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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Hosea 7

Introduction

PART II., Hosea 4-14. A series of addresses which give a summary of Hosea’ s prophetic teaching. The period presupposed seems to be the time of anarchy which followed the death of Jeroboam II ( c. 743 B.C.). But there is no reason to suppose that the sections are arranged in chronological order. In Hosea 4-8 Israel’ s guilt is emphasized, in Hosea 9:1 to Hosea 11:11 the punishment, and in Hosea 11:12-2 Kings : both lines of thought are continued, the whole being rounded off with a brighter picture (Hosea 14). As, however, the oracles are essentially independent it is best to treat them separately. The text is in places very corrupt.

Verses 1-2

Hosea 6:4 to Hosea 7:2 . Israel’ s Moral Condition Hopelessly Corrupt.— The shallow expressions of loyalty by the fickle people mean nothing, and cannot avert Yahweh’ s inevitable judgment. He looks for real loyalty, not for a hollow ritual of sacrifices ( Hosea 6:4-Joshua :). Examples of the anarchy and crime that prevail, involving even the priests in the charge of murder and immorality, are given, demonstrating Israel’ s utter corruption, Judah also ( Hosea 6:11 a, if this is not a gloss) being involved ( Hosea 6:7-1 Kings : a) . Every attempt to heal the disease only reveals how deep-seated and universal it is ( Hosea 6:11 b Hosea 7:2). The section appears to be composed of three originally independent fragments ( Hosea 6:4-Joshua :, Hosea 6:7-1 Kings : a, Hosea 6:11 b Hosea 7:2).

Hosea 6:4 . Judah: Marti and Nowack read “ Israel.”— goodness: render “ love,” i.e. either love to God (loyalty to Yahweh) or love of neighbour.

Hosea 6:5 . read ( mg.) light: i.e. lightning. Such prophets as Elijah and Elisha are meant.

Hosea 6:6 . Cf. 1 Samuel 15:22.— mercy: render “ love” ( cf. Hosea 6:4 *).

Hosea 6:7 . like Adam: a place-name is required. Read either “ in Adam” ( cf. Joshua 3:16) or perhaps “ in Adman” ( Hosea 11:8). Some place where there was a sanctuary may be referred to.

Hosea 6:8 . Gilead: a town of this name is perhaps referred to in Judges 10:17, here as another centre of the cultus.

Hosea 6:9 . The sanctuary at Shechem is a den of thieves, the priests being the thieves, and the victims the pilgrims. Some incident well known to contemporaries may be alluded to.— lewdness: render, “ enormity.”

Hosea 6:10 . In the house of Israel: read, “ in Bethel” ( cf. Hosea 10:15, Amos 5:6).

Hosea 6:10 b . Read, “ there Ephraim hath played the harlot.”

Hosea 6:11 may be a gloss. The following words; “ When I would heal Israel,” are omitted by Wellhausen. He begins the section at, “ The iniquity of Ephraim is discovered.”

Hosea 7:1 . Read, “ entereth into the house” ( cf. LXX).— spoileth: read mg.

Verses 3-7

Hosea 7:3-Judges : . Wickedness Encouraged in High Places.— King and princes gladly share in the prevailing wickedness— adultery, drunkenness— and the court itself is the scene of treachery, conspiracy, and assassinations. The text is corrupt, and contains allusions to events of the details of which we are ignorant.

Hosea 7:3 . Read with a slight emendation ( yimshç hû): “ In their wickedness they anoint kings, and in their falseness princes” ( cf. Hosea 8:4).

Hosea 7:4 . Read, “ they are like a glowing oven”— a figure for lust. Read Hosea 7:4 b (? a gloss on Hosea 7:6), “ whose baker ceaseth from kneading,” etc.

Hosea 7:5 . Perhaps the king’ s birth-or coronation-day is meant. Hosea 7:5 b (probably corrupt) as it stands can only mean that the king made “ scorners” his associates.

Hosea 7:6 . Text corrupt. Read, “ their inward part is like an oven,” and for “ baker” read “ anger” ( mg.), omitting “ whiles they lie in wait” as a gloss.

Hosea 7:7 . The root-cause of the political and social unrest is the people’ s passion and irreligion. With the murder of king Zechariah ( 2 Kings 15:10), the period of anarchy, depicted by Hosea, began.

Verses 8-16

Hosea 7:8 to Hosea 8:3 . Political Decay the Outward Sign of Israel’ s Moral Decay.— The attempts to cure national ills and secure safety by foreign aid, instead of by turning to Yahweh, are foredoomed to failure; Yahweh Himself frustrates them and will bring the misguided people to punishment and ruin ( Hosea 7:8-2 Kings :). Their doom is sealed, for they have been disloyal to Yahweh; they do not turn to Him with a true heart, but use heathen devices (cut themselves, Hosea 7:14 mg., see p. 110) when they appeal to Him. Their shallow hearts are incapable of real and acceptable repentance; therefore their “ princes shall fall by the sword,” and “ this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt” ( Hosea 7:13-Nehemiah :). The inevitable judgment is devastating war, which their appeals to Him shall not avert ( Hosea 8:1-Leviticus :).

Hosea 7:8 . mixeth himself: i.e. dissipates his national strength and character by intermingling with the Gentiles. Another possible rendering is “ withereth away among,” etc. The cake is the flat, round cake of bread, which was baked on hot stones or ashes ( cf. 1 Kings 19:6), and which, if not frequently turned, would be burnt. It may be an emblem of a country half ruined by war, or of the people’ s fickle and inconstant character and achievement ( cf. our “ half-baked” ).

Hosea 7:9 . The signs of national decreptitude are unheeded.

Hosea 7:10 . Perhaps a gloss; cf. Hosea 5:5.

Hosea 7:11 . The inconstancies of national policy are another mark of weakness (the reference need not be to rival Egyptian and Assyrian parties in Israel). Note the striking and original figure.

Hosea 7:12 . By seeking foreign alliances they walk into a net.— I will chastise . . . heard: read, “ I will bind them because of their wickedness” ( cf. LXX).

Hosea 7:13 b. Better as an indignant question: “ And I— should I redeem them when,” etc.

Hosea 7:14 . upon their beds is difficult (text probably corrupt): “ On account of their . . .” is required.— assemble themselves: read as mg. and cf. 1 Kings 18:28, Deuteronomy 14:1.

Hosea 7:15 . Omit “ taught and” ( cf. LXX).— strengthened their arms: cf. 2 Kings 14:27.

Hosea 7:16 a. Cf. Hosea 11:7. Read perhaps, “ return to the Baal” (or Baalim).— for . . . tongue: i.e. their insolence towards God (but text doubtful). The rest of Hosea 7:16, if genuine, must refer to some unknown incidents.

Hosea 8:1 a. Lit. “ to thy palate the cornet!” (God addresses the prophet).— an eagle: the Assyrian may be meant.

Hosea 8:2 . Omit “ Israel” with LXX.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Hosea 7". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/hosea-7.html. 1919.