Hosea 11:5-6. He shall not return into the land of Egypt They were desirous of making their escape thither, and many families perhaps effected it: see note on Hosea 9:6. But it is here threatened, that the nation in a body should not be permitted so to escape. But the Assyrian shall be his king They shall be wholly in the power of the king of Assyria, and be carried away captive into his dominions; because they refused to return Namely, to the true worship of God, and obedience to his laws, notwithstanding the many calls, reproofs, admonitions, and exhortations given them by the prophets. Their obstinacy in idolatry is the cause of all the calamities coming upon them. And the sword shall abide on his cities His cities shall be destroyed by the conqueror’s sword; and shall consume his branches The lesser towns and villages. Thus the word
בדים is expounded, in a marginal note of the Bishops’ Bible. It often means the arms, or principal branches, of a great tree, and is twice translated staves, Exodus 27:6. In this place some interpreters render it bars; and Abarbanel expounds it of the strong and valiant men of the nation, observing, that the chief branches of the people in a kingdom are the valiant men. Rabbi Tanchum explains it of their children; the branches, as he observes, springing from their fathers. The word, however, also signifies lies, and is so rendered Isaiah 16:6, and Jeremiah 48:30. Bishop Horsley translates it diviners, deriving it from בדד , he was solitary, because they affected a solitary, ascetic life; a sense which he thinks, of all others, most apposite to the context. He acknowledges, however, that to render it branches, limbs, or bars, is admissible, and may very well suit the place.
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