King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Hosea 6

An exhortation to repentance. (1-3) Israel’s instability and breach of the covenant. (4-11)

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An exhortation to repentance

1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Israel’s instability and breach of the covenant

4 O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.

5 Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.

6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

8 Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood.

9 And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness.

10 I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled.

11 Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Early, or in haste. All the people will repent. C.

Ver. 2. Cure us. God is always ready to receive penitents. W.

Ver. 3. Third. In a short time the Lord will easily set us free. But the prophet refers more directly to the resurrection of the faithful, and of Christ. Eph. ii. 5. and 1 Cor. xv. 4. C. — S. Paul mentions the third day according to the Scriptures, which nowhere else so clearly specify it. W. See S. Jer. S. Cyp. Sanct. 9. — Know. Hitherto we have been reproached with voluntary ignorance in adoring idols. C. iv. 6. We will amend. — His, Christ’s. — Rain. It falls only in autumn and in spring. Deut. xi. 14. C.

Ver. 4. Mercy. Heb. chesed, (H.) “piety,” &c. (Grot.) whence the word Assideans is derived. 1 Mac. ii. 42. The captives flattered themselves, that as soon as they began to entertain sentiments of repentance, God would relieve them. But he answers that their virtue is inconstant, and that they must suffer in proportion to their crimes.

Ver. 5. Mouth. I have ordered my prophets to denounce death unto them, and to treat them roughly, like a piece of marble designed for a statue. Sept. &c. “I have slain thy prophets,” &c. by Elias, Jehu, &c. The former sense is preferable. — Thy judgments, or condemnation. C. — Heb. “and thy judgments light shall go forth.” H. — Pocock labours hard, but in vain, to explain this; as all the old versions, except the Vulg. have, “my judgments as the light,” &c. Heb. letters may probably have been ill joined, (Kennicott) as Meibomius suspects they have been also. Jer. xxiii. 33. Here umospoti caur, “my judgments as the light,” &c. is exchanged for umishpatec or. This would be very easy when words were written undivided, as in ancient MSS. H. — “Some transcriber upon hearing umishpatecaor, from the person dictating to him, writ umishpateca or instead of umishpate caor. Kennicott, Diss. 1.

Ver. 6. Mercy: sincere piety. v. 4. — Sacrifice. They had offered many. C. v. 6. C. — “My victims are the salvation of the faithful, and the conversion of sinners.” S. Jer. — Knowledge, of a practical nature, which was deficient. C. iv. 6. and vi. 4. C.

Ver. 7. Adam. A compact was made with him, that if he continued faithful or otherwise, his posterity should be born in original justice or sin. H. — He transgressed, and was expelled from paradise, as the Jews were from their land. Sept. “like a man:” like any who had not been so highly favoured with the law, &c. C. — Adam means “a man,” and sometimes it would be as well rendered in this sense. H.

Ver. 8. Supplanted with blood. That is, undermined and brought to ruin for shedding of blood; and, as it is signified in the following verse, for conspiring with the priests, (of Bethel) like robbers, to murder in the way such as passed out of Sichem to go towards the temple of Jerusalem. Or else supplanted with blood signifies flowing in such a manner with blood, as to suffer none to walk there without embruing the soles of their feet in blood. Ch. — Thus they would become unclean, and might easily slip. H. — Galaad was famous for the treaty between Laban and Jacob; and all such places were chosen for altars in the latter times of the two kingdoms. Maspha or Ramoth were the usual resorts. Theodoret reads, “Galgal.” C. iv. 15. C.

Ver. 9. Robbers. Jephte had infested those parts, and the country was noted for murders; whence more cities of refuge were appointed in it. Judg. xi.and Jos. xx. 8. The prophet alludes to what had been said to Gad. Gen. xlix. 19. — Out of, or to Sichem. They were jealous of people going thither, (C.) wishing to receive their offerings themselves. H.

Ver. 11. Harvest. This implies punishment or felicity. The turn of Juda shall come, and he shall be chastised; but after the captivity, he shall enjoy plenty. C. ii. 15. Is. ix. 3. C.