on Hosea 12 :5
The Lord is his memorial - He is the same God as when Jacob so successfully wrestled with him.
on Hosea 12 :5
Even the Lord God of Hosts, the Lord is His memorial - The word, here as translated and written Lord, is the special and, so to say, the proper Name of God, that which He gave to Himself, and which declares His Being. God Himself authoritatively explained its meaning. When Moses inquired of Him, what he should say to Israel, when they should ask him, "what is the Name of the God of their fathers," who, he was to tell them, had sent him to them, "God said ... I Am That I Am ... thus shalt thou say, I Am" (Ehyeh) "hath sent me unto you; and God said again unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord" (literally, He is, YeHeWeH , "God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you; This is My Name forever, and this is My memorial unto all generations" Exodus 3:13-15.
I am, expresses self-existence; He who alone is. I am that I am, expresses His unchangeableness, the necessary attribute of the Self-existent, who, since He is, ever is all which He is. "To Be," says Augustine , "is a name of unchangeableness. For all things which are changed, cease to be what they were, and begin to be what they were not. True Being, pure Being, genuine Being, no one hath, save He who changeth not. He hath Being to whom it is said, "Thou shalt change them and they shall be changed, but Thou art the Same." What is, I am that I am, but, I am Eternal? What is, I am that I am, save, I cannot be changed? No creature, no heaven, no earth, no angel, "nor Power, nor Throne, nor Dominion, nor Principality." This then being the name of eternity, it is somewhat more, than He vouchsafed to him a name of mercy, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. That," He is in Himself, "this," to us.
If he willed only to be That which he is in Himself, what should we be? Since Moses understood, when it was said to him, I am that I am, He who is hath sent me unto you, he believed that this was much to people, he saw that this was far removed from people. For whose hath understood, as he ought, That which is, and which truly is, and, in whatever degree, hath even transiently, as by a lightning flash, been irradiated by the light of the One True Essence, sees himself far below, in the utmost farness of removal and unlikeness." This, the Self-existent, the Unchangeable, was the meaning of God's ancient Name, by which He was known to the patriarchs, although they had not in act seen His unchangeableness, for theirs was a life of faith, hoping for what they saw not. The word, He is, when used of Him by His creatures, expresses the same which He says of Himself, I AM. This He willed to be "His memorial forever." This the way in which He willed that we should believe in Him and think of Him as He who is, the Self-existing, the Self-Same.
The way of pronouncing that Name is lost . The belief has continued, wherever the Lord is named. For by the Lord we mean the Unchangeable God. That belief is contradicted, whenever people use the name "Jehovah," to speak of God, as though the belief in Him under the Old Testament differed from that of the New Testament. Perhaps God allowed it to be lost, that people might not make so familiar with it, as they do with the word "Jehovah," or use it irreverently and in an anti-Christian manner, as some now employ other ways of pronouncing it. The Jews, even before the time of our Lord, ordinarily ceased to pronounce it. In the translations of the Old Testament, and in the Apocrypha, the words, "the Lord," were substituted for it. Jewish tradition states, that in later times the Name was pronounced in the temple only, by the priests, on pronouncing the blessing commanded by God in the law . On the great Day of Atonement, it was said that the high priest pronounced it ten times , and that when the people heard it, they fell on their faces, saying, "Blessed be the glorious name of His kingdom forever and ever" . They say, however, that in the time of Simeon the Just (i. e., ), Jaddua, who died about 322 b.c., the high priests themselves disused it, for fear of its being pronounced by some irreverent person .
Our Lord Himself sanctioned I the disuse of it, (as did the inspired Apostles yet more frequently,) since, in quoting places of the Old Testament in which it occurs, He uses instead of it the Name, "the Lord" . It stands, throughout the Old Testament, as the Name which speaks of God in relation to His people, that He ever is; and, since He ever is, then He is unchangeably to us, all which He ever was, "The Same, yesterday and today and forever" Hebrews 13:8.
He then who appeared to Jacob, and who, in Jacob, spake to all the posterity of Jacob, was God; whether it was (as almost all the early fathers thought ), God the Son, who thus appeared in human form to the patriarchs, Moses, Joshua, and in the time of the Judges, under the name of "the Angel of the Lord," or whether it was the Father. God Almighty thus accustomed man to see the form of Man, and to know and believe that it was God. He it was, the prophet explains, "the Lord," i. e., the Self existent, the Unchangeable, "Who was, and is and is to come" Revelation 1:4, Revelation 1:8, who alone is, and from whom are all things , "the Fullness of Being, both of His own, and of all His creatures, the boundless Ocean of all which is, of wisdom, of glory, of love, of all good."
The Lord of Hosts - that is, of all things visible and invisible, of the angels and heavenly spirits, and of all things animate and inanimate, which, in the history of the Creation, are called "the host of heaven and earth" Genesis 2:1, the one host of God. This was the way in which He willed to be had in mind, thought of, remembered. On the one hand then, as relates to Ephraim's sin, not by the calves, nor by any other created thing, did He will to be represented to people's minds or thoughts. On the other hand, as relates to God's mercies, since He, who revealed Himself to Jacob, was the unchangeable God, Israel had no cause to fear, if he returned to the faith of Jacob, whom God there accepted. Whence it follows;
on Hosea 12 :5
12:5 The Lord God of hosts - He that appeared and spake, who promised the blessing and commanded the reformation at Beth - el was Jehovah, the eternal and unchangeable God; who can perform his promise, and execute his threat, who is a most terrible enemy, and most desirable friend. The Lord - Jehovah, repeated for confirmation. His memorial - By this he will be known.