King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Hosea 14

An exhortation to repentance. (1-3) Blessings promised, showing the rich comforts of the gospel. (4-8) The just and the wicked. (9)

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An exhortation to repentance

1 O israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.

2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.

3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.

Blessings promised, showing the rich comforts of the gospel

4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.

5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.

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

7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.

The just and the wicked

9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Perish, because she hath stirred up her God to bitterness. It is not a curse or imprecation, but a prophecy of what should come to pass (Ch). to Israel, in Assyria. Many such expressions occur. Ps. lxviii. 25. &c. S. Jer. — Sometimes they are the efforts of zeal, conformable to divine justice. Ps. cxl. 6. W. — Heb. “Samaria has sinned, or shall perish.” C. — Bitterness. Sept. “she hath resisted her God.” H.

Ver. 3. Words. In captivity, legal victims cannot be offered. C. — But a contrite heart is always acceptable. Ps. l. — Good. While engaged in sin, (H.) “we can offer thee nothing good.” — Calves: victims of praise. S. Jer. — Heb. parim. Sept. omit m, (H.) and render fruit. They are followed by the Arab. and Syr. as well as by the apostle. Heb. xiii. 15. C. — We will offer what victims we please. E. Ps. lxix. 23. and lxv. 13.

Ver. 4. Gods. The Assyrians, instead of protecting, oppress us; while Egypt, famous for horses, sits unconcerned. C. — But the source of all our evils are the idols, which we will follow no more. — In thee: adheres to the true faith in practice. H. — Israel was like an orphan during the captivity. Lam. i. 1. C.

Ver. 5. Breaches, when Israel shall be converted, as some were to Christ, and many will be at the end of the world. W. — Heb. “their return.” Sept. “dwellings.” They shall be purified. — Freely. I have been forced to chastise, My heart dilates. C. — Sept. “I will love them manifestly.” Syr. “accept their free offerings.” H.

Ver. 6. Dew. Israel has been like a plant dried up. C. xiii. 15. — Libanus. The cedars were tall and bulky, being well rooted.

Ver. 7. Glory. Sept. “he shall be as fruitful as the olive-tree.” — Libanus, or incense. C. — The term has both meanings. H.

Ver. 8. His. This may refer to the tree, or to God. The captives shall return, and be happy. But in a more sublime sense it refers to the nations which shall embrace the gospel. — Libanus, or fragrant. Such wine was esteemed in which certain odoriferous herbs were infused. Cant. vii. 2. C. — Libanus was also famous for generous wines. Siconita 11.

Ver. 9. Idol? or God will no more reproach them, as their conversion is sincere. — Make. Heb. “be to him like,” &c. C.

Ver. 10. Wise. This denotes the obscurity of the prophecy. Theod. — No human wit can explain the prophets: yet the just shall understand as much as shall be necessary. S. Jer. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xviii. 28. W. — Only few will make good use of these admonitions, and share in the promises. C.