King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Hosea 13

The abuse of God’s favour leads to punishment. (1-8) A promise of God’s mercy. (9-16)

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The abuse of God’s favour leads to punishment

1 When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died.

2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves.

3 Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.

4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.

5 I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.

6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.

7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them:

8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.

A promise of God’s mercy

9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.

10 I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?

11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.

12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid.

13 The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children.

14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

15 Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.

16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Spoke. When Jeroboam proposed to erect the golden calves, people were seized with horror; yet they consented, and soon after Baal and other idols were worshipped. W. — Ephraim was one of the greatest tribes, and by its example the rest were drawn into idolatry. Achab principally introduced the worship of Baal, which caused God to decree the misery of his people. 3 K. xvi. 31.

Ver. 2. Calves. A cutting reproach! Those who could stoop to adore a calf, might be so blind as to sacrifice men! Heb. “sacrifice, ye men who,” &c. Jeroboam issues this edict. C. — Sept. “immolate men; calves are wanting.” H.

Ver. 3. Away. C. vi. 4. — Chimney, or hole, at the side or top of the room. C. — Heb. arubba, (H.) means also “a locust,” as the Sept. render it, though here it affords no sense.

Ver. 5. Knew: treated thee with kindness, or tried thee. C.

Ver. 6. Pastures: the more they were indulged. H. Deut. xxxii. 15.

Ver. 7. Lioness. Sept. “panther.” I will pursue them even in their captivity.

Ver. 8. Whelps; with the greatest fury. 2 K. xvii. 8. — Inner. Heb. “what encloses the heart;” or, I will break their hard heart. C.

Ver. 9. Own. Evils are brought on by the sins of men, which God does not cause. W. — Sept. “who will aid to prevent thy perdition, O Israel.” H. — God alone is the author of salvation. He also punishes, (Amos iii. 6.) but for man’s amendment in life. W.

Ver. 10. Princes. It was on this pretext that a king was demanded. 1 K. viii. 20. Will any now save you? M.

Ver. 11. King; Saul, Jeroboam, or the Assyrian. — Away. Osee, (C.) so that you shall have no more kings of Israel. H. — Sept. alone have, “I took (C.) or had him in,” &c. S. Jer.

Ver. 12. Hidden. He thinks to escape. H. — But I keep it like pieces of silver, bound up in my treasury. S. Jer. C.

Ver. 13. Him. He shall be taken when he least expects it. His fruit shall come forth. Jer. iv. 31. — Children. He shall have no share in the division of property, or shall not escape when the father shall bring his children to an account. The Chal. &c. insinuate, that the infant affords no help to come forth, as it would if it had sense. C.

Ver. 14. Death. This must be understood of eternal misery, from which the just are preserved. All must die, and many suffered a violent death from the Assyrians. W. — After denouncing the severest judgments, the prophet promises redress and a sort of resurrection, which was a figure of the real sufferings and rising of Jesus Christ. The apostle applies this text to him, but follows not the Heb. or Sept. 1 Cor. xv. 55. C. — Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? Prot. read, O grave, (marg. hell) instead of the latter death. Heb. ehi has been twice placed for aie, I will be instead of where? (H.) as the Gr. Arab. and Syr. versions, as wll as the context, evince. All the versions prove the same corruption to be. v. 10. Kennicott, Aquila, and the 5. edit. read where? Sym. I will be: (S. Jer.) so that the change probably took place between A. 130 and 200. Sept. “Where is thy cause gained, (in a lawsuit, or thy justice; dike. H.) O death?” &c. — Eyes. I can find no consolation, (S. Jer.) because the people cause dissension by their perseverance in evil. Hebrew also, “repentance,” &c. I will utterly destroy Ephraim; or rather, “vengeance…because he shall flourish,” &c. If Ephraim would repent, this should not take place; but now, the Lord will bring Salmanasar, a burning wind. v. 15. C.

Ver. 15. Springs of death; or the sins which Christ, born of a virgin, shall destroy, and liberate the vessels of election from hell. S. Jer. H.