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Israel. They are chiefly addressed, (Chaldean; St. Jerome; Calmet) or what follows to ver. 15, regards all. (Worthington) --- Judgment. Hebrew, "a trial." --- Mercy. The want of humanity and of practical knowledge is urged. (Calmet) --- The knowledge of God includes the observance of the commandments, 1 John ii. 4. (Worthington) --- This science alone is requisite, Jeremias ix. 3., and Isaias v. 13. Blind leaders prove their own and other's ruin.
Blood. The successors of Jeroboam II were mostly murdered. (Calmet) --- Incestuous marriages take place. (Haydock)
Together. The waters shall be dried up, or infected. (Calmet) --- When the people are taken away, beasts will not long remain, Jeremias ix. 10., and Sophonias i. 2. (Haydock)
Judge, &c. As if he would say: It is in vain to strive with them, or reprove them, they are so obstinate in evil. (Challoner) --- Priest. Such must be slain, Deuteronomy xvii. 12. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "my people are like a priest contradicted," (Haydock) or degraded. (Theodoret)
Prophet, both true and false. --- Night of tribulation. Hebrew and Septuagint, "I have compared thy mother to the night."
Silent. Septuagint, "like those who had," &c. --- Knowledge. Jeroboam I had appointed unlawful priests, and some of the house of Aaron went over to him, and were excluded from officiating at Jerusalem, after the captivity, 1 Kings xii. 31., and Ezechiel xliv. 10. Knowledge is always expected of priests, Deuteronomy xvii. 8., and Malachias ii. 7. (Gratian. dist. 38. c. omnes. ) (Calmet) --- When the power of sacrificing is withdrawn, all spiritual functions cease, as sacrifice belongs properly to a priest. (Worthington)
Me. A father rejoices in a numerous offspring. But my people take occasion to offend me the more they increase. (Calmet)
Sins: victims. (Worthington) --- Iniquity; or "they seek for support in their propitiatory offerings," and lull the people asleep in their sins. The priests of the golden calf imitated the sacred rites of Moses. It would have been too difficult to make the people change altogether.
Priest. They are equally dissolute, and shall meet the like punishment. --- Devices, or thoughts. (Calmet) --- Cogitatio mali operis p'e6nas luet. (St. Jerome)
Ceased. Hebrew, "increased." They have no children living. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "let them not succeed."
Understanding. Literally, "heart." (Haydock) --- Some sins darken reason more than others; but none so much as spiritual fornication. (Worthington)
Staff. It was customary to use this mode of divination, (Ezechiel xxi. 21.) and likewise incense, ver. 13. --- Oak. These terms are variously rendered as the trees and stones mentioned in Scripture, will probably never be ascertained.
Visit. This is the most dreadful of God's judgments. He permits those who offend him to receive discontent from their own families. --- Effeminate, like the Galli, &c., (St. Jerome) and votaries of Priapus, 3 Kings xv. 11. Hebrew, "the consecrated women." Septuagint, "initiated," to honour a lewd idol by prostitution. (Calmet) --- Beaten. Septuagint, "adhere to a harlot. But thou, Israel, be not ignorant, and Juda go," &c. (Haydock)
Offend. It was more culpable for Juda to commit idolatry (as they had the temple, &c., of the true God) than for Israel, whom Jeroboam hindered from going to Jerusalem, after he had set up his golden calves. (Worthington) --- Galgal and Bethaven. Places where idols were worshipped. Bethel, which signifies the house of God, is called by the prophet Bethaven, that is the house of vanity, from Jeroboam's golden calf which was worshipped there. (Challoner) --- Galgal was on the confines of the two kingdoms, and always venerated by the Jews. Idols had been there in ancient times, and probably a sort of oracle, Judges iii. 19. If Israel be thus abandoned, let not Juda imitate them. (Calmet) --- Lord. Profane not this sacred name by giving it to idols. (Theodoret) --- Use not this expression, since you do not worship me. (St. Jerome)
Wanton. Septuagint, "stung," or rendered furious. Thus Israel gives way to ungovernable passions. The people shall be led into captivity, and have room to range about.
Partaker. Hebrew, "tied to abominations." --- Alone. His case is desperate. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "he has placed stumbling-blocks for himself." (Haydock)
Separated from that allowed to God's people, Deuteronomy xii. 12. Hebrew, "insipid," or spoiled. Chaldean, "their princes have sought after banquets." Septuagint, "He has provoked ( surpassed ) the Chanaanites." These two have not read as we do. --- They. Hebrew, "their shields ( chiefs ) have loved shame:" dissolute practices, or "presents," which are disgraceful. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "They have loved shame by her rage. ( 19 ) A whirlwind shall whistle in," &c. (Haydock)
Wings. They shall be quickly removed hence. (Calmet)
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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Hosea 4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28