Hosea 7 - Outline of Hosea (Menu page)
B. The LORD's case against Israel expanded (6:4-11:11)
1. Israel's Guilt and Punishment (6:4-8:14)
  1. Convicted of transgression by God's Word, they deal more treacherously with Him (6:4-7:7)
    1. The corruption of the priests (6:4-11)
    2. The corruption of the king and princes (7:1-7)
1. When I would have healed Israel,
then the iniquity
{HB='avon, perversity, depravity} of Ephraim was discovered,
and the wickedness
{HB=ra', evil, malignancy} of Samaria {the capital of the northern kingdom}:
for they commit falsehood
{HB=sheqer, lies, deception};
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.
The LORD would have healed the nation, if they had truly returned to Him with their whole hearts (6:1).
But they were hopelessly corrupt inside and out. Their hidden corruption (the thief within) was discovered (exposed) by God. The extent of their outward corruption was readily observed by all, and could not be hidden.
and they consider not... that I remember all their wickedness...-
They ignored the fact that God sees and knows all, and holds every man accountable. Psa 90:8; Rom 1:32
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.
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.
They (the priests) make the king glad... with their wickedness... with their lies.-
The priests of the nation were encouraging the king to wickedness, by their own wicked example, and by their denial (lies) that God must judge sin. The kings were made glad, when spiritual leaders, who claimed to speak for God, told them what they wanted to hear. (eg., 1Kin 22:6-29; Jer 5:31)
They are all adulterers... - Jer 9:1-3
...as an oven heated by a baker, who ceaseth from raising... until it be leavened...-
Leaven (a symbol of sin and corruption) will ferment and rise of its own accord, after it is kneeded into the dough (eg., Mat 13:33). But these bakers (the priests) were not content with the rate of fermentation. Therefore, they encouraged it, like a baker who puts his rising dough into a warm oven, where the fire is burning, but not heated to baking temperatures. They plied the king with bottles of alcohol, until he joined them in making mockery of the things of God. As they party all night, their hearts are so inflamed with wickedness that they burn like a flaming fire in an overheated oven (even though the sleeping baker had not added fuel to his fire). Isa 5:11,12,22,23; 28:1,7,8
They are hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges, all their kings are fallen... none among them calleth upon me.-
The disregard of the LORD and His Word, which characterized the northern kingdom, explains much of the political intrigue by which several of its kings were displaced. But even while their kings and judges remained in place, they were consumed by the fire of wickedness. It was as though there were no sitting rulers, for those in office were not wise to rule, because they had forsaken the fear of the LORD, which is the beginning of wisdom. (Prov 1:7; 8:13; 9:10; 14:27; 16:6)
     Isn't the picture, which these verses paint, remarkably similar to the spiritual and political leadership, in today's world?

B. The LORD's case against Israel expanded (6:4-11:11)
1. Israel's Guilt and Punishment (6:4-8:14)
  1. Convicted of transgression by God's Word, they deal more treacherously with Him (6:4-7:7)
  2. Confronted by the Excellency of Israel, they foolishly refuse to turn to Him (7:8-16)
    1. They turn to Egypt and Assyria (7:8-12)
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
{HB=ga'own, excellency, majesty} 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.
Confronted by "the excellency of Israel" (the LORD, v.10; 5:5), the nation still refuses to turn to Him.
Ephraim, the northern kingdom of Israel was...
  • 'mixed' or 'mingled' among the people...-
    The leaven of wickedness was not unique to the leaders. It had pervaded the whole of society.
  • 'a cake not turned'...(v.8) -
    ie., worthless, burned on one side, uncooked on the other.
  • weak while they thought themselves to be strong (v.9) -
  • willful in their rebellion against the LORD (v.10) -
  • a foolish dove... without heart {ie., conscience, understanding} (v.11) -
    Darting mindlessly here and there, the nation turned every where for help, except to the LORD.
    During this period, the northern kingdom bounced back and forth between alliances with the two great powers of the day, Egypt and Assyria, to gain the protection of the one against the other.
    • King Menahem (c. 740 BC) became subservient to Assyria (2Kin 15:19,20).
    • King Pekah (c. 737 BC) joined a coalition against Assyria, and was crushed by Tiglath-pilesar (2Kin 15:29).
    • King Hoshea (c. 728 BC) aligned himself with Assyria for a time, then sought alliance with Egypt. Their unfaithfulness, toward their former ally, was a factor that led to Israel's captivity to Assyria (2Kin 17:3,4).
when {or, wherever} they go... I will spread my net upon them...-
Israel was a foolish dove. But the LORD was a well prepared fowler. They would not escape the chastening, of which His prophets had warned, in the hearing of the whole nation.
 
B. The LORD's case against Israel expanded (6:4-11:11)
1. Israel's Guilt and Punishment (6:4-8:14)
  1. Convicted of transgression by God's Word, they deal more treacherously with Him (6:4-7:7)
  2. Confronted by the Excellency of Israel, they foolishly refuse to turn to Him (7:8-16)
    1. They turn to Egypt and Assyria (7:8-12)
    2. They turn to false religion (7:13-16)
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.
Woe... {HB= 'oy}- The sound, itself, conveys the pain of their situation.
...for they have fled from me...-
...they have not cried unto me with their heart...-
Their hearts were not toward the LORD. But they were religious.
...when they howled upon their beds...-
Rather than crying to the LORD in broken hearted confession and repentance, they howled, like beasts in pain, upon the adulterous beds of heathen religious ceremonies.
...for corn and wine...- These practices were supposed to please the gods, to ensure prosperity and fruitfulness.
But it was the LORD who was their true provider, though they despised and dishonored Him (v.15; 2:5,8).
Like a good father, He had done everything possible to raise the children of Israel aright.
  • "I have bound {HB= yacar, instructed, admonished, disciplined, chastened}..." them,
  • and "strengthened their arms..." ie., He had nourished them with all good things, causing them to grow strong.
...They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow...-
All of their religious activity was misguided.
They would neither hit the target for which they aimed (ie., peace and prosperity, v.14),
nor reach the purpose, which the LORD had desired for them. cp. Psa 78:56-62
Rather, the rage {anger, indignation} of their leaders, against the LORD, would be their undoing (Psa 12:3,4), and would result in their ridicule among the gentile nations (Psa 79:4,5,10a; 80:4-6).

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