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Verses 21-22

Hosea 2:21-22. I will hear the heavens When they ask, as it were, to send their rain on the earth. And they shall hear the earth When it supplicates, as it were, for rain. The earth shall hear the corn and the wine, &c. When they wish, as it were, to supply the wants of man. And they shall hear Jezreel All nature shall hear, and minister to, the people whom God shall restore to their own land. The Hebrew word, however, here rendered to hear, Dr. Waterland more properly renders to answer, thus: I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, &c. In other words, all creatures shall answer the desires and wants of my people: the heavens shall answer the wants of the earth, in sending down seasonable showers: and the earth shall answer the wants of mankind, in bringing forth corn, and wine, and other necessaries of life: and the fruits of the earth shall answer the wishes of my restored people, by giving them due nourishment: see the same sense more plainly expressed, Zechariah 8:12. Bishop Horsley reads, I will perform my part, saith Jehovah, upon the heavens; and they shall perform their part upon the earth; and the earth shall perform her part upon the corn, &c.; and they shall perform their parts for the Jezreel [ the seed of God. ] “The primary and most proper meaning,” says he, “of the verb ענה , [rendered to hear, ] I take to be to react. But more largely it predicates reciprocal, correspondent, or correlate action. Thus it signifies the proper action of one thing upon another, according to established physical sympathies in the material world; or, among intelligent beings, according to the rule of moral order. And in this passage it is applied first to the action of God upon the powers of nature; and then to the subordinate action of the parts of nature upon one another; and, last of all, to the subservience of the elements, and their physical productions, to the benefit of man; and ultimately, by the direction of God’s overruling providence, to the exclusive benefit of the godly.” The gradation of the prophet in the passage is very elegant, and admirably denotes the concert, the harmony, the intelligence, which shall be between all parts of the universe, co-operating for the good of God’s people, who shall then no more see the heaven of iron and of brass withholding its dew and its rain; nor the earth burned up by the sun, unable to nourish the plants, nor the fruits denied the succour of the earth, nor men deprived of their necessary ailments. The words probably allude also to the spiritual blessings of the Christian Church.

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