Hosea 10:11. Ephraim is a heifer that is taught Or, that is teachable; and loveth to tread out the corn In opposition to ploughing; that is, loves the booty not gained by its own labour; or to tread out, and freely eat of the corn which is not its own. The mouth of the ox which trod out the corn was not muzzled. But I passed over Or caused a yoke to pass over; her fair neck Laid a light yoke upon her. Ephraim being here compared to a heifer, every thing that is said about him is therefore expressed in the same way as if a heifer were really spoken of. The meaning, laying aside the figurative expression, is, that God imposed a law upon Ephraim, or the Israelites, to direct and govern them. Will make Ephraim to ride It seems this should rather be rendered, I will ride upon Ephraim, that is, I will be his ruler or director: those who had the management of oxen or heifers in those countries, used often to ride upon them. Thus Bishop Horsley: “This and the following clause give the image of a husbandman mounting his bullock to direct it over the corn.” Judah shall plough, and Jacob shall break his clods By Jacob here is meant Israel, or the ten tribes, as separated from the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin; and the clause seems to signify that the kingdom of Judah should be superior to that of Israel. Or, the general sense of the verse may be, that the descendants of Jacob should be employed in servile offices by their enemies. Bishop Horsley interprets this difficult passage differently, thus: “The first three clauses of this verse express what had been done for the instruction of Ephraim by the Mosaic institution. The last two predict the final conversion of the Ephraimites, with the rest of the people, and their restoration to a condition of national splendour and prosperity. As if he had said, Notwithstanding the judgments that are to fall upon Ephraim, he was long under the training of my holy law; and the effect of that early discipline shall not be ultimately lost. I will, in the end, bring Ephraim to obedience. Judah shall be diligent in the works I prepare for him; and the whole race of Jacob shall take part in the same labours of the spiritual field, with profit and advantage to themselves.”
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