on Hosea 7 :7
All their kings are fallen - There was a pitiful slaughter among the idolatrous kings of Israel; four of them had fallen in the time of this prophet. Zechariah was slain by Shallum; Shallum, by Menahem; Pekahiah, by Pekah; and Pekah, by Hoshea, 2 Kings 15. All were idolaters, and all came to an untimely death.
on Hosea 7 :7
They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges - Plans of sin, sooner or later, through God's overruling providence, bound back upon their authors. The wisdom of God's justice and of His government shows itself the more, in that, without any apparent agency of His own, the sin is guided by Him through all the intricate mazes of human passion, malice, and cunning, back to the sinner's bosom. Jeroboam, and the kings who followed him, had corrupted the people, in order to establish their own kingdom. They had heated and inflamed the people, and had done their work completely, for the prophet says, "They are all hot as an oven;" none had escaped the contagion; and they, thus heated, burst forth and, like the furnace of Nebchadnezzar, devoured not only what was cast into it, but those who kindled it. The pagan observed, that the "artificers of death perished by their own art."
Probably the prophet is describing a scene of revelry, debauchery, and scoffing, which preceded the murder of the unhappy Zechariah; and so fills up the brief history of the Book of Kings. He describes a profligate court and a debauched king; and him doubtless, Zechariah ; those around him, delighting him with their wickedness; all of them habitual adulterers; but one secret agent stirring them up, firing them with sin, and resting only, until the evil leaven had worked through and through. Then follows the revel, and the ground wily they intoxicated the king, namely, their lying-in-wait. "For," he adds, "they prepared their hearts like a furnace, "when they lie in wait."" The mention of dates, of facts, and of the connection of these together; "the day of our king;" his behavior: their lying in wait; the secret working of one individual; the bursting out of the fire in the morning; the falling of their kings; looks, as if he were relating an actual history. We know that Zechariah, of whom he is speaking, was slain through conspiracy publicly in the open face of day, "before all the people," no one heeding, no one resisting. Hosea seems to supply the moral aspect of the history, how Zechariah fell into this general contempt; how, in him, all which was good in the house of Jehu expired.
All their kings are fallen - The kingdom of Israel, having been set up in sin, was, throughout its whole course, unstable and unsettled. Jeroboam's house ended in his son; that of Baasha, who killed Jeroboam's son, Nadab, ended in his own son, Elah; Omri's ended in his son's son, God having delayed the punishment on Ahab's sins for one generation, on account of his partial repentance; then followed Jehu's, to whose house God, for his obedience in some things, continued the kingdom to "the fourth generation." With these two exceptions, in the houses of Omri and Jehu, the kings of Israel either left no sons, or left them to be slain. Nadab, Elah, Zimri, Tibni, Jehoram, Zechariah, Shallum, Pekahiah, Pekah, were put to death by those who succeeded them. Of all the kings of Israel, Jeroboam, Baasha, Omri, Menahem, alone, in addition to Jehu and the three next of his house, died natural deaths. So was it written by God's hand on the house of Israel, "all their kings have fallen." The captivity was the tenth change after they had deserted the house of David. Yet such was the stupidity and obstinacy both of kings and people, that, amid all these chastisements, none, either people or king, turned to God and prayed Him to deliver them. Not even distress, amid which almost all betake themselves to God, awakened any sense of religion in them. "There is none among them, that calleth unto Me."
on Hosea 7 :7