Hosea 2:21

Hosea 2:21

And it shall come to pass in that day
When these espousals shall be made, when the marriage of the Lamb will be come, and his bride will be betrothed to him; then the whole creation, the heavens and the earth, shall contribute of their riches and plenty to make a marriage feast for them; or then shall the spouse of Christ, in a very visible and plentiful manner, by virtue of the marriage union between them, partake of all his good things, both temporal and spiritual; and especially the latter, as signified by the former; but yet in the use of means, and as the effect of prayer, as follows: I will hear, saith the Lord;
the petitions of his new married bride, which he cannot deny her :or, "I will answer" F1; men oftentimes hear, and answer not; but when the Lord hears his people, he answers them, and grants them their requests; he is a God hearing and answering prayer. So the Targum,

``I will receive your prayer, saith the Lord.''
I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth;
in these and the following words is an elegant personification, a figure by which inanimate creatures are represented as persons speaking, praying, asking, and being heard and answered; and a beautiful climax, or a chain of second causes linked together, and as depending upon the first cause, the Lord himself; the heavens are represented as desiring the Lord of nature, the Maker and Supporter of them, having been like brass, and shut up, that they might have leave to let down their refreshing dews, and gentle showers of rain, upon the earth; and the earth as being dry and thirsty, as gaping, opening its mouth, and imploring these benign influences of the heavens; and both as answered: for so it may be rendered, "I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth" F2; the Lord promises to answer the desires of the heavens, and allow them to drop their dew, and distil their rain; and so they shall answer the cravings of the earth. The spiritual sense may be, according to Schmidt, Christ is he on whom all blessings depend; "heaven" may signify the Holy Spirit Christ gives, who intercedes with him for the saints; the "earth" the ministration of the word and ordinances, by which the Spirit is given, invoked by the ministers of them. Or, as Cocceius, the "heavens" may design the ministers of the church, who govern in it, and who pray and plead for help, assistance, and success; and the "earth" the audience, the common people, who also pray, and are heard and answered, when ministers let down the dew and rain of evangelical doctrine upon them, and water them, and refresh them with it; and such precious seasons as these, as the fruit of prayer, will the saints have in the latter day.
FOOTNOTES:

F1 (hnea) "respondebo", Calvin, Drusius, Tarnovius, Cocceius.
F2 (Mymv ta hnea) "respondebo coelo, et illud respondebit terrae", Cocceius, Drusius.
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