They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.
They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.
Continuing on the theme of the wickedness of Israel and Judah, God, speaking through Hosea, tells the people that they are pleasing the kings and princes of their nation with their wicked lies, their ungodly behavior. It is indeed a very sad thing when the leaders of any nation are pleased with the sinful behaviors of the people.
I was a bit confused with v. 4. I’ve baked bread for most of our 52 years of marriage, and I’m very familiar with the process–at least, when I’m using an electric or gas oven. Once the bread has been thoroughly kneaded, it is set to rise until it doubles in size. When it neared that point, I would preheat the oven so that the bread did not go into a cold oven and rise too much. It takes a little practice to get this right, but after a while it is second nature. You just develop a “feel” for when the dough is ready to bake.
Verse 4 describes a baker who used a wood- or coal-heated oven. It would burn very hot at first, so the baker could set his bread to rise and then not bother to get up again until the yeast had worked its way all through the dough. Keep in mind that most bread-baking was done very early in the morning, and was done on a daily basis.
The hearts of the people are compared to this raging hot oven, hungry for the wickedness and idolatry of the world. Only they didn’t wait for the fire to burn down; they jumped into the inferno of sin and rebellion without giving a thought to what would happen to them as a result.