Hosea 12:1-2. Ephraim feedeth on wind Flatters himself with vain, delusive hopes, of receiving effectual support from the alliances which he forms. It is a proverbial expression to signify labour in vain, or pursuing such measures as will bring damage rather than benefit. And followeth the east wind Pernicious, destructive counsels and courses. The east wind was peculiarly parching and noxious, blasting the fruits of the earth; thence it denotes desolation and destruction. He daily increaseth Hebrew, ירבה , multiplieth, lies and desolation Or, falsehood and destruction; so Horsley: that is, in multiplying his falsehood, he multiplies the causes of his own destruction. And they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt Here is an example given of their falsehood, or deceit: while they were in covenant with the Assyrians, having engaged themselves to be tributaries to them, they were secretly and perfidiously seeking to make an alliance with the Egyptians, and for that purpose sent oil as a present to the king of Egypt, endeavouring to persuade him to assist them in shaking off the yoke of the king of Assyria: see the margin. The land of Judah abounded with excellent oil, which was much wanted in Egypt. The Lord hath also a controversy with Judah Though Hezekiah had abolished idolatry, and restored God’s worship in the temple, 2Ch 29:3 ; 2 Chronicles 31:1, yet there were much hypocrisy and great corruption in the manners of his subjects; for which God’s judgments are here threatened, and the invasion of Sennacherib was actually inflicted, 2 Kings 18:13, &c.
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