Hosea 5:1 - 6:3

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016



Remember that there are two important Old Testament dates I want you to keep in mind. They are 931 B.C. when the 10 Northern Kingdom broke away from Judah and 722 B.C. when the Assyrians carried the Northern Kingdom away into captivity.


Hosea began his ministry about 30 years before the Northern Kingdom was captured by the Assyrians, and throughout his ministry, Israel is living in fear of the Assyrians.

Last week we began studying –

  II.     The Teaching of the Prophet, 4:1 - 14:9


The remainder of Hosea’s prophecy expands the message of the first three chapters. Though emphasis is placed on Israel’s guilt and impending doom, each of the three major sections (in chapters 4-14) . . . concludes on a positive note by referring to Israel’s restoration. . . (Bible Knowledge Commentary).


            A.  National pollution and its cause, 4:1 - 6:3


Five different judgment-salvation cycles are seen in Hosea. The first one is found in Hosea 1:2-2:1 . The second one is found in Hosea 2:2-3:5 . We have already studied these two. The third one is found in Hosea 4:1-6:3 , and we are in the process of studying this one. Although judgment on Israel is predicted in 4:1 - 5:14, salvation is predicted for Israel in 5:15 - 6:3.


Chapter 4 focuses on the sins of the Northern Kingdom (BKC).


Hosea 5 a establishes the guilt of the entire nation (Judah included) and announces judgment (BKC).


In Hosea 5:15 b - 6:3 Israel’s repentance is envisioned (BKC).


Last week we looked at –

                        1.   The findings of the Judge and the pronouncement of sentence, 4:1-19


The guilt of the Northern Kingdom is the main theme of chapter 4. The people and their leaders (the prophets, the rulers, and especially the priests) were the objects of God’s displeasure. Although most of the verses are making accusations, announcements of their coming judgment are also found throughout the chapter (BKC).


We continue with –

                  2.   Warning to priest, people and king: the snare of the shrines, 5:1-15


The Northern Kingdom remains the primary target group in this section. However, Judah, which had been warned to avoid Israel’s example (4:15) was now brought within the scope of God’s judgment. . . . This chapter begins with an accusation of guilt (vv. 1-5) which merges into an announcement of judgment (vv. 6-15a) (BKC).


Hosea 5:1 Hear ye this, O priests [i.e. you priests]; and hearken [i.e. pay attention], ye [i.e. you] house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you [i.e. judgment is against you], because ye have been a snare on Mizpah [i.e. you priests and kings have been a trap at] Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.


5:1 – (RSB) The priests and kings are condemned for snaring the people with idolatrous practices at Mizpah, on the E of Jordan, and at Tabor on the W.


Mount Tabor was in Northern Israel, about 12 miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee. . . . The selection of place names was designed to emphasize how the false worship led by the priests had permeated the land (BKC).


Hosea 5:2 And the revolters [i.e. the rebels = the rebellious priesthood] are profound to make slaughter [i.e. are deeply involved in slaughter], though I [i.e. I the LORD] have been a rebuker of them all [i.e. though I rebuke them all].


The rebellious priesthood . . . had gone to great depths . . . as it were, to slaughter their prey . . . the people of Israel.


Hosea 5:3 I [i.e. I the LORD] know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid [i.e. is not hidden] from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom [i.e. you commit harlotry], and Israel is defiled.


Ephraim is the main tribe in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Israel and Ephraim are used interchangeably in this verse.


Hosea 5:4 They will not frame their doings [i.e. their deeds will not allow them] to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms [i.e. the spirit of harlotry, the spirit of prostitution] is in the midst of them [i.e. is in their heart], and they have not known the LORD.


Hosea 5:5 And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity [i.e. shall stumble in their sin]; Judah also shall fall with them [i.e. shall stumble with Israel and Ephraim)].


Hosea 5:6 They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.


These are hypocritical sacrifices and are useless.


Hosea 5:7 They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange [i.e. pagan, illegitimate] children: now shall a month devour them with their portions [i.e. the new moon will devour them with their land (or fields).


Their having begotten strange children may be the result of their promiscuous activities. The reality behind the figure was perhaps those Israelite children whose birth was attributed to cultic sexual acts (BKC).


5:7 – (RSB) The next month (lit., new moon) would see destruction of their portions (i.e. of their land). Or this could mean that the new moon festival at the beginning of each month would be a time of judgment instead of joy.


Hosea 5:8 Blow ye the cornet [i.e. the ram’s horn] in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Bethaven, after thee, O Benjamin [i.e. Bethaven means House of Wickedness and was Hosea’s name for Beth-el, which means House of God].


(RSB) Gibeah and Ramah were high mountains in central Palestine, excellent places for sounding an alarm.


The meaning of After thee, O Benjamin is not clear. In the upcoming (Assyrian) invasion, Ephraim would be devastated. . . . Benjamin would be pursued by the same invader (i.e. by Assyria). . . . The desolation of Ephraim is certain because it had been announced by the Lord. . . (BKC).


Hosea 5:9 Ephraim shall be desolate [i.e. laid waste] in the day of rebuke [i.e. in the day of reckoning]: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be [i.e. what is sure].


5:9 – (RSB) the day of rebuke. i.e., the day of God’s judgment against the people.


Hosea 5:10 The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound [remove the landmark, move the boundary]: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.


5:10 – (RSB) To move a boundary (bound) was a crime (Deut. 19:14; 27:17).


Deuteronomy 19:14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.


Deuteronomy 27:17 Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.


Hosea 5:11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken [i.e. crushed, trampled] in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment [i.e. after the commandment of man, specifically the commandment of Jeroboam, who led Israel into sin (I Kings 12:28 )].


I Kings 12:28 Whereupon the king [i.e. Jeroboam] took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.


Hosea 5:12 Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.


This unusual figurative language means that God was sovereignly in control of the international scene, which He was already manipulating to bring about Israel’s demise (BKC).


Hosea 5:13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure [i.e. nor heal] you of your wound.


5:13 – (RSB) king Jareb. Probably Tiglath-Pileser III. In her troubles, Israel sought help from the Assyrian.


Hosea 5:14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away [i.e. take them away] away, and none [i.e. no one] shall rescue him.


For Ephraim his prophecy was fulfilled a few years later when Assyria conquered Samaria and carried the people into exile. . . . Judah was overrun by the Assyrians in 701 B.C., but she experienced a miraculous deliverance after being severely ravaged. . . . The prophecy about Judah’s fall and exile . . . was eventually fulfilled through Nebuchadnezzar (BKC).


Hosea 5:15 I will go and return [i.e. return again] to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early [i.e. they will earnestly seek Me].


The ultimate purpose of the Lord’s judgment on His people was to restore them. . . . Having received the just punishment for their sins, God’s people would turn to Him in repentance (BKC).


                        3.   Exhortation to repent, 6:1-3


These verses record the words the penitent generation of the future will declare as they seek the LORD (BKC).


Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten [i.e. stricken], and [i.e. but] he will bind us up.


Hosea 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.


6:2 – (RSB) After two days ... the third day. i.e., in a short period of time (see Luke 13:32-33 ; II Peter 3:8 ).


Luke 13:32-3332 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. 33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of [i.e. outside of] Jerusalem.


II Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.


Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning [i.e. his going forth is as certain as the dawn]; and he shall come unto us as [i.e. like] the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.


6:3 – (RSB) . . . The restoration of Israel will occur at the second coming of Christ (Rom. 11:26).


Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:


This sermon is the 4th part of the series, Study of Hosea. Other sermons in this series are: