Hosea 12:-14

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

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


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


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


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.


Hosea 12:1 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after [i.e. pursues] the east wind: he daily increaseth [i.e. multiplies] lies and desolation [i.e. havoc, destruction, ruin]; and they do make a covenant [i.e. treaty, alliance] with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt [i.e. while sending olive oil to buy support from Egypt].


12:1 – feedeth on wind. Lit., shepherds the wind (i.e., runs in vain to Egypt and Assyria for help). At the same time that she makes a covenant with Assyria, she exports olive oil to Assyria’s rival, Egypt. Israel played both ends against the middle and would herself soon be trapped.


Hosea 12:2 The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah [i.e. the LORD also has a dispute with Judah, the LORD also brings a charge against Judah], and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he [i.e. the LORD] recompense him [i.e. repay him (Jacob)].


12:2 – (RSB) Jacob. Frequently in Scripture the name stands for all his descendants.


Hosea 12:3 He [i.e. Jacob] took his brother [i.e. Esau] by the heel in the womb, and by his strength [i.e. as a man, in his maturity] he had power with God [i.e. he contended with God, he struggled with God]:


Hosea 12:4 Yea, he had power over the angel [i.e. Jacob struggled (wrestled) with the angel], and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him [i.e. and sought favor from him (from the angel)]: he [i.e. Jacob] found him [i.e. the angel = God] in Bethel, and there he spake with us [i.e. God spoke with us = with Israel and Judah];


12:3-4 – (RSB) Like Jacob, Israel and Judah were deceitful but could turn to the Lord as he [i.e. like Jacob] did at Bethel.


Hosea 12:5 Even the LORD God of hosts [i.e. of (heaven’s) armies]; the LORD is his memorial [i.e. the LORD is His name].


12:5 – (RSB) his memorial. Another way of saying “His name.”


Hosea 12:6 Therefore turn thou to thy God [i.e. Therefore, (Ephraim) return to your God]: keep [i.e. observe] mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.


Hosea 12:7 He [i.e. Israel] is a merchant [i.e. He is a cunning merchant], the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress [i.e. to cheat, to defraud].


12:7 – (RSB) merchant. Lit., Canaanite. Israel entered Canaan, and Canaan’s ways entered Israel.


Hosea 12:8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich [i.e. surely I have become rich], I have found me out substance [i.e. I have found wealth for myself]: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin [i.e. in all my labors they shall find no iniquity in me that is sin].


Hosea 12:9 And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt [i.e. ever since the land of Egypt] will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles [i.e. I will again make you to dwell in tents], as in the days of the solemn feast [i.e. the appointed feast].


12:9 – (RSB) Israel would once again live in tabernacles (tents), because her cities would be destroyed. The Festival of Tabernacles commemorated Israel’s wilderness years after they left Egypt. Their coming exile would be another such wilderness experience.


Hosea 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets [i.e. through the prophets I gave parables, I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets].


Hosea 12:11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity [i.e. the people in Gilead are worthless]: they sacrifice bullocks [i.e. bulls] in Gilgal [i.e. though they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal]; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields [i.e. indeed their altars will be piles of stones in plowed fields].


The wickedness and hypocrisy found in Gilead . . . and Gilgal . . . epitomized that of the nation.


Hosea 6:8 Gilead [i.e. likely Ramoth-Gilead located east of the Jordan River] is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood.


Gilead is characterized by great sin and especially by bloodshed or murder. Ramoth Gilead had been one of the cities of refuge where those who had murdered others unintentionally were able to flee for protection; now it is characterized by being a city where many murders were committed.


Hosea 4:15 Though thou, Israel, play the harlot [i.e. although you commit adultery, Israel], yet let not Judah offend [i.e. let not Judah become guilty]; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORD liveth [i.e. nor swear an oath, saying, As the Lord lives].


4:15 – (RSB) The people were told not to worship at what were formerly holy cities, Gilgal and Bethaven (which means House of Wickedness and was Hosea’s name for Beth-el, which means House of God).


Hosea 9:15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I [i.e. God] hated them: for [i.e. because of] the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters [i.e. rebellious].


Hosea 12:12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel [i.e. Jacob] served for a wife [i.e. Rachel], and for a wife he kept sheep [i.e. tended sheep].


12:12 – (RSB) The account of this story is in Gen. 29.


Hosea 12:13 And by a prophet [i.e. Moses] the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet [i.e. by Moses] was he preserved [i.e. was Israel preserved].


Hosea 12:14 Ephraim provoked him [i.e. provoked the LORD] to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he [i.e. the LORD] leave his [i.e. Ephraim’s] blood upon him [i.e. upon Ephraim], and his reproach [i.e. Ephraim’s scorn, Ephraim’s contempt] shall his Lord return unto him [i.e. repay him (repay Ephraim) for his contempt].


12:14 – (RSB) leave his blood upon him. Israel would have to bear the consequences of sin.


                        3.   Guiding principles and eventual outcome of exile, 13:1-16


Hosea 13:1 When Ephraim spake trembling [i.e. when Ephraim spoke, there was trembling], he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal [i.e. when he trespassed through Baal worship, when he did wrong through Baal worship, when he became guilty through Baal worship], he died [i.e. Ephraim died (spiritually)].


Hosea 13:2 And now they [i.e. the Israelites] sin more and more, and have made them [i.e. for themselves] molten [i.e. molded] images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding [i.e. according to their skill], all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them [i.e. they say of these people], Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves [i.e. the idols].


Hosea 13:3 Therefore they [i.e. the Israelites] shall be as the morning cloud [i.e. like the morning mist], and as the early dew that passeth away [i.e. like the early dew that disappears], as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor [i.e. like chaff that is blown away from the threshing floor], and as the smoke out of the chimney [i.e. and like smoke from a chimney (which dissipates)].


Hosea 13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt [i.e. ever since the land of Egypt], and thou [i.e. you = Israel] shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.


Hosea 13:5 I did know thee in the wilderness [i.e. in the desert], in the land of great drought.


Hosea 13:6 According to their pasture, so were they filled [i.e. When they had pasture, they were filled]; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.


Hosea 13:7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion [i.e. like a lion]: as a leopard by the way will I observe them [i.e. like a leopard by the road I will lurk]:


Hosea 13:8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps [i.e. like a bear that is deprived (robbed) of her cubs], and will rend the caul [i.e. the lining] of their heart [i.e. I will tear open their chests, I will tear open their rib cage], and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast [i.e. the wild animal] shall tear them.


13:7-8 – (RSB) God, who had been the protector of Israel in the wilderness (vv. 5-6), would become her destroyer. Like a lion He would devour; like a leopard He would observe, or lurk, suddenly springing on an unprepared people; and like a bear His judgment would be ferocious.


Hosea 13:9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help [i.e. you are destroyed, but your help is from Me].


Hosea 13:10 I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges [i.e. (where are) your judges] of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?


Hosea 13:11 I gave thee a king [i.e. Saul] in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.


Hosea 13:12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up [i.e. has been collected]; his sin is hid [i.e. his sin is stored up (for punishment)].


Hosea 13:13 The sorrows of a travailing woman [i.e. the sorrows of a woman in childbirth] shall come upon him [i.e. upon Ephraim]: he [i.e. Ephraim] is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children [i.e. when the time (for his birth) arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb = he stays inside the womb].


13:13 – (RSB) An unwise Israel delayed coming out of the womb into a new life (of obedience).


Hosea 13:14 I will ransom them [i.e. the Ephraimites] from the power of the grave; I will redeem them [i.e. the Ephraimites] from death: O death, I will be thy plagues [i.e. O death, unleash your power against Israel]; O grave, I will be thy destruction [i.e. O grave, unleash your power against Israel]: repentance [i.e. pity, compassion] shall be hid from mine eyes.


13:14 – (RSB) The first two statements are rhetorical questions to be answered in the negative: “Will I ransom them from the power of the grave? No. Will I redeem them from death? No.” The next two statements call upon death and the grave to unleash their power against Israel. But Paul used this to celebrate victory over death (1 Cor. 15:55).


Hosea 13:15 Though he be fruitful [i.e. though he thrives] among his brethren, an east wind [i.e. a reference to Assyria] shall come, the wind of the LORD [i.e. a reference to Assyria] shall come up from the wilderness, and his [i.e. Israel’s] spring shall become dry, and his [i.e. Israel’s] fountain shall be dried up [i.e. his prosperity will be gone]: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels [i.e. Assyria will plunder everything valuable in Ephraim].


Hosea 13:16 Samaria shall become desolate [i.e. Samaria is held guilty]; for she [i.e. Samaria] hath rebelled against her God: they [i.e. the inhabitants of Samaria] shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up [i.e. their pregnant women will be ripped open].


13:16 – (RSB) Israel would suffer these terrible atrocities. . . .


                        4.   Final appeal to repent; promise of ultimate blessing, 14:1-9


Hosea 14:1 O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity [i.e. you have stumbled because of your iniquity].


Hosea 14:2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD [i.e. return to the LORD]: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips [i.e. we will offer the praise (or sacrifices) of our lips].


Hosea 14:3 Asshur [i.e. Assyria] shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses [i.e. we will not mount war-horses]: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands [i.e. to the idols we have made with our hands], Ye are our gods: for in thee [i.e. in You alone = in God] the fatherless findeth mercy [i.e. the orphans find mercy].


14:3 – (RSB) Asshur (Assyria) will not save Israel, nor will the horses of the Egyptian calvary (sic. should be cavalry - Dr. Q.).


14:4-8 – (RSB) These verses speak of the future blessing of Israel in the Millennium.


Hosea 14:4 I will heal their backsliding [i.e. Israel’s backsliding], I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him [i.e. away from Israel].


Hosea 14:5 I will be as the dew unto Israel [i.e. refreshing]: he [i.e. Israel] shall grow [i.e. blossom] as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon [i.e. will send forth roots deep into the soil like the cedars of Lebanon].


Hosea 14:6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as [i.e. like] the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon [i.e. his fragrance like Lebanon].


Hosea 14:7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn [i.e. they shall be revived like grain], and grow as the vine [i.e. and blossom like the vine]: the scent thereof shall be as [i.e. like] the wine of Lebanon.


Hosea 14:8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I [i.e. God, the LORD] have heard him [i.e. Ephraim], and observed him [i.e. Ephraim]: I am like a green fir [i.e. cypress] tree. From me is thy fruit found [i.e. your fruit comes from Me].


Hosea 14:9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just [i.e. righteous] shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.


14:9 – (RSB) A summary exhortation to walk in the ways of the LORD and not fall.


This sermon is the 8th part of the series, Study of Hosea. Other sermons in this series are: