Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Hosea 14:3

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Asshur shall not save us - After prayer for pardon and for acceptance of themselves, and thanksgiving for acceptance, comes the promise not to fall back into their former sins. Trust in man, in their own strength, in their idols, had been their besetting sins. Now, one by one, they disavow them.

First, they disclaim trust in man, and making “flesh their arm” Jeremiah 17:5. Their disclaimer of the help of the Assyrian, to whom they had so often betaken themselves against the will of God, contains, at once, that best earnest of true repentance, the renewal of the confession of past sins, and the promise to rely no more on any princes of this world, of whom he was then chief. The horse, in like way, is the symbol of any warlike strength of their own. As the Psalmist says, “Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” Psalm 20:7; and, “a horse is a vain thing for safety, neither shall he deliver any by his great strength” Psalm 33:17; and Solomon, “The horse is prepared for the day of battle but salvation is of the Lord” Proverbs 21:31. War was almost the only end for which the horse was used among the Jews. If otherwise, it was a matter of great and royal pomp. It was part of a standing army. Their kings were especially forbidden to “multiply horses” Deuteronomy 17:16 to themselves. Solomon, indeed, in his prosperity, broke this, as well as other commands of God. The pious king Hezekiah, although possessed at one time of large treasure, so kept that command as to furnish matter of mockery to Rabshakeh, the blaspheming envoy of Assyria, that he had neither horses nor horsemen 2 Kings 18:23. The horses being procured from Egypt 1 Kings 10:28, the commerce gave fresh occasion for idolatry.

Neither will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ye are our gods - This is the third disavowal. Since it was folly and sin to trust in the creatures which God had made, apart from God, how much more, to trust in things which they themselves had made, instead of God, and offensive to God!

For in Thee the fatherless findeth mercy - (or, O Thou, in whom). He is indeed fatherless who hath not God for his Father. They confess then, that they were and deserved to be thus “fatherless” and helpless, a prey to every oppressor; but they appeal to God by the title which He had taken, “the Father of the fatherless” Psalm 68:5, that He would have mercy on them, who had no help but in Him.: “We promise this, they say, hoping in the help of Thy mercy, since it belongeth to Thee and is for Thy Glory to have mercy on the people which believeth in Thee, and to stretch forth Thine Hand, that they may be able to leave their wonted ills and amend their former ways.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Israel is exhorted to return unto Jehovah, from their sins and idols, by faith in his mercy, and grace through the promised Redeemer, and by diligently attending on his worship and service. Take away iniquity; lift it off as a burden we are ready to sink under, or as the stumbling-block we have often fallen over. Take it all away by a free and full forgiveness, for we cannot strike any of it off. Receive our prayer graciously. They do not say what good they seek, but refer it to God. It is not good of the world's showing, but good of God's giving. They were to consider their sins, their wants, and the remedy; and they were to take, not sacrifices, but words stating the desires of their hearts, and with them to address the Lord. The whole forms a clear description of the nature and tendency of a sinner's conversion to God through Jesus Christ. As we draw near to God by the prayer of faith, we should first beseech him to teach us what to ask. We must be earnest with him to take away all iniquity.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 277

How shall I make thee as Admah?
How shall I set thee as Zeboiim?
My heart is turned within Me,
8T 277.1

My compassions are kindled together.
I will not execute the fierceness of Mine anger,
I will not return to destroy Ephraim:
For I am God, and not man;
The Holy One in the midst of thee;
And I will not come in wrath.”
8T 277.2

Hosea 11:8, 9, A. R. V. 8T 277

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 218

With what unwearied love did Christ minister to Israel during the period of added probation. Upon the cross He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. After His ascension the gospel was preached first at Jerusalem. There the Holy Spirit was poured out. There the first gospel church revealed the power of the risen Saviour. There Stephen—“his face as it had been the face of an angel” (Acts 6:15)—bore his testimony and laid down his life. All that heaven itself could give was bestowed. “What could have been done more to My vineyard,” Christ said, “that I have not done in it?” Isaiah 5:4. So His care and labor for you are not lessened, but increased. Still He says, “I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” Isaiah 27:3. COL 218.1

“If it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that”— COL 218.2

The heart that does not respond to divine agencies becomes hardened until it is no longer susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit. Then it is that the word is spoken, “Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” COL 218.3

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