Hosea 7:2
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Have beset them about.—The wicked deeds of the nation crowded around them as witnesses to reveal their treason against Jehovah.

Hosea 7:2. And they consider not in their hearts — They do not seriously reflect; that I remember all their wickedness — To call them to an account, and to punish them for it. Now their own doings — Their studied wickedness, their contrived iniquities: their own, not those of their fathers, as the incorrigible are ready to complain; have beset them about

Namely, as an enemy invests a town on every side. The meaning is, the guilt and punishment of their sins shall surround them on all sides, and seize upon them that they shall not escape. Some think that by this expression of besetting them about, the prophet alludes to the future siege of Samaria, wherein these sinners against their own souls were so straitly beset by the enemy, that they could not flee, nor escape the being either taken or destroyed.7:1-7 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.And they consider not in their hearts - Literally, (as in the E. M) "they say not to their hearts." The conscience is God's voice to the heart from within; man's knowledge of the law of God, and his memory of it, is man's voice, reminding his heart and rebellious affections to abide in their obedience to God. God speaks through the heart, when by His secret inspirations he recalls it to its duty. Man speaks to his own heart, when he checks its sinful or passionate impulses by the rule of God's law, "Thou shalt not." "At first, people feel the deformity of certain sorts of wickedness. When accustomed to them, people think that God is indifferent to what no longer shocks themselves." "They say not to their heart" anymore, that "God remembers them."

I remember all their wickedness - This was the root of "all their wickedness," want of thought. They would not stop to say to themselves, that God not only saw, but "remembered their wickedness," and not only this, but that He remembered it all. Many will acknowledge that God sees them. He sees all things, and so them also. This is a part of His natural attribute of omniscience. It costs them nothing to own it. But what God "remembers, that" He will repay. This belongs to God's attributes, as the moral Governor of the world; and this, man would gladly forget. But in vain. God does "remember," and remembers in order to punish. "Now," at the very moment when man would not recall this to his own heart, "their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face." Unless or until man repent, God sees man continually, encompassed by all his past evil deeds; they surround him, accompany him, whithersoever he goeth; they attend him, like a band of followers; they lie down with him, they await him at his awakening; they live with him, but they do not die with him; they encircle him, that he should in no wise escape them, until he come attended by them, as witnesses against him, at the judgmentseat of God. "His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. God remembers all their wickedness" Proverbs 5:22.

Then He will requite "all;" not the last sins only, but all. So when Moses interceded for his people after the sin of the calf, God says to him, "go lead the people unto the place, of which I have spoken unto thee; behold My Angel shall go before thee; nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them" Exodus 32:34; and of the sins of Israel and their enemies; "Is not this laid up in store with Me, and sealed up among My treasures? to Me belongeth "vengeance and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time" Deuteronomy 32:34-35. The sins, forgotten by man, are remembered by God, and are requited all together in the end. A slight image of the Day of Judgment, "the Day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, against" which the hard and impenitent heart "treasures up unto itself wrath!"

They are before My face - All things, past, present, and to come, are present before God. He sees all things which have been, or which are, or which shall be, or which could be, although He shall never will that they should be, in one eternal, unvarying, present. To what end then for man to cherish an idle hope, that God will not remember, what He is ever seeing? In vain wouldest thou think, that the manifold ways of man are too small, too intricate, too countless, to be remembered by God. God says, "They are before My Face."

2. consider not in their hearts—literally, "say not to," &c. (Ps 14:1).

that I remember—and will punish.

their own doings have beset them about—as so many witnesses against them (Ps 9:16; Pr 5:22).

before my face—(Ps 90:8).

They who are thus greatly wicked, notorious sinners,

consider not in their hearts, do not remember, nor will they once seriously ponder this, that I remember all their wickedness; that I see all they do, and remember all I see; and that with more than an idle, unactive looking on, or retaining in memory; I look on, and remember to call them to account, and to punish for their sins. They would flatter themselves into an opinion that I take no notice of their wickedness, and that I will never require it.

Their own doings; the guilt and punishment, the iniquity and mischief, of the works they have done; their own doings, not their fathers’, as hypocrites and the incorrigible are ready to complain.

Have beset them about: as cords wrap one taken in them, or as an enemy invests and besiegeth a town on every side, so these profligate people, courtiers, priests, prophets, and citizens, are all held enclosed with their own sins.

They are before my face; what they have done I do see, and what they suffer I do see, and it is but just they should suffer what their sins deserve: they hoped for impunity, because they thought I did not regard, but now by a just punishment, by full measures of sorrows heaped upon them, they shall find all their ways were under my eye, and that I weighed their doings. And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness,.... That is, the people of the ten tribes, and the inhabitants of Samaria, whose iniquity and wickedness are said to be discovered, and to be very notorious: and yet "they said not to their hearts" (m), as in the original text; they did not think within themselves; they did not commune with their own hearts; they did not put themselves in mind, or put this to their consciences, that the Lord saw all their wicked actions, their idolatry, falsehood, thefts, and robberies, and whatsoever they were guilty of; that the Lord took notice of them, and put them down in the book of his remembrance, in order to call them to an account, and punish them for them:

now their own doings have beset them about; or, "that now their own doings", &c. (n); they do not consider in their hearts that their sins are all around them, on every side, committed by them openly, and in abundance, and are notorious to all their neighbours, and much more to the omniscient God: and that

they are before my face; so the Targum,

"which are revealed before me;''

were manifest in his sight, before whom all things are; but this they did not consider, and therefore went on in that bold and daring manner they did. Some understand these clauses of the punishment of their sins, which should surround them on every side, that they should not be able to escape, like persons closely besieged in a city, that they cannot get out; alluding to the future siege of Samaria, when it would be a plain case, though they did not now think of it, that all their sins were before the Lord, and were observed by him.

(m) "et non dicebant ad cor suum", Cocceius; "et non dicunt cordi suo", Schmidt. (n) "quod circumdent ipsos opera eorum", Schmidt.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. they consider not in their hearts] Rather, as margin, they say not to their heart. ‘Heart’ here = self; the meaning is therefore they have no pricks of conscience.

now their own doings have beset them about] They are so entangled in sin (to use a more familiar figure) that they cannot even try to repent.

they are before my face] Comp. Psalm 90:8.Verse 2. - And they consider not in their hearts (margin, say not to their heart) that I remember all their wickedness. Between the common reading libravken and bilravken found in several manuscripts by Kennicott and De Rossi, there is a not unimportant difference. The latter, equivalent to saying "in their heart," which is the usual expression, denotes one's inward thoughts or reasonings with himself; the former, equivalent to saying "to their heart," is an address to, or remonstrance with, the heart with the view of restraining its evil purposes. God's remembrance of wickedness imports its punishment. Now their own doings have beset them about. Their doings

(1) have become evident or conspicuous as a robe or garment with which a man is surrounded, or a troop of body-guards placed about him. Or

(2) the terrors and penal consequences of their sins have surrounded them like a garment, as we elsewhere read, "He clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment." In this latter sense the figure is rather taken from enemies besieging a town or city, and beleaguering it closely all around, or from lictors, i.e. officers of the law surrounding them, or even witnesses confronting them on every side. Kimchi explains the sense as follows: "Now their evil deeds surround them, which were before my face and were not hidden from me; and, while they receive the punishment, they will remember that 1 know all the whole, and that it is I who return their reward upon their head." They are before my face, in the last clause, has a striking and awe-inspiring parallel in the ninetieth psalm: "Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance." Aben Ezra's exposition is somewhat obscure; it is as follows: "They think that I do not see them, and they do not observe that their actions encircle them, as they are before my face." In these verses it is further related how Daniel was gradually raised up and made capable of receiving the revelation of God. The communication of the angel hitherto had not fully gained this object. Daniel "stood trembling," but he could not yet speak. With his face bent towards the earth he was as yet speechless. Then one having the likeness of a man touched his lips, whereby he received the power of speech, and could address him who stood before him, and utter the complaint: "By the vision anguish, i.e., violent terror, has fallen upon me: woes are turned upon me." For this style of speech cf. 1 Samuel 4:19, and for the matter itself, cf. Isaiah 21:3; Isaiah 13:8. For the following כּח עצרתּי ולא (and I have no strength, Daniel 10:16), cf. Daniel 10:8.
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