on Hosea 1 :9
Call his name Lo-ammi - לא עמי Lo-ammi, "Not my people;" for which the reason is immediately given:
Ye are not my people, and I will not be your God - The word God is not added here by any of the ancient versions or MSS.; and yet the construction absolutely requires it, as Houbigant properly observes, who thinks the present reading לא אהיה לכם lo eheyeh lachem, "I will not be to you," a corruption of the word אלחיכם eloheychem, "your God." It is strange that no various reading occurs on this verse in any MS. yet discovered. In two of the oldest of mine there is a blank of half a line left after the last word; and so it is in the Masoretic Bibles, though the sense is not complete; for it is evidently continued in the following verse. Probably God refers to the words, Exodus 3:14 : אהיה אשר אהיה I am that I am. I am, אהיה eheyeh, - I shall be, hath sent me unto you. I will not be your eheyeh, i.e., I will not be your God.
on Hosea 1 :9
Call his name Lo-ammi - that is, "not My people." The name of this third child expresses the last final degree of chastisement. As the "scattering by God" did not involve the being wholly "unpitied;" so neither did the being wholly "unpitied" for the time involve the being wholly rejected, so as to be no more His people. There were corresponding degrees in the actual history of the kingdom of Israel. God withdrew his protection by degrees. Under Jeroboam, in whose reign was this beginning of Hosea's prophecy, the people was yet outwardly strong. This strength has been thought to be expressed by the sex of the oldest child, that he was a son. On this, followed extreme weakness, full of mutual massacre and horrible cruelty, first, in a long anarchy, then under Zechariah, Shallurn, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, Hosea, within, and through the invasions of Pul, Tiglathpileser, Shalmaneser, kings of Assyria, from without. The sex of the daughter, "Lo Ruhamah, Unpitied," corresponds with this increasing weakness, and breaking of the spirit. When she was weaned, i. e., when the people were deprived of all consolation and all the spiritual food whereby they had here to been supported, prophecy, teaching, promises, sacrifices, grace, favor, consolation, it became wholly "Lo-ammi, not My people." As a distinct part of God's people, it was cast off forever; and yet it became outwardly strong, as the Jews became powerful, and often were the persecutors of the Christians. The same is seen in individuals. God often first chastens them lightly, then more heavily, and brings them down in their iniquities; but if they still harden themselves, He withdraws both His chastisements and His grace, so that the sinner even prospers in this world, but, remaining finally impenitent, is cast off forever.
I will not be your God - Literally "I will not be to you," or, "for you;" "for you," by providence; "to you," by love. The words say the more through their silence. They do not say what God will not be to those who had been His people. They do not say that He will not be their Defender, Nourisher, Saviour, Deliverer, Father, Hope, Refuge; and so they say that He will be none of these, which are all included in the English, "I will not be your God." For, as God, He is these, and all things, to us. "I will not be to you." God, by His love, vouchsafes to give all and to take all. He gives Himself wholly to His own, in order to make them wholly His. He makes an exchange with them. As God the Son, by His Incarnation, took the Manhood into God, so, by His Spirit dwelling in them, He makes men gods, "partakers of the Divine Nature" 2 Peter 1:4. They, by His adoption, belong to Him; He, by His promise and gift, belongs to them.
He makes them His; He becomes their's. This mutual exchange is so often expressed in Holy Scripture, to show how God loveth to give Himself to us, and to make us His; and that where the one is, there is the other; nor can the one be without the other. This was the original covenant with Israel: "I will be your God, and you shall be My people" Leviticus 26:12; Exodus 6:7; and as such, it is often repeated in Jeremiah Jer 11:4-5; Jeremiah 24:7; Jeremiah 30:22; Jeremiah 31:1, Jeremiah 31:33; Jeremiah 32:38 and Ezekiel EZechariah 11:20; Ezekiel 14:11; Ezekiel 36:28; Ezekiel 37:23, Ezekiel 37:27. Afterward, this is expressed still more affectionately. "I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters" 2 Corinthians 6:18. And in Christ the Son, God saith, "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son" 2 Samuel 7:14. God, who saith not this to any out of Christ, nor even to the holy Angels, (as it is written, "Unto which of the Angels said He at any time, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to Me a son?" Hebrews 1:5), saith it to us in Christ. And so, in turn, the Church and each single soul which is His, saith, or rather He saith it in them Sol 2:16, "My beloved is mine, and I am His," and more boldly yet, I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine" Sol 6:3. Whence also at the holy communion we say, "then we dwell in Christ and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us;" and we pray that "we may evermore dwell in Him, and He in us."
on Hosea 1 :9