1 "When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim and the wickedness of Samaria was disclosed, for they commit falsehood. And the thief comes in, and the troop of robbers raids outside.
2 And they do not consider in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness. Now their own doings have beset them around. They are before my face.
3 They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.
4 They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker who ceases to stir the fire from the kneading of the dough until it is leavened.
5 In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine. He stretched out his hand with scorners.
6 For they have made ready their heart like an oven while they lie in wait. Their baker sleeps all the night. In the morning it burns as a flaming fire.
7 They are all hot as an oven and have devoured their judges. All their kings have fallen. There is no one among them who calls to me.
8 Ephraim, he has mixed himself among the people. Ephraim is a cake not turned.
9 Strangers have devoured his strength, and he does not know it. Even gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he does not know.
10 And the pride of Israel testifies to his face. And they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this.
11 Ephraim is also like a silly dove without heart. They call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.
12 When they go, I will spread my net upon them. I will bring them down as the birds of the heaven. I will chastise them, as their congregation has heard.
13 Woe to them! For they have fled from me. Destruction to them! For they have transgressed against me. Though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.
14 And they have not cried to me with their heart when they howled upon their beds. They assemble themselves for grain and wine and they rebel against me.
15 Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet they devise mischief against me.
16 They return, but not to the most High. They are like a deceitful bow. Their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue. This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt."
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
This chapter either begins a new sermon, discourse, or prophecy, or it is a continuation of the former; at least it seems to be of the same argument with the latter part of it, only it is directed to Israel alone; and consists of complaints against them because of their manifold sins, and of denunciations of punishment for them. They are charged with ingratitude to God, sinning in a daring manner against mercy, and with falsehood, thefts, and robberies (Hosea 7:1); with lack of consideration of the omniscience of God, and his notice of their sins, which surrounded them (Hosea 7:2); with flattery to their king and princes (Hosea 7:3); with adultery, which lust raged in them like a heated oven (Hosea 7:4); with drunkenness, aggravated by drawing their king into it (Hosea 7:5); with raging lusts, which devoured their judges, made their kings to fall, and brought on such a general corruption, that there were none who called upon the Lord (Hosea 7:6-7); with mixing themselves with the nations of the earth, and so learning their ways, and bringing their superstition and idolatry into the worship of God, so that they were nothing in religion, like a half baked cake (Hosea 7:8); with stupidity and insensibility of their declining state (Hosea 7:9); with pride, impenitence, and stubbornness (Hosea 7:10); with folly, in seeking to Egypt and Assyria for help, and not to the Lord; for which they would be taken as birds in a net, and sorely chastised (Hosea 7:11-12); with ingratitude, hypocrisy, and deceitfulness; for all which they are threatened with destruction (Hosea 7:13-16).
[v.8] - From the Geneva Bible study notes: "That is, he counterfeits the religion of the Gentiles, yet is but as a cake baked on the one side, and raw on the other, that is, neither thoroughly hot nor thoroughly cold, but partly a Jew and partly a Gentile." This is very similar to the accusation Jesus mad to the church of the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:14-22. Israel was chosen to be a peculiar people to the Lord (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 14:2, 26:18; Psalm 135:4), but in this verse, God says they differ nothing from the other, that is, uncircumcised, nations (see Genesis 17:10-14 where God distinguishes His people through the token of circumcision).
[v.11] - "silly dove" - That is, a dove deceived by various lures, or in other words, they were enticed by flatteries.