on Hosea 11 :3
I taught Ephraim also to go - An allusion to a mother or nurse teaching a child to walk, directing it how to lift and lay its feet, and supporting it in the meantime by the arms, that it may use its feet with the greater ease. This is a passage truly pathetic.
on Hosea 11 :3
I taught Ephraim also to go - Literally, "and I set Ephraim on his feet;" i. e., while they were rebelling, I was helping and supporting them, as a nurse doth her child, teaching it to go with little steps, step by step, "accustoming it to go by little and little without weariness;" and not only so, but "taking them by their arms;" or it may be equally translated, "He took them in His arms," i. e., God not only gently "taught" them "to walk," but when they were wearied, "He took them up in His arms," as a nurse doth a child when tired with its little attempts to walk. Such was the love and tender care of God, guiding and upholding Israel in His ways which He taught him, guarding him from weariness, or, if wearied, taking him in the arms of His mercy and refreshing him. So Moses says, "In the wilderness thou hast seen, how that the Lord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came unto this place" Deuteronomy 1:31; and he expostulates with God, "Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that Thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth his sucking child, unto the land which Thou swarest unto their father's?" Numbers 11:12. : "Briefly yet magnificently doth this place hint at the wondrous patience of God, whereof Paul too speaks, "for forty years suffered He their manner's in the wilderness" Acts 13:18.
For as a nursing father beareth patiently with a child, who hath not yet come to years of discretion, and, although at times he be moved to strike it in return, yet mostly he sootheth its childish follies with blandishments, and, ungrateful though it be, carries it in his arms, so the Lord God, whose are these words, patiently bore with the unformed people, ignorant of the spiritual mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and although He killed the bodies of many of them in the wilderness yet the rest He soothed with many and great miracles, "leading them about, and instructing them, (as Moses says) keeping them as the apple of His eye" Deuteronomy 32:10.
But they knew not that I healed them - They laid it not to heart, and therefore what they knew with their understanding was worse than ignorance. : "I who was a Father, became a nurse, and Myself carried My little one in My arms, that he should not be hurt in the wilderness, or scared by heat or darkness. By day I was a cloud; by night, a column of fire, that I might by My light illumine, and heal those whom I had protected. And when they had sinned and had made the calf, I gave them place for repentance, and they knew not that I healed them, so as, for forty years, to close the wound of idolatry, restore them to their former health."
: "The Son of God carried us in His arms to the Father, when He went forth carrying His Cross, and on the wood of the Cross stretched out His arms for our redemption. Those too doth Christ carry daily in His arms, whom He continually entreateth, comforteth, preserveth, so gently, that with much alacrity and without any grievous hindrance they perform every work of God, and with heart enlarged run, rather than walk, the way of God's commandments. Yet do these need great caution, that they be clothed with great circumspection and humility, and despise not others. Else Christ would say of them, "They knew not that I healed them."
on Hosea 11 :3
11:3 I taught - As a mother or nurse helps the child. Taking them - Supporting and bearing them up. They knew not - They would not see nor acknowledge me in it.