Hosea 1:11. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together When the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, this will be a means of converting the Jews, and bringing them into the church. And when converts of the house of Judah shall have obtained a resettlement in the holy land, then a general conversion shall take place of the race of Judah, and the race of the ten tribes. They shall unite in one confession, and in one polity; and appoint themselves one head The Lord Christ, called David their king, (Hosea 3:5,) shall become the chief and head of his church, composed of Judah and Israel, of Jews and Gentiles. This head is indeed appointed and set up over the church by God, Psalms 2:6; Ephesians 1:22. But the saints are said to appoint Christ their head, when they choose him and embrace him for their sovereign; when, with the highest estimation, most vigorous affections, and utmost endeavours of unfeigned obedience, they set him up in their hearts, and serve him in their lives, giving him the pre-eminence in all things. And they shall come up out of the land, &c. That is, from all parts of the earth, to Jerusalem, there to join in the same way of worship (as once the twelve tribes did, before the schism under Jeroboam) with the Christian Church, and so proceed on the way to the kingdom of heaven. Jerusalem being situated upon an eminence, and in the heart of a mountainous region, which rose greatly above the general level of the country to a great distance on all sides, the sacred writers always speak of persons going to Jerusalem, as going up. For great shall be the day of Jezreel That is, of the seed of God: see note on Hosea 1:4. “Great and happy shall be the day, when the holy seed of both branches of the natural Israel shall be publicly acknowledged of their God, united under one head, their King Messiah, and restored to the possession of the promised land, and to a situation of high pre-eminence among the kingdoms of the earth.” It must be observed here, that although this is an express prophecy of the final conversion and restoration of the Jews, it contains also a manifest allusion to the call of the Gentiles. For, “the word Jezreel, though applied in this passage to the devout part of the natural Israel, by its etymology is capable of a larger meaning, comprehending all, of every race and nation, who, by the preaching of the gospel, are made members of Christ, and the children of God. All these are a seed of God, begotten of him by the Spirit to a holy life, and to the inheritance of immortality. The words Ammi and Ruhamah, ( my people and beloved,) and their opposites, Lo-ammi and Lo- ruhamah, ( not my people and not beloved,) are capable of the same extension; the two former to comprehend the converted, the two latter the unconverted, Gentiles. In this extent they seem to be used chap. Hosea 2:23, which appears to be a prophecy of the call of the Gentiles, with manifest allusion to the restoration of the Jews.” Accordingly we find these prophecies of Hosea cited by St. Paul, to prove the indiscriminate call to salvation both of Gentiles and Jews. He affirms, that God has called us [that is, Christians] vessels of mercy afore prepared unto glory, ου μονον
εξ Ιουδαιων αλλα και εξ εθνων , not of the Jews only, but moreover of the Gentiles too, Romans 9:24.” “The allusion which is made to these prophecies by St. Peter, in his first epistle, (1 Peter 2:10,) is not properly a citation of any part of them, but merely an accommodation of the expressions, not my people, my people, not having obtained mercy, having obtained mercy, to the case of the Hebrews of the Asiatic dispersion, before and after their conversion.” Bishop Horsley, who adds, “it is surprising that the return of Judah from the Babylonian captivity should ever have been considered, by any Christian divine, as the principal object of this prophecy, and an event in which it has received its full accomplishment. The fact is, that this prophecy has no relation to the return from Babylon in a single circumstance. What was the number of the returned captives, that it should be compared to that of the sands upon the sea-shore? The number of the returned, in comparison of the whole captivity, was nothing. And how was Zorobabel (under whom the Jews returned from Babylon) one head of the rest of Israel, as well as of Judah? To interpret the prophecy in this manner is to make it little better than a paltry quibble; more worthy of the Delphic tripod, than of the Scripture of truth.” Very judicious, upon this subject, are the remarks of the learned Houbigant, “The prophet, in the tenth verse, passes from threatenings to promises, which is the manner of the prophets, that the Jews might not think that, after the accomplishment of the threatenings, God would concern himself no more about their nation. Those promises seem to respect the final condition of the Jews, when they should collect under one head, the Messiah; that it might properly be said of them, Ye are children of the living God. It is difficult to accommodate the words of this passage to the return from the Babylonian captivity. Those Jews, who returned from Babylon, were not so much as one-hundredth part of the whole Jewish race; so little were they to be compared with the sands of the sea: nor did they appoint themselves one head. Zorobabel was indeed their leader, but not their single leader; and their form of government henceforward was not monarchical, but an aristocracy. Nor had they kings till the very last, when they were become unworthy to be called children of the living God.”
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