View Hosea 4 in the note window.
The prophet shews their numerous sins, and the judgments consequent
upon them, ver. 1 - 19.
2: Break out - As waters that swell above all banks.
Toucheth blood - Slaughters are multiplied; so that the end
of one is the beginning of another.
3: Shall languish - Shall pine away. With the beasts of the
field - God punishes man in cutting off what was made for man's benefit;
and 'tis probable the tamer cattle were starved for want of grass or
fodder, all being consumed by the wasting armies. The tamer either
were killed by enemies, or offended with stench, forsook the country,
or were devoured by birds of prey. Taken away - Whether by drying up
the waters, or by corrupting them with blood and carcasses.
4: Let no man strive - They are so hardened, it is to no purpose to
warn them any more. As they that strive - There is no modesty, or fear
of God or man left among them, they will contend with their teachers,
reprovers, and counsellors.
5: Therefore - The prophet turns his speech to the people, thou
O Israel; he speaks to them as to one person. Fall - Stumble, and
fall, and be broken. This day - Very suddenly; your fall shall be
no longer delayed. The prophet - Prophesied lies.
In the night - In the darkest calamities. Thy mother - Both the state,
or kingdom; and the synagogues, or churches: the publick is as a
mother to private persons, so all shall be destroyed.
6: Destroyed - Many were already cut off by Pul king of
Assyria, and many destroyed by the bloody tyranny of Menahem.
Of knowledge - Of God, his law, his providence, his holy nature, his
hatred of sin and power to punish it. Because thou - The prophet now
turns from the people to the priests, to whom he speaks as to one
person. Rejected knowledge - Art and wilt be ignorant.
Seeing thou - O Israel, and you O priests, you have broken all the
precepts of it. Thy children - The people of Israel, the whole
kingdom of the ten tribes.
7: As they - Kings, priests, and people. Were increased - In
number, in riches, and honour. So they sinned - Sin grew with
their wealth and honour. Their glory - They turned all that in
which they might glory above others, into sin. I will turn it
into their dishonour.
8: They - The priests who minister to the idols. The sin - Probably
by sin is meant sin - offering, in which the priest had his share.
And they - Covetous, luxurious, idolatrous priests.
10: Not have enough - They shall not be nourished, nor satisfied
with what they eat. Shall not increase - They shall not hereby increase
the number of their children, either the women shall not bear, or the
children shall not live.
11: Take away the heart - Deprive men of their understanding and
12: Stocks - Wooden statues. The spirit of whoredom - A heart
ensnared with whoredoms, spiritual and corporal.
Caused them to err - Hath blinded, and deceived them.
13: Good - Convenient for the sacrificers.
Shall commit whoredom - Shall dishonour themselves, and their families,
14: Nor your spouses - I will give them up to their own hearts.
For themselves - The husband and fathers are examples to their wives and
daughters. Therefore the people - The sottish ignorant people, that know
not God. Shall fall - Be utterly ruined.
15: Offend - Commit like sins. Gilgal - Gilgal was chosen by
Jeroboam, or by succeeding idolaters for the solemn worship of
their idols. Beth - aven - Beth - el, where Jacob lodged, who called
it Beth - el, the house of God; but when Jeroboam made it the
place for his calf - worship, it became Beth - aven, the house of
vanity or iniquity. Nor swear - This is a part put for the whole
worship of God, which the prophet warns them not to blend with
16: Israel - The ten tribes. As a back - sliding heifer - Which when
grown lusty, and wanton, will neither endure the yoke nor be confined
in her allowed pastures. In a large place - In a large place or
wilderness, where is no rest, safety or provision; such shall be the
condition of the ten tribes.
17: Ephraim - The children of Ephraim were numerous and potent,
and here put for the whole ten tribes. Let him alone - He is obstinate,
as such, throw him up.
18: Their drink - Their wine is corrupt and hurtful.
Continually - Without ceasing from Jeroboam's time to this day.
Give ye - Beside there is shameful oppression and bribery among them.
19: The wind - The whirlwind of wrath from God hath seized this
old adulteress, and carried some of her children away already.
They shall be ashamed - What they made their confidence, shall be