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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 12

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Verse 1

Hos 12:1, Ephraim (Israel) feedeth on wind denotes that he is interested in that which is without substance. East -wind is an allusion to the wind that blows off of the desert of Arabia called a simoon. Webster defines this word, “A hot, dry, violent wind laden with dust, that blowB occasionally In Arabia, Syria, etc," This wind would hence be of no value, but would be in-jurious. It is used figuratively, to denote the evil nature of the manner of life that the people of God were following. The literal instance of this sinful conduct was the traffic which was carried on by Israel with Assyria and Egypt.

Verse 2

Hos 12:2. It has been stated that most of this book is about the affairs of the 10-tribe kingdom (Israeli, but some verses are written concerning Judah, the 2-tribe kingdom. So here it is stated that the Lord had a controversy (accusation) with Judah. Jacob is a more general term and applies to the descendants of that patriarch. In spite of the advantage of observation on the conduct of Israel, these descendants of Jacob who formed the 2-tribe kingdom of Judah finally were wrong also.

Verse 3

Hos 12:3. This verse specifies some of the indications of Jacob’s special favors. The action of the infant while in the mother's womb was necessarily a miraculous one, and was caused by the Lord, in keeping with His prediction in Gen 25:23. The assertion is made that it was by the power of God, and that power will be further explained in the next verse.

Verse 4

Hos 12:4. The power referred to in the preceding verse is recorded in Gen 32:25. As long as the angel conducted his wrestling as ‘‘a man,” he was unable to prevail against Jacob: and only when he employed his supernatural talent as an angel, did he succeed in the contest. The events of this verse are not chronological, for the wrestling with the angel took place many years after the night at Bethel. At that time the people of Judah were In existence only in the loins of Jacob, but the things said and done were regarded as pertaining to the interests of said people, lienee the word us with which tie verse closes.

Verse 5

Hos 12:5. Hosts means an army, especially the army of heaven, Lord is his memorial denotes that the holy name is that by which He is to be remembered.

Verse 6

Hos 12:6. The exhortation given had special application to the leaders or princes of the nation who were cruel to the common people, and who denied them their just rights in matters of controversy.

Verse 7

Hos 12:7. Merchant is from KENAAN and Strong defines it, "Kenaan, a son of Ham; also the country inhabited by him.” The thought of the verse is an accusation that the people of the land had become deceitful, especially their leaders.

Verse 8

Hos 12:8. Ephraim (Israel) had become prosperous, and it caused him to be vain and rebellious. (See Deu 32:15.) It was bad enough for Israel to become disobedient in his prosperity, but he even used his condition as a basis for denying that he had any guilt.

Verse 9

Hos 12:9. From the land of Egypt. God has always existed, but Israel as a people first knew Him at the time they left Egypt. At the time they left that country they had to begin living in tents, and the fact was commemorated by a special feast designated by the name. Yet make thee to dwell in taber-nacles is a prediction Of the return from the captivity, at which time they were to resume their festivities of services towards the Lord. (See Nehe- miah 8: 17.)

Verse 10

Hos 12:10. These various methods of communicating with His people are referred to in Heb 1:1. The present purpose of mentioning this is for a reminder that the people of the land of Canaan were without excuse in their unlawful conduct. Also, when the calamity of exile comes against them, they will have no ground of complaint as if they had been taken unawares.

Verse 11

Hos 12:11. This verse is a general statement of the national corruptions of ilie people of God- Oilead was a large area in the vicinity of Palestine that was supposed to produce healing articles; but it had become tinctured with the germs of a false religion. They are vanity means that all of the devotions to false gods would prove to be empty of any value. The emptiness of the Idol worship la likened to the demolished condition of an altar whose sLones have been scattered over the ground.

Verse 12

Hos 12:12. We know that Jacob went into the country far beyond what is commonly understood as Syria. The subject will be clarified by a quotation, from a reference work as follows: ‘‘Aramaic Languages are so called from AH AM, a geographical term which In old Semitic usage designates nearly the same district as the Greek word, Syria. Aram, however, does not include Palestine, while it comprehends Mesopotamia (Hebrew, Aram of two rivers), a region which the Greeks fre-quently distinguish from Syria proper. Thus the Aramaic languages may he geographically defined as the Semitic dialects originally current in Meso-potamia and the regions extending S. W. from the Euphrates to Palestine,"-Britannica, Volume 2, page 307. He is called Israel at the time he was serving Laban, although that name was not given to him until he returned to his home land (Gen 32:28); but it had become history at the time that Hosea wrote his book. The Significance of mentioning this was to remind the people of the humble estate of the man from whom they received their name.

Verse 13

Hos 12:13. The dependence of the peo-ple upon the Lord is still the thought in the passage. The prophet referred to was Moses, who was given divine power in his leadership of the people, else they never could have escaped from the land of Egypt, and been pre-served after escaping and going through the wilderness with all its perils.

Verse 14

Hos 12:14. Ephraim (Israel) provoked him (the Lord) with his many acts of rebellion. Therefore shall he (the Lord) leave his (Ephraim's) blood upon him, meaning that the people of Israel were to be chastised for their iniquity.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Hosea 12". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/hosea-12.html. 1952.
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