Hosea 7:6
For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleeps all the night; in the morning it burns as a flaming fire.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Render, Yea, they draw nigh together. Like an oven in their heart with their wiles. Their baker sleepeth all the night, &c. The metaphor of Hosea 7:4 is resumed. The baker, having left his dough to become leavened and his fire to smoulder, can afford to sleep. The baker may mean the evil passion which has been raging. Indeed, Wünsche and Schmoller, by a slight change of punctuation, obtain the rendering “their anger,” instead of “their baker,” which is supported by the Targum and Syriac version. After the murderous plots and carousal, the conspiracy ripens with the day; then will come the outburst of violence.

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.For they have made ready their heart like an oven - He gives the reason old their bursting out into open mischief; it was ever stored up within. They "made ready," (literally, "brought near") "their heart." Their heart was ever brought near to sin, even while the occasion was removed at a distance from it. "The "oven" is their heart; the fuel, their corrupt affections, and inclinations, and evil concupiscence, with which it is filled; "their baker," their own evil will and imagination, which stirs up whatever is evil in them." The prophet then pictures how, while they seem for a while to rest from sin, it is but "while they lie in wait;" still, all the while, they made and kept their hearts ready, full of fire for sin and passion; any breathing-time from actual sin was no real rest; the heart was still all on fire; "in the morning," right early, as soon as the occasion came, it burst forth.

The same truth is seen where the tempter is without. Such, whether Satan or his agents, having lodged the evil thought or desire in the soul, often feign themselves asleep, as it were, "letting the fire and the fuel which they had inserted, work together," that so the fire pent-in might kindle more thoroughly and fatally, and, the heart being filled and penetrated with it, might burst out of itself, as soon as the occasion should come.

6. they have made ready—rather, "they make their heart approach," namely their king, in going to drink with him.

like an oven—following out the image in Ho 7:4. As it conceals the lighted fire all night while the baker sleeps but in the morning burns as a flaming fire, so they brood mischief in their hearts while conscience is lulled asleep, and their wicked designs wait only for a fair occasion to break forth [Horsley]. Their heart is the oven, their baker the ringleader of the plot. In Ho 7:7 their plots appear, namely, the intestine disturbances and murders of one king after another, after Jeroboam II.

For; surely.

They; those luxurious and drinking princes, Hosea 7:5.

Have made ready their heart like an oven; do keep close some fire of ambition, revenge, or covetousness, like as a baker keeps a hot fire within his oven.

Whiles they lie in wait, either against the life or estate of some of their fellow subjects, or it may be, as appears Hosea 7:7, against the life which they seemed in their cups to pray for.

Their baker sleepeth all the night; he who should watch and prevent mischief is swallowed up in the day with feasting and drunkenness, and sleeps in security all the night, never suspecting the projects of conspirators.

In the morning it burneth as a flaming fire; but when he awakes too late, he seeth all in flames, and past quenching. Sedition and rebellion is among these a sin as hateful to God as dangerous to the public, yet frequently acted by the usurpers of those dissolute times. For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait,.... The prince, people, and scorners before mentioned, being heated with wine, and their lust enraged, they were ready for any wickedness; for the commission of adultery, lying in wait for their neighbours' wives to debauch them; or for rebellion and treason against their king, and even the murder of him, made drunk by them, whom they now despised, and waited for an opportunity to dispatch him:

their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire; as a baker having put wood into his oven, and kindled it, leaves it, and sleeps all night, and in the morning it is all burning, and in a flame, and his oven is thoroughly heated, and fit for his purpose; so the evil concupiscence in these men's hearts, made hot like an oven, rests all night, devising mischief on their beds, either against the chastity of their neighbours' wives, or against the lives of others, they bear an ill will to, particularly against their judges and their kings, as Hosea 7:7; seems to intimate; and in the morning this lust of uncleanness or revenge is all in a flame, and ready to execute the wicked designs contrived; see Micah 2:1. Some by "their baker" understand Satan; others, their king asleep and secure; others Shallum, the head of the conspiracy against Zachariah.

For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait] Better, with Ewald, ‘Yea, almost like the oven have they made their heart in their intrigue’, if there were only sufficient justification for the rendering. This view of the verse makes it a climax to Hosea 7:5. Better still, by self-evident corrections of the text, For their inward part is like an oven, their heart burneth in them (the reason for the strong expression ‘scorners’).

their baker] Better, to follow the vocalizing of Targum and Peshito, and render, their anger, viz. against the destined victims of their intrigue.

sleepeth all the night] Rather, still retaining the consonants of the text, smoketh all the night (for the phrase, comp Deuteronomy 29:20). The night is mentioned as the time when evil devices are matured.Verse 6. - This verse, Wunsche thinks, is probably the most difficult in the whole book.

1. The translation of the first clause in the Authorized Version is susceptible of a more literal and improved rendering.

(1) "For they bring near as an oven their heart, whilst they lie in wait;" that is, they approach the king with loyalty on their lips, but hatred in their heart. Their heart (which is the fact) is heated with evil passion, as an oven (which is the figure) is heated for baking purposes; while they are secretly set for wickedness.

(2) Wunsche, after enumerating a great variety of renderings and expositions, with none of which he is satisfied, gives the following: "For they press close together; like an oven is their heart in their artifice (cunning)." The meaning, according to the same author, is that all, scoffers and king alike, press near each other, being of one heart and disposition; cunning makes them one single society.

(3) Keil translates more simply as follows: "For they have brought their heart into their ambush, as into the oven." In this rendering he combines the explanation of Ewald and Hitzig.

2. In the second clause which Keil translates in the same sense as

(1) the Authorized Version, Wunsche

(2) changes the common reading into אַפְהָם, equivalent to אַפָם, their anger, and translates accordingly, "All night their anger sleeps, in the morning it burns like flaming fire." That the reading here is somewhat doubtful may be inferred from the fact that the LXX. has Ἔφραιμ: while the Chaldee and Syrian rugzehon, their fury; still, as it is only a conjectural emendation, we prefer abiding by the ordinary reading and rendering, at least in this instance. The following explanation of the whole verse by Aben Ezra gives a consistent sense: "By בארבם are meant their evil purposes, which they devise all night long. And their heart is like an oven, only with the difference that there the baker sleeps the whole night, and only in the morning kindles the oven; but their heart does not sleep at all, but devises evil the whole night." It is curious how Rashi and Kimchi, while giving in the main the same explanation with Aben Ezra, differ from him about the meaning of the sleeping. The former has the following brief comment: "Their baker lights the oven. After they have prepared their heart and thought out the consummation of their wickedness, how they could carry the same into effect, then their baker sleeps, that is, they sleep till morning; at the break of day, however, they burn like fire, until they have brought their wickedness fully to an end." Kimchi goes into the matter a little more fully, as is usual with him; he comments as follows: "The heart is the instrument of the thought, and the power that works therein is the baker by way of figure. And as the baker lights the oven at night, and in the morning finds that the pieces of wood have burnt out, and he baketh therein the bread, which is the chief end of the work of heating; and lo, the baker sleeps in the night after he has put the pieces of wood into the oven, because he has nothing more to do till the morning. Just so the baker in this figurative sense, which is the power of thought - he sleeps in the night; as if he said he lies there and rests, because the project comes not forth into execution until the morning; and the prophet calls him who thinks sleeping, because that there is no effort of the body in thought, In the morning he burneth, as if he said that they are in flame in the morning to execute the evil which they have devised at night." But before he communicated to Daniel what would befall his people in the "latter days" (Daniel 10:14), he gives to him yet further disclosures regarding the proceedings in the spirit-kingdom which determine the fate of nations, and contain for Israel, in the times of persecution awaiting them, the comforting certainty that they had in the Angel of the Lord and in the guardian angel Michael a strong protection against the enmities of the heathen world. Kliefoth supposes that the angel who speaks in v. 20 - Daniel 11:1 gives a brief resum of the contents of his previous statement (Daniel 10:12-14). But it is not so. These verses, 10:20-11:1, contain new disclosures not yet made known in Daniel 11:12-19, although resembling the contents of Daniel 10:13. Of the coming of the prince of Javan (v. 20b), and the help which the angel-prince renders to Darius (Daniel 11:1), nothing is said in Daniel 10:13; also what the Angel of the Lord, Daniel 10:20, says regarding the conflict with the prince of Persia is different from that which is said in Daniel 10:13. In Daniel 10:13 he speaks of that which he has done before his coming to Daniel; in Daniel 10:20, of that which he will now do. To the question, "Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee?" no answer follows; it has, however, an affirmative sense, and is only an animated mode of address to remind Daniel of that which is said in Daniel 10:12-14, and to impress it upon him as weighty and worthy of consideration. Then follows the new communication: "and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia," i.e., to carry forward and bring to an end the victory gained for thee before my arrival over the demon of Persia, the spirit of the Persian kingdom.

The words which follow, 'וגו והנּה יוצא ואני (v. 20b, and when I am gone forth, lo, etc.), present some difficulty. The ואני in comparison with אשׁוּב (will I return) points to a contrast, and והנּה plainly indicates that which shall begin with the יוצא אני. By this, the union of the יוצא ואני with that which goes before and the adversative interpretation of והנּה (v. Leng.) is excluded. But יוצא is interpreted differently. Hvernick, Maurer, and others understand it of going forth to war; only we must not then think (with Maurer) of the war against the prince of Persia. "For he will do that even now (in the third year of Cyrus), and at this time the coming of the prince of Grecia has no meaning" (Hitzig). Hofmann and Hitzig understand, therefore, יוצא, in contrast to בּא, of a going forth from the conflict, as in 2 Kings 11:7 "they shall go forth on the Sabbath" is placed over against "that enter in on the Sabbath" in 2 Kings 11:5; but in an entirely different sense. Hitzig thus renders the clause: "when I have done with the Persians, and am on the point of departing, then shall the king of Grecia rise up against me." יון must then be the Seleucidan kingdom, and the שׂר the guardian spirit of Egypt - suppositions which need no refutation, while the interpretation of the words themselves fails by the arbitrary interpolation "against me" after בּא. According to Hofmann, the angel says that "he had to return and contend further with the prince of the people of Persia; and that when he has retired from this conflict, then shall the prince of the Grecian people come, compelling him to enter on a new war." This last clause Hofmann thus more fully illustrates: "Into the conflict with the prince of the people of Persia, which the angel retires from, the prince of the Grecian people enters, and against him he resumes it after that the Persian kingdom has fallen, and is then also helped by Michael, the prince of the Jewish people, in this war against the prince of Grecia, as he had been in the war against the prince of Persia" (Schriftbew. i. pp. 333, 334f.). But Hitzig and Kliefoth have, in opposition to this, referred to the incongruity which lies in the thought that the prince of Javan shall enter into the war of the angel against the Persians, and assume and carry it forward. The angel fights against the demon of Persia, not to destroy the Persians, but to influence the Persian king in favour of the people of God; on the contrary, the prince of Javan comes to destroy the Persian king. According to this, we cannot say that the prince of Javan enters into the place of the angel in the war. "The Grecians and the Persians much rather stand," as Hitzig rightly remarks, "on one side, and are adversaries of Michael and our שׂר," i.e., of the angel who spake to Daniel. Add to this, that although יצא, to go out, means also to go away, to go off, yet the meaning to go away from the conflict, to abandon it, is not confirmed: much rather יצא, sensu militari, always denotes only "to go out, forth, into the conflict;" cf. 1 Samuel 8:20; 1 Samuel 23:15; 1 Chronicles 20:1; Job 39:21, etc. We have to take the word in this signification here (with C. B. Michaelis, Klief., and Kran.), only we must not, with Kranichfeld, supply the clause, "to another more extensive conflict," because this supplement is arbitrary, but rather, with Kliefoth, interpret the word generally as it stands of the going out of the angel to fight for the people of God, without excluding the war with the prince of Persia, or limiting it to this war. Thus the following will be the meaning of the passage: Now shall I return to resume and continue the war with the prince of Persia, to maintain the position gained (Daniel 10:13) beside the kings of Persia; but when (while) I thus go forth to war, i.e., while I carry on this conflict, lo, the prince of Javan shall come (הנּה with the partic. בּא of the future) - then shall there be a new conflict. This last thought is not, it is true, expressly uttered, but it appears from Daniel 10:21. The warring with the prince, i.e., the spirit of Persia hostile to Israel, refers to the oppositions which the Jews would encounter in the hindrances put in the way of their building the temple from the time of Cyrus to the time of Darius Hystaspes, and further under Xerxes and Artaxerxes till the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah, as well as at a later time on the side of the Persian world-power, in the midst of all which difficulties the Angel of the Lord promises to guide the affairs of His people. יון שׂר is the spirit of the Macedonian world-kingdom, which would arise and show as great hostility as did the spirit of Persia against the people of God.

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