And in that day - o : "Truly and properly is the time of the Incarnation of the Only-Begotten called "the Day," wherein darkness was dispelled in the world, and the mist dispersed, and bright rays shed into the minds of believers, and the Sun of Righteousness shone upon us, pouring in the light of the true knowledge of God, to those who could open wide the eye of the mind."
And I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field ... - God promises to do away the whole of the former curse. Before, He had said that their vineyards should be laid waste "by the beasts of the field;" now, He would make an entire and lasting peace with them. He, whose creatures they are, would renew for them in Christ the peace of Paradise, which was broken through Adam' s rebellion against God, and would command none to hurt them. The blessings of God do not correspond only, they go beyond the punishment. The protection is complete. Every kind of evil animal, beast, bird and reptile, is named. So Peter "saw all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air." All were to be slain to their former selves, and pass into the Church. Together the words express, that God would withhold the power of all enemies, visible or invisible; worldly or spiritual. Each also may denote some separate form or character of the enemy. Thus "wild beasts" picture savageness or bloodthirstiness, the ceasing whereof Isaiah prophesies under the same symbols of beasts of prey, as the leopard, lion, wolf, and bear, or of venomous reptiles, as the asp or the basilisk. The "fowls of heaven" denote stealthy enemies, which, unperceived and unawares, take the word of God out of the heart; "creeping things," such as entice to degrading, debasing sins, love of money or pleasure or appetite, "whose god is their belly, who mind earthly things" Philippians 3:19. All shall be subdued to Christ or by Him; as He says, "I give you power over serpents and scorpions, and all the power of the enemy: and Thou shalt go upon the lion and the adder; the young lion and the adder shalt thou trample underfoot" Luke 10:19; Psalms 91:13.
I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth - God foretells much more the greatness of what He would do for man, than the little which man receives. The Gospel brings peace within, and, since "wars and fightings come from" James 4:1 evil passions and lusts, it brings "peace," as far it prevails, without also; peace, as the "borders of" the Church Psalms 147:14; peace in the world, as far as it is won to Christ by the Church; peace to the soul of the believer, so far as he loves God and obeys the Gospel.
And will make them to lie down safely - that is, in confidence. God gives not outward peace only, but fearlessness. Fearless, the Christian lies down during life, at peace with God, his neighbor, and his own conscience; fearless, because "perfect love casteth out fear I John 4:18; and fearless in death also, because resting in Jesus, in everlasting, unfailing, unfading peace.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Hosea 2:18:
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