Hosea 10-11

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

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


            B.  National pollution and its punishment, 6:4 - 10:15 (continued)


Israel’s “double sin” punished (chap. 10) (BKC)


                        3.   Recapitulation and appeal: the empty vine, 10:1-15


. . . This prophecy employs a botanical metaphor in referring to Israel’s earlier history. The Lord planted Israel like a vine in the land of Canaan and blessed her with fruit [i.e., with prosperity. . .]. However, as the nation prospered she erroneously attributed her success to false gods rather than to the Lord. . . . At the same time the people attempted to maintain a semblance of devotion to the God of Israel (BKC).


Hosea 10:1 Israel is an empty vine [i.e. Israel empties his vine], he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars [i.e. as his fruit increased, the more (pagan) altars he built]; according to the goodness [i.e. bounty] of his land they have made goodly images [i.e. they have embellished his sacred pillars].


Israel’s unfaithfulness established her guilt . . . and necessitated her punishment (BKC).


Hosea 10:2 Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty [i.e. shall they be held guilty]: he [i.e. the LORD] shall break down their altars, he [i.e. the LORD] shall spoil their images [i.e. ruin their sacred pillars].


As a result of the approaching invasion, the nation’s political structure would be shattered and her king removed. . . . In the aftermath of the calamity the people would recognize their own unfaithfulness (i.e. failure to revere the Lord) as the basis for judgment. The situation would become so hopeless that most would realize that even . . . a king could bring no remedy. . . (BKC).


Hosea 10:3 For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the LORD [i.e. we did not revere the LORD, we did not stand in awe of the LORD]; what then should a king do to us [i.e. what could (or would) a king do for us anyway]?


Hosea 10:4 They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant [i.e. in making legal agreements]: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field [i.e. litigation sprouts (lawsuits sprout) like poisonous weeds in a plowed field].


Hosea 10:5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven [i.e. because of the (golden) calf of Bethaven (Hosea’s name for Bethel)]: for the people thereof [i.e. the people of Samaria] shall mourn over it [i.e. shall mourn for the golden calf], and the priests thereof that rejoiced on it [i.e. and its idolatrous priests will cry out over the golden calf], for the glory thereof [i.e. for its glory], because it [i.e. its glory] is departed from it [i.e. from the golden calf].


10:5 – (RSB) The calves were set up by Jeroboam at Beth-aven (Hosea’s contemptuous name for Bethel).


Hosea 10:6 It [i.e. the golden calf] shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present [i.e. as tribute] to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame [i.e. Ephraim will be disgraced (ridiculed)], and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel [i.e. of its wooden idols].


10:6 – (RSB) king Jareb. Probably Tiglath-Pileser III. In her troubles, Israel sought help from the Assyrian.


Hosea 10:7 As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam [i.e. like a twig, like a stick] upon the water.


Israel’s king. . ., as well as her calf-idol would be removed in the coming invasion. Like a twig floating on the . . . waters the nation would be swept away by the current and brought to ruin (BKC).


The sites of idolatrous worship would be destroyed. . . (BKC).


Hosea 10:8 The high places also of Aven [i.e. short for Beth-aven], the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.


10:8 – (RSB) The high places. Canaanite in origin, these were used as local sanctuaries and settings for fertility rites.


(RSB) say to the mountains. See Rev. 6:16 for the ultimate fulfillment of these words during the Tribulation.


Revelation of Jesus Christ 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.


Hosea 10:9 O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood [i.e. there they have remained]: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them [i.e. In spite of the war against Benjamin, they continued in their sinful ways.].


Since the days of Gibeah, Israel has persisted in sin (BKC).


How appropriate that judgment should “overtake” the city that had served as a pattern for Israel’s history (BKC)!


Judges 19:1-31 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah. 2 And his concubine played the whore against him [i.e. played the harlot against him, was unfaithful to him], and went away from him unto her father’s house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months. 3 And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly [i.e. kindly] unto her, and to bring her again [i.e. to bring her back], having his servant with him, and a couple of asses [i.e. donkeys]: and she brought him into her father’s house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.


After staying with his concubine’s father for several days, he took his concubine and they left for Ephraim, but they got a late start. They stopped for the night in Gibeah where an old man invited them to stay the night in his home.


Judges 19:22-3022 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him. 23 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. 24 Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. 25 But the men would not hearken to him: so the man [i.e. the Levite] took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go. 26 Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light. 27 And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold. 28 And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass [i.e. a donkey], and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place. 29 And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts [i.e. territory] of Israel. 30 And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.


As a result of what the men of Benjamin had done on this occasion, the other eleven tribes of Israel were determined to punish the wicked men in Gibeah. However, the Benjamites defended these wicked men. As a result, a war broke out between the Benjamites and the rest of Israel. Thousands were killed and only 600 Benjamite men survived.


Back to –

Hosea 10:9 O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood [i.e. there they have remained]: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them [i.e. it did not solve the problem of sin].


The point of Hosea’s statement in Hosea 10:9 is that this war didn’t solve the problem. The entire nation continued in its sinful ways.


Hosea 10:10 It is in my desire that I [i.e. the LORD] should chastise them; and the people [i.e. nations] shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows [i.e. for their two transgressions, for their double sin].


. . . “Double sin” probably refers to Israel’s former sin (at Gibeah) and her present guilt (BKC).


Hosea 10:11 And Ephraim [i.e. the Northern Kingdom] is as an heifer that is taught [i.e. a trained heifer], and loveth to tread out the corn [i.e. that loves to thresh grain]; but I passed over upon her fair neck [i.e. I harnessed her fair neck]: I will make Ephraim to ride [i.e. I will drive Ephraim, I will make Ephraim pull a plow]; Judah [i.e. the Southern Kingdom] shall plow, and Jacob [i.e. the Northern Kingdom] shall break his clods [i.e. break up the hard ground].


10:11 – (RSB) God placed no heavy yoke over Ephraim’s (Israel’s) fair neck, but because she abused God’s kindness, He would cause her to draw a heavy load.


A heifer would like to thresh because “threshing was a comparatively light task, made pleasant by the fact that the creature was unmuzzled and free to eat . . . as it pulled the threshing sledge over the gathered corn” (Kidner, Love for the Loveless, pp. 97-8). However, Israel had abandoned this relatively easy task and had insisted on being yoked, as it were, to sin. . . . (BKC).


In this figurative portrayal, the nation’s threshing corresponded to the service the Lord required in the covenant relationship, whereas the plowing referred to the hardship that would accompany the exile (BKC).


Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness [i.e. sow righteousness for yourselves, plant the seeds of righteousness], reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground [i.e. your unplowed ground]: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness [i.e. and showers righteousness] upon you.


Hosea 10:13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity [i.e. sin = people reap what they sow]; ye have eaten the fruit of lies [i.e. the fruit of deception = they have believed lies and have been deceived]: because thou didst trust in thy way [i.e. you trusted in your own way], in the multitude of thy mighty men [i.e. you trusted in your numerous warriors].


Hosea 10:14 Therefore shall a tumult [i.e. an uproar referring to the war of battle] arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses [i.e. fortified cities] shall be spoiled [i.e. plundered], as Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children [i.e. mothers were dashed in pieces with their children].


10:14 – (RSB) This battle, otherwise unknown, resulted in cruel atrocities.


Hosea 10:15 So shall Bethel do unto you [i.e. so it shall be done unto you, O Bethel] because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.


Bethel . . . represents the nation as a whole. . . (BKC).


            C.  The love of Jehovah, 11:1 - 14:9


                        1.   His inalienable love in dealing with wayward Israel, 11:1-11


Israel’s ingratitude punished (11:1-7) (BKC)


Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son [i.e. Israel] out of Egypt.


11:1 – (RSB) Israel. The nation, who was taken from Egypt and cared for by God (Ex. 4:22), though subsequently she proved to be unfaithful. Matthew uses Israel’s call from Egypt as an analogy of Christ’s coming from Egypt (Matt. 2:15).


Exodus 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn.


Matthew 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.


Hosea 11:2 As they [i.e. the prophets] called them [i.e. the Israelites], so they [i.e. the Israelites] went from them [i.e. the Israelites went (farther) from the prophets]: they [i.e. the Israelites] sacrificed unto Baalim [i.e. the Israelites sacrificed to the Baals], and burned incense to graven images [i.e. to carved images].


Hosea 11:3 I [i.e. God] taught Ephraim also to go [i.e. to walk, how to walk], taking them by their arms; but they knew not [i.e. they did not realize] that I healed them.


Hosea 11:4 I [i.e. God] drew them [i.e. led them] with cords of a man, with bands of love [i.e. in love God was trying to draw them to Himself]: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws [i.e. from off their neck, it suggests that God gave them relief from their labors], and I laid meat unto them [i.e. I bent down and fed them].


Hosea 11:5 He [i.e. Israel] shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return [i.e. to repent, to return (to Me)].


Hosea 11:6 And the sword [i.e. war] shall abide on his cities [i.e. will slash in Ephraim’s (or Israel’s)] cities, and shall consume his branches [i.e. shall destroy the bars of their gates], and devour them [i.e. and consume them], because of their own counsels [i.e. because of their own plans].


Hosea 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding [i.e. bent on backsliding] from me [i.e. my people are determined to turn from Me (i.e. from God)]: though they [i.e. the prophets] called them to the most High [i.e. called the Israelites to the most High], none at all would exalt him [i.e. the Most High = God].


The Lord’s compassion renewed (11:8-11) (BKC)


The Lord’s love for Israel (11:8-9) (BKC)


Hosea 11:8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee [i.e. How will I surrender you], Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? [i.e. The idea is that I can’t make you as Admah and Zeboim by completely destroying you as I did with Admah and Zeboim.] mine heart is turned [i.e. stirred] within me [i.e. My heart churns within Me], my repentings are kindled together [i.e. My sympathy is stirred, My compassions are kindled].


11:8 – (RSB) Admah and Zeboim. Destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah (Deut. 29:23).


Deuteronomy 29:23 And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath.


Hosea 11:9 I [i.e. God] will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim [i.e. I will not again destroy Ephraim]: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city [i.e. I will not come with wrath].


Israel’s return to the Lord (11:10-11) (BKC)


Hosea 11:10 They [i.e. the Israelites] shall walk after the LORD: he [i.e. the LORD] shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble [i.e. shall come trembling, shall return] from the west.


11:10 – (RSB) Though judgment was imminent, God would one day roar like a lion summoning its young, and Israel, trembling with eagerness, would be restored and regathered to her land.


Hosea 11:11 They shall tremble [i.e. they will come trembling] as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them [i.e. set them, let them dwell] in their houses, saith the LORD.


The Lord’s case against Israel concluded (11:12-14:9) (BKC)


A concluding indictment (11:12 - 13:16) (BKC)


The nation’s unfaithfulness (11:12 - 12:2) (BKC)


                        2.   Exile God’s only alternative because of stubborn rebelliousness, 11:12 - 12:14


Five different judgment-salvation cycles are seen in Hosea. The fifth and final one is seen in Hosea 11:12-14:9 . Although judgment on Israel is predicted in 11:12 - 13:16, salvation is predicted for Israel in 14:1-9.


Hosea 11:12 Ephraim compasseth about [i.e. surrounded, encircled] me [i.e. God] with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit [i.e. the house of Israel (surrounds Me) with deceit]: but Judah yet ruleth [i.e. Judah still walks] with God, and is faithful with the saints.


This sermon is the 7th part of the series, Study of Hosea. Other sermons in this series are: