Hosea 14:6

His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.

His branches shall spread,.... As the well rooted cedars in Lebanon; see Numbers 24:6. This respects the propagation of the church of God, and the interest of Christ in the world, as in the first times of the Gospel, and will be in the latter day; when the Gospel shall be spread everywhere; churches set up in all places; the Jews converted, and the fulness of the Gentiles brought in; and these like spreading branches, and fruitful boughs, abounding in grace and good works. The Targum is,

"they shall multiply or increase with sons and daughters:''

and his beauty shall be as the olive tree; which lies in its being laden with excellent fruit, and being always green; for which reasons particular believers, and the whole church of God, are sometimes compared to it; having that fatness in them, with which God and men are honoured; and that true grace, which is signified by oil in the vessels of the heart, and is called the unction and anointing of the Holy One; and they persevering in this grace to the end, which is evergreen and durable, immortal, and dies not; see Psalms 52:8. Here again it may be observed, that the trees of Lebanon, though they had strong roots, and spreading branches, yet were not fruitful; and the deficiency of that metaphor is supplied by this of the olive:

and his smell as Lebanon; as the trees of Lebanon, the cedars, trees of frankincense, and other odoriferous trees and plants, which grew upon it; here what is wanting in the olive tree, whose smell is not so grateful, is made up by this simile of the trees of Lebanon, and the smell of them; which may denote the sweet and grateful smell the Lord smells in his people, or his gracious acceptance of them in Christ; whose garments of righteousness and salvation on them are as the smell of Lebanon; and whose graces in them exceed the smell of all spices; and whose prayers are odours, and their praises a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour to God; see Song of Solomon 4:10. Some render it, "as incense" {d} called "lebonah" in Hebrew, from whence the mountain is thought to have its name, frankincense growing upon it. So the Targum,

"and their smell as the smell of the incense of spices.''

Jarchi says, as the sanctuary, which was made of the cedars of Lebanon.

{d} "Ut thuris", Grotius.