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Verses 16-17

Hosea 2:16-17. And at that day thou shalt call me Ishi, &c. Ishi, my husband, is an appellation of love; Baali, my lord, of subjection and fear. God hath not given his people, whom he justifies, accepts, and betroths to himself in righteousness, the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind, 2 Timothy 1:7. As the words אישׁי , ishi, and בעלי , baali, in this verse, (both applicable to a husband, although in different views, the former signifying a husband simply, the latter a husband under the idea of a lord, or master,) are manifestly appellatives, and not proper names, they certainly ought to have been translated as appellatives; that is, the clause should have been rendered, Thou shalt call me my husband, thou shalt no more call me my lord, or master. Thus Houbigant, who adds, by way of explication, “because thou shalt love me, and serve me through affection, and not through fear.” For I will take away the names of Baalim That is, Baals; out of her mouth The Jews were forbidden to mention the names of the heathen idols, Exodus 23:13; Joshua 23:7; and therefore the name Baal, though capable of a good sense, as it signifies husband, or lord, must be avoided by them, because it was also the name of false gods, lest by using it they should be led into idolatry. And they shall be no more remembered Or mentioned, as the Hebrew may be translated; by their name “It is in vain,” says Bishop Horsley, “to look for a purity of religious worship, answerable to this prophecy, among the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity. This part of the prophecy, with all the rest, will receive its accomplishment in the converted race in the latter days. It is said, indeed, that, after the return from Babylon, the Jews scrupulously avoided idolatry, and have continued untainted with it to this day. But, generally, as this is asserted by all commentators, one after another, it is not true. Among the restored Jews there was, indeed, no public idolatry, patronized by the government, as there had been in times before the captivity, particularly in the reign of Ahaz. But from the time of Antiochus Epiphanes to the last moments of the Jewish polity, there was a numerous and powerful faction, which in every thing affected the Greek manners; and this Hellenizing party were idolaters to a man. The Jews of the present times, as far as we are acquainted with them, seem indeed to be free from the charge of idolatry, properly so called. But of the present state of the ten tribes we have no certain knowledge; without which we cannot take upon us either to accuse or to acquit them.”

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