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Verses 13-15

Hosea 10:13-15. Ye have ploughed wickedness Instead of working righteousness, (Hosea 10:12,) you have taken a great deal of pains in the service of sin, to compass your wicked designs. Ye have reaped iniquity Ye have, in return, received the fruit of iniquity, namely, punishment, or calamity. Ye have eaten the fruit of lies Fed yourselves with vain hopes, which have deceived and will deceive you. Or, you have trusted to that which has been only specious, not really satisfying or profitable. Because thou didst trust in thy way Thy own carnal projects and sinful contrivances, particularly the idolatry at Dan and Beth-el. In the multitude of thy mighty men The next lie, or false ground of their confidence, was the wisdom and valour of their great men. Therefore shall a tumult arise A terrible outcry, as of men affrighted at the news of the enemies’ approach. And all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, &c. This seems to be a prophecy of the taking of Samaria by Shalmaneser, which put a final period to the kingdom of Israel, 2 Kings 17:6. It held out a siege of three years, which probably provoked Shalmaneser to treat it with the severity which he used, when he made himself master of it. The only difficulty in this verse is, what place or person is alluded to by the words, as Shalman spoiled Beth-arbel in the day of battle. It is supposed that by Shalman is meant Shalmaneser; and that Beth-arbel was a place in Armenia which he took and spoiled, putting the inhabitants to the sword without any distinction either of age or sex. But it cannot be said with certainty, that this supposition is founded on fact. Some other conquest, by some other person, might possibly be meant. But it is not material to know this. It was some place which had been treated with great severity by the conqueror, and such treatment the prophet denounces Samaria should meet with. It is worthy of remark, however, that the Vulgate, St. Jerome, and the LXX. (see the Alexandrine MS.) suppose that the history alluded to is Gideon’s destruction of Zalmunna. So shall Beth-el do unto you “This is the fruit of your worshipping the golden calves at Beth-el and Dan. As it happened to the city above mentioned, so shall it happen to you, because of your iniquities.” In a morning That is, suddenly, quickly, and unexpectedly; or after a night of adversity, when they thought the morning of prosperity was come; shall the king of Israel be cut off And the whole state and government of Israel be put an end to along with him. This seems to be spoken of Hoshea, the last king of Israel, who, in the sixth year of his reign, was shut up in prison by the king of Assyria, who, in three years more, made himself master of the whole kingdom of Israel, and carried the inhabitants of it into captivity. The Vulgate, (which, with the LXX. and the Syriac, carries this clause to the next chapter,) instead of בשׁחר , in the morning, seems to have read כשׁחר , as the morning, rendering the clause, sicut mane transit, pertransit rex Israel: “As the morning passes away, so passes away the king of Israel.” This reading Bishop Horsley adopts, and translates to nearly the same sense, thus: As the morning is brought to nothing, to nothing shall the king of Israel be brought: observing, “The sudden and total destruction of the monarchy of the ten tribes is compared to the sudden and total extinction of the beauties of the dawn in the sky, by the instantaneous diffusion of the solar light: by which the ruddy streaks in the east, the glow of orange-coloured light upon the horizon, are at once obliterated, absorbed, and lost in the colourless light of day. The change is sudden even in these climates; it must be more sudden in the tropical; and in all it is one of the most complete that nature presents.”

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