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1 Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruite vnto himselfe: according to the multitude of his fruite, he hath increased the altars, according to the goodnesse of his land, they haue made goodly images.

2 Their heart is diuided: now shall they be found faultie: hee shall breake downe their altars: he shall spoile their images.

3 For now they shall say, We haue no King, because we feared not the Lord, What then should a King doe to vs?

4 They haue spoken words, swearing falsely in making a couenant: thus iudgement springeth vp as hemlocke in the furrowes of the field.

5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall feare, because of the calues of Bethauen: for the people thereof shall mourne ouer it, and the priests thereof that reioyced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it.

6 It shall be also caried vnto Assyria for a present to King Iareb: Ephraim shall receiue shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his owne counsell.

7 As for Samaria, her King is cut off as the fome vpon the water.

8 The high places also of Auen, the sinne of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorne and the thistle shall come vp on their altars; and they shall say to the mountaines, Couer vs; and to the hilles, Fall on vs.

9 O Israel, thou hast sinned from the dayes of Gibeah: there they stood: the battell in Gibeah against the children of iniquitie did not ouertake them.

10 It is in my desire that I should chastise them, and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselues in their two furrowes.

11 And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught and loueth to tread out the corne, but I passed ouer vpon her faire necke: I will make Ephraim to ride: Iudah shall plow, and Iacob shall breake his clods.

12 Sow to your selues in righteousnesse, reape in mercie: breake vp your fallow ground: for it is time to seeke the Lord, till he come and raine righteousnesse vpon you.

13 Ye haue plowed wickednesse, yee haue reaped iniquitie, ye haue eaten the fruite of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mightie men.

14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall bee spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Beth-arbel in the day of battell: the mother was dashed in pieces vpon her children.

15 So shall Bethel doe vnto you, because of your great wickednesse: in a morning shall the king of Israel be vtterly cut off.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Hosea 10

The idolatry of Israel. (1-8) They are exhorted to repentance. (9-15)1-8 A vine is only valuable for its fruit; but Israel now brought no fruit to perfection. Their hearts were divided. God is the Sovereign of the heart; he will have all, or none. Were the stream of the heart wholly after God, it would run strongly, and bear down all before it. Their pretences to covenant with God were false. Even the proceeding of justice was as poisonous hemlock. Alas, how empty a vine is the visible church even at this day! But all earthly prosperity is but a collection of bubbles, soon destroyed like foam upon the water. Sinners will in vain seek shelter from that Judge, whom they now despise as a Saviour.

9-15 Because God does not desire the death and ruin of sinners, therefore in mercy he desires their chastisement. The children of iniquity still remained in Israel. The enemies would be gathered against them. It is just with God to make those know what hardships mean, who indulge themselves in ease and pleasure. Let them cleanse their hearts from all corrupt affections and lusts, and be a broken and contrite spirit. Let them abound in works of piety towards God, and of justice and charity towards one another: herein let them sow to the Spirit. Seeking the Lord is to be every day's work, but there are special occasions when to seek him. Christ shall come as the Lord our righteousness, and grant us of it abundantly. If we sow in righteousness, we shall reap according to mercy; a reward not of debt, but of grace. Even the gains of sin yield the sinner no satisfaction. As our comforts, so our confidences in the service of sin will certainly fail us. Come and seek the Lord, and thy hope in him shall not deceive thee. See what cruel work war makes. Whatever mischief is done, it is sin that does it. What miseries men's sins bring on them, even in this world!

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Hosea 10

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