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Hosea 10:8

    Hosea 10:8 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will come to destruction; thorns and waste plants will come up on their altars; they will say to the mountains, Be a cover over us; and to the hills, Come down on us.

    Webster's Revision

    The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.

    World English Bible

    The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed. The thorn and the thistle will come up on their altars. They will tell the mountains, "Cover us!" and the hills, "Fall on us!"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.

    Clarke's Commentary on Hosea 10:8

    The high-places - Idol temples.

    Of Aven - Beth-aven.

    The thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars - Owing to the uncultivated and unfrequented state of the land, and of their places of idol worship, the people being all carried away into captivity.

    "And they shall say to the mountains, Cover us, And to the hills, Fall on us."

    "This sublime description of fear and distress our Lord had in view, Luke 23:30, which may be a reference, and not a quotation. However, the Septuagint, in the Codex Alexandrinus, has the same order of words as occurs in the evangelist. The parallelism makes the passages more beautiful than Revelation 6:16; and Isaiah 2:19 wants the animated dramatic form. That there is a reference to the caverns that abounded in the mountainous countries of Palestine, see the note on Isaiah 2:19 (note)." - Newcome.

    Barnes' Notes on Hosea 10:8

    The high places of Aven - that is, of vanity or iniquity. He had before called "Bethel, house of God," by the name of "Bethaven, house of vanity;" now he calls it "Aven, vanity" or "iniquity," as being the concentration of those qualities. Bethel was situated on a "hill," the "mount of Bethel," and, from different sides, people were said to "go up" (Joshua 16:1; 1 Samuel 13:2; above Hosea 4:13; Genesis 35:1; Judges 1:22; 1 Samuel 10:3; 2 Kings 2:23) to it. "The high place" often means the shrine, or "the house of the high places." Jeroboam had built such at Bethel 1 Kings 12:31; many such already existed in his time, so that, "whoever would, he consecrated" as their "priests" 1 Kings 13:32-33. The high place or shrine, is accordingly said to be "built" 1 Kings 11:7, "broken down and burnt" 2 Kings 23:15. At times, they were tents, and so said to be "woven 2 Kings 23:7, made of garments of divers colors" Ezekiel 16:16. The calf then, probably, became a center of idolatry; many such "idol-shrines" were formed around it, on its mount, until Bethel became a metropolis of idolatry. This was "the sin of Israel," as being the source of all its sins.

    The thorn and the thistle shall come up upon their altars - This pictures, not only the desolation of the place, as before Hosea 9:6, but the forced cessation of idolatry. Fire destroys, down to the root, all vegetable life which it has once touched. The thorn, once blackened by fire, puts out no fresh shoot. But now, these idol fires having been put out forever, from amid the crevices of the broken altars, "thorn and thistle" should grow freely as in a fallow soil. Where the victims aforetime "went up" is also a sacrificial term), or were offered, now the wild briars and thistles alone should "go up," and wave freely in undisputed possession. Ephraim had "multiplied altars," as God multiplied their "goods;" now their altars should be but monunments of the defeat of idolatry. They remained, but only as the grave-stones of the idols, once worshiped there.

    They shall say to the mountains, cover us - Samaria and Bethel, the seats of the idolatry and of the kingdom of Israel, themselves both on heights, had both, near them, mountains higher than themselves. Such was to Bethel, the mountain on the East, where Abraham built an altar to the Lord Genesis 12:8; Samaria was encircled by them. Both were probably scenes of their idolatries; from both, the miseries of the dwellers of Bethel and Samaria could be seen. Samaria especially was in the center of a sort of amphitheater; itself, the spectacle. No help should those high places now bring to them in their need. The high hills round Samaria, when the tide of war had filled the valley around it, hemmed them in, the more hopelessly. There was no way, either to break through or to escape. The narrow passes, which might have been held, as flood gates against the enemy, would then be held against them. One only service could it seem, that their mountains could then render, to destroy them. So should they be freed from evils worse than the death of the body, and escape the gaze of people upon their misery. "They shall wish rather to die, than to see what will bring death." "They shall say to the mountains on which they worshiped idols, fall on us, and anticipate the cruelty of the Assyrians and the extreme misery of captivity." Nature abhors annihilation; man shrinks from the violent marring of his outward form; he clings, however debased, to the form which God gave him. What misery, then, when people long for, what their inmost being shrinks from!

    The words of the prophet become a sort of proverbial saying for misery, which longs for death rather than life. The destruction of Samaria was the type of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and of every other final excision, when the measure of iniquity was filled, and there was neither hope nor remedy. This was the characteristic of the destruction of Samaria. They had been God's people; they were to be so no more. This was the characteristic of the destruction of Jerusalem, not by the Babylonians, after which it was restored, but by the Romans, when they had rejected Christ, and prayed, "His Blood be on us and on our children." So will it be in the end of the world. Hence, our Lord uses the words Luke 23:30, to forewarns of the miseries of the destruction of Jerusalem, when the Jews hid themselves in caves for fear of the Romans ; and John uses them to picture man's despair at the end of the world Revelation 6:16. "I dread" says Bernard , "the gnawing worm, and the living death. I dread to fall into the hands of a living death, and a dying life. This is "the second death," which never out-killeth, yet which ever killeth. How would they long to die once, that they may not die forever! "They who say to the mountains, fall on us, and to the hills, cover us," what do they will, but, by the aid of death, either to escape or to end death? "They shall seek death, but shall not find it, and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them," saith John" Revelation 1:6.

    Wesley's Notes on Hosea 10:8

    10:8 The high places - The temples and altars of Baal. Of Aven - Or Beth - aven. They shall say - When this shall be brought to pass, the idolatrous Israelites shall be in such perplexity, that they shall wish the mountains and hills might fall on them.