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Verse 4

Hosea 7:4. They are all adulterers The expression may be here metaphorical, implying that they were apostates from God, to whose service they were engaged by the most solemn bond and covenant: compare Jeremiah 9:2; James 4:4. If the words be understood literally, the prophet compares the heat of their lust to the flame of an oven heated; or, as Bishop Horsley renders it, “Over-heated by the baker.” Who ceaseth from raising after he has kneaded the dough, until it be leavened Vulgate, Donec fermentaretur totum, until the fermentation of it be complete. When an oven is sufficiently heated, the baker does not increase the fire, but thinks what he has made sufficient to keep the oven hot till the dough be fit to be put into it. “An oven in which the heat is so intense as to be too strong for the baker’s purpose, insomuch that it must be suffered to abate before the bread can be set in, is certainly a most apt and striking image of the heart of the sensualist inflamed with appetite by repeated and excessive indulgence, so that it rages by the mere lust of the corrupted imagination, even in the absence of the external objects of desire that might naturally excite it; and works itself up to an excess which is even contrary to the purpose for which the animal appetites are implanted.” Horsley.

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