Hosea 7:7
They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calls to me.
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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 are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges - Plans of sin, sooner or later, through God's overruling providence, bound back upon their authors. The wisdom of God's justice and of His government shows itself the more, in that, without any apparent agency of His own, the sin is guided by Him through all the intricate mazes of human passion, malice, and cunning, back to the sinner's bosom. Jeroboam, and the kings who followed him, had corrupted the people, in order to establish their own kingdom. They had heated and inflamed the people, and had done their work completely, for the prophet says, "They are all hot as an oven;" none had escaped the contagion; and they, thus heated, burst forth and, like the furnace of Nebchadnezzar, devoured not only what was cast into it, but those who kindled it. The pagan observed, that the "artificers of death perished by their own art."

Probably the prophet is describing a scene of revelry, debauchery, and scoffing, which preceded the murder of the unhappy Zechariah; and so fills up the brief history of the Book of Kings. He describes a profligate court and a debauched king; and him doubtless, Zechariah ; those around him, delighting him with their wickedness; all of them habitual adulterers; but one secret agent stirring them up, firing them with sin, and resting only, until the evil leaven had worked through and through. Then follows the revel, and the ground wily they intoxicated the king, namely, their lying-in-wait. "For," he adds, "they prepared their hearts like a furnace, "when they lie in wait."" The mention of dates, of facts, and of the connection of these together; "the day of our king;" his behavior: their lying in wait; the secret working of one individual; the bursting out of the fire in the morning; the falling of their kings; looks, as if he were relating an actual history. We know that Zechariah, of whom he is speaking, was slain through conspiracy publicly in the open face of day, "before all the people," no one heeding, no one resisting. Hosea seems to supply the moral aspect of the history, how Zechariah fell into this general contempt; how, in him, all which was good in the house of Jehu expired.

All their kings are fallen - The kingdom of Israel, having been set up in sin, was, throughout its whole course, unstable and unsettled. Jeroboam's house ended in his son; that of Baasha, who killed Jeroboam's son, Nadab, ended in his own son, Elah; Omri's ended in his son's son, God having delayed the punishment on Ahab's sins for one generation, on account of his partial repentance; then followed Jehu's, to whose house God, for his obedience in some things, continued the kingdom to "the fourth generation." With these two exceptions, in the houses of Omri and Jehu, the kings of Israel either left no sons, or left them to be slain. Nadab, Elah, Zimri, Tibni, Jehoram, Zechariah, Shallum, Pekahiah, Pekah, were put to death by those who succeeded them. Of all the kings of Israel, Jeroboam, Baasha, Omri, Menahem, alone, in addition to Jehu and the three next of his house, died natural deaths. So was it written by God's hand on the house of Israel, "all their kings have fallen." The captivity was the tenth change after they had deserted the house of David. Yet such was the stupidity and obstinacy both of kings and people, that, amid all these chastisements, none, either people or king, turned to God and prayed Him to deliver them. Not even distress, amid which almost all betake themselves to God, awakened any sense of religion in them. "There is none among them, that calleth unto Me."

7. all hot—All burn with eagerness to cause universal disturbance (2Ki 15:1-38).

devoured their judges—magistrates; as the fire of the oven devours the fuel.

all their kings … fallen—See on [1122]Ho 7:1.

none … calleth unto me—Such is their perversity that amid all these national calamities, none seeks help from Me (Isa 9:13; 64:7).

This verse is a key to the former, and helps us to understand the true sense thereof.

They: see Hosea 7:6.

All; in a larger and more vulgar sense, the most, or almost all of them, few excepted.

As an oven: see Hosea 7:6.

Have devoured; as fire destroys, so have these conspirators, when successful, destroyed.

Their judges; those that were magistrates and rulers. who having somewhat of integrity, would not join with them, nor promote the interest of usurpers.

All their kings; all that had been since Jeroboam the Second’s reign to the delivery of this prophecy, viz. Zachariah, Shallum, Pekahiah, Pekah; these four fell by the conspiracy of such hot princes, only Menahem died a natural death. Are fallen, by treason and violence from such as would drink them sick with wishes of health.

There is none among them that calleth unto me; not one of all these either feared, trusted, or worshipped God. By profession all were idolaters, in practice debauched, and by their company they kept these latter kings of Israel appear under a suspicion of men contemning God, and deriding providence; but they are long since fallen, where they must lie for ever, under God’s justice. They are all hot as an oven,.... Eager upon their idolatry, or burning in their unclean desires after other men's wives; or rather raging and furious, hot with anger and wrath against their rulers and governors, breathing out slaughter and death unto them:

and have devoured their judges; that stood in the way of their lusts, reproved them for them, and restrained them from them; or were on the side of the king they conspired against, and were determined to depose and slay:

all their kings have fallen; either into sin, the sin of idolatry particularly, as all from Jeroboam the first did, down to Hoshea the last; or they fell into calamities, or by the sword of one another, as did most of them; so Zachariah by Shallum, Shallum by Menahem, Pekahiah by Pekah, and Pekah by Hoshea; see 2 Kings 15:1. So the Targum,

"all their kings are slain:''

there is none among them that calleth unto me; either among the kings, when their lives were in danger from conspirators; or none among the people, when their land was in distress, either by civil wars among themselves, or by a foreign enemy; such was their stupidity, and to such a height was irreligion come to among them!

They are all hot as an oven, and have {e} devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me.

(e) By their doing God has deprived them of all good rulers.

7. The consequence of all this licence. King after king falls a victim to the violent passions he has fostered in his subjects. Four regicides are recorded within forty years (2 Kings 15). And yet no one calls to Jehovah for help! Sacrifices indeed were not wanting (Hosea 6:6), but those who offered them had no true ‘knowledge of God’, and so they profited them not.Verse 7. -

1. "To call unto me (God)" is to cry to God for help and succor, to seek safety and deliverance with him. It is not the same with that other expression, viz. "to call on the Name of Jehovah," which is rather to reverence and worship Jehovah.

2. The word דין is more poetic than שָׁפַט, though the meaning of both is "judging," the latter probably derived from שָׁפַח, to set, then to set right, defend.

3. Their not calling unto God is well explained by Kimchi as follows: "Also they (the people) had failed by the hand of their enemies, the kings of the Gentiles; but, notwithstanding this, no one among them calls to me. They should have thought in their heart, There is no power in the hand of our king to help us out of our distress; we will turn to Jehovah, for he will be our Helper." This verse is not so difficult as the three preceding; we proceed, therefore, in regular order to the next. This verse is antithetically connected with the preceding by אבּל, but yet. The contrast, however, does not refer to the fears for the theocracy (Kranichfeld) arising out of the last-named circumstance (v. 20b), according to which the angel seeks to inform Daniel that under these circumstances the prophecy can only contain calamity. For "the prophecy by no means contains only calamity, but war and victory and everlasting victory added thereto" (Klief.). C. B. Michaelis has more correctly interpreted the connection thus: Verum ne forte et sic, quod principem Graeciae Persarum principi successurum intellexisti, animum despondeas, audi ergo, quod tibi tuisque solatio esse potest, ego indicabo tibi, quod, etc. "The Scripture of truth" is the book in which God has designated beforehand, according to truth, the history of the world as it shall certainly be unfolded; cf. Malachi 3:16; Psalm 139:16; Revelation 5:1. The following clause, אחד ואין, is not connected adversatively with the preceding: "there is yet no one ... " (Hofmann and others), but illustratively, for the angel states more minutely the nature of the war which he has to carry on. He has no one who fights with him against these enemies (אלּה על, against the evil spirits of Persia and Greece) but Michael the angel-prince of Israel, who strongly shows himself with him, i.e., as an ally in the conflict (מתחזּק as 1 Samuel 4:9; 2 Samuel 10:12), i.e., renders to him powerful aid, as he himself in the first year of Darius the Mede had been a strong helper and protection to Michael.
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