of it will abundantly appear. Romans 11:0 throughout. Hosea 2:7 .
I beg the Reader to pause over these verses, and when he hath duly pondered their meaning, to consider at this moment the state of the Jews, and behold, how for ages and generations past, the prediction in the former part hath been fulfilled in the earth. At the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, they publicly declared, that they had no king but Cesar; thereby fulfilling the memorable prophecy of the Patriarch Jacob, that the sceptre should not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh should come. Compare John 19:15 with Genesis 49:10 . The Shiloh was then come, and the sceptre, by their own acknowledgment, was departed. And since that they have had no king; yea the many days in which they were to be kingless, are not even yet run out. The whole nation is to this hour scattered. They have lost all the five signs of the temple: yea, they have no temple, but are unchurched, and in the most desolate and ruined circumstances in respect to divine things. But, Reader! pray attend with the greatest diligence to the sweet and gracious promise in the latter part of this scripture. There shall be a time, when they shall return and seek Jehovah in his threefold character of person in Christ; and that, in and through him whom they once despised: Jesus the root and offspring of David, their king. This blessed event is to be in the latter days. Oh! who that hears or reads this gracious promise, but must feel constrained to cry out, when will the Redeemer arise out of Zion to turn away ungodliness from Jacob, Isaiah 59:20 .
PRECIOUS, precious Lord Jesus! let me pass by and pass over every ether thought and consideration furnished by this Chapter, to attend to thee, and to that lovely character of thine set forth in this scripture, as the husband of thy people! It is thou, dearest Lord, and not thy servant Hosea, that is here set forth, as loving a woman, an adulteress, in thy love to thy Church and people. We have indeed all played the harlot, and done that which even the worshippers of the dunghill gods of the earth, never did; changed their gods, which were no gods; but we have changed that which is our glory, for that which cannot profit. But in the midst of all this rebellion, and apostacy, and departure; thou hast not changed thy love, nor given a bill of everlasting divorce, but if at all, yet only for a season. Every act of thine, in all ages of the Church, very fully shows, that thou hast not put away thy people whom thou didst foreknow. And after many days, thou wilt return and visit thine inheritance, and Israel shall again fear the Lord and his goodness, after many days. Oh! for faith in lively exercise, to be always on the lookout for the Lord's coming. Hasten, O Lord, the gracious promise, and arise and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Hosea 3". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30