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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Hosea 8



Verse 1

Set the trumpet, &c. See Hosea 5:8. Compare Isaiah 58:1.

He shall come. Supply the Ellipsis (App-6) thus: "[It (i.e. the threatened judgment)] is coming", &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 28:49). App-92.

as. This is not merely comparison but assertion: i.e. swiftly. It is not the eagle that comes against the Temple. Compare Jeremiah 4:13. Habakkuk 1:8.

the Lord. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

transgressed. Hebrew. "abar. App-44. Same word as in Hosea 6:7; not the same as in Hosea 7:13; Hosea 14:9.

My covenant . . . My law. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 4:13), where a like Alternation is found. App-92.

trespassed. Hebrew. pasha". App-44Israel shall cry, &c. Render: "to Me will they cry: "My God, " we know Thee: Israel [knoweth Thee]".

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

we know Thee. Compare Matthew 7:22. John 8:54, John 8:55. Isaiah 29:13 (Matthew 15:8).

Verse 3

the thing that is good = the Gracious One. Compare Hosea 3:5; Hosea 14:2.

Verse 4

they have set up kings. Compare Hosea 7:7. See 2 Kings 15:13, 2 Kings 15:17, 2 Kings 15:27 (Shallum, Menahem, Pekah).

made princes = caused [men]to bear rule. Hebrew. sarar = to bear rule. See note on Hosea 12:3.

knew = acknowledged.

idols = elaborate idols.

of their silver, &c. Compare Hosea 2:8; Hosea 13:2.

they = he. The nation spoken of as one man. But the Aramaean, Septuagint, and Syriac read "they", with the Authorized Version.

Verse 5

Thy calf, &c. Render: "He [Jehovah] hath rejected thy calf, O Samaria".

Samaria. The capital is put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), App-6, for the whole nation.

attain. Note the Ellipsis of the infinitive. Supply: "[be able to] attain", &c.

Verse 6

For from Israel, &c. Render: "For from Israel! (i.e. from Israel, of all people) [doth this conduct proceed! and he! (i.e., and that calf, what is it)]? A craftsman made him, so no God is he".

be = become.

pieces = fragments, or splinters. Hebrew. shebabim. Occurs only here.

Verse 7

wind. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

the bud . . . meal. Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia (App-6), for emphasis. Hebrew. zemach . . . kemach. It may be Englished: "the flower will yield no flour".

strangers = outsiders. Compare Hosea 7:9.

Verse 8

Israel is swallowed up. See 2 Kings 17:6.

gentiles = nations.

as a vessel. Compare Jeremiah 22:28; Jeremiah 48:38.

Verse 9

gone up. Compare Hosea 5:13; Hosea 7:11.

a = [as] a. wild ass. Compare Isaiah 1:3.

hired lovers = paid the love-fee. Comparing idolatry to whoredom. Compare Ezekiel 16:33, Ezekiel 16:34; and see 2 Chronicles 28:20, 2 Chronicles 28:21.

Verse 10

hired = hired [lovers].

gather = gather [against].

them: i.e. the nations (Israel"s lovers).

sorrow = be in woe.

a little = in a little time, speedily; as in Haggai 2:6. The Hebrew accents indicate that we should render "and, ere long, they will be writhing under the burden": king [will be writhing], princes [will be writhing].

the burden of the: i.e. the tribute [laid on them].

king of princes = king and princes. Compare Isaiah 10:8. Isaiah 10:11

made many = multiplied. Compare Hosea 12:10.

be unto him = have become to him.

sin. The same word, but here put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Effect), App-6, for the judgments caused by the sin.

Verse 12

I have written. Not Moses: he was only the pen. It was God who "spoke by the prophets" (Hebrews 1:1); by His Son (John 7:16; John 8:28, John 8:46, John 8:47; John 12:49; John 14:10, John 14:24; John 17:8); by His Spirit (John 16:13. Compare Hebrews 2:4); and by Paul, "the prisoner of Jesus Christ" (compare 2 Timothy 1:8). Note the reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 17:14; Exodus 24:4, Exodus 24:7; Exodus 34:27. Numbers 33:1, Numbers 33:2. Deuteronomy 4:6-8, &c.) See App-47and App-92.

great = weighty. Compare Matthew 23:23. Hebrew text reads ribbo = myriad; but rnarg. reads rubbey = multitudes, or manifold, with Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate. My law. Not Moses"s law.

counted = accounted.

as a strange thing = as something alien or foreign, as modern critics do to-day. This verse necessitates the accessibility of the law in a written form, and gives more than a clue to the date of the Pentateuch. See App-47.

Verse 13

They sacrifice flesh, &c. See note on Jeremiah 7:21-23. Zechariah 7:6.

offerings = sacrificial gifts. Hebrew. habhabim. Occurs only here.

eat it = that they may eat it [as common food].

but. One school of Massorites read this "but" in the text. Compare Hosea 5:6, and Hosea 9:4. Jeremiah 14:10, Jeremiah 14:12.

now, &c. Compare Hosea 9:9. Amos 8:7.

they shall return to Egypt. Ref to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 28:68). App-92. Compare Hosea 2:15; Hosea 9:3, Hosea 9:6; Hosea 11:5. Septuagint reads "they have returned", &c.

Verse 14

forgotten His Maker. Ref to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 32:18).

buildeth temples. Compare 1 Kings 12:31, and 2 Chronicles 24:7 with 2 Chronicles 23:17.

fenced cities = fortified cities. See 2 Chronicles 26:9, 2 Chronicles 26:10.

his cities. See 2 Kings 18:13, i.e. Judah"s.

the palaces thereof = her citadels, the feminine suffix agreeing with "cities", which is feminine in Heb Modern critics regard this verse as "a later addition, perhaps borrowed from Amos", because "palaces or idol temples are not referred to by Hosea"!


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Hosea 8:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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