Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
hos 11:1Was a child - In the infancy of Israel. I loved him - Manifested my tender and paternal affection to him. Called my son - Adopted him to be my son, and as my son, provided for him, and brought him out of servitude. Out of Egypt - But Israel, the first adopted son was a type of Christ the first - born. And the history of Israel's coming out was a type of Christ's future coming out of Egypt.
hos 11:2They - Moses and Aaron, and other prophets. Called - Persuaded, intreated, and urged by exhortations, the whole house of Israel. From them - From the prophets counsel and commands. Baalim - In the desert they began this apostacy, and held on with obstinacy in it.
hos 11:3I taught - As a mother or nurse helps the child. Taking them - Supporting and bearing them up. They knew not - They would not see nor acknowledge me in it.
hos 11:4Cords of man - With such kindness as best fits and most prevails with a man. I was to them - As a careful husband - man in due season takes the yoke from his labouring oxen, and takes off the muzzle with which they were kept from eating, when at work. I laid meat unto them - Brought them provision in their wants.
hos 11:5He - Ephraim. Shall be king - Shall rule them with rigour and cruelty. They refused - The reason of all is, their obstinacy in idolatry.
hos 11:6His branches - The lesser towns and villages. Their own counsels - Which they have followed in opposition to all the good counsels the prophets gave them from time to time.
hos 11:7They - The prophets. None at all - Scarce any one would hearken and obey.
hos 11:8Give thee up - To utter destruction. Admah and Zeboim were two of the four cities which were destroyed with fire from heaven. My repentings - Not that God is ever fluctuating or unresolved; but these are expressions after the manner of men, to shew what severity Israel had deserved, and yet how divine grace would be glorified in sparing them.
hos 11:9Return - Conquerors that plunder the conquered city, carry away the wealth of it, and after some time return to burn it; God will not do so. Not man - Therefore my compassions fail not. The holy One - A holy God, and in covenant, though not with all, yet with many among you. Enter into the city - Utterly to destroy thee, as I did Sodom.
hos 11:10They - The remnant shall hear and obey the Lord. Like a lion - The word of the Lord, so saith the Chaldee, shall roar as a lion. Christ is called, The lion of the tribe of Judah: and when he cried with a loud voice, it was as when a lion roared. The voice of the gospel was heard far, as the roaring of a lion; and it was a mighty voice. Tremble - The spirit by its power awakening them to a sight of sin, shall make them fear and tremble. From the west - From the ends of the earth.
hos 11:11They shall tremble - At their return into their own land, some shall hasten, yet with solicitude, out of Egypt, whither they fled for shelter; others like doves shall hasten out of Assyria, but with fear and trembling. I will place them - A seasonable and comfortable promise.
hos 11:12Ephraim - Most of the people of Israel. With lies - Play the hypocrite with me still. Judah - The two tribes. Yet ruleth - While idolaters are slaves to the devil, the true worshippers of God, like princes, rule with God. Faithful - Retains purity, at least truth of worship, and comparatively is faithful. Judah adheres to God's holy prophets, priests, and other saints of God.