Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 3:5 - 3:5

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 3:5 - 3:5

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“Afterward will the sons of Israel turn and seek Jehovah their God, and David their king, and will go trembling to Jehovah and to His goodness at the end of the days.” This section, like the previous one, closes with the announcement of the eventual conversation of Israel, which was not indicated in the symbolical action which precedes it, but is added to complete the interpretation of the symbol. Seeking Jehovah their God is connected with seeking David their king. For just as the falling away of the ten tribes from the royal house of David was merely the sequel and effect of their inward apostasy from Jehovah, and was openly declared in the setting up of the golden calves; the true return to the Lord cannot take place without a return to David their king, since God has promised the kingdom to David and his seed for ever (2Sa 7:13, 2Sa 7:16), and therefore David is the only true king of Israel (their king). This King David, however, is no other than the Messiah. For although David received the promise of the everlasting continuance of his government, not with reference to his own person, but for his seed, i.e., his family; and on the ground of this promise, the whole of the royal house of David is frequently embraced under the expression “King David,” so that we might imagine that David is introduced here, not as an individual, but as signifying the Davidic family; yet we must not understand it on this account as referring to such historical representatives of the Davidic government as Zerubbabel, and other earthly representatives of the house of David, since the return of the Israelites to “their King David” was not to take place till 'achârı̄th hayyâmı̄m (the end of the days). For “the end of the days” does not denote the future generally, but always the closing future of the kingdom of God, commencing with the coming of the Messiah (see at Gen 49:1; Isa 2:2). Pâchad 'el Yehovâh, to shake or tremble to Jehovah, is a pregnant expression for “to turn to Jehovah with trembling;” i.e., either trembling at the holiness of God, in the consciousness of their own sinfulness and unworthiness, or else with anguish and distress, in the consciousness of their utter helplessness. It is used here in the latter sense, as the two parallels, Hos 5:15. “in their affliction they will seek me,” and Hos 11:11, “they shall tremble as a bird,” etc., clearly show. This is also required by the following expression, וְאֶל־טוּבוֹ, which is to be understood, according to Hos 2:7, as denoting the goodness of God manifested in His gifts. Affliction will drive them to seek the Lord, ad His goodness which is inseparable from Himself (Hengstenberg). Compare Jer 31:12, where “the goodness of the Lord” is explained as corn, new wine, oil, lambs, and oxen, these being the gifts that come from the goodness of the Lord (Zec 9:17; Psa 27:13; Psa 31:20). He who has the Lord for his God will want no good thing.