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Verses 8-11

Hosea 4:8-11. They eat up the sin of my people These priests, mentioned Hosea 4:6, live upon the sin-offerings of the people; and are so far from restraining them, that they take delight in seeing them commit iniquity, because the more they sin, the greater is the number of their sin-offerings, which are the priests’ portions. Bishop Horsley translates the verse, “Every one of them, while they eat the sin-offerings of my people, sets his own heart upon the crime;” that is, while they exercise the sacred function of the priesthood, and claim its highest privileges, their own hearts are set upon the prevailing idolatry. And there shall be, like people, like priest “The people’s sins deserve to be punished with such priests; and such priests have helped to make the people thus wicked.” Bishop Hall. Or, rather, the sense is, It shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; that is, as they are alike in sinning, so shall they be alike in punishment, which shall be correspondent to their crimes. For they shall eat and not have enough Or, not be satisfied, as the word, ישׂבעו , is elsewhere translated. The expression may signify, either that their food should not afford due nourishment, for want of God’s blessing, or that they should be afflicted with a famine or scarcity, so that they should not have food enough to satisfy their craving appetites. The contrary phrase, To eat and be full, or satisfied, denotes plenty. They shall commit whoredoms, &c., and not increase Though they think to multiply by taking a plurality of wives, or concubines, yet in this they shall find their expectations disappointed. Because they have left off to take heed to the Lord Here the reason is given why they should eat and not have enough, &c., namely, because they had apostatized from the love and service of God; for how ready so ever we may be to attribute every thing to the operation of natural causes, yet the Scriptures always speak of God’s co-operation with them as necessary in order to the producing of their desired effects. Whoredom and wine, &c., take away the heart Deprive men of their judgment, and darken their understandings. So a gift is said to destroy the heart, Ecclesiastes 7:7, that is, to bereave men of the use of their discerning faculties.

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