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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Hosea 7

Verse 1

Hos 7:1. Iniquity of Ephraim was discovered. God does not have to discover a fact, as we commonly use that word, in order to learn of it. He knows all about everything even before it happens. The word is from GAUAH, which Strong defines, "A primitive root; to denude (especially in a disgraceful sense); by implication to exile (captives being usually stripped); figuratively to reveal,” The term as used in this passage means that God would have been inclined to heal or approve Israel as being acceptable, but the iniquity of the nation was so evident or hare that He could only condemn her. Ephraim was one of the tribes, and Samaria, the capital city, was situated in the possession of that tribe.

Verse 2

Hos 7:2. In spite of all the experiences that Israel had known directly, and the record of God's dealing with unrighteous persons in the past, they seemed to feel as if He did not know what was going on. And even if the Lord had been unable t.o see the future or to know about facts that were invisible, He would have known all about the Iniquity of Israel for it was before his face.

Verse 3

Hos 7:3. The pronoun they refers to the people in general, and their conduct was agreeable to the king and princes, because all classes had conspired to corrupt the law of the Lord. (See Jeremiah 5; Jeremiah 31.)

Verse 4

Hos 7:4. This is an unusual and highly figurative passage, intended to illustrate the intensity of Israel's lusts. While the baker is mixing the dough, he is also applying the fuel to the oven. After the mixing Is done it will not require very long for it to rise or become leavened. And it is only during that short space that he does not apply any more fuel to the oven, which indicates that it is hot enough to bake the dough, and hence a fitting comparison for the heat to their corruptions.

Verse 5

Hos 7:5. The people of Israel were corrupt both fleshly and morally. They were guilty of unfaithfulness both literally and figuratively, and all classes conspired together in the iniquity. (Jer 5:31.) Day of our king probably refers to one of his birthday anniversaries. It was celebrated in drunkenness and association with evil characters like the heathen nations around them.

Verse 6

Hos 7:6. The prophet continues the figure of a baker and his oven, and the thought is the same that was contained In the illustration before. While the people were waiting for the opportunity to practice their wickedness, they were stirring up the fierce anger in their hearts. Baker sleepeth all the night is a figure of speech, referring to the periods of inactivity during which the people were awaiting an opportunity of doing some mischief, at the same time working up their wicked hearts to the point of a blaze. In th& morning (the moment at the end of the period of waiting) the pent up heat bursts out into a flaming fire.

Verse 7

Hos 7:7. They had not literally devoured their Judges, but the conspiracy was so strong that it engulfed even the rulers and other leading men. This is evidently the meaning, for the result of the heat is directly expressed by the closing words none among them that calleth unto me.

Verse 8

Hos 7:8. Mixing with the (heathen) people agrees with the figure that follows, a cake not turned. Such a mixture would bring in some ingredients that would render a cake unsuitable for food. Likewise, a cake not turned would be raw on one side and burnt on the other, hence unfit to eat. The two figures in the verse are unrelated except at the point common to each, namely, both are unfit to be eaten.

Verse 9

Hos 7:9. Strangers means people of outside nations who had brought in their heathenish practices. A man cannot see the hairs of gray sprinkled here and there upon his head, neither did these Jews realize the evil that had crept into their national life.

Verse 10

Hos 7:10. Pride of Israel testifieth. etc., is explained at Hos 5:5. The folly of their conduct was made clear by this “testimony,” yet they were not induced thereby to seek the Lord for help.

Verse 11

Hos 7:11. Without heart means without a good mind or judgment. A silly dove would flit about from one place to another without any fixed purpose. The people of Israel looked to such unworthy sources as Egypt and Assyria for help instead of relying wholly upon the Lord who had always done them good.

Verse 12

Hos 7:12. Continuing the figure of a bird in flfght, the Lord threatens to capture the silly dove with a net. The instrument to be used as a net was to he the Assyrians, the very people to whom the bird was seeking t.o fly. Congregation hath heard refers to the warnings that had been given the nation in such passages as Leviticus 26; Leviticus 14-19; Deu 28:15-68.

Verse 13

Hos 7:13. We note that the woe and destruction were decreed upon the people after or because they had fled from the Lord and transgressed his law. God never causes a good man to become a bad one, but if he chooses the life of s!a, then the Lord wilt treat him as an evil person. Have redeemed them refers to past favors that God had bestowed upon the nation of the Jews, such as the deliverance from Egypt, and the many rescues that are recorded in the book of Judges. But. all of these favors had been forgotten and they became guilty of one of the greatest faults, that of ingratitude.

Verse 14

Hos 7:14. The people howled upon their beds because they were suffering from the evil effects of their sinful deeds. They did not cry to the Lord with a pure heart, but only out of a selfish desire for their own indulgences. They would clique together to obtain the luxuries of life, at the same time rebelling against divine law.

Verse 15

Hos 7:15. The Lord had bestowed upon his people an abundance of good things. He had strengthened them when they were weak, and had defended them when they were unjustly attacked. In turn for these great favors, the people would imagine mischief against the Lord. That word is from CITASHAB and Strong defines it, "To plait or interpenetrate, i. e. (literally) to weave or (generally) to fabricate: figuratively to plot or contrive (usually in a malicious sense) ; to think, regard, value, compute." Thus the word the Lord had the prophet to write La a stronger one than we ordinarily think it to be. It has the meaning of a malicious scheming against the good Lord who had done so much for them since their beginning as a nation.

Verse 16

Hos 7:16. The land of Egypt is used figuratively to indicate the evil character of their plans. Not all bows are deceitful but some are, and such a bow will fail to cast the dart in the direction indicated by Its position. The people of Israel professed to be looking or be aiming toward the Lord, but they swerved and became interested in idols and their service with the heathen nations,
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Hosea 7". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/hosea-7.html. 1952.