Hosea 12:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The merchant uses dishonest scales and loves to defraud.

New Living Translation
But no, the people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales--they love to cheat.

English Standard Version
A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, he loves to oppress.

New American Standard Bible
A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress.

King James Bible
He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A merchant loves to extort with dishonest scales in his hands.

International Standard Version
"Now as for the merchant, deceitful balances remain in his hand, and he loves to defraud.

NET Bible
The businessmen love to cheat; they use dishonest scales.

New Heart English Bible
A merchant has dishonest scales in his hand. He loves to defraud.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
[The LORD says,] "The merchants use dishonest scales. They love to cheat people.

JPS Tanakh 1917
As for the trafficker, the balances of deceit are in his hand. He loveth to oppress.

New American Standard 1977
A merchant, in whose hands are false balances,
            He loves to oppress.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He is a merchant who has the balances of deceit in his hand; he loves to oppress.

King James 2000 Bible
He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loves to oppress.

American King James Version
He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loves to oppress.

American Standard Version
He is a trafficker, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He is like Chanaan, there is a deceitful balance in his hand, he hath loved oppression.

Darby Bible Translation
[He is] a merchant, balances of deceit are in his hand; he loveth to oppress.

English Revised Version
He is a trafficker, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.

Webster's Bible Translation
He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.

World English Bible
A merchant has dishonest scales in his hand. He loves to defraud.

Young's Literal Translation
Canaan! in his hand are balances of deceit! To oppress he hath loved.
Study Bible
A Reproof of Ephraim, Judah, Jacob
6Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually. 7A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress. 8And Ephraim said, "Surely I have become rich, I have found wealth for myself; In all my labors they will find in me No iniquity, which would be sin."…
Cross References
Proverbs 11:1
A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.

Ezekiel 28:5
"By your great wisdom, by your trade You have increased your riches And your heart is lifted up because of your riches--

Amos 8:5
saying, "When will the new moon be over, So that we may sell grain, And the sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, And to cheat with dishonest scales,

Micah 6:11
"Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights?

Zechariah 5:8
Then he said, "This is Wickedness!" And he threw her down into the middle of the ephah and cast the lead weight on its opening.
Treasury of Scripture

He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loves to oppress.

a merchant. or, Canaan.

Ezekiel 16:3 And say, Thus said the Lord GOD to Jerusalem; Your birth and your …

Zechariah 14:21 Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness to the …

John 2:16 And said to them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not …

the balances.

Leviticus 19:35,36 You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in length, in weight, …

Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

Proverbs 16:11 A just weight and balance are the LORD's: all the weights of the …

Amos 8:5,6 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and …

Micah 6:10,11 Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, …

1 Timothy 6:9,10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and …

he loveth.

Isaiah 3:5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every …

Ezekiel 22:29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, …

Amos 2:7 That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and …

Amos 3:9 Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land …

Amos 4:1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, …

Amos 5:11 For as much therefore as your treading is on the poor, and you take …

Micah 2:1 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil on their beds! when …

Micah 3:1-3 And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and you princes of …

Micah 7:2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright …

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness …

James 5:4 Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, …

oppress. or, deceive.

1 Samuel 12:3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before …

(7) He is a merchant.--The vivid and fierce light of the prophet's words is obscured in the English version. The rendering "he is a merchant" originates from the fact that Canaan (rendered "merchant") is often used predominantly of Phnicia, and Canaanites of Phnicians, the great trading race (Isaiah 23:11; Job 40:30). Translate: As for Canaan, in his hand are false balances. He loves cheating. The descendants of Canaan (the son of Ham, the abhorred son of Noah) became in their whole career a curse and a bye-word in every religious and ethical sense. The princes of Tyre, the merchandise of Phnicia, were, perhaps, then in the prophet's mind. (Comp. Ezekiel 27)

Moreover, the prophet hints that Ephraim had imbibed Phnicia's love of gain and habits of unscrupulous trade. The literature of this period contains frequent references to these tendencies in Israel (Amos 2:6; Amos 8:5; Micah 6:10).

Verses 7-14 contain a fresh description of Israel's apostasy. To this the prophet is led by the preceding train of thought. When he called to mind the earnestness of the patriarch to obtain the blessing, the sincerity of his repentance, and the evidences of conversion, consisting in mercy and judgment and constant waiting on God, he looks around on Israel, and finding those virtues conspicuous by their absence., he repeats the story of their degeneracy. Verse 7. - He is a merchant (margin, Canaan), the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress. This verse is more exactly rendered, Canaan is he, in his hand are the balances of deceit: he loveth to oppress. How the sons have degenerated from the sire! No longer do we see Jacob wrestling in prayer with the angel of the covenant, and knighted in the field with the name of Israel, or "prince with God;" but a fraudulent merchant Kenaan, seeking to aggrandize himself by cheating and oppression. His conduct is the opposite of what God requires; instead of the mercy and judgment and trust in God enjoined in the preceding verse, we have the Canaanitish (Phoenician) trader, with his false scales in his hand and the love of oppression in his heart. The word Kenaan sometimes denotes Canaan, the son of Ham, and ancestor of the Canaanitish nation; sometimes the land of Canaan, or lowlands (from כָּנַע, bow the knee, γονυ γνυ γνυπετεῖν, genu, knee; then "to be low" or "depressed") as opposed to אֲרָם, or" highlands" (from רוּם, to be high); sometimes Phoenicia, the northern part of Canaan; also, from the Canaanites or Phoenicians having been famous as merchants, a man of Canaan, or any merchant, so Job 40:30 and Proverbs 31:24, just as Kasdi Chaldaean is applied to an astrologer. At the time of Hosea, the Phoenicians were the great merchants who had the commerce of the world in their hand. Canaan is thus a figurative designation of Ephraim in their degenerate condition as indicated by the false balances and love of oppression. The verse is well explained by Theodoret: "And thou, Ephraim, imitating

(1) the wickedness of Canaan, hast an unjust balance of mind: thou despisest justice, thou greedily desirest unjust power, thou art high-minded in rich, S, and dost arrogate to thyself very much in prescribing and determining the conditions thereof." Rashi more briefly remarks, "Ye depend upon your wealth because ye are merchants and defraud; and of your riches ye say, 'Yet I have become rich, and shall not serve the Holy One;'" while Kimchi marks the contrast between Israel as he ought to be and Israel as he actually is, thus: "But thou art not so (i.e. practicing love and righteousness), but thou art like the Canaanite, i.e. as

(2) the merchant, in whose hand is the deceitful balance." The character of the Phoenician trader is thus given in the 'Odyssey' - "A false Phoenician of insidious mind, Vers'd in vile arts, and foe to humankind." But, in addition to secret fraud, open violence is here charged against Israel. He is a merchant,.... Here is a change of person from "thou" to "he", from Judah to Ephraim, who is said to be a "merchant"; and if that was all, there is nothing worthy of dispraise in it; but he was a cheating merchant, a fraudulent dealer, as appears by what follows: or he is Canaan, or a Canaanite (y); more like a descendant of Canaan, by his manners, than a descendant of Jacob. But the Canaanites dealing much in merchandise, their name became a common name for a merchant, as a Chaldean for an astrologer; and as the children of Israel possessed their land, so they followed the same business and employment of life; which, had they performed honestly, would not have been to their discredit; but they were too much like the Canaanites, of whom Philostratus (z) says, they were covetous and fraudulent; and this was Ephraim's character. The Targum is,

"be you not as merchants;''

the balances of deceit are in his hand; he used false weights and measures; made the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsified the balances by deceit; had wicked balances, and deceitful weights, and the scant measure, which is abominable, Amos 8:5; they pretended to weigh everything exactly they bought or sold; but cheated either by sleight or hand, holding the balances as they should not; or had one pair of scales and weights to buy with, and another to sell by, contrary to the law of God, Leviticus 19:35;

he loveth to oppress; instead of keeping and doing mercy and justice, they oppressed the poor, ground their faces, defrauded them of their due, and by secret and private methods cheated them in their dealings with them, and brought them to poverty and distress; and this they took delight and pleasure in, which showed a want of a principle of honesty in them, and that they were habituated to such a course of life, and were hardened in it, and had no remorse of conscience for it, but rather gloried in it.

(y) Sept. "Chanaan", V. L. Tigurine version; "Chanauaeum" refers, Munster. (z) Apud Grotium in loc. 7. merchant—a play on the double sense of the Hebrew, "Canaan," that is, a Canaanite and a "merchant" Eze 16:3: "Thy birth is … of Canaan." They who naturally were descendants of pious Jacob had become virtually Canaanites, who were proverbial as cheating merchants (compare Isa 23:11, Margin), the greatest reproach to Israel, who despised Canaan. The Phoenicians called themselves Canaanites or merchants (Isa 23:8).

oppress—open violence: as the "balances of deceit" imply fraud.12:7-14 Ephraim became a merchant: the word also signifies a Canaanite. They carried on trade upon Canaanitish principles, covetously and with fraud and deceit. Thus they became rich, and falsely supposed that Providence favoured them. But shameful sins shall have shameful punishments. Let them remember, not only what a mighty prince Jacob was with God, but what a servant he was to Laban. The benefits we have had from the word of God, make our sin and folly the worse, if we put any slight upon that word. We had better follow the hardest labour in poverty, than grow rich by sin. We may form a judgment of our own conduct, by comparing it with that of ancient believers in the like circumstances. Whoever despises the message of God, will perish. May we all hear his word with humble, obedient faith.
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