The adulterous conspirators (Hos 7:3-7:4)

“By their wickedness,

They make the king glad.

They make the officials glad

By their treachery.

They are all adulterers.

They are like a heated oven,

Whose baker does not need

To stir the fire,

From the kneading

Of the dough

Until it is leavened.”

There was a conspiracy of silence. The wicked actions of many made the king happy. The officials gladly accepted treacherous talk. They were all adulterers. There was a time between the kneading or the forming of the dough until the fermentation or leavening of the bread, when the oven was at its hottest point. Thus, the baker would not have to stir the fire, because it was so hot. So too, their wicked ways made them hot.

Wicked actions (Wis 2:10-2:11)

“Let us oppress the righteous poor man!

Let us not spare the widow!

Let us not regard the gray hairs of the aged!

But let our might be our law of right!

What is weak proves itself to be useless.”

Unlike Qoheleth in Ecclesiastes, this author believed that the impious would do wicked deeds. These impious ones wanted to oppress the righteous poor people (πένητα δίκαιον), take advantage of the widows (χήρας), and not respect the aged (πρεσβύτου) with their gray hair. For them, might and strength was only the law (νόμος) to prove who was right. The weak were useless. Only the strong survive.