King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Hosea 7

The manifold sins of Israel. (1-7) Their senselessness and hypocrisy. (8-16)

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The manifold sins of Israel

1 When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without.

2 And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.

3 They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.

4 They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.

5 In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine; he stretched out his hand with scorners.

6 For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire.

7 They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me.

Their senselessness and hypocrisy

8 Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.

9 Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.

10 And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this.

11 Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.

12 When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard.

13 Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.

14 And they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me.

15 Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me.

16 They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Israel. God divided the kingdom, that by this chastisement the people might be converted. But Jeroboam set up calves, and caused them to grow worse. W. — How often did God send his prophets to reclaim them! — Without. Most of the kings were of this stamp, while foreign nations invaded the land.

Ver. 2. Face. I do not search (C.) into their past lives; they sin publicly, and without ceasing. I have been too indulgent. H.

Ver. 3. Glad, &c. To please Jeroboam and their other kings, they have given themselves up to the worship of idols, which are mere falsehood and lies. Ch. — We do not find one good king of Israel. C. — But Jeroboam principally caused Israel to sin. H. — His infernal policy changed the religion of his subjects.

Ver. 4. Leaven. Jeroboam invited the people simply to a feast, and used no violence to make them adopt his novelties. But they soon prevailed, and brought on ruin. The cake, or whole nation, was burnt, (v. 8.) as well as the princes. v. 7. C.

Ver. 5. Princes. The chief men joined in the schism and idolatry. W. — Mad, with drinking at the king’s coronation, or at his coming to the crown. C. — Bacchus presents three cups to the wise; the fourth is the cup of petulance, the fifth of shouts, the sixth of debauchery, &c. Athen. Dipsc. ii. 1. Eccli. xxxi. 38. — Scorners. Sept. “pestilent people,” who turn religion and piety to ridicule. Instead of repressing them, the king admits them to favour.

Ver. 6. Them. Jeroboam seduces the subjects of the house of David, by indulging the passions of the great and small. He may then sleep; the poison gains ground. C. — But soon his own family will feel the direful effects of his policy. H.

Ver. 7. Judges, or rulers. Idolatry proved fatal to all. v. 3.

Ver. 8. Mixed, like oil and flour. Heb. — Ashes. Thin cakes (C.) of this kind are used by the poor, in Spain, (Sanct.) and by the Arabs. Thevenot. Levant. xxxii. — Turned. There was no time allowed by the enemy, who came and took the Israelites away. C. — They became like other nations, and would not repent. W.

Ver. 9. Strangers: kings of Assyria, Damascus, &c. — Hairs. He is grown old in misery, and yet is insensible of it, and sees not that he will shortly cease to be a people. Is. vii. 8.

Ver. 10. Humbled. Heb. “answer.” C. v. 5. Pride is visible on his face, though he be so much reduced. C. — For all these sins Israel shall be severely punished. W.

Ver. 11. Decoyed. Heb. “stupid.” C. iv. 11. The dove is the only bird which is not grieved at the loss of its young. S. Jer. — It returns to the same nest, though repeatedly robbed, forgetting past dangers. Theod. — Thus Israel is not reclaimed, though idolatry has so often proved its ruin. — Egypt. Jeroboam had returned thither, and at his return brought about a division of the kingdom. 3 K. xi. 40. Osee, the last king, applied to Sua, and this provoked the Assyrians to destroy the kingdom. They pretended that it was tributary to them, after Phul had been invited to assist Manahem for a thousand talents. 4 K. xv. 19. and xvii. 4. Thus was a worldly policy confounded.

Ver. 12. Heard the menaces of Moses, (Deut. xxvii.) and of the prophets. 4 K. xxvii. 13. C. — Sept. “I will instruct (or chastise) them by the hearing of their misery,” (H.) when it shall become the subject of conversation throughout the world.

Ver. 13. Lies, attributing their deliverance to the golden calf, (3 K. xii. 28. C. Ex. xxxii. 8. M.) and always denying my justice and power.

Ver. 14. Thought: “ruminated.” H. — Heb. “assembled, or been afraid.” Sept. “they were cut,” (C.) in honour of idols, hoping to avert the famine. S. Cyr.

Ver. 15. Arms. I gave them my laws and power to resist the enemy. M.

Ver. 16. Returned, imitating Apis, the folly of Egypt. They have repeatedly followed idols in Egypt, and in the desert, under Jeroboam, Achab, Jehu, &c. — Deceitful. Sept. “bent.” Theodoret reads, “unbent.” It never hits the mark, (C.) but wounds the person who uses it. S. Jer. — Derision. The Egyptians laugh at them; (C.) or thus they acted heretofore, in Egypt. Chal.