Hosea 12:8

And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin.

And Ephraim said, yet I am become rich,.... Notwithstanding they took such unjust methods, as to use deceitful balances, they prospered in the world, got abundance of riches; and therefore concluded from thence that their manner of dealing was not criminal, at least not so bad as the prophets represented to them; and so promised themselves impunity, and that what they were threatened with would not come upon them; and, as long as they got riches, they cared not in what manner; and inasmuch as they prospered and succeeded in their course of trading, they were encouraged to go on, and not fear any evil coming upon them for it. According to Aben Ezra and Kimchi, the sense is, that they became rich of themselves, by their own industry and labour, and did not acknowledge that their riches, and power to get them, were of God. They gloried in them as their own attainments; and which they had little reason to do, since they were treasures of wickedness, and mammon of unrighteousness, which in a day of wrath would be of no service to them;

I have found me out substance; they found ways and means of acquiring great riches, and large estates, by their own wisdom and cunning, and all for themselves, for their own use, to be enjoyed by them for years to come; and they were reckoned by them solid and substantial things, when a mere shadow, emptiness, and vanity; and were not to be employed for their own use and advantage only, but should have been for the good of others; nor were they to be attributed to their own sagacity, prudence, and management, but to the providence of God, admitting they had been got in ever so honourable and just a manner;

in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin: here again Ephraim, or the people of Israel, vainly ascribe all their wealth and riches to their own labour, diligence, and industry, and take no notice of God and his providence, or of his blessing upon them; and pretend to be very upright and honest in their dealings, and that what they got were very honestly got, and would bear the strictest scrutiny; and that if their course of trade was ever so narrowly looked into, there would be nothing found that was very bad or criminal, that they could be justly reproached the; only some little trifling things, that would not bear the name of "sin", or deserve any correction or punishment; so pure were they in their own eyes, so blinded and hardened in sin, and fearless of the divine displeasure; like the adulterous woman, wiped their mouths when they had eaten the sweet morsels of sin, and said they had done no wickedness, Proverbs 30:20; or which was involuntary, and not done knowingly, as Kimchi and Abendana: or rather, as Ben Melech renders it, "no iniquity and sin"; and so others: or, best of all, "no iniquity or sin", as Noldius {a}; no iniquity, or any kind of sin at all. Thus, as Ephraim was charged before with idolatry and lies in religion, so here with fraudulent dealings, and getting riches in an illicit way in civil things; and of whose repentance and reformation there was no hope.

{a} Concord. Ebr. Part. p. 104. No. 522.