Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 4:8 - 4:8

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 4:8 - 4:8

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

“The sin of my people they eat, and after their transgression do they lift up their soul.” The reproof advances from the sin of the whole nation to the sin of the priesthood. For it is evident that this is intended, not only from the contents of the present verse, but still more from the commencement of the next. Chatta'th ‛ammı̄ (the sin of my people) is the sin-offering of the people, the flesh of which the priests were commanded to eat, to wipe away the sin of the people (see Lev 6:26, and the remarks upon this law at Lev 10:17). The fulfilment of this command, however, became a sin on the part of the priests, from the fact that they directed their soul, i.e., their longing desire, to the transgression of the people; in other words, that they wished the sins of the people to be increased, in order that they might receive a good supply of sacrificial meat to eat. The prophet evidently uses the word chattâ'th, which signifies both sin and sin-offering, in a double sense, and intends to designate the eating of the flesh of the sin-offering as eating or swallowing the sin of the people. נָשָׂא נֶפֶשׁ אֶל, to lift up or direct the soul after anything, i.e., to cherish a longing for it, as in Deu 24:15, etc. The singular suffix attached to naphshō (his soul) is to be taken distributively: “(they) every one his soul.”

(Note: It is evident from this verse, that the sacrificial worship was maintained in the kingdom of Israel according to the ritual of the Mosaic law, and that the Israelitish priests were still in possession of the rights conferred by the Pentateuch upon Levitical priests.)