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Hosea 4:10

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

They shall eat, and not have enough - Whatever means they may use to satisfy or gratify themselves shall be ineffectual.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For they shall eat, and not have enough - This is almost a proverbial saying of Holy Scripture, and, as such, has manifold applications. In the way of nature, it comes true in those, who, under God‘s affictive Hand in famine or siege, “eat” what they have, but have “not enough,” and perish with hunger. It comes true in those, who, through bodily disease, are not nourished by their food. Yet not less true is it of those who, through their own insatiate desires, are never satisfied, but crave the more greedily, the more they have. Their sin of covetousness becomes their torment.

They shall commit whoredom and not increase - Literally, “they have committed whoredom.” The time spoken of is perhaps changed, because God would not speak of their future sin, as certain. There is naturally too a long interval between this sin and its possible fruit, which may be marked by this change of time. The sin was past, the effect was to be seen hereafter. They used all means, lawful and unlawful, to increase their offspring, but they failed, even because they used forbidden means. God‘s curse rested upon those means. Single marriage, according to God‘s law, “they twain shall be one flesh,” yields in a nation larger increase than polygamy. God turns illicit sexual intercourse to decay. His curse is upon it.

Because they have left off to take heed to the Lord - Literally, “to watch, observe, the Lord.” The eye of the soul should be upon God, watching and waiting to know all indications of His will, all guidings of His Eye. So the Psalmist says, “As the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hands of her mistress, even so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until He have mercy upon us” Psalm 123:2. The Angels of God, great and glorious as they are, “do alway behold the Face of the Father” Matthew 18:10, at once filled with His love, and wrapped in contemplation, and reading therein His will, to do it. The lawless and hopeless ways of Israel sprang from their neglecting to watch and observe God. For as soon as man ceases to watch God, he falls, of himself, into sin. The eye which is not fixed on God, is soon astray amid the vanities and pomps and lusts of the world. So it follows;

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Both priests and people rejected knowledge; God will justly reject them. They forgot the law of God, neither desired nor endeavoured to retain it in mind, and to transmit the remembrance to their posterity; therefore God will justly forget them and their children. If we dishonour God with that which is our honour, it will, sooner or later, be turned into shame to us. Instead of warning the people against sin, from the consideration of the sacrifices, which showed what an offence sin was to God, since it needed an atonement, the priests encouraged the people to sin, since atonement might be made at so small an expense. It is very wicked to be pleased with the sins of others, because they may turn to our advantage. What is unlawfully gained, cannot be comfortably used. The people and the priests hardened one another in sin; therefore justly shall they share in the punishment. Sharers in sin must expect to share in ruin. Any lust harboured in the heart, in time will eat out all its strength and vigour. That is the reason why many professors grow so heavy, so dull, so dead in the way of religion. They have a liking for some secret lust, which takes away their hearts.
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