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Hosea 3:5

Hosea 3:5

Afterward shall the children of Israel return
The ten tribes of Israel, and also the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, which are included in the name of Israel, as Aben Ezra interprets it; and these are joined together in parallel places; see ( Jeremiah 30:3 Jeremiah 30:9 ) ( Jeremiah 50:4 Jeremiah 50:5 ) for though they did not go into captivity together, yet their return and conversion will be at the same time; and they are all spoken of under the name of Israel by the Apostle Paul, when he foretells their conversion and salvation, ( Romans 11:26 ) . The "return" of them, here prophesied of, does not barely mean their return to their own land, which will be at this time; see ( Jeremiah 30:3 ) ( Ezekiel 37:21 Ezekiel 37:22 ) ( Amos 9:15 ) , but their return to the Lord by repentance; when they shall repent of, and turn from, their sinful course of life, and particularly of their unbelief and rejection of the true Messiah, and embrace him; and of their traditions and false ways of worship, which they shall discard; and of their own righteousness they shall now renounce; and shall turn to the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in him for righteousness, life, and salvation: and seek the Lord their God, and David their King;
these may be considered either as two distinct persons, Jehovah the Father, and the Messiah, as in ( Ezekiel 34:23 Ezekiel 34:24 ) ( Ezekiel 37:23 Ezekiel 37:24 ) and so the Targum,

``and seek the worship of the Lord their God, and obey Messiah the Son of David their King;''
who will be both equally sought after, and unto, by them; and which is a proof of the divinity of the Messiah, and of his equality with God his Father; as well as points out the right way in which Jehovah is to be sought, namely, with Christ, or in him, in whom he is a God gracious and merciful; and to seek and know both the one and the other is eternal life, ( John 17:3 ) or else all this is to be understood of the Messiah, rendering the words, "and seek the Lord their God, even David their King" as also ( Jeremiah 30:9 ) ( Jude 1:3 ) , may be rendered; and so these are all epithets, titles, and characters of him: he is Jehovah, the everlasting I AM; the true God, and eternal life; Immanuel, God with us; God in our nature, manifest in the flesh; the Son of David, and his antitype, often called David in Scripture. ( Psalms 89:3 Psalms 89:4 ) ( Ezekiel 34:24 ) ( 37:24 ) , King of kings, King of the saints, of his church, and will be owned as such by the Jews at the time of their conversion, though they have rejected him; but now they will receive him, and be subject to him; they will seek to him for salvation, for the pardon of their sins, for righteousness, for rest, for food, for protection and safety, and to serve and obey him: and this seeking will not be out of curiosity, or in a carnal way, or for selfish ends; nor hypocritically; but with their whole hearts, and diligently, and in earnest. Not only the Targum interprets this of Messiah the Son of David, but Aben Ezra on the place says, this is the Messiah; and it is applied to him, and his times, by other Jewish writers, both ancient and modern. In an ancient book F8 of theirs, speaking of David, it is said, the holy blessed God is well pleased with him in this world, and in the world to come; in this world, as it is written, "and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake", ( 2 Kings 20:6 ) , and in the world to come, as it is written, they shall seek the Lord their God, and David their King
; David was King in this world, and David shall be King in the time to come. And in both Talmuds the words are applied to the Messiah; in one of them F9, after quoting this text, it is added, the Rabbins say this is the King Messiah; if of the living, David is his name; if of the dead, David is his name. And in the other F11, it is said, when Jerusalem is built, David comes; that is, the Son of David, the Messiah; which is proved by this passage, "afterwards the children of Israel shall return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their King"; that is, as the gloss interprets it, after they shall return to the house of the sanctuary, or the temple: so Abarbinel, both in his commentary upon this place, and elsewhere F12, as he interprets the "one head" in ( Hosea 1:11 ) , of Messiah ben Ephraim, whom he, with the rest of his tribe, feign shall perish in war; so he observes, that then Israel shall seek David their King, the rod out of the root of Jesse, whom the Lord shall choose, and cause to reign over them. And another of their later writers F13 interprets the passage of the Messiah, and produces it to prove against the Christians that he should come in the end of days, or in the latter days; as it is plain and certain that our Jesus, the true Messiah, came at the end of the Jewish world, in the last days of their civil and church state; see ( Hebrews 1:1 Hebrews 1:2 ) ( 9:26 ) , and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter day;
not man, but the Lord; not his wrath and vengeance, but his goodness; not with a servile, but with a godly filial fear; a fear influenced by the blessings of goodness they shall now be partakers of, particularly pardoning grace and mercy, ( Psalms 130:3 Psalms 130:4 ) , they shall fear the Lord, who is good, and goodness itself, and Christ, in whom the goodness of God is displayed, and who is prevented with the blessings of goodness for his people: it may be rendered, they "shall fear", or "come fearing to the Lord, and his goodness" F14, being sensible of their sin, danger, and misery; they shall flee to the Lord as to their city of refuge, and to the blessings of his goodness they see their need of; and this they shall do in haste, as Aben Ezra interprets it, comparing it with ( Hosea 11:11 ) . The Septuagint version is, "they shall be amazed at the Lord, and his good things"; the Syriac version, "they shall know the Lord, and his goodness": the Arabic version, they shall confess the Lord, and his benefits; the Targum,
``they shall give themselves to the service of the Lord, and his goodness shall be multiplied, which shall come to them in the end of days;''
or, as Aben Ezra, in the end of the prophecy of the prophets, in future time, in the times of the Messiah; which, as Kimchi serves, are always meant by the last days; and here it signifies the latter day of the last days, or of the Gospel dispensation.
FOOTNOTES:

F8 Zohar in Exod. fol. 93. 3.
F9 T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 5. 1.
F11 T. Bab Megillah, fol. 18. 1.
F12 Mashmiah Jeshuah, fol. 55. 4.
F13 R. Isaac Chizzuk Emunah, par. 1. p. 44.
F14 (wbwj law hwhy la wdxpw) "pavebunt ad Dominum", Montanus; "providi accedent ad Jehovam, et ad bonitatem ejus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius; "et cum timore venient ad Jehovam, et ad bonum ejus", Schmidt; so Ben Melech interprets it, "they shall fear, and be afraid of him, flow to him, and to his goodness"; and which, he says, Saadiah explains of his glory, agreeably to Exod. xxxiii. 19.
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