Hosea 2:15
(15) From thence--i.e., away from thence, meaning, as soon as she has left the wilderness of exile and discipline. The valley of Achor (or trouble) was associated with the disgrace and punishment which befel Israel on her first entrance into Palestine (Joshua 7:25-26), but it would in later days be regarded as the threshold of a blessed life. The sorrowful associations of the past were to be illuminated with happy anticipation.

Sing may suggest a reference to the dances and responsive songs at the village festivals, as well as to the triumphant strains of Exodus 15

Verse 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. The consolations of God are not confined to words; they comprise works as well as words. Friendly doings as well as sayings are embraced in the Divine goodness, and manifest the Divine mercy. On emerging from the wilderness, fruitful vineyards, such as Sibmah, Heshbon, and Elea-leh, east of Jordan. and fertile valleys, like that of Aehor near Jericho, to the west of Jordan, as coon as they have crossed the river, shall be given them. These vineyards and valleys would thus be the first installments of God's promise, and a prelude to the possession of the whole, so that the door of hopeful expectation and of joyful anticipation would be thrown wide open to them. The verb עוה has three meanings - "humble one's self.... answer," "sing." Hence the LXX. and older interpreters adopt ταπεινωθήσεται: Calvin, "respondent;" and Aben Ezra and Kimchi, "she shall sing and play." The last deserves the preference. No wonder if', under such circumstances, Israel responded with songs of praise and thanksgiving, as in that early day of the nation's youth, when, coming up out of Egypt, they sang the song of Moses by the Red Sea's margin, while Miriam and the maidens of Israel in full chorus completed the harmony. Now, all these experiences of the past were to repeat themselves in the future history of Israel. Their past captivity or dispersion was obviously implied in this promised deliverance and God's gracious dealings with them in the future. There is a different explanation of one expression in this verse, which deserves careful consideration - an explanation which turns on what once transpired in that valley, and the meaning of the name of it, troubling, derived flora that transaction; we refer, of course, to the affair of Achan. The punishment of the transgressor in that case, and the putting away of sin in connection with penitence and prayer, reopened, after defeat, the door of hope, and restored the enjoyment of Divine help. The discomfiture that so troubled the host of Israel was immediately followed by the victory at At, which inspired them with the hope of soon possessing the whole land. So with Israel after the captivity - a dreary night of weeping was followed by a bright and blessed morning. So, too, in time to come, when, after a long and sorrowful expectation, Israel shall return from the lands of their exile to their fatherland, or by faith and repentance to the paternal God, the light of better and more hopeful days shall (lawn upon them. To the idea of troubling Kimchi attaches the notion of purification, quoting with approval Rashi and Aben Ezra to the same purpose. His comment is: "Because at the beginning, when they went into the land in the days of Joshua, this misadventure befell them, namely, the matter of Achan, he gave them confidence that they should not fear when they assembled in the land, and that no misadventure would occur to them, as they would all be refined and purified because, in the wilderness of the peoples, they would be purified. And that valley of Achor shall no more be called so, for its name is for depreciation; but a name of honor shall be given to it, and it is a door of hope. And inasmuch as he says 'door,' and not 'valley,' as it should be, it is because it shall be to them as a door, since from there they shall enter into the land as they did at the first, and it shall be to them hope and the aim of what is good; consequently they call it the door of hope. And the sage Rabbi Abraham explains the valley of Achor to be the valley of Jezreel, viz.' because I [Jehovah] troubled her there, it will turn to a door of hope.' And R.S.I. (Rashi) of blessed memory explains it as the depth of the exile, where they were troubled; so 'I will give her a door of hope, the beginning of hope, that out of the midst of those troubles I will give her a heart to return to me.'" To the same purpose he quotes a brief comment of Saadia Gaon. כֶרֶם, cognate with Arabic karma, to be noble, equivalent to "the more fruitful and productive." The word mishsham is, according to some,

(1) an expression of time, equivalent to "from the time of their departure from the desert," - so Keil; others explain it as

(2) "thereout," i.e. "I will make their vineyards out of it," - so Simson; and ethers, again, explain it "from there or thence." It is taken in the last-mentioned sense by Kimchi, as follows: "From the wilderness I will give the whole land, which she formerly possessed, as if he said, 'I will constitute her there in the wilderness to do good to her in her land,' because that in the wilderness of the peoples he will purify them and consume the rebellious and the transgressors, so that the remainder shall fear (or flock reverently to him). Consequently they shall need consolations, and be shall speak to their heart. Because God - blessed be he! - shall give them their land as at the first; therefore he says, 'And I will speak to their heart.' And although we have explained that the consolations shall spring out of the distress which they endured in exile, yet will the whole be as well for the one (viz. the consolation) as for the other (the trouble)." It is aptly remarked by Aben Ezra, in relation to the vineyards, that "the words form a contrast to the other words of the prophet, 'And I will destroy their vine;'" likewise Kimchi asking, "And why has the prophet only mentioned their vineyards (i.e. when purposing to give them the whole land)? Because he had mentioned in their punishment, 'I will destroy her vines,' he mentions in the promised consolation her vineyards."

2:14-23 After these judgments the Lord would deal with Israel more gently. By the promise of rest in Christ we are invited to take his yoke upon us; and the work of conversion may be forwarded by comforts as well as by convictions. But usually the Lord drives us to despair of earthly joy, and help from ourselves, that, being shut from every other door, we may knock at Mercy's gate. From that time Israel would be more truly attached to the Lord; no longer calling him Baali, or My lord and master, alluding to authority, rather than love, but Ishi, an address of affection. This may foretell the restoration from the Babylonish captivity; and also be applied to the conversion of the Jews to Christ, in the days of the apostles, and the future general conversion of that nation; and believers are enabled to expect infinitely more tenderness and kindness from their holy God, than a beloved wife can expect from the kindest husband. When the people were weaned from idols, and loved the Lord, no creature should do them any harm. This may be understood of the blessings and privileges of the spiritual Israel, of every true believer, and their partaking of Christ's righteousness; also, of the conversion of the Jews to Christ. Here is an argument for us to walk so that God may not be dishonoured by us: Thou art my people. If a man's family walk disorderly, it is a dishonour to the master. If God call us children, we may say, Thou art our God. Unbelieving soul, lay aside discouraging thoughts; do not thus answer God's loving-kindness. Doth God say, Thou art my people? Say, Lord, thou art our God.And I will give her vineyards from thence,.... Either from the wilderness into which she is brought; or from the time of her being brought there, allured and spoke comfortably to; which are put for all temporal blessings, and as emblems of spiritual ones: and so from the time that the Lord deals thus graciously, as before expressed, he gives more grace, larger measures, and continual supplies of it, and withholds nothing good, comfortable, and useful to them: the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "her vinedressers"; and the Targum, her governors:

and the valley of Achor for a door of hope; this valley was so named from Achan, who was stoned in it in the days of Joshua; who is by Josephus (s), Theodoret (t), and others, called Achar, and so in 1 Chronicles 2:7 and the signification of its name is the valley of trouble, because that he both troubled Israel by his evil actions, which brought them into distress; and because he was here troubled himself, being here punished for his sin, Joshua 7:24. Jerome (u) says it lies to the north of Jericho, and is still called by its old name by the inhabitants of it. Some take it to be the same with the valley of Engedi, which it is certain was near Jericho. Now as the valley of Achor was at the entrance of the Israelites into the land of Canaan, and gave them hope of possessing the whole land; so what the people of God enjoy at first conversion lays a foundation for hope of eternal glory and happiness; as the Lord's being given them as their portion, Christ as their Saviour, and all things freely with him; the Spirit and his grace as the earnest and pledge of the eternal inheritance: grace and glory are so strictly connected, that the one is a door of hope to the other.

And she shall sing there; either in the wilderness, where the Lord speaks comfortably to her; or in the vineyards she has from thence; alluding to the songs of joy at the time of vintage, or pressing of the grapes: or in the valley of Achor, there rejoicing in hope of the glory of God, singing the songs of electing, redeeming, pardoning, and justifying grace:

as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt: as when the people of Israel were first brought into their civil and ecclesiastic state, which were the days of their youth as a people; and that was when they came out of Egypt, and had passed the Red sea, at the shore of which they sung; and to which is the allusion here; see Exodus 15:1 this passage is applied to the times of the Messiah in the Talmud (w).

(s) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 10, 14. (t) Comment. in loc. (u) De locis Hebr. fol. 88. B. tom. 3.((w) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 111. 1.

Hosea 2:14
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