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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Hosea 6

Verses 1-11


The Shallowness of Israel’s Repentance

Hosea now represents the people as counselling one another to repentance in presence of the impending danger; and goes on to point out the futility of a hurried repentance, and the greatness of their sin.

2. After two days] This is probably a proverbial expression for a very short time.

3. Then.. know, etc.] RV ’And let us know, let us follow on.’ His going forth] Just as the morning will dawn after the darkest night, so God will arise bringing brightness and hope. As the rain] The land of Palestine was absolutely dependent on its winter rains: the former rain beginning about the end of October with fair intervals which permitted the seed to be sown, becoming heavier about the end of December and continuing at intervals during the winter; the latter rain coming in showers in March and April refreshing the ripening crops.

4. The thought of the possible future stands in deep contrast to the gloomy present, and the note of joy passes into a note of wailing.

Morning cloud] As the morning cloud and the dew rapidly disappear, so the efforts of Israel after real goodness (especially ’kindness,’ RM) lack endurance.

5. Hewed.. slain them] The prophets are here spoken of as themselves doing what their language threatened. Thy judgments.. forth] It is better to read with LXX, ’My judgment goeth forth as the light.’ The reference is to the clear manifestation of the judgment.

6. God cared more for goodness and piety—the knowledge and doing of His will—than for formal offerings and sacrifice, and nothing at all for religious observances that were insincere and corrupt: cp. Isaiah 1:13-15; 1 Samuel 15:22. Our Lord twice quotes the first clause in justification of doing good on the sabbath day: cp. Matthew 9:13; Matthew 12:7.

7. Like men] RV ’like Adam.’ In regarding mere sacrifice as a substitute for goodness which God had made the condition of His covenant they had broken it as much as Adam had done by his disobedience: cp. Genesis 2:16-17; Exodus 20:21 to Exodus 24:11. There] in the land given them on condition of a good and holy life.

8. Gilead] cp. Hosea 12:11. Probably Ramoth-Gilead. Being a city of refuge it was doubtless the place of an early sanctuary. But holy cities were now become notorious for their wickedness.

9. In the way by consent] RV ’in the way toward Shechem.’ At Shechem also, as we know from Joshua 24:1, there was an ancient sanctuary. In the time of Jeroboam I it was the capital of the northern kingdom. Hosea here appears to refer to some definite act of robbery and murder in which some priests were actually implicated.

11. He hath set] RV ’there is appointed.’ When I returned] RV ’when I bring again.’ This v. is often understood of the harvest of judgment (cp. Joel 3:13), but the phrase ’to turn, or bring again, a nation’s captivity,’ means its restoration. The words, however, should probably be taken with what follows.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Hosea 6". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/hosea-6.html. 1909.