Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 7:15 - 7:15

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 7:15 - 7:15

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Yet Jehovah has done still more for Israel. Hos 7:15. “And I have instructed, have strengthened their arms, and they think evil against me. Hos 7:16. They turn, but not upwards: they have become like a false bow. Their princes will fall by the sword, for the defiance of their tongue: this is their derision in the land of Egypt.” יִסַּר here is not to chastise, but to instruct, so that זְרֹועֹתָם (their arms) is to be taken as the object to both verbs. Instructing the arms, according to the analogy of Psa 18:35, is equivalent to showing where and how strength is to be acquired. And the Lord has not contented Himself with merely instructing. He has also strengthened their arms, and given them power to fight, and victory over their foes (cf. 2Ki 14:25-26). And yet they think evil of Him; not by speaking lies (Hos 7:13), but by falling away from Him, by their idolatrous calf-worship, by which they rob the Lord of the glory due to Him alone, practically denying His true divinity. This attitude towards the Lord is summed up in two allegorical sentences in Hos 7:16, and the ruin of their princes is foretold. They turn, or turn round, but not upwards (עַל, an adverb, or a substantive signifying height, as in Hos 11:7; 2Sa 23:1, not “the Most High,” i.e., God, although turning upwards is actually turning to God). From the fact that with all their turning about they do not turn upwards, they have become like a treacherous bow, the string of which has lost its elasticity, so that the arrows do not hit the mark (cf. Psa 78:57). And thus Israel also fails to reach its destination. Therefore its princes shall fall. The princes are mentioned as the originators of the enmity against God, and all the misery into which they have plunged the people and kingdom. זַעַם, fury, here defiance or rage. Defiance of tongue the princes showed in the lies which they uttered concerning Jehovah (Hos 7:13), and with which they blasphemed in a daring manner the omnipotence and faithfulness of the Lord. זֹו stands, according to a dialectical difference in the mode of pronunciation, for זֶה, not for זֹאת (Ewald, §183, a). This, namely their falling by the sword, will be for a derision to them in the land of Egypt: not because they will fall in Egypt, or perish by the sword of the Egyptians; but because they put their trust in Egypt, the derision of Egypt will come upon them when they are overthrown (cf. Isa 30:3, Isa 30:5).