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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 13

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

Verse 1

Hos 13:1. As long as the people of Israel trembled or had reverence for the Lord, they were exalted in the divine favors. But they did not remain thus faithful; instead, they committed the offence of sacrificing to the false god called BaaL When that took place the Lord decreed that the nation should die. That means it was to die nationally, and it was fulfilled when it was dethroned and taken away into the captivity (Isa 22:14; Isa 22:18).

Verse 2

Hos 13:2. Baal was one of the invisible gods that the idolaters worshiped which was foolish enough, but God accused them of sinning more and more. That was because they were not content to serve a god that was invisible, and in that respect was like the true God, but went further and served the gods of their own making. A little reasoning should have shown them the folly of depending upon a god of human origin, for such a thing could not possibly possess any more power than a human being.

Verse 3

Hos 13:3. A morning cloud and early dew soon disappear, and the comparison is made to the shortness and un-certainty of all false gods and the suc-cess of those who worship them. All of the illustrations in this verse are for the same purpose, and they predict the overthrow of the rule of corruption which the tnen of Israel had maintained i.o the disadvantage of the common. people.

Verse 4

Hos 13:4. From, the land of Egypt is explained at Hos 12:9. Shalt know no god but one has a twofold bearing, it denotes the commandment of the Lord and is the first of the ten commandments (Exo 20:3). It is also a prediction of the state of Israel to he manifested after the captivity. The history quoted in connection With Isa 1:25 shows that Israel was com-pletely cured of Idolatry after the captivity.

Verse 5

Hos 13:5. I did know thee denotes the attention the Lord gave to Israel in the wilderness. There were many times that the nation would have perished for the necessities of life had God not. been good enough to provide food and water for them.

Verse 6

Hos 13:6. According to their pasture, The Lord provided abundant pasturage for his stock, but the sheep devoured it to excess and then forgot the Shepherd who had done so much for them. Heart was exalted refers to the pride that took possession of the people as a result of their prosperity.

Verse 7

Hos 13:7. The Lord was a tender shepherd over his people while they respected the divine law. However, they were unappreciative of the many favors that were shown them, and then God changed his attitude toward them and threatened IO act as a harsh beast. The figure has reference to the exile into a strange land that was destined to come upon the unfaithful nation.

Verse 8

Hos 13:8. This verse continues the figures that indicate the fierceness of God’s wrath against the wicked nation. Caul is from CEGOWE, which Strong defines, “Shut up, i. e., the breast (as inclosing the heart)." The clause means that God will rend the protecting covering of their heart, and expose it to the rigors of the chastising wrath of Him whom they so ungratefully disobey.

Verse 9

Hos 13:9. Seif-destruction in the physi-cal sense is called suicide, and is classed with the most wicked of deeds. It should be regarded with equal or greater horror when it pertains to moral or spiritual matters; the Lord accused his people of this very evil thing. By plunging into a life of idol-atry. Israel incurred the wrath of the true God which waa to be satisfied only by the national death (Isa 22:14). Since this calamity was to be the result of their own rash deeds, it should be regarded as nothing short of national suicide.

Verse 10

Hos 13:10. The first sentence of this verse is rendered, “Where is thy king'’ in the margin of the Bible. Moffatt's translation renders it likewise and 2Ki 17:4 gives the reason for the humiliating question. That passage states that the king of Israel had been shut up and bound in prison by the king of Assyria. The Lord further asks them the accusing question about their having anyone else to take the place of this king who was then in prison.

Verse 11

Hos 13:11. The subject of the “state of the nation” was brought up to the point where it was appropriate to make the statement of this verse. The overthrow of the last king this part of Israel ever had was not to he regarded as an unexpected or unavoidable event, for the very first king they ever had was the victim of God's wrath. The first clause of the verse refers to the tact that God waa displeased when the people called for a king, although he suffered them to have one <1Sa 8:7). The second clause was fulfilled when the Lord declared that Saul was to be removed from the throne because of his rebellion (1Sa 15:23),

Verse 12

Hos 13:12. Bound up and hid are said in the sense of being held under con-sideration by the Lord, to be dealt with as the sin deserves when the proper time comes.

Verse 13

Hos 13:13. The thought of the pre-ceding verse is continued in this, but it is represented in a figure. The pains of approaching childbirth are used to compare those soon to come upon Is-rael when the time arrives for him to go through the ordeal of invasion and overthrow. The figure is continued and is worded to fit the facts as they were to occur. The pains of the birth were not to be continuous or lasting as is sometimes the case, which is indicated by the words not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children. The fulfillment of this was to be when the captivity (the event illustrated by the pains of childbirth) would be ended. This passage lays the foundation for a wonderful twofold prediction of the rescue of Israel from the national grave, and that of mankind from the literal grave at the resurrection.

Verse 14

Hos 13:14. This verse gives the two-fold prediction mentioned In the pre-ceding paragraph. Its first fulfillment was to be when Israel was released from the captivity in Babylon, predicted in so many places. And we are certain the second fulfillment Is to be at the general resurrection of mankind, for Paul uses virtually the same language in 1Co 15:55, where we know he is writing upon that subject. Repentance shall be hid means the Lord has his mind made up on the matters predicted and it will not be changed.

Verse 15

Hos 13:15. Though he be fruitful de-notes that the apparent success of the unfaithful leaders of Israel will be re-versed. As the east wind (see the com-ments at chapter 12: 1) would destroy all vegetation, so the wrath of God will put an end to the unrighteous rule of these proud leaders. It is significant that the figurative cast wind was to be accomplished by a nation (Assyria) that was literally east of Palestine.

Verse 16

Hos 13:16. Samaria shall become desolate is a prediction that was to he fulfilled literally, for that city was the capital of the 10-tribe kingdom, and it was destined to be overthrown by the Assyrians. The reason for such a fate against the people of Israel is stated in the words for she hath rebelled against her Lord.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Hosea 13". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/hosea-13.html. 1952.
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