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Practical Reflections on the Minor Prophets
Zech. xiii. 7. Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.'
Quoted by our Lord* in S. Matt. xxvi. 31, and
but agreeing with Heb. rather than Lxx.)
with thee.' Is very close in Lxx. to S. Matt.
xxv. 31. Mal. i. 2, 3. 'I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau.' Quoted in
Rom. ix. II (where the Apostle is treating of
electing grace). i. 7, 12. “The table of the Lord.' Used as a name for the
altar of sacrifice, cf. 1 Cor. x. 21. iii. 1. “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall
prepare the way before Me.' Quoted by three Evangelists concerning John the Baptist (but it
is 'Thy way' and 'before Thy face'). iii. 6. 'I am the Lord : I change not.' Seems alluded to
in S. James i. 17. iii. 7. “They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that
day that I make up My jewels.' Quoted (Lxx.)
in i S. Peter ii. 9. iv. 6. "I will send you Elijah the prophet . . . and he
shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children.' Quoted in the Angel's message to Zacharias, S. Luke i. 17.
These Reflections have been compiled from
the following works :
Commentaire sur les XII. Petits Prophètes. Avignon, 1759. (In Sion College Port Royal Library.)
La Bible avec Explication (vol. xxi.). Paris, 1746.
Orelli on The Twelve Minor Prophets. Edinburgh, Messrs. T. & T. Clark, 1893.
Dr. Kirkpatrick on The Doctrine of the Prophets. London, 1892. .
Dr. Pusey on The Minor Prophets. London, 1891.
Help has also been derived from some of the volumes in the Cambridge Bible for Schools. The translations of Ledrain (Paris, 1890) and Segond (Oxford, 1887) have been constantly used.
PRACTICAL REFLECTIONS ON
MHE word of the Lord that came unto Hosea, the son of
1 Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. This Prophet ministered in the latter days of the Kingdom of Israel,
not long before its final downfall in 722 B.C. He was evidently a native of that kingdom, and felt deeply its miseries and dangers. God gave him a loving heart and a fervent spirit. He is obscure, through the very fervour and intensity of his thoughts, which are often rather hinted than clearly expressed. Let us listen to his warnings and invitations, and try to follow out their full meaning. In the latter days of Israel, God showed His love for His people by sending them this seer to plead with them, and remind them of old days, old promises.
2. The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms : for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord. 3. So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.
He whose whole prophecy is taken up with the thought of Israel's
unfaithfulness to her heavenly Spouse, had in his own experience a sad representation of that infidelity. Whether he married one who had been a sinner, or whether the wife of his heart proved faithless to him, is not clear. But at any rate he learnt by a bitter lesson to comprehend how God had wedded Israel, had grieved
over her revolts, had used all patience, all tenderness, towards her ; and how she had been disloyal to that Divine Love and unceasing compassion.
4. And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel ; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5. And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. This son's name was to be Jezreel, which means 'God will scatter,' and is the name of that city where Jehu established himself on the throne of Israel, by destroying all Ahab's family and friends (2 Kings ix. 10). Yet was not that extirpation commanded and approved by God (2 Kings ix. 21, and x. 30)? How is it that
the blood of Jezreel' has to be avenged on Jehu's own house? Perhaps the answer is this : God's commands are perceived by us, and carried out by us, according to the inclination and purpose of each heart. Jehu was made an executioner, because his heart was cruel and unsparing; yet, in what he did, God's judgment was made manifest. How to discern amidst man's evil passions the overruling Providence of that God Who works out His will by them, is often too deep for mortal skill. Let me be merciful, and so receive God's commands to carry out acts of mercy. I am so great a sinner myself, that I fear to punish, knowing my own guiltiness. I who need mercy greatly, must practise it greatly too. 6. And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel ; but I will utterly take them away. This daughter's name was to be Lo-ruhamah, which means “unpitied.'
It foretells that God would banish the Ten Tribes without recall. His judgment on them would have no revocation. Their day of grace as a people was drawing to an end. I, too, have long enjoyed God's mercy, God's pity ; but for that, where had I been? Let me not by my folly provoke Divine goodness too far, or wear out His longsuffering.
7. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. Judah should be delivered in the hour of danger. It was not their
strength but God's special interposition that overthrew their