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Verses 8-9

Hosea 11:8-9. How shall I give thee up, Ephraim To utter destruction? God’s mercy is here pathetically described as contending with his justice, to show that he does not willingly destroy, or even afflict, or grieve, the children of men, Lamentations 3:33. How shall I make thee as Admah? &c. How shall I give thee up to a perpetual desolation? Admah and Zeboim were two cities which were wholly destroyed, together with Sodom and Gomorrah. My heart is turned within me Or, upon me; so Horsley. My repentings are kindled together Not that God is ever fluctuating or unresolved; but these are expressions after the manner of men, to show what severity Israel had deserved, and yet how divine grace would be glorified in sparing them. Thus God’s compassion toward sinners is elsewhere expressed by the sounding, or yearning, of his bowels, Isaiah 63:15; Jeremiah 31:20; a metaphor taken from the natural affection which parents have for their children. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger I will not punish to the utmost strictness of justice; I will not return to destroy Ephraim I will not carry it so far as to make a second destruction of Ephraim; so as to cut off those who escaped the first infliction of my punishments, and thereby wholly destroy them. Conquerors, that plunder a conquered city, carry away the wealth of it, and, after some time, often return to burn it. God will not thus utterly destroy Israel. For I am God, and not man Therefore my compassions fail not; the Holy One in the midst of thee A holy God, and in covenant, though not with all, yet with many among you, and present with you to preserve a remnant to be my faithful servants. And I will not enter into the city As an enraged enemy to destroy your cities, as I did Sodom.

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