Commentary On Hosea by Jean Calvin
It remains for us to consider the second part of the last verse of the eighth chapter, in which the Prophet blames the tribe of Judah for multiplying fenced cities. This was not in itself condemnable before God; but the Prophet saw that the confidence of the people was transferred to these cities as it usually happens. Rare indeed is the example, when any people are well fortified, that they become not implicated in this charge of misplaced confidence. But as this vice in the tribe of Judah was well known, the Prophet does not here complain without reason, that they reposed their hope on their fortified cities, and thus deprived God of his just praise. And then he denounces a punishment. I will send fire upon his cities, and it shall devour his palaces The meaning is, that when men turn away their minds from God, and rely on perishable things, a fatal destruction will at last follow; for the Lord will frustrate the hope of those who thus deprive him of his honor. This then is the meaning. Now follows the ninth chapter.