Hosea 7:3
They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.
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(3) Glad.—The evil awakens no alarm, but rather sympathy and gladness, in the breasts of their kings and rulers, who are ready to follow suit in all deeds of violence.

Hosea 7:3. They make the king glad with their wickedness — They study to please their kings and great men, by complying with the idolatry they have set up. The Seventy (with whom agree the Syriac and Arabic) read βασιλεις, kings, in the plural number, meaning the succession of the kings of Israel from Jeroboam. And the princes with their lies — Which they speak to please and flatter them. But the word lie sometimes signifies an idol, and the practice of idolatry, as being set up in direct opposition to the true God and his truth. Bishop Horsley renders the verse, By their evil doings they pleasure the king, and by their perfidies the rulers, namely, their perfidies toward God, in deserting his service for idolatry.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.They make the king glad with their wickedness - Wicked sovereigns and a wicked people are a curse to each other, each encouraging the other in sin. Their king, being wicked, had pleasure in their wickedness; and they, seeing him to be pleased by it, set themselves the more, to do what was evil, and to amuse him with accounts of their sins. Sin is in itself so shameful, that even the great cannot, by themselves, sustain themselves in it, without others to flatter them. A good and serious man is a reproach to them. And so, the sinful great corrupt others, both as aiding them in their debaucheries, and in order not to be reproached by their virtues, and because the sinner has a corrupt pleasure and excitement in hearing of tales of sin, as the good joy to hear of good. Whence Paul says, "who, knowing the judgment of God that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" Romans 1:32.

But whereas, they all, kings, princes, and people, thus agreed and conspired in sin, and the sin of the great is the rarest destructive, the prophet here upbraids the people most for this common sin, apparently because they were free from the greater temptations of the great, and so their sin was the more willful. "An unhappy complaisance was the ruling character of Israel. It preferred its kings to God. Conscience was versatile, accommodating. Whatever was authorized by those in power, was approved." Ahab added the worship of Baal to that of the calves; Jehu confined himself to the sin of Jeroboam. The people acquiesced in the legalized sin. Much as if now, marriages, which by God's law are incest, or remarriages of the divorced, which our Lord pronounces adultery, were to be held allowable, because man's law ceases to annex any penalty to them.

3. Their princes, instead of checking, "have pleasure in them that do" such crimes (Ro 1:32). They, either the subjects in general, or rather the courtiers in particular who were about the king,

make the king glad with their wickedness: the kings of Israel, every one of them from first to last, were addicted to vicious practices, and their minds were vitiated, deeply tainted with all kind of sins, and they it seems took pleasure in sins, both in their own and other men’s; and here are a parcel of flagitious fellows that make it their work to invent pleasing wickedness, to acquaint their king with it, who is so far from doing his duty in discountenancing it, that it is one of his delights to hear or see it.

The princes; great men about the court.

With their lies; with false accusations brought in against the more innocent, or by false reports made of their words and actions, representing them as ridiculous or foolish, drolling them into infamy. They make the king glad with their wickedness,.... Not any particular king; not Jeroboam the first, as Kimchi; nor Jehu, as Grotius; if any particular king, rather Jeroboam the second; but their kings in general, as the Septuagint render it, in succession, one after another; who were highly delighted and pleased with the priests in offering sacrifice to the calves, and with the people in attending to that idolatrous worship, by which they hoped to secure the kingdom of Israel to themselves, and prevent the people going to Jerusalem to worship: it made them glad to the heart to hear them say that God was as well pleased with sacrifices offered at Dan and Bethel, as at Jerusalem:

and the princes with their lies; with their idols and idolatrous practices, which are vanity and a lie; though some interpret this of their flatteries, either of them, or their favourites; and of their calumnies and detractions of such they had a dislike of.

They make the {b} king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.

(b) They esteem their wicked king Jeroboam above God, and seek how to flatter and please him.

3–6. The highest personages are not too refined for the most sensual pleasures. A consuming passion inflames them as if with the heat of a furnace. Their way of celebrating a royal commemoration is to indulge in monstrous excess.Verse 3. - They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies. The moral corruption and depravity of Israel were extreme and universal. They reached from the rabble to royalty, from the common people to the princes of the court. The king and princes were in full accord with fellows of the basest sort, taking pleasure in their wickedness trod applauding their lies.

(1) Rosenmüller quotes the explanation of Abarbanel to the following purport: "He (the prophet) means to say that the violent men of that ago were accustomed to narrate their atrocities to their kings, that the latter might thence derive entertainment." It is much the same whether the king and princes of that time took pleasure in the villanies which were perpetrated, or in the narratives of those villanies to which they listened,

(2) A somewhat different rendering, and consequently different exposition, have much to recommend them: "In their wickedness they make the king merry, and in their feigning the princes;" their wickedness was their diabolical design to assassinate king and princes; with this object in view they make the king merry with wine so that he might fall an easy and unsuspecting victim; their feigning was their fell purpose of assassination under the profession of friendship. Such was the desperate treachery of those miscreant conspirators. This view tallies well with the context. Therefore he may not talk with this Lord, i.e., with Him who appeared before him in such dread majesty; and he is yet in such a state, since all strength has departed from him and his breath has gone, that he fears he must die; cf. 1 Kings 17:17. Then once more one like the appearance of a man touched him. אדם כּמראה is in reality equals אדם בּני כּדּמוּת: both forms of expression leave the person of him who touched him undefined, and only state that the touching proceeded from some one who was like a man, or that it was such as proceeds from men, and are like the expression used in Daniel 10:19, "a hand touched me." From this it does not follow that he who spoke to him touched him, but only that it was a spiritual being, who appeared like to a man. After thus being touched for the third time (Daniel 10:18), the encouragement of the angel that talked with him imparted to him full strength, so that he could calmly listen to and observe his communication.
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