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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Hosea 7

 

 

Verses 1-16

Hosea 7:1. When I would have healed Israel, by Jehu’s zeal for the Lord, then the idolatrous priests, like troops of robbers, gathered round him with lies in their mouth, and persuaded him to retain the golden calves which Jeroboam had set up in Bethel and in Dan.

Hosea 7:7. All their kings are fallen. Hosea saw in his own times four of their kings besieged, vanquished, and murdered. Zachariah was killed by Shallum, and Shallum by Manahem. Pekahiah was destroyed by Pekah, and Pekah by Hoshea. 2 Kings 15. How afflictive must the state of the nation have been, when military captains fight for the throne. This was the case with the old Roman empire when she fell.

Hosea 7:8. Ephraim is a cake not turned. The Cornish people sweep their hearth, and lay down the cakes on the hot stone. They then turn a pan, the pan in which they boil their meat, with the mouth downward upon it, scraping the hot embers and ashes round about it. Lastly, they burn rubbish on the top, and know by the clock precisely when it will be ready. This mode of baking is used by the poor throughout all western Asia. See Harmer’s Observations. Ephraim is here compared to a burnt cake, and consequently more displeasing to God than burnt bread is to the human taste. Ephraim is like a heated oven, burning with desire, and inflamed with wine.

Hosea 7:11. Ephraim is like a silly dove without heart, without courage and understanding. Being unable to protect herself against the hawks, the Assyrian kings, she flies to Egypt praying for help, and exposes herself to derision and contempt, as in Hosea 7:16. After harvest the doves leave home, and return few in number, the rest being caught in the fowlers’ nets.

REFLECTIONS.

What sins, what troubles afflicted Israel; and all by forgetfulness of God. Let us reflect, that all our sins are before God, in the book of his remembrance; and that for all these things he will bring us into judgment.

We may here observe the odious nature and mischievous effects of drunkenness. The princes thought they might indulge more than ordinary on the king’s day, but see what an effect it had upon him; and his companions, we may suppose, were no better. This vice makes men sick, and injures their health; this alone is sufficient to deter any wise man from it. It makes them scorners; men in their cups are prone to make a jest of religion, to talk and act as the fools and sots their companions do. How careful then should we be to guard against excess, to be sober and temperate in all things.

How lamentable, and yet how common it is, for men to be ignorant of their own characters and declensions: Hosea 7:9, This is sometimes the case of states and kingdoms, often of particular professors of religion. All about them see their grey hairs, observe that they grow more peevish, more covetous, or indifferent to ordinances and religion; but they themselves see it not, and are angry if it is hinted to them, or if they are only exhorted to enquire into their state. Have we not great need to watch over ourselves, lest we insensibly decline; and to guard against the first tendency to apostasy.

We may observe how abominable professions of repentance and amendment are to God, when they are not made with sincerity. Israel is often charged with this; they committed falsehood, were like a half baked cake, burned on one side, and dough on the other. This is a horrid prevarication with God, and tends more than any thing to displease him, and to sear the conscience. When men deal deceitfully with God, it is just in him to make them a scorn among their fellow creatures, and to bring woe and destruction upon them.

From hence we may be certain, that God will fulfil all the threatenings of his word against sinners: Hosea 7:12. The Israelites had heard those threatenings from the law, which was read among them, and from the warnings of their prophets; yet they hoped to escape. But here the Lord assures them, and every sinner likewise, that he will be as good as his word, and will not deny himself. And the warning they have had of this will make their guilt greater, and their punishment heavier. Have we not need then to take notice of every word of God which we hear in the congregation; for the time will come when we shall find it all to be true, and that not one word is fallen to the ground.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Hosea 7:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/hosea-7.html. 1835.

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