First Lesson of Good Friday

Osee 6. 1-6

Thus saith the Lord: In their affliction they will rise early to Me: Come, and let us return to the Lord, for He hath taken us, and He will heal us, He will strike, and He will cure us. He will revive us after two days: on the third day He will raise us up and we shall live in His sight. We shall know and we shall follow on, that we may know the Lord. His going forth is prepared as the morning light and He will come to us as the early and the latter rain to the earth. What shall I do to thee, O Ephraim? What shall I do to thee, O Juda? Your mercy is as a morning cloud and as the dew that goeth away in the morning. For this reason have I hewed them by the Prophets, I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgements shall go forth as the light. For I desired mercy and not sacrifice: and the knowledge of God more than holocausts.


Verse 1. Early, or in haste. All the people will repent. C.

Verse 2. Cure us. God is always ready to receive penitents. W.

Verse 3. Third. In a short time the Lord will easily set us free. But the prophet refers more directly to the resurrection of the faithful, and of Christ. Eph. ii. 5. and 1 Cor. xv. 4. C. — S. Paul mentions the third day according to the Scriptures, which nowhere else so clearly specify it. W. See S. Jer. S. Cyp. Sanct. 9. — Know. Hitherto we have been reproached with voluntary ignorance in adoring idols. C. iv. 6. We will amend. — His, Christ’s. — Rain. It falls only in autumn and in spring. Deut. xi. 14. C.

Verse 4. Mercy. Heb. chesed, (H.) “piety,” &c. (Grot.) whence the word Assideans is derived. 1 Mac. ii. 42. The captives flattered themselves, that as soon as they began to entertain sentiments of repentance, God would relieve them. But he answers that their virtue is inconstant, and that they must suffer in proportion to their crimes.

Verse 5. Mouth. I have ordered my prophets to denounce death unto them, and to treat them roughly, like a piece of marble designed for a statue. Sept. &c. “I have slain thy prophets,” &c. by Elias, Jehu, &c. The former sense is preferable. — Thy judgments, or condemnation. C. — Heb. “and thy judgments light shall go forth.” H. — Pocock labours hard, but in vain, to explain this; as all the old versions, except the Vulg. have, “my judgments as the light,” &c. Heb. letters may probably have been ill joined, (Kennicott) as Meibomius suspects they have been also. Jer. xxiii. 33. Here umospoti caur, “my judgments as the light,” &c. is exchanged for umishpatec or. This would be very easy when words were written undivided, as in ancient MSS. H. — “Some transcriber upon hearing umishpatecaor, from the person dictating to him, writ umishpateca or instead of umishpate caor. Kennicott, Diss. 1.

Verse 6. Mercy: sincere piety. v. 4. — Sacrifice. They had offered many. C. v. 6. C. — “My victims are the salvation of the faithful, and the conversion of sinners.” S. Jer. — Knowledge, of a practical nature, which was deficient. C. iv. 6. and vi. 4. C.

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