King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Hosea 11

God’s regard for Israel; their ingratitude. (1-7) The Divine mercy yet in store. (8-12)

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God’s regard for Israel; their ingratitude

1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.

3 I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.

4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.

5 He shall not return into the land of Egypt, and the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.

6 And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.

7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.

The Divine mercy yet in store

8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.

9 I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.

10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.

11 They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD.

12 Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Away. The last kings of Israel lived in the midst of troubles. H. — Osee, though one of the best, brought ruin on the nation. C. — Son: Israel. But as the calling of Israel out of Egypt was a figure of the calling of Christ from thence; therefore this text is also applicable to Christ, as we learn from S. Mat. ii. 15. Ch. Julian pretends that the apostle has abused this text. But it speaks of both events. S. Jer. — Eusebius (Dem. ix. 3.) thinks that S. Mat. refers to Balaam; (Num. xxiv. 8.) and S. Jerom does not reject this opinion, (in Mat. ii. C.) to avoid “wrangling,” though he repeatedly alleges this text as a proof his version being more accurate than that of the Sept. which has his children. This reading the best editions retain; so that it may seem a matter of surprise, that Fabricius should give this verse as a specimen of Origen’s Hexapla, and still print my son, taking it, as he says, from the Barbarini copy, the London Polyglot, and Cave. Bib. Gr. iii. 12. The first column has the Heb. text, and the second the same in Greek characters, &c. The reader may form a judgment of this work from the following specimen: 1. Heb. (which we shall express) karathi bani. 2. Gr. karathi bani. 3. Aq. ekalesa ton uion mou. 4. Sym. kekletai uios mou. 5. Sept. kekletai uios mou. 6. Th. kai ekalesa uion mou. If any other versions were added, to form Octapla, &c. they were placed after Theodotion, who, though prior to Symmachus, is placed after him, because his version was not so unlike that of the Sept. and the deficiencies were chiefly supplied from him. In the Rom. and Alex. edit. instead of the above we find, metekalesa ta tekna autou. “I have recalled his children.” H. — This is literally spoken of Israel, (styled God’s son, Ex. iv 23.) and mystically, (W.) though no less (H.) truly, of Jesus Christ, as the inspired evangelist shews. W.

Ver. 2. They called: viz. Moses and Aaron called: but they went away after other gods, and would not hear. Ch. — Sept. “As I called them back, or (repeatedly; metekalesa. Grabe has, “he called;” meaning any of God’s ministers) so they rushed away from my presence.” H. — This sense appears preferable to the Heb. C.

Ver. 3. Healed them. My laws were designed to counteract idolatry. H. — I treated them with the utmost tenderness. Deut. i. 31. and xxxii. 11.

Ver. 4. Adam. I placed my people in a sort of paradise, (C.) like the first man; and as they have imitated him, they shall suffer accordingly. Rufin. Haimo. — But Sept. &c. render, “of a man.” They shall be treated like the rest. C. — Grace draws man by sweet means. His free-will is not destroyed, nor is he impelled, like beasts, by force or fear, (W.) though the latter is often used for the most salutary purposes. — Yoke, or muzzle, which prevents them from eating. H. — I furnish them with manna. Can it be suspected that I wish to oppress them? C.

Ver. 5. Egypt. Many went, contrary to this prohibition. H. — Yet they did not prosper, as they expected. The Hebrews had also often murmured in the desert, and threatened to return to Egypt.

Ver. 6. Heads. Heb. “counsellors.” Civil war desolated the kingdom, and made way for the Assyrians. Sept. “they are devoured on account of their projects.” C. — They are at a loss what to do.

Ver. 7. Off, for a long time; and indeed Israel never recovered its former state, after the captivity. H. — Then they became more docile. Heb. is very ambiguous. C.

Ver. 8. Adama, &c. Adama and Seboim were two cities in the neighbourhood of Sodom, and underwent the like destruction. Ch. — God punishes, like a father, with regret.

Ver. 9. Not man. I am not actuated by the spirit of revenge, nor do I fear lest my enemy escape. C. — I punish in order to reclaim, (S. Jer.) and reserve eternal vengeance only for those who die impenitent. — Holy one. If there be a just man in Israel, I will spare the nation; (Gen. xviii. 32.) or there are some just, like Tobias, and therefore a part shall be reserved; or, (C.) I am the just (H.) God. S. Jer.

Ver. 10. Lion. His power is most terrible, and his commands must be obeyed. C. — All nations shall permit the return of Israel. H. — They shall come from the sea, of from its islands.

Ver. 11. Egypt. Some returned soon; others not before the reign of Alexander, or perhaps later. C. Diss.

Ver. 12. Denials; refusing to adhere to my worship. H. — They wished to unite it with that of idols. 3 K. xviii. C. — Saints. The priests and temple are preserved in Juda. Ezechias brought the people to serve God faithfully, while Israel was led captive. Sept. “the house of Israel and Juda with impiety. Now God hath known them lovingly, and it shall be called the holy people of God.” Thus both kingdoms were criminal, and God exercised his mercy towards both. H. — The Jews relate that when their ancestors were pursued by the Egyptians, and the people were desponding, Juda signalized his courage by entering the bed of the sea. S. Jer. — These traditions are suspicious. C.