King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Hosea 9

The distress to come upon Israel. (1-6) The approach of the day of trouble. (7-10) Judgments on Israel. (11-17)

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The distress to come upon Israel

1 Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.

2 The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.

3 They shall not dwell in the LORD’s land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.

4 They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the LORD.

5 What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the LORD?

6 For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles.

The approach of the day of trouble

7 The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.

8 The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.

9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.

10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.

Judgments on Israel

11 As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.

12 Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!

13 Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.

14 Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.

16 Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.

17 My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Reward, or “present.” The kings took the tithe. 1 K. viii. 15. Other infidel nations rejoice in their wealth. Israel ought not to do so; and, in punishment of idolatry, it shall be despoiled. After Jeroboam II. all went to ruin.

Ver. 2. Deceive. The grapes shall yield no wine. C. — Spem mentita seges. Hor. ii. ep. 2. and 3. ode 1. and 16.)

Ver. 3. Egypt, through distress. C. viii. 13. S. Jer. v. 6. W. — Sua afforded no protection, and the country proved a grave to those who retired thither. — Unclean. The people observed these prescriptions, though they neglected the more important duties. Only some pious souls, like Tobias, Daniel, &c. refrained from such meats in exile. C. — Ezechiel (iv. 9.) foreshewed this by his bread. S. Jer.

Ver. 4. Wine. They shall be at a distance from the temple, and in a country where the wine will not be deemed pure. The Jews will drink none which they have not made; and they usually lift up the cup, and pour out a little in God’s honour. This they could not do in Assyria, (C.) not having liberty to do all about the wine. — Sacrifices. The Israelites had long neglected to offer any in the temple, (H.) though they had no hindrance. In exile, the fruits, &c. were all accounted unclean, like meats used in mourning, (C.) which defiled those who partook of them. Deut. xxvi. 14. Num. xix. 11. “The sacrifices of heretics are the bread of mourning. They offer them not to God, but to the dead, to wicked heresiarchs.” S. Jer. — Soul. They have need enough of it. H. — “Let them gratify their appetite; I love not what is unclean.” S. Jer.

Ver. 5. Lord, when he shall punish you. Is. xxxiv. 6. H. — Israel did not go to the temple, but they kept the festivals and banquets in their own manner, the privation of which they would feel.

Ver. 6. Gather into the grave. Yet some shall escape. C. xi. 11. — Silver, which they buried at the approach of the enemy, hoping to recover it when they should depart. The Arabs do so still, (C.) and the Indians likewise, that they may have something to support them in the next world! Bernier. — Bur. Heb. “thorns.” C.

Ver. 7. Mad. Israel shall promise itself all prosperity, not being inspired by God, but full of madness. W. — There were many false prophets. The true ones were often accounted idols. 4 K. ix. 11. Ezec. iii. 25. C. — “What is said respecting Israel, in this prophet, must be understood of heretics, who being truly mad, utter falsehoods against God. S. Jer. — Sept. “and Israel shall be hurt like the prophet beside himself, the man having (or hurried away by) the spirit.” H.

Ver. 8. My God. I am such; but the false prophets strive to seduce you. C. — Jeroboam ought to have restrained the people, and he did the reverse, setting up a calf at Bethel, which proved more ruinous than the crime of Gabaa, (Jud. xix.) or the election of Saul. “In ancient records, I cannot find that any have divided the Church but those who were appointed by God, priests and prophets, that is watchmen.” S. Jer. — Indeed, almost all heresies owe their rise to the pride or lust of some who have been in high stations. — Madness. Heb. “and hatred in (marg. against) the,” &c. Prot. H. — Instead of standing up for the people, he provokes God.

Ver. 9. Sin. As they have imitated the citizens of Gabaa, they may expect a similar fate. C.

Ver. 10. Top. These are the best. H. — The patriarchs were pleasing to God. He chose the Hebrews; but they began to worship Beelphegor or Adonis, even before the death of Moses. This worship was most shameful. What will not passion do when the gods shew the example!

Ver. 11. Conception. Their children, in whom they glory, shall be destroyed (C.) in the very embryo. H.

Ver. 12. When. Sept. Th. “my flesh is taken from them,” which Theodoret, Lyran, &c. explain of the incarnation; but Aquila, &c. agree with the Vulg. which is more natural. C.

Ver. 13. Tyre. The kingdom of Israel was no less proud. Ezec. xxvi. W. — It was in the highest prosperity under Jeroboam II. Osee saw this and the subsequent overthrow. Tyre was a most populous and wealthy city. C. — Other interpreters have, “a rock;” Sept. “a prey.” The latter read d for r. S. Jer. H. — The Vulg. seems best. C. — Tsor denotes, “Tyre and a rock.” H.

Ver. 14. Children, as they have exposed them to the fury of the Assyrians, (C.) or to their idols. Drus. — The prophet appears to demand vengeance through zeal; but it is only a prediction. C.

Ver. 15. Galgal: “heaped together.” H. — When they erected profane altars here, I could spare them no longer. C. — No more, so as to suffer them to pass unpunished. H. — He afterwards restored them to favour. C. i. 10. and ii. 14. C. — At Galgal they rejected the Lord’s spiritual and temporal dominion. M.

Ver. 16. Dried up. They are compared to a vine. C. x. 1. C.