The prophet cites a few examples in proof of this faithlessness in the two following verses. Hos 6:8. “Gilead is a city of evil-doers, trodden with blood. Hos 6:9. And like the lurking of the men of the gangs is the covenant of the priests; along the way they murder even to Sichem: yea, they have committed infamy.” Gilead is not a city, for no such city is mentioned in the Old Testament, and its existence cannot be proved from Jdg 12:7 and Jdg 10:17, any more than from Gen 31:48-49,
(Note: The statement of the Onomast. (s.v. Γαλαάδ), that there is also a city called Galaad, situated in the mountain which Galaad the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, took for the Amorite, and that of Jerome, “from which mountain the city built in it derived its name, viz., that which was taken,” etc., furnish no proof of the existence of a city called Gilead in the time of the Israelites; since Eusebius and Jerome have merely inferred the existence of such a city from statements in the Old Testament, more especially from the passage quoted by them just before, viz., Jer 22:6, Galaad tu mihi initium Libani, taken in connection with Num 32:39 -43, as the words “which Gilead took” clearly prove. And with regard to the ruined cities Jelaad and Jelaud, which are situated, according to Burckhardt (pp. 599, 600), upon the mountain called Jebel Jelaad or Jelaud, it is not known that they date from antiquity at all. Burckhardt gives no description of them, and does not even appear to have visited the ruins.)
but it is the name of a district, as it is everywhere else; and here in all probability it stands, as it very frequently does, for the whole of the land of Israel to the east of the Jordan. Hosea calls Gilead a city of evil-doers, as being a rendezvous for wicked men, to express the thought that the whole land was as full of evil-doers as a city is of men. עֲקֻבָּה: a denom. of עָקֵב, a footstep, signifying marked with traces, full of traces of blood, which are certainly not to be understood as referring to idolatrous sacrifices, as Schmieder imagines, but which point to murder and bloodshed. It is quite as arbitrary, however, on the part of Hitzig to connect it with the murder of Zechariah, or a massacre associated with it, as it is on the part of Jerome and others to refer it to the deeds of blood by which Jehu secured the throne. The bloody deeds of Jehu took place in Jezreel and Samaria (2 Kings 9-10), and it was only by a false interpretation of the epithet applied to Shallum, viz., Ben-yâbhēsh, as signifying citizens of Jabesh, that Hitzig was able to trace a connection between it and Gilead.