Hosea 1:8. Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, &c. The last child is a son, and the daughter was weaned before the woman conceived him. “A child, when it is weaned,” says St. Jerome, “leaves the mother; is not nourished with the parent’s milk; is sustained with extraneous ailments.” “This aptly represents the condition of the ten tribes, expelled from their own country, dispersed in foreign lands, no longer nourished with the spiritual food of divine truth by the ministry of the prophets, and destitute of any better guide than natural reason and heathen philosophy. The deportation of the ten tribes, by which they were reduced to this miserable condition, and deprived of what remained to them, in their worst state, of the spiritual privileges of the chosen race, was, in St. Jerome’s notion of the prophecy, the weaning of Lo-ruhamah. The child, conceived after Lo-ruhamah was thus weaned, must typify the people of the kingdom of Judah, in the subsequent periods of their history. Or rather, this child typifies the whole nation of the children of Israel, reduced, in its external form, by the captivity of the ten tribes, to that single kingdom. The sex represents a considerable degree of national strength and vigour, remaining in this branch of the Jewish people, very different from the exhausted state of the other kingdom previous to its fall. Nor have the two tribes ever suffered so total an excision. The ten were absolutely lost in the world soon after their captivity. They have been nowhere to be found for many ages, and know not where to find themselves; though we are assured they will be found of God, in the day when he shall make up his jewels. But the people of Judah have never ceased totally to be. In captivity at Babylon they lived a separate race, respected by their conquerors. From that captivity they returned. They became an opulent and powerful state; formidable at times to the rival powers of Syria and Egypt; and held in no small consideration by the Roman people, and the first emperors of Rome. And even in their present state of ruin and degradation, without territory, and without a polity of their own, such is the masculine strength of suffering with which they are endued, they are still extant in the world as a separate race, but not as God’s people, otherwise than as they are reserved for signal mercy. God grant it may be in no very distant period! But at present they are לא עמי , Lo-ammi, not my people. And so they have actually been more than seventeen centuries and a half; and to this condition they were condemned, when this prophecy was delivered. That these are typified by the child Lo-ammi, appears from the application of that name, in the tenth verse, to the children of Israel generally; whence it seems to follow, that the degenerate people of Judah were implicated in the threatenings contained in the former part of the chapter. But in those threatenings they cannot be implicated, unless they are typified in some one, or more, of the typical children. But they are not typified in Jezreel; for the Jezreel is no object of wrath or threatening: not in Lo-ruhamah; for Lo-ruhamah typifies the kingdom of the ten tribes exclusively: of necessity, therefore, in Lo-ammi.” Bishop Horsley.
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