Hosea 7

1 whenever I would heal Israel, the sins of Ephraim are exposed and the crimes of Samaria revealed. They practice deceit, thieves break into houses, bandits rob in the streets;
2 but they do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds. Their sins engulf them; they are always before me.
3 “They delight the king with their wickedness, the princes with their lies.
4 They are all adulterers, burning like an oven whose fire the baker need not stir from the kneading of the dough till it rises.
5 On the day of the festival of our king the princes become inflamed with wine, and he joins hands with the mockers.
6 Their hearts are like an oven; they approach him with intrigue. Their passion smolders all night; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
7 All of them are hot as an oven; they devour their rulers. All their kings fall, and none of them calls on me.
8 “Ephraim mixes with the nations; Ephraim is a flat loaf not turned over.
9 Foreigners sap his strength, but he does not realize it. His hair is sprinkled with gray, but he does not notice.
10 Israel’s arrogance testifies against him, but despite all this he does not return to the LORD his God or search for him.
11 “Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless— now calling to Egypt, now turning to Assyria.
12 When they go, I will throw my net over them; I will pull them down like the birds in the sky. When I hear them flocking together, I will catch them.
13 Woe to them, because they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, because they have rebelled against me! I long to redeem them but they speak about me falsely.
14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail on their beds. They slash themselves,[a] appealing to their gods for grain and new wine, but they turn away from me.
15 I trained them and strengthened their arms, but they plot evil against me.
16 They do not turn to the Most High; they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of their insolent words. For this they will be ridiculed in the land of Egypt.

Hosea 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

The manifold sins of Israel. (1-7) Their senselessness and hypocrisy. (8-16)

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.

Cross References 37

  • 1. S Ezekiel 24:13; S Hosea 6:4
  • 2. ver 13
  • 3. S Exodus 22:2; Hosea 4:2
  • 4. S Hosea 6:9; Hosea 12:1
  • 5. S Jeremiah 14:10; S Jeremiah 44:21; S Hosea 8:13
  • 6. S Job 35:15; Hosea 9:15
  • 7. Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 4:18
  • 8. Jeremiah 28:1-4; S Hosea 4:2; Hosea 10:13; Micah 7:3
  • 9. S Jeremiah 9:2
  • 10. S Isaiah 28:1,7
  • 11. S Psalms 1:1
  • 12. Psalms 21:9
  • 13. Hosea 13:10
  • 14. ver 16; S Psalms 14:4; S Isaiah 9:13; Zephaniah 1:6
  • 15. ver 11; Psalms 106:35; S Hosea 5:13
  • 16. Isaiah 1:7; Hosea 8:7
  • 17. Hosea 5:5
  • 18. Hosea 5:4
  • 19. ver 14; S Isaiah 9:13
  • 20. S Genesis 8:8; Hosea 11:11
  • 21. ver 16; Hosea 9:6
  • 22. S ver 8; S Jeremiah 2:18; S Lamentations 5:6; Hosea 5:13; Hosea 9:3; Hosea 12:1
  • 23. S Ezekiel 12:13; S Ezekiel 32:3
  • 24. Hosea 9:12
  • 25. Jeremiah 14:10; S Ezekiel 34:4-6; Hosea 9:17
  • 26. S Psalms 116:11
  • 27. ver 1; Jeremiah 51:9; Matthew 23:37
  • 28. Jeremiah 3:10
  • 29. Amos 2:8
  • 30. S ver 10; S Hosea 4:10; Hosea 9:1; Hosea 13:16
  • 31. Hosea 11:3
  • 32. Psalms 2:1; S Psalms 140:2; Nahum 1:9,11
  • 33. S ver 7
  • 34. S Psalms 78:9,57
  • 35. Malachi 3:14
  • 36. S Ezekiel 23:32
  • 37. S ver 11; Hosea 9:3; Hosea 11:5

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts "They gather together"

Chapter Summary


This chapter either begins a new sermon, discourse, or prophecy, or it is a continuation of the former; at least it seems to be of the same argument with the latter part of it, only it is directed to Israel alone; and consists of complaints against them because of their manifold sins, and of denunciations of punishment for them. They are charged with ingratitude to God, sinning in a daring manner against mercy, and with falsehood, thefts, and robberies, Ho 7:1; with want of consideration of the omniscience of God, and his notice of their sins, which surrounded them, Ho 7:2; with flattery to their king and princes, Ho 7:3; with adultery, which lust raged in them like a heated oven, Ho 7:4; with drunkenness, aggravated by drawing their king into it, Ho 7:5; with raging lusts, which devoured their judges, made their kings to fall, and brought on such a general corruption, that there were none that called upon the Lord, Ho 7:6,7; with mixing themselves with the nations of the earth, and so learning their ways, and bringing their superstition and idolatry into the worship of God, so that they were nothing in religion, like a half baked cake, Ho 7:8; with stupidity and insensibility of their declining state, Ho 7:9; with pride, impenitence, and stubbornness, Ho 7:10; with folly, in seeking to Egypt and Assyria for help, and not to the Lord; for which they would be taken as birds in a net, and sorely chastised, Ho 7:11,12; with ingratitude, hypocrisy, and deceitfulness; for all which they are threatened with destruction, Ho 7:13-16.

Hosea 7 Commentaries