And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their deeds.
Read Chapter 4
Cyril of Alexandria
Seemingly he calls “ways” the walking in works and “counsels” the faults from outrageous thoughts. Then, he says, she [Israel] did not go rightly, having turned aside from the straight road. As if marching the footpath of all profanity, they devised the most shameful and absurd things, dishonoring the God of all while turning toward idolatry.
We do not seek to gain souls; we devote ourselves daily to our own pursuits, we attend to earthly matters, we strive for human praise with all our will. From being set over others we have greater freedom to do anything we like, and so we turn the ministry we have received into an occasion for display. We abandon God’s cause, and we devote ourselves to earthly business; we accept a place of holiness and involve ourselves in earthly deeds. What is written in Hosea is truly fulfilled in us: “And so it will be, like people, like priest.” A priest does not differ from the people when he does not surpass their deeds by any merit of his own.
When, he says, the avenging judgment begins to work, these measures of griefs that they [Israel] made in sins will be filled, so that they may experience in punishments what they have achieved in desires.
By calling the deeds “ways” he says that “I will bring over them all the judgment and punishment for their deeds. And I will punish not the deeds only but also ‘his’ counsels,” namely, of the people. For we will suffer punishment not only for the deeds but for the outrageous thoughts.