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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Hosea 12:1-6

In these verses, I. Ephraim is convicted of folly, in staying himself upon Egypt and Assyria, when he was in straits (Hos. 12:1): Ephraim feeds on wind, that is, feeds himself with vain hopes of assistance from man, when he is at variance with God; and, when he meets with disappointments, he still pursues the same game, and greedily pants and follows after the east wind, which he cannot catch holy of, nor, if he could, would it be nourishing, nay, would be noxious. We say of the wind in the... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Hosea 12:1

Ephraim feedeth on wind ,.... Which will be no more profitable and beneficial to him than wind is to a man that opens his mouth, and fills himself with it: the phrase is expressive of labour in vain, and of a man's getting nothing by all the pains he takes; the same with sowing the wind, and reaping the whirlwind, Hosea 8:7 ; and so the Targum has it here, "the house of Israel are like to one that sows the wind, and reaps the whirlwind all the day;' and this refers either to the... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Hosea 12:1

Ephraim feedeth on wind - He forms and follows empty and unstable counsels. Followeth after the east wind - They are not only empty, but dangerous and destructive. The east wind was, and still is, in all countries, a parching, wasting, injurious wind. He daily increaseth lies - He promises himself safety from foreign alliances. He "made a covenant with the Assyrians," and sent a subsidy of "oil to Egypt." The latter abandoned him; the former oppressed him. read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Hosea 12:1

Verse 1 The Prophet here inveighs against the vain hopes of the people, for they were inflated with such arrogance, that they despised all instruction and all admonitions. It was therefore necessary, in the first place, to correct this vice, and hence he says, Ephraim feeds on wind For when one gulps the wind, he seems indeed to fill his mouth, and his throat, and his chest, and his whole stomach; but there is nothing but air, no nourishment. So he says that Israel entertained indeed much... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Hosea 12:1

EXPOSITION In Hosea 12:1-6 God continues his complaint against Ephraim, charging them specially with the pursuit of vain and futile courses to their great detriment. Instead of repairing to the true and everlasting source of safety and salvation, they had recourse to foreign alliances to support and strengthen their decaying state and sinking interests. And yet the only staying power was Jehovah. The controversy now embraces Judah also; and thus Jacob—both Israel and Judah—is... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Hosea 12:1

Feeding on wind. The conduct of Ephraim is in many respects very instructive to all readers of Scripture. There is nothing in that conduct upon which Hosea lays greater stress than the extreme folly, unreasonableness, fatuity of sin. This is a forcible image which the prophet here employs to describe the vanity of a course of life distinguished by forgetfulness of God and rebellion against God, by a constantly recurring though constantly disappointing endeavor to find satisfaction in the... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Hosea 12:1

Worthless soul-food. "Ephraim feedeth on wind." Delitzsch renders this clause, "Ephraim grazeth wind." The idea is that it sought for support and satisfaction in those things that were utterly unsubstantial and worthless—"wind.: I. SENSUAL INDULGENCES are worthless soul-food. Men seek happiness in the gratification of their senses, in the free indulgence of their appetites: but all this is nothing but "wind;" it leaves the soul more hungry than ever. Souls die with hunger in the... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Hosea 12:1-6

Reproof, retrospect, and exhortation. Ephraim is reproved for the pursuit of empty and vain courses, and courses detrimental to their best and real interests. Judah is included in the threatening which follows. They are exhorted to follow the example of the patriarch which is proposed for their imitation, with implied promise of similar success. The unchangeableness of God, who not only accepted Jacob, but blessed and prospered him, is held out to the descendants of Jacob as a guarantee of... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Hosea 12:1

Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind - The East wind in Palestine, coming from Arabia and the far East, over large tracts of sandy waste, is parching, scorching, destructive to vegetation, oppressive to man, violent and destructive on the sea Psalms 48:7, and, by land also, having the force of the whirlwind (Job 27:21; see Jeremiah 18:17). “The East wind carrieth him away and he departeth, and as a whirlwind hurleth him out of his place.” In leaving God and following... read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Hosea 12:1-2

Hosea 12:1-2. Ephraim feedeth on wind Flatters himself with vain, delusive hopes, of receiving effectual support from the alliances which he forms. It is a proverbial expression to signify labour in vain, or pursuing such measures as will bring damage rather than benefit. And followeth the east wind Pernicious, destructive counsels and courses. The east wind was peculiarly parching and noxious, blasting the fruits of the earth; thence it denotes desolation and destruction. He daily... read more

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