King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Hosea 10

The idolatry of Israel. (1-8) They are exhorted to repentance. (9-15)

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The idolatry of Israel

1 Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.

2 Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.

3 For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us?

4 They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.

5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it.

6 It shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.

7 As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water.

8 The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.

They are exhorted to repentance

9 O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.

10 It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows.

11 And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break his clods.

12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.

14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children.

15 So shall Bethel do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Branches. Sept. “Wood.” Sym. This is all: it yields no fruit. Prot. “empty.” H. — Heb. “plucked.” The grapes are taken away, as the Israelites were; though they boasted of their numbers. C. ix. 16. They are often compared to a vine, the symbol of fecundity. Is. v. 3. Ps. cxxvii. 3. C. — The greater benefits of God enhanced their ingratitude. W. — On every noted hill (H.) profane altars were erected.

Ver. 2. Divided between the Lord and idols. 3 K. xviii. 21. C. — The Jews relate that Osee, the last king of Israel, gave the people leave to go to Jerusalem; (4 K. xvii. 2.) and as they would not take advantage of it, their ruin was decreed. S. Jer.

Ver. 3. No king, in captivity; or they give this title to the golden calf. Manahem had destroyed one, so that they could not but see its vanity. The neighbouring nations looked upon their idols as their kings.

Ver. 4. Covenant with Phul, who seeks only your destruction. 4 K. xv. 19. C. — Bitterness. Heb. “poison,” (H.) or a bitter herb. C.

Ver. 5. The kine of Bethaven. The golden calves of Jeroboam, (Ch.) one of which (H.) was set up at Bethel. W. — The feminine cows, is spoken in ridicule; as (C.) O verè Phrygiæ, Æn. ix. Isis was represented with a cow’s head. Herod. ii. 41. — Rejoiced. To avoid this apparent contradiction, the Jews relate that the priests had sent a brazen calf to the Assyrians, and secreted the golden one. While they rejoiced at their success, Salmanasar, (Seder. Olam.) or Sennacherib, discovered the cheat, and came to destroy the kingdom. S. Jer. — This has the air of a fable. If (C.) we substitute e for g, in yagilu, (H.) we may give a good sense to the Heb. “The people shouting, or in black, (cemaraiv) have been in sorrow, because their glory is taken from them: so the idol is called. Ps. cv. 20. C.

Ver. 6. Itself also is carried, &c. One of the golden calves was given by king Manahem to Phul, king of the Assyrians, to engage him to stand by him. Ch. — Avenging. C. v. 13. — Will, or expectation of aid. C. — He had recourse to this nation, without consulting God. H.

Ver. 7. Pass. Heb. “As for Samaria, it is undone. Its king is like froth, or a bubble,” &c. C. xi. 1. The calf; (v. 3.) Zacharias or Osee may be meant.

Ver. 8. Us, as the Jews would do at the last siege, and sinners before the day of judgment. Lu. xxiii. 30. Apoc. vi. 14. Too happy, if they could by a speedy death escape eternal torments! C. — People shall be in the utmost consternation at the approach of the Assyrians. H. — They will not think themselves secure enough in their caverns.

Ver. 9. Gabaa. Sept. “high places;” or he alludes to the brutality of the citizens. Judg. xx. 13. — Stood. Those of Gabaa were speedily punished by the other tribes. Now, all are perverse. At that time one tribe was guilty, and yet some were spared; but all Israel shall be now led into captivity. C. — From the time that Dan adored Micha’s idol, (Jud. xviii. 14.) the evil has spread among the rest of the tribes, which did not punish this transgression. Hence all shall at last suffer. W.

Ver. 10. Their two iniquities. Their two calves; (Ch.) or because they have abandoned God, and followed idols. Jer. ii. 13. Many render, “when I shall have tied them, like oxen, in their two furrows.” But the Vulg. is plainer, and adopted by most.

Ver. 11. Neck. I will confine her to harder labour. While the oxen tred out corn, they may eat. Deut. xxv. 4. — Himself. Juda shall be chastised after the ten tribes; so that none of my people shall escape.

Ver. 12. Mouth. Heb. “in proportion to (C.) your piety.” Sept. “gather a vintage of the fruit of life.” H. — Ground. Reform you conduct. C. — Justice, when Christ shall appear, the source of all our grace and justice. S. Jer. &c. C. — Sept. “Light up for yourselves the light of knowledge, for it is time; seek the Lord, till ye obtain the fruit of justice.”

Ver. 13. Ploughed. Sept. “Why have you concealed impiety,” refusing to confess? H. — Iniquity, or punishment. — Lying. Your hopes are frustrated, and no fruit is seen. C. — Ways: idols. S. Jer.

Ver. 14. Tumult. Heb. shaon; the din of war, (H.) or cry of soldiers. C. —Salmana, king of the Madianites, was destroyed by the house; that is, by the followers of him that judgeth Baal; that is, of Gedeon, who threw down the altar of Baal, and was therefore called Jerobaal. See Judg. vi. and viii. Ch. — Of him. Sept. Rom. “of Jeroboam.” But S. Jer. &c. have, Jerobaal. Theodoret, “in the house of Arbeel.” Heb. “as Salmana ruined the house of Arbela.” There were many places of this name; but none of great note, taken by Salmanasar. Some think that he took it before he was king. Yet this is all uncertain, and the Heb. seems rather changed, so that we should read with the Alex. MS. S. Jer. &c. Jerobaal, who defeated the Madianites, and treated Succoth with great severity. Judg. viii. 15. C.

Ver. 15. Bethel. This place, defiled by an idol, shall be the scene of your misery. Sept. “So I will treat you, O house of Israel,” &c. (H.) which is not in Heb. (S. Jer.) but seems as good. H. — Heb. adds here properly, (C.) “Presently, or in the morning, shall the king of Israel be utterly cut off,” which we have in the next chapter.