Hosea 7

1 When I would heal Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim is uncovered, also the wickedness of Samaria; for they commit falsehood, and the thief enters in, and the gang of robbers ravages outside. 2 They don’t consider in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness. Now their own deeds have engulfed them. 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. They are burning like an oven that the baker stops stirring, from the kneading of the dough, until it is leavened. 5 On the day of our king, the princes made themselves sick with the heat of wine. He joined his hand with mockers. 6 For they have prepared their heart like an oven, while they lie in wait. Their baker sleeps all the night. In the morning it burns as a flaming fire. 7 They are all hot as an oven, and devour their judges. All their kings have fallen. There is no one amongst them who calls to me. 8 Ephraim, he mixes himself amongst the nations. Ephraim is a pancake not turned over. 9 Strangers have devoured his strength, and he doesn’t realize it. Indeed, grey hairs are here and there on him, and he doesn’t realize it. 10 The pride of Israel testifies to his face; yet they haven’t returned to the LORD their God, nor sought him, for all this. 11 “Ephraim is like an easily deceived dove, without understanding. They call to Egypt. They go to Assyria. 12 When they go, I will spread my net on them. I will bring them down like the birds of the sky. I will chastise them, as their congregation has heard. 13 Woe to them! For they have wandered from me. Destruction to them! For they have trespassed against me. Though I would redeem them, yet they have spoken lies against me. 14 They haven’t cried to me with their heart, but they howl on their beds. They assemble themselves for grain and new wine. They turn away from me. 15 Though I have taught and strengthened their arms, yet they plot evil against me. 16 They return, but not to the Most High. They are like a faulty bow. Their princes will fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue. This will be their derision in the land of Egypt.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-7

A practical disbelief of God’s government was at the bottom of all israel’s wickedness; as if God could not see it or did not heed it. Their sins appear on every side of them. Their hearts were inflamed by evil desires, like a heated oven. In the midst of their troubles as a nation, the people never thought of seeking help from God. The actual wickedness of men’s lives bears a very small proportion to what is in their hearts. But when lust is inwardly cherished, it will break forth into outward sin. Those who tempt others to drunkenness never can be their real friends, and often design their ruin. Thus men execute the Divine vengeance on each other. Those are not only heated with sin, but hardened in sin, who continue to live without prayer, even when in trouble and distress.

Verses 8-16

Israel was as a cake not turned, half burnt and half dough, none of it fit for use; a mixture of idolatry and of the worship of Jehovah. There were tokens of approaching ruin, as grey hairs are of old age, but they noticed them not. The pride which leads to break the law of God leads to self-flattery. The mercy and grace of God are the only refuge to which obstinate sinners never think of fleeing. Though they may howl forth their terrors in the form of prayers, they seldom cry to God with their hearts. Even their prayers for earthly mercies only seek fuel for their lusts. Their turning from one sect, sentiment, form, or vice, to another, still leaves them far short of Christ and holiness. Such are we by nature. And such shall we prove if left to ourselves. Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us.

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