An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 8 - Prophetic Truth - Page 222 of 304 INDEX |
The interval of 'many days' is to be characterized by a mutual
'abiding' or 'waiting'. The woman was to 'abide' without further
unfaithfulness, the man would abide and wait also. This waiting negative
attitude is explained by the sixfold negation of verse 4. Israel has had no
'king' since the days of their captivity. On the other hand, their very
scattering among the nations had made it impossible for any foreign 'prince'
to rule over them. Since the destruction of Jerusalem, Israel has been
deprived of the right to offer sacrifice, but, since the days of their
captivity, they have never again fallen under the old spell of idolatry; they
have had no priest in the true sense of the word, but neither have they
teraphim. The Bible student needs no explanation of these terms, except
perhaps the last.
Teraphim. -- This word is variously explained, but always with a
consciousness that much to do with its origin and intention is unknown. Dr.
J. E. Shelley contributed a suggestive article to the Bible League Quarterly
in 1939 in which he speaks of the 'Generations' which compose the bulk of the
book of Genesis, and suggests that these 'ancestral tablets' were called
teraphim by association with Terah the father of Abraham, and says that
'certain Jewish legends represent Terah as actually a maker of idols'. The
word 'teraphim' occurs but six times in the English of the Authorized
Version, all the references apart from Hosea 3 being in Judges 17 and 18.
The word occurs, however, fifteen times altogether in the Old Testament,
being translated 'image', 'idolatry' and 'idol'. It was the teraphim that
Rachel stole and hid (Gen. 31:19 -35). It was the teraphim that Michal
placed in the bed vacated by David (1 Sam. 19:13,16). In 1 Samuel 15:23,
Ezekiel 21:21 and Zechariah 10:2, it will be seen that the teraphim were
consulted and associated with witchcraft and divination:
'When the temple in Jerusalem was burned in a.d. 70 all the
genealogical records of Israel's tribes were utterly destroyed. There
is no man among the Jews today who can prove definitely of what tribe
he is, by giving his genealogical records' (Dr. J. E. Shelley).
Israel had long been without a king when they entered their lo -ammi
condition at Acts 28. The last thing to go at the destruction of the temple
would have been the genealogical records. Since that date Israel has
'waited' and must wait until a priest stands up with Urim and Thummim -- in
other words, until the Lord Himself returns. The words of Hosea 6:1,2
suggest that the period covered by this 'abiding' will be 'two days', which
in the symbolic use of the term covers the two thousand years that may
intervene before their complete restoration. As we have no certain knowledge
as to when this period actually started, it is useless to attempt to compute
the date of Israel's restoration. The return of Israel, with the confession
that they will make, constitutes the closing chapters of this prophecy. All
is graciously reversed. Instead of being lo -ammi and lo -ruhamah, the
fatherless find mercy (14:3). Their backsliding is healed, and this restored
people grow as the lily, have the beauty of the olive, the odour of Lebanon,
with their fruit derived alone from the Lord.
The reader will be as conscious as the writer of these notes that the
bulk of prophecy has been left unexplored. To attempt a fuller exposition
would demand a lengthy presentation, but sufficient, we trust, has been
lifted out to provide a guide to the reader who supplements the comments
given here, by his own Berean -like studies.