Hosea 6:8-9. Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, &c. Archbishop Newcome translates these two verses very literally thus: Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity: she is marked with footsteps of blood. And as bands wait for a man, a company of priests murder in the way to Shechem. “If Gilead be put here for Ramoth-gilead, (and I know not,” says Bishop Horsley, “what other city can be meant,) it was a city of refuge, Deuteronomy 4:43; and such also was Shechem, or Sichem, Joshua 20:7; both, therefore, inhabited by priests and Levites. By describing the first of these two cities as polluted with blood, and the high-road to the other as beset with knots of priests, like robbers, intent on blood, and murdering on the whole length of the way, up to the very walls of the town, the prophet means to represent the priests as seducers of the people to that idolatry which proved the ruin of the nation. Insomuch that, like a man who should be murdered in a place of religious retreat, or upon his way to it, the people, under the influence of such guides, met their destruction in the quarter where, by God’s appointment, they were to seek their safety.” The word שׁכמה , rendered by consent, in Hosea 6:9, signifies toward Shechem. For they commit lewdness Hebrew, זמה עשׁו , they work enormity, or that which is wicked and abominable.
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