Hosea 7:1-5

Hosea 7:1 (KJB)

When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without.


God would have healed Israel but in that healing the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered or revealed.  Ephraim was the chief tribe which represented all of Israel and Samaria was the chief or capital city of the northern ten tribes.  They had committed falsehood which was the overriding way of life for them and that falsehood was the acceptance of the false religions which they thought they were doing in truth.  The thief which is in view are their own princes and priests who took to the life of evil.  The troop of robbers without would refer to the Assyrians who would come to them from outside their borders and would take them to Assyria and they would never be returned to their land just like something which is stolen and the true owner never gets it back.


Hosea 7:2 (KJB)

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.


Their lives were so steeped in false religion and the life of debauchery that they were not even cognizant of the fact that God knows and remembers their sins against him.  Psalm 10:4 (KJV) The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.  Beset carries with it the meaning of “plague or affected.”  Their own sinful ways have affected their life to the point they are very close to experiencing the judging hand of God.  Sin blinds us to the fact that every sin committed is done before the face of God, that is, if you were standing right before the Throne of God and committing the sin.


Hosea 7:3 (KJB)

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


The northern kingdom did not have any saved kings or any that sought after God to live in his ways and therefore whenever the people did sinfully it pleased the king because he was just as culpable in his sin as the people who followed the leaders were.  The princes would bring counsels of lies telling the king what he wanted to hear thus making him glad because sometimes the truth may not always be what one wants to hear.


Hosea 7:4 (KJB)

They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.


One of the main sins of the people was adultery found in both ways.  They had harlots and therefore they had adulterated their marriages and also they had committed spiritual adultery by leaving God and joining with the false religions.  Just as an oven was heated to hundreds of degrees for the purpose of baking, their evil was running rampant to the point that it did not cool down but was running hot as an oven among all the people.  They were enflamed with the fires of uncleanness.  The temperature in an out of control oven would cause the baked goods to become as leaven and leaven was a symbol of sin.  Luke 13:21 (KJV) It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.  The principle is carried over to the New Testament that leaven will permeate the entire loaf of bread if it is not baked correctly.  The Israelites in Hosea’s time were out of control with their sins and therefore like leaven, sin permeated the entire nation.


Hosea 7:5 (KJB)

In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine; he stretched out his hand with scorners.


It is not certain if a specific day of feasting is in view or a banquet like the kings would hold for his princes.  The principle is that the princes have conspired together to get the king drunk to the point he became sick from the liquor.  The king was so drunk to the point that he would also deride those who were trying to maintain a godly lifestyle.  Psalm 1:1 (KJV) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  The scorners were those who rejected rebuke or any type of correction and would continue in their sinful lifestyles.  The northern kings were such a crowd as not one of them was a saved man or had any desire to seek the things of the LORD.