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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Hosea 8

 

 

Verses 1-14


The Long-merited Retribution

The enemy is coming immediately to destroy their temples and palaces and desolate the land, and as a punishment for their idolatry and disloyalty to God. In vain will they appeal to Jehovah.

1. RM 'The trumpet to thy mouth! As an eagle against the house of the Lord.'

2. RV 'They shall cry unto me, My God, we Israel know thee.' They use the name Israel with its sacred associations, as an inducement to God to help them.

3. Israel] Hosea answers their appeal by saying that the name is worthless without the character which God requires.

4. In the constant changes of dynasty there was no thought for the religious character of the king, nor counsel asked of God's prophets. Revolution and idolatry had all along been the besetting sin of Israel.

That.. off] Had self-destruction been their object, they could not have achieved it more effectually.

5. Thy calf.. off] RV 'He hath cast off thy calf, O Samaria'; meaning that the calf would be taken off by the enemy, Samaria, the capital, being put for the whole people. The allusion is, of course, to the golden bull at Bethel, under which symbol they worshipped God.

6. From Israel] The idol was the mere creation of Israel. Therefore.. God] RV 'and it is no God.' It has no real existence: cp. 1 Corinthians 8:4.

7. The wind] i.e. idolatry. It.. stalk] RV 'he hath no standing corn,' as the result of his sowing. The bud] RV 'The blade.' If so be.. up] Again Hosea formally modifies his previous statement, only to hint more plainly at the fate of the nation.

8, 9. The condition of Israel in the land of captivity is here described. A vessel wherein is no pleasure] i.e. a cheap and worthless piece of pottery.

9. Hired lovers] with reference to the tribute paid to Tiglath-pileser by Menahem (cp. Hosea 7:9-11), and the attempts made by others to coquet with Egypt.

10. This courting of foreign princes will be of no avail. Very soon the people will be gathered for judgment by God and taken into a strange land.

They shall.. little] They already begin to feel the oppressive tribute exacted by Tiglath-pileser: see on Hosea 7:9-11. King of princes] perhaps with reference to the many small dependencies under the Assyrian sway: cp. Isaiah 10:8.

11. The multiplication of altars and sacrifices only led to increased wickedness.

12. I have written.. law] RV 'Though I write for him my law in ten thousand precepts.' It mattered not how emphatically God's teaching should be made known to Israel; they would ignore it.

13. The sacrifices to Jehovah are a merely formal act, only killing and eating. Such sacrifices without repentance are not acceptable to Him, and will not induce Him to forget or overlook their sins: cp. Isaiah 1:12. They.. Egypt] The prophet in God's name here threatens to undo the greatest act that God had ever done for His people: cp. Isaiah 7:16. Hosea evidently contemplated the possibility of the punishment which he foresaw coming from Egypt. More frequently he speaks of Assyria as the instrument of God's vengeance.

14. Temples] RV 'palaces.' The building of fenced cities by Israel and Judah implied a want of faith in God's power to save.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Hosea 8:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/hosea-8.html. 1909.

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