King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Hosea 2

The idolatry of the people. (1-5) God’s judgments against them. (6-13) His promises of reconciliation. (14-23)

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The idolatry of the people

1 Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.

2 Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;

3 Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.

4 And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms.

5 For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.

God’s judgments against them

6 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.

7 And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.

8 For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.

9 Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness.

10 And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand.

11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.

12 And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.

13 And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.

His promises of reconciliation

14 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.

15 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

16 And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.

17 For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.

18 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.

19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.

20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.

21 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth;

22 And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.

23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Brethren, &c. Or, call your brethren, My people; and your sister, Her that hath obtained mercy. This is connected with the latter end of the foregoing chapter, and relates to the converts of Israel. Ch. — I seemed to have abandoned them at the great day of carnage; (H.) but I will still receive (C.) this portion of my people, as well as Juda. H. — Disdain not to call them brethren. More of the ten tribes than of the others embraced the faith of Christ, and more Gentiles than Jews became converts. W.

Ver. 2. Your mother: the synagogue. C. — He addresses Juda, (v. 11, 15.) or all God’s people. C. i. 11. This vineyard yields no good fruit. Is. v. Idolatry prevails. Ezec. xvi. 5. and xxiii. 3.

Ver. 3. Drought. In Egypt the people were plunged into idolatry, and oppressed. C.

Ver. 4. Fornications. They imitate their parents. H. — I will not spare them, as I did some in the wilderness. S. Jer. — Punishment will not cease till people repent. W.

Ver. 5. Lovers: idols, and foreign nations. Ezec. xvi. 15, 33.

Ver. 6. Paths. The aid which she sought from foreigners shall prove vain. — It is often an effect of mercy, when our wicked plans miscarry. S. Jer.

Ver. 8. Baal: or they formed idols.

Ver. 9. Season. When the harvest is ripe, the loss is more afflicting. God withdraws what proves an occasion of sin. — Liberty. The creature serves unwillingly. Rom. viii. 21.

Ver. 10. Folly, or shame. Gen. xxxiv. 7. Judg. xix. 23.

Ver. 11. Times. This was verified during the captivity.

Ver. 13. Ear. Heb. “nose-ring,” or ornaments hanging from the nose. C.

Ver. 14. I will allure her, &c. After her disloyalties, I will still allure her by my grace, &c. and send her vine-dressers, viz. the apostles, originally her own children, who shall open to her the gates of hope; as heretofore, at her coming into the land of promise, she had all good success after she had satisfied the divine justice by the execution of Achan, in the valley of Achor. Jos. vii. Ch. — Sept. “I will seduce or make her stray;” plano. H. — I will permit her to yield to error, in captivity; (Theod.) or will cause her hopes to be frustrated yet in exile I will comfort her. The Jews were not changed till they had seen the vanity of idols, and suffered much. C. — God’s grace prevents sinners, that they may be converted. W.

Ver. 15. Vine. Heb. “vineyards there,” (C.) or “from,” &c. H. — Achor. The environs of Jericho were very enchanting. Is. lxv. 10. — Sing is better than Sept. “shall be humbled.” Heb. “shall answer,” as people singing alternately. C.

Ver. 16. My husband. In Heb. Ishi.Baali: my lord. The meaning of this verse is: that, whereas, Ishi and Baali were used indifferently in those days by wives speaking to their husbands, the synagogue, whom God was pleased to consider as his spouse, should call him only Ishi, and abstain from the name of Baali, because of his affinity with the name of the idol Baal. Ch. — The very name shall become obsolete. H.

Ver. 17. Baalim. It is the plural number of Baal; for there were divers idols of Baal. Ch. — The Jews hence styled Esbaal, Isboseth; as boseth means “confusion.” 1 Par. viii. 33.

Ver. 18. Beasts. The most savage nations shall receive the gospel, and become mild. Is. xi. 6. Theod. — Wild beasts shall not infest the land. Lev. xxvi. 22. C.

Ver. 19. I will espouse thee, &c. This relates to the happy espousals of Christ with his Church, which shall never be dissolved. Ch. — God gives the dowry, justice, &c.

Ver. 20. Faith, the root of all virtues. We shall be true to each other. This has been realized only in the Church of Christ. C.

Ver. 21. Hear the heavens, &c. All shall conspire in favour of the Church, which in the following verse is called Jezrahel, that is, the seed of God. Ch. — Harmony shall subsist between all the parts of the universe. The earth shall receive rain, &c. This happiness was enjoyed in figure by the Jews, after their return, and in reality by Christians. Theod.

Ver. 22. Jezrahel. This most fruitful valley shall again be covered with abundant crops. The whole nation of the Jews shall be happy. C.

Ver. 24. That which is not my people, &c. This relates to the conversion of the Gentiles, (Ch.) as the apostles explain it. 1 Pet. ii. 10. Rom. ix. W.