Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
I will not return to destroy Ephraim—that is I will no more, as in past times, destroy Ephraim. The destruction primarily meant is probably that by Tiglath-pileser, who, as the Jewish king Ahaz' ally against Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Syria, deprived Israel of Gilead, Galilee, and Naphtali (II Kings 15:29). The ulterior reference is to the long dispersion hereafter, to be ended by God's covenant mercy restoring His people, not for their merits, but of His grace.
God, . . . not man—not dealing as man would, with implacable wrath under awful provocation (Isaiah 55:7-9; Malachi 3:6). I do not, like man, change when once I have made a covenant of everlasting love, as with Israel (Numbers 23:19). We measure God by the human standard, and hence are slow to credit fully His promises; these, however, belong to the faithful remnant, not to the obstinately impenitent.
in the midst of thee—as peculiarly thy God (Exodus 19:5-6).
not enter into the city—as an enemy: as I entered Admah, Zeboim, and Sodom, utterly destroying them, whereas I will not utterly destroy thee. Somewhat similarly JEROME: "I am not one such as human dwellers in a city, who take cruel vengeance; I save those whom I correct." Thus "not man," and "in the midst of thee," are parallel to "into the city." Though I am in the midst of thee, it is not as man entering a rebellious city to destroy utterly. MAURER needlessly translates, "I will not come in wrath."
Other Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown entries containing Hosea 11:9:
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