As he also saith in Osee
( Hosea 2:23 ) , so "Hosea" is called "Osee", as here, in the Septuagint in ( Nehemiah 10:23 ) ( Hosea 1:1 Hosea 1:2 ) . That is, as God says in the prophecy of Hosea, which was given by divine inspiration; and speaks of the calling of the Gentiles, as the spiritual Israel, after God had wrote a "lo-ammi", ( Hosea 1:9 ) , and a "loruhamah", ( Hosea 1:6 ) , upon the people of the Jews; and shows, that he had appointed some from among the Gentiles, to obtain salvation by Jesus Christ; since he foretells their calling, long before they were in being; which could have no other foundation than his own eternal sovereign will and pleasure:
I will call them my people, which were not my people;
his people they were before he called them, in some sense; inasmuch as he had chosen them for his people, had promised in covenant they should be, had given them to Christ as his people, and him to be a covenant to them: who, as such, made reconciliation for them, sanctified them by his blood, redeemed and saved them; but then they were not known to be the people of God, neither by themselves, who knew not God, and so could not know themselves to be his people; nor by others, by the Jews, by whom they were called the uncircumcision, sinners of the Gentiles; looking upon the character or the people of God, as only belonging to themselves: God had not as yet laid hold on them as his people, and claimed his right in them, and made known himself to them as their covenant God; he had not avouched them to be his people, nor had they avouched him to be their God; as yet they were not his willing people, nor a holy people, not being formed for himself, by his mighty grace; nor a people near unto him, with respect to worship and fellowship, but afar off from him. His calling them his people, is his acquainting them with their relation to him, which he had taken them in to himself, of his own grace; for so it is in ( Hosea 2:23 ) : "And I will say unto them which were not my people, thou art my people": in the effectual calling, the Spirit of God is sent down into the hearts of his people, to witness their relation to him, and to work faith in their souls, to receive the testimony; when they reply and say, "thou art my God", ( Hosea 2:23 ) , and so they come to know themselves to be the people of God, of which they were before ignorant; and to be known others, by being made a willing people, in the day God's power upon them, willing to be saved by him in his own way, and willing to serve and worship him in his own ordinances, and according to his own appointment; and by being holy and righteous, having the characters, and enjoying the privileges of the people of God:
and her beloved, which was not beloved.
In the text in ( Hosea 2:23 ) , it is, "I will have mercy on her that had not obtained mercy": hence the Vulgate Latin has added this clause to the text, though unsupported by any copy, or other version. The apostle is to be justified in his version, by the Septuagint interpreters, who have rendered the passage in Hosea, "I will love her that was not beloved"; and by the true sense of the word (Mxr) there used, which signifies to love in the most kind, tender, and endearing manner; see ( Psalms 18:1 ) ; where the word is used and so rendered. The sense is not, that God's chosen ones among the Gentiles were not the objects of his love before calling; for their very calling is the fruit, effect, and so the evidence of love before. The love of God is from everlasting to everlasting, invariably and unchangeably the same; he had chosen them in his Son; he had made a covenant with them in Christ, had put them into his hands, and made them his care and charge; he had sent him to die for them, and obtain eternal redemption for them; and all this before he called them, which abundantly proves his love to them: but this love was not manifested to their souls; it had not been shed abroad in their hearts; they had no sensation of it in their breasts; the streams of that river of God had not as yet flowed into their souls; nor were they partakers of the effects of it in themselves; but being called by grace, they feel, they experience, and enjoy that, and all the happy: fruits and effects of it; the loving kindness of God is let down into their hearts in the effectual calling, and with it he draws them to himself, as a fruit and evidence of his everlasting and unchangeable love to them.