Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.
] These words are to be considered either in connection with the latter part of the preceding chapter, and as directed to the sons of the living God, who had not been, but now were, "Ammi", the Lord's people; and who had not, but now have, "Ruhamah", obtained mercy; which grace and mercy shown them, it became them to speak of one to another, to affect their hearts mutually with it, and to glorify God for it, ( Malachi 3:16 ) as also to speak of it to their carnal relations, that so, if it was the will of God, it might be of use to them, to show them the state they were in, the danger of it, their need of the grace and mercy of God, and the hope there was by their own instance and example of obtaining it; see ( Romans 9:1-3 ) ( 10:1 ) , or as directed to the converted Jews that appointed Christ their Head, and believed in him; exhorting them to own the believing Gentiles as their brethren and sisters, since they were the spiritual seed of Abraham their father, and walked in the steps of his faith; and to call them Ammi and Ruhamah, since they, who were not the people of God, now were, and who had not obtained mercy, now have obtained mercy, ( 1 Peter 2:10 ) , or else they may be considered as in connection with the following words, plead with your mother;
and that either as spoken to the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, who were the people of God, retained the pure worship of God, and obtained mercy of the Lord, ( Hosea 1:7 ) ( 11:12 ) ,
``O ye Ammi and Ruhamah, that are the Lord's people, and he has had mercy on; stir up and exhort your brethren and sisters of the ten tribes, for so they were, notwithstanding their separation, ( 1 Kings 12:4 ) , to contend with their mother, the body of the nation, about idolatry and departure from God;''or as spoken to the godly among the ten tribes, who were the real people of God, and sharers in his grace and mercy; the remnant he reserved for himself, who had not bowed their knees to idols; or as the command of God by the prophet, to the people of Israel, to exhort one another to contend with their mother, who were, as yet, the Lord's people, had mercy shown them, when this prophecy was delivered out; though, in case of obstinacy and impenitence, they were threatened with a "Loammi" and "Loruhamah"; so Schmidt, who thinks that "ammi" and "ruhamah" are put by way of "apposition [to] your brethren [and] sisters", in which he seems to be right. Aben Ezra thinks the words are spoken ironically, like those in ( Ecclesiastes 11:9 ) , and others, but without reason. The Targum is,
``O ye prophets, say to your brethren, and my people, and I will have mercy on your congregation;''but whether the words are spoken to the Jewish converts who first believed in Christ, were his people, received grace and mercy from him, and stood in the relation of brethren and sisters to one another, both in a natural and spiritual sense, to stir up one another to reprove their mother, the Jewish church, for rejecting Christ, saying, as follows: