Hosea 7
 1 ¶ When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without.
 2  And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.
 3  They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.
 4  They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.
  1 - I would have healed "Israel's restoration of the two hundred thousand Jewish captives at God's command (2Ch 28:8-15) gave hope of Israel's reformation. Political, as well as moral, healing is meant. When I would have healed Israel in its calamitous state, then their iniquity was discovered to be so great as to preclude hope of recovery. Then he enumerates their wickedness: 'The thief cometh in (indoors stealthily), and the troop of robbers spoileth without' (out-of-doors with open violence)." (JFB commentary)
  1 - Ephraim The dominant tribe of the Northern Kingdom. The name often represents all of it.
  The reproof is thought to have come following the civil war after the death of Peka.
 5  In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine; he stretched out his hand with scorners.
 6  For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire.
 7  They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me.
  7 - All ... fallen The "murder of Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah." (JFB). 
.8 ¶ Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.
 9  Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.
.10  And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this.
 11  Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.
 12  When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard.
  8 - Mixed As v11 and ho0513. "reference seems to be to Menahem's payment of tribute to Pul, in order to secure himself in the usurped throne, also to Pekah's league with Rezin of Syria, and to Hoshea's connection with Assyria during the interregnum at Pekah's death." (JFB)
  11 - Silly dove See pr0723. Asking the nations for help was like an invitation to be invaded. "Silly" also means "foolish."
  12 - Go ... spread net Go to Egypt and Assyria for help
 13  Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.
.14  And they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me.
 15  Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me.
 16  They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
  13 - Woe ... fled from me They had abandoned their source of salvation ps00308, ps04601, ps09101-3, jon0208,9.
  13 - Spoken lies against me This is a serious charge ac0503.
  15 - Bound Or "disciplined" or "instructed."
  15 - Though I disciplined and strengthened their arms, Yet they devise evil against Me. (NKJV).
  16 - Deceitful bow Ot "slack bow" or "treacherous bow" (NKJV).

Hosea home
Commentary home