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Hosea 4:11

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Whoredom and wine - These debaucheries go generally together.

Take away the heart - Darken the understanding, deprave the judgment, pervert the will, debase all the passions, etc.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart - (Literally, “takes away”). Wine and fleshly sin are pictured as blended in one, to deprive man of his affections and reason and understanding, and to leave him brutish and irrational. In all the relations of life toward God and man, reason and will are guided by the affections. And so, in God‘s language, the “heart” stands for the “understanding” as well as the “affections,” because it directs the understanding, and the understanding, bereft of true affections, and under the rule of passion, becomes senseless. Besides the perversion of the understanding, each of these sins blunts and dulls the fineness of the intellect; much more, both combined. The stupid sottishness of the confirmed voluptuary is a whole, of which each act of sensual sin worked its part. The Pagan saw this clearly, although, without the grace of God, they did not act on what they saw to be true and right. This, the sottishness of Israel, destroying their understanding, was the ground of their next folly, that they ascribed to “their stock” the office of God. “Corruption of manners and superstition” (it has often been observed) “go hand in hand.”

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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