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Verse 3

Hosea 2:3. Lest I strip her naked, &c. The punishment frequently inflicted upon harlots was, to strip them naked and expose them to the world. The punishment of adulteresses among the Germans is thus described by Tacitus, “Accisis crinibus nudatam coram propinguis expellit domo maritus.” Or the allusion may be to the ignominy which brutal conquerors sometimes inflicted on the captives they took in war, by stripping them of their clothing and causing them to travel in that condition, exposed to the inclemency of the weather, and, which was yet worse, to the intolerable heat of the sun: see note on Isaiah 3:17. Thus God threatens to deal with the Israelites: to deliver them into the hands of their enemies, and carry them away naked into captivity, (see Hosea 2:9,) in as forlorn and desolate a condition as they were in during their bondage in Egypt. And make her as a wilderness A state of captivity is fitly compared to being placed in a wilderness, in want of common necessaries: compare Ezekiel 19:13. “It may seem harsh,” says Bishop Horsley, “to say of a woman that she shall be laid waste like a wilderness, and reduced to the condition of a parched land. But it is to be observed that the allegorical style makes an intercommunity of attributes between the type and the thing typified. So that when a woman is the image of a country or of a church, that may be said of a woman, which, in unfigured language, might be said of the country, or the church, which she represents. The country might literally be made a waste wilderness, by unfruitful seasons, by the devastations of war, or of noxious vermin: a church is made a wilderness and a parched land, when the living waters of the Spirit are withheld.”

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