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Hosea 1-3
Hosea 4-5
Hosea 6-14
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Hosea 6:1-11

 

A Tribulation Timing Prophecy for Israel

 

Verses 1-3, “Come, and let us return to the LORD; for he has torn, but he will heal us; he has stricken, but he will bind us up.  After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live in his sight.  Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD.  His going forth is established as the morning; he will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth.”  In verses 1-3 God through Hosea prophecies what Israel will finally say.  These first three verses are connected to the previous chapter in the book of Hosea, connected in context of what’s being said.  First verse, in context with the next two, refers to God’s punishment of both the House of Israel and the House of Judah (the Israelis) during the Tribulation.  Verses 2-3 confirm this.  “After two days he will revive us, on the third day he will raise us up” needs to be understood by using the Bible’s prophetic ‘day for a year’ principle, or code (look up and read Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6).  “After two days he will revive us” means “after two years (of Tribulation, World War III) he will revive us” and “on the third day”---year---“he will raise us up.”  It is at the end of the third year of tribulation---World War III---that Jesus Christ returns to earth and saves Israel and Judah out of captivity.  Verse 3 shows a repentant attitude, far different from the one we see in the English-speaking world and America right now, where the mere mention of God or the name Jesus Christ is being banned publicly, as well as the Bible, the Word of God.  Verse 3 is a total reversal of what we see in society now, where they will actually be saying to the LORD, “Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD…”  The reference to the latter and former rain is referring to Jesus Christ, the return of the Messiah as being like “the latter and former rain.”  He will be to these freed Israelite and Jewish captives like the latter and former rains.  These were the two primary rainy seasons in the land of Israel which watered their crops.  Israel does not really have a good river system, so without these two rainy seasons they starved, quite simply.  One of the analogies used in Scripture that describes the Holy Spirit is water, rivers of water, and rain.  As water enables and empowers all plant growth, and without it all animals including man dies, so the Holy Spirit enables all spiritual growth, and without the Holy Spirit there is no spiritual life.  Accepting Christ into our lives through repentance and baptism, asking him into our lives, brings the Holy Spirit into our lives.  John 14:12-14, 23, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to my Father.  And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.  If you love me, keep my commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Helper, that he may abide with you forever---the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you…Jesus answered and said to him [Judas, not Iscariot], ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”  Jesus and God the Father actually dwell inside Christians, believers, by the indwelling Holy Spirit.  This is a mystery the world doesn’t understand.

 

The literal latter and former rains will be restored to the land of Israel as well, so much so that the Garden of Eden conditions will take over (cf. Isaiah 11:6-9).  Even a new river system will be created in Israel by the returning Christ (cf. Ezekiel 47:1-12; Zechariah 14:8). 

 

‘Your faithfulness is like the evaporating morning mist’

 

Verses 4-11, “O Ephraim, what shall I do to you?  O Judah, what shall I do to you?  For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud, and like the early dew it goes away.  Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of my mouth; and your judgments are like light that goes forth.  For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.  But like men they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt treacherously with me.  Gilead is a city of evildoers and defiled with blood.  As bands of robbers lie in wait for a man, so the company of priests murder on the way to Shechem; surely they commit lewdness.  I  have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel:  there is the harlotry of Ephraim; Israel is defiled.  Also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed for you, when I return the captives of my people.”  King James Version for verse 11, “Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.”  In verse 4 God sounds like a frustrated parent here.  He’s saying ‘Oh Ephraim, what am I going to do with you?  I love you, but if you continue sinning I’m gonna have to punish you.’  God’s caught on the horns of a huge dilemma here, his desire is to save, but instead he’s being forced to judge and punish.  Then in verse 5 he says ‘I’ve really let them know what’s what through my prophets, so much so that they know what’s right.’  But, verse 6, ‘These people were all into religious form and ceremony, not real mercy.’  God wanted true spiritual brokenness, mercy from these folks, and he wanted them to have a real knowledge of God himself.  Feeding on the Bread of Life, the Word of God is essential for gaining “the knowledge of God.”  Ephraim, both then and now (verses 7-9) is described as a bunch of lewd, murdering lawbreakers.  I say then and now because Hosea was seeing this about Ephraim in his own day.  I say “now” because God in verses 1-3 put this chapter right in context with the Tribulation (God’s punishment of Ephraim and Israel) and restoration of them, Judah, the Israelis included.  Ephraim, the leadership tribe for the northern 10 tribes of Israel, and Judah, representing the southern House of Judah (now the Israelis) are both mentioned in this prophecy, and as separate entities, both going into a time of punishment simultaneously.  Historically, as we’ve seen this in Kings & Chronicles (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/3.html and http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/6.html).  In the near future it will come on both whoever the northern 10 tribes of Israel are today, and Judah, the Israelis simultaneously.  That’s how we know this applies to the end-times (2nd Timothy 2:15).

 

Hosea 7:1-16

 

God Remembers Un-repented of Wickedness

 

Verses 1-8, “When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered, and the wickedness of Samaria.  For they have committed fraud; a thief comes in; a band of robbers takes spoil outside.  They do not consider in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness [God remembers un-repented of wickedness, good thing to remember]; now their own deeds have surrounded them; they are before my face.  They make a king glad with their wickedness, and princes with their lies.  They are all adulterers.  Like an oven heated by a baker---he ceases stirring the fire after kneading the dough, until it is leavened.  In the day of our king princes have made him sick, inflamed with wine; he stretched out his hand with scoffers.  They prepare their heart like an oven, while they lie in wait; their baker sleeps all night; in the morning it burns like a flaming fire.  They are all hot, like an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings have fallen. None of them calls upon me.  Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned.”  J. Vernon McGee says that “chapters 7-12 deal with the fact that Israel could escape judgment by turning to God who loves him.  God is dealing with Israel in a harsh way; yet in tenderness he is attempting to call the people back to himself before judgment comes…[THRU THE BIBLE, Vol. III, p. 638]  Historically that harshness came when Tiglath-Pileser III attacked the two and a half tribes of Israel on the eastern side of the Jordan along with the Naphtalites on the western side of Jordan around the Galilee region, taking them all captive, deporting them to Assyria between 745 and 740BC.  That’s three and a half tribes now gone into captivity.  But six and a half tribes were still residing on the western side of the Jordan river (minus Naphtali).  As the prophets of God had been working with them, from Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Amos, Micah, Obed, and now Hosea, a bare minimum of six and a half tribes did heed and repent.  As my commentary on Kings & Chronicles brings out the historic evidence, God did allow at least six and a half tribes, maybe more, to escape northward in a year-and-a-half migration safely past the western borders of Assyria and on into the region of the Black Sea just north of Armenia (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/3.html).  Thus this migration occurred sometime between 729BC and 725BC.  But also, historically, the capital city of Samaria did not escape the 2nd Assyrian invasion (by Sennacherib), which occurred from 724BC to 721BC, besieging it for three years before it fell in 721BC.  As Assyrian cuneiform records show, a mere 27,900 inhabitants of Samaria were taken captive.  Obviously the rest (Israel’s population being at least 2.5 million) have successfully fled north a few years before.  But modern Ephraim (whoever they may be) will not be so lucky as to escape the coming Tribulation.  This prophecy is duel, a then and now prophecy, historically fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled.  J. Vernon McGee really hits the nail on the head defining these seven verses, so I’ll give you what he says about each of these verses.  “It is one thing to sin in secret---that is bad enough---but it is even worse to bring your sin out in the open and flaunt it before the world.  To do that is to sink to the very bottom.  This is the reason that I believe Hosea has a message for my own nation [the United States of America] as well as all other nations.  [i.e. nobody is getting off the hook here.]  Since the people of Israel were God’s chosen people, and yet God sent them into captivity when they persisted in sinning against Him, does it seem likely that any other nation could get by with the same type of sin?  For example, when I was growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, the few homosexuals who lived there kept their homosexuality under cover.  They operated rather secretly and concealed their sin.  However, now across the country they are very open about their perversion and are demanding acceptance and protection of their activity.  The fact is being uncovered that there are not only call girls but call boys and that homosexuals are numbered in the thousands [now estimated in the hundreds of thousands, maybe millions since J. Vernon McGee wrote this].  What was formerly done in secret is now brought out into the open, and this is characteristic of other sins as well.  Someone said to me just recently, “Dr. McGee, in our day people sinned just as they do today.”  “Yes, they did,” I agreed.  “Before I was saved, I was with that crowd, and I know.”  “Well, then, what’s the difference?”  “I’ll tell you the difference.  In my day we kept it under cover.  There was still some shame connected with sin.  Today sin is brought out in the open and is flaunted before the world [all sin, not just homosexuality, he’s not beating up homosexuals here more than any other kind of sinner---they’re all equal in God’s eyes J].”  It is called a new morality, and actually a sort of halo is put around sin today.  The sinner is commended for doing something new and daring and courageous.  The other day I heard a girl complimented as being honest and courageous because she was living with a man to whom she was not married and had an illegitimate child.  Well, I am a square, I know (as someone said, being a square keeps me from going around in circles), but we must face the fact that God’s Word has not changed.  The openness of sin is not a mark of advancement, but it indicates that we are losing the civilization which formerly carried some semblance of Christian culture.  God is saying, “I knew about their sins before, but now they have taken a further step away from me and are doing their sinning out in the open.”  In other words, they have now reached the lowest depths of immorality.”  [That covered verses 1-2, chapter 7]  “The king and the princes applauded this sort of behavior.  In our day it is tragic when the leadership in any field---education, science, politics, or the church---give themselves over to foul and blasphemous language, as they are now doing.  That is something else that is out in the open.  A foulmouthed leader is applauded as being a he-man.  Well, it also indicates that he has a very poor vocabulary and is not able to express himself.  Unfortunately, this verse is applicable to our nation, and history tells us that it has been applicable to great nations in the past that have now passed off the stage of human events and lie in rubble, covered by the dust of the centuries.”  [covering verse 3]  “This figure of speech is tremendous.  The baker had his oven ready but didn’t bring up the heat until the dough was kneaded and ready to bake.  Here God is not talking about spiritual adultery, but about gross immorality.  They formerly kept their sin under cover, but now they are like an open oven, hot with passion.  In our day I get the impression that men are trying to prove that they are virile and women are trying to prove that they are sexually alert.  In modern America there is a tremendous open obsession with sex [as there is also in England].”  [covering verse 4]  “The king has become an alcoholic, and he is making a fool of himself.  We have mentioned this before, but it is so important that we will keep repeating it.  What was it that brought down the northern kingdom?  It was idolatry [Baal worship, to be exact], a turning away from God.  That will always manifest itself in gross immorality.  Wine and women, the bottle and the brothel, sauce and sex are the things that occupied the attention of the northern kingdom.”  [that covered verse 5].  I will say this, the Baal worship that was rampant in the northern kingdom was full of sexual fertility rites.  Loosely tied relationships, live-in type stuff that’s common now, was part and parcel to Baal worship, with lots of temple prostitution.  This brought on a lot of “unwanted babies”, and thus child-sacrifice was rampant.  The sexual revolution of the 1960s, accompanied by Roe vs. Wade and legalized abortions is no different in God’s eyes.  “Everything is done to stir up the passions of men and women.  In our day we hear this so-called sophisticated argument about pornography: ‘We are adults and should have the right to choose what we want to see and what we want to hear.’  Well, there isn’t much freedom to choose what we want to see and what we want to hear when we are bombarded with filth everywhere we turn.  I don’t have the liberty to choose what is presented on television or the radio or the advertising media.  I think there are a great many people who would like to see better things and hear better things than are presented to us today, but that freedom is denied us in order that the other crowd can have their freedom to give themselves over to sin.”  [that covered verse 6]  “All their kings are fallen.”  The northern kingdom did not have one good king.  If you were to look back in the historical books [of the Bible, Kings & Chronicles] and go through the list of the kings of Israel and Judah, you would note that Judah had a few good kings---in fact, five kings of Judah led in revivals---but the northern kingdom didn’t have a good king in the lot [Jehu might be considered to be good, with his three descendants, by comparison to the rest, as he (and they to a lesser degree) were doing God’s will in exterminating Baal worshippers from off the face of the map---but Jehu was a killing-machine].  Every king was as wicked as he could be.  Ahab and Jezebel reached the bottom of the list, but some of the others would run them a close second.”  [that covered verse 7]  “Ephraim is a cake not turned.”  Here we go again with another good, homely illustration, and Hosea has many of them.  What does he mean?  In that day they cooked on the top of a stove and made little cakes like our pancakes.  They still make those kind of cakes there today.  Now you know that a pancake that is not turned can burn on the other side.  That is the picture of Ephraim.  The nation was hot on one side but raw on the other side.”  [that covered verse 8, taken from J. Vernon McGee’s THRU THE BIBLE, Vol. III, pp. 638-640, selected passages]

 

Futile Reliance on the nations

 

Verses 9-16, “Aliens have devoured his strength, but he does not know it; yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it.  And the pride of Israel testifies to his face, but they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this.  Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense---they call on Egypt, they go to Assyria.  Wherever they go, I will spread my net on them; I will bring them down like birds of the air; I will chastise them according to what their congregation has heard.  Woe to them, for they have transgressed against me!  Destruction to them, because they have transgressed against me!  Though I redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.  They did not cry out to me with their heart when they wailed upon their beds.  They assemble together for grain and new wine, they rebel against me; though I disciplined and strengthened their arms, yet they devise evil against me; they return, but not to the Most High; they are like a treacherous bow.  Their princes shall fall by the sword for the cursings of their tongue.  This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.”  These are very severe words God told Hosea to speak and write against Ephraim and Samaria, with what I imagine the brunt of it aimed at the city of Samaria and its evil leadership---and now written for the English-speaking nations and our evil, immoral leadership.  How so?  J. Vernon McGee just told you in no uncertain terms.  Judgment is coming.

 

Hosea 8:1-14

 

Destruction to Come as Swiftly as an Eagle

 

Verses 1-10, “Set the trumpet to your mouth!  He shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant and rebelled against my law.  Israel will cry to me, ‘My God, we know you!’  Israel has rejected good; they enemy will pursue him.  They set up kings, but not by me; they made princes, but I did not acknowledge them.  From their silver and gold they made idols for themselves---that they might cut off.  Your calf [margin: Golden calf] is rejected, O Samaria!  My anger is aroused against them---How long until they attain to innocence?  For from Israel is even this:  A workman made it, and it is not God; but the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.  They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.  The stalk has no bud; it shall never produce meal.  If it should produce, aliens would swallow it up.  Israel is swallowed up; now they are among the Gentiles like a vessel in which is no pleasure.  For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself; Ephraim has hired lovers.  Yes, though they have hired among the nations, now I will gather them; and they shall sorrow a little, because of the burden of the king of princes.”  I think J. Vernon McGee sums up this chapter and the whole book of Ezekiel in his opening remarks about chapter 8 of Hosea, where he says, “All of the prophets had not only a local message but also one that reaches into the future even beyond us today.  However, their message does have an application for us.  there are no prophecies more applicable to us than those of Hosea and Jeremiah.  Each of these prophets prophesied right at the time of the downfall of this [their respective] nation.  Their messages ought to alarm us as a nation today, but I do not have the faith that they will.  I am afraid that we may have stepped over the line and that judgment is inevitable, just as it was for Israel.”  [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol. III, p. 641]  That was J. Vernon McGee, who died in 1988, and this was published in 1976.  Pretty serious warning.  It was written for Israel back in the 700s BC, and these prophecies also vividly apply to whomever these tribes truly are today nationally.  Verses 1-3, “Set the trumpet to your mouth!  He shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant and rebelled against my law.  Israel will cry to me, ‘My God, we know you!’  Israel has rejected the good; the enemy will pursue him.”  Historically this was accomplished in the aggressive two invasions of Assyria against the northern ten tribes of Israel (745-740BC and 724-721BC).  The modern king of Assyria, leading a united confederation of nations in Europe will yet again attack whomever these ten tribes are, and particularly the two head or leadership tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh (the English-speaking nations).  This attack will be swift, like an eagle strikes its prey.  Verses 4-7, “They set up kings, but not by me; they made princes, but I did not acknowledge them.  From their silver and gold they made idols for themselves---that they might be cut off.  Your [Golden] calf is rejected, O Samaria!  My anger is aroused against them---How long until they attain to innocence?  For from Israel is even this:  A workman made it, and it is not God; but the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.  They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.  The stalk has no bud; it shall never produce meal.  If it should produce, aliens would swallow it up.”  If you look up http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/3.html you will see the northern kingdom or House of Israel had a period of political unrest where four kings were assassinated over a 20-year period of time.  But also taking into consideration that Hosea’s prophecies are duel, applying to then and to now in the end-times---this may also point to a time of political unrest, assassinations and coups within our modern stable English-speaking democracies.  We can’t say it never happened, the assassination of JFK was a coup d’ tat if ever there was one.  There was this type of political unrest from 745BC to 725BC, just about encompassing the period of time of the first Assyrian invasion, and ending at the time of the 2nd Assyrian invasion.  Verses 5-6, “Your calf is [i.e. their Golden Calf] is rejected, O Samaria!  My anger is aroused against them---How long until they attain to innocence?  For from Israel is even this:  A workman made it, and it is not God:  But the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.”  These two verses apply to the northern kingdom’s idolatry.  King Omri had bought the field of Semer on a beautiful and strategically defensible hill.  It became the capital city for the northern kingdom, the House of Israel.  His son Ahab became king of Israel after him and married the king of Sidon’s daughter Jezebel, who was in her own rights a priestess of Baal.  She brought a minimum of 450 priests of Baal along with 400 additional priests of Ashtoreth into Israel with her (cf. 1st Kings 18:19).  As a direct result the most evil form of idolatry severely infected the northern kingdom of Israel down through the reign of Jehu in 841BC.  But major portions of this Israelite population remained infected with Baal worship (sun-god worship) right up to the two invasions of Assyria (745 & 721BC)  Verse 7, “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.  The stalk has no bud; it shall never produce meal.  If it should produce, aliens would swallow it up.”  This verse 7 speaks of famine on the land.  Israel had experienced two major drought/famines up to Hosea’s time, one under Elijah (3 years no rain) and one under Elisha (7 years no rain).  Other famines obviously occurred as well.  In the United States alone we have gone from a nation having 7 years worth of grain and wheat reserves right down to zero, zilch, nada, no reserves whatsoever.  If our major aquifers in the Midwest dry up and we have one major drought in the Midwest, this nation could go instantly into starvation-mode (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/E-Mails/2010/Coming%20World%20Famine.htm). 

 

Ephraim goes to Assyria for help

 

Verses 9-11, “For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself; Ephraim has hired lovers.  Yes, though they have hired among the nations, now I will gather them; and they shall sorrow a little, because of the burden of the king of princes.  Because Ephraim has made many altars for sin, they have become for him altars for sinning.”  This hiring of lovers refers to political alliances for military security and financial assistance (bail-outs?).  King Ahab had made alliances with surrounding nations, which allied together succeeded in fighting off the Assyrian Empire in 853BC.  The northern kingdom attempted to make such alliances in the 700s BC for the same reasons, even with Assyria, but as God through Hosea prophecied, these alliances failed, utterly.  As our national debt exponentially multiplies and we can no longer afford to maintain our world empire status militarily, we find ourselves in the United States more and more making these alliances for protection and taking on an enemy in war.  As the national debt escalates this insecure method of national defense will only grow worse. 

 

‘Biblical Illiteracy’

 

Verse 12, “I have written for him the great things of my law, but they were considered a strange thing.”  J. Vernon McGee has this to say about that, “‘But they were counted as a strange thing’---that is, the people did not know anything about God’s law.  I say this often because there are so few who are saying it at all.  God is saying here, ‘I have given them my written Word, and to them it is a strange thing---they are ignorant of it.’  That was the condemnation of Israel, and my friend, that is the condemnation of our nation today.  We try to pass as a civilized, Christian nation, and we are anything but that.  The ignorance of the Word of God is to me one of the most amazing things in this land.  That is the reason we are committed to teaching the Bible.  The most important business the church has is to get out the Word of God.  I do not think your pastor is to be a business administrator.  I do not think he is called to be a social lion who mixes and mingles with people.  The important thing is whether he gives out the Word of God when he stands in that pulpit.  If he does, then you should stand behind him.  But I do not ask you to support a man who is playing around and riding the fences of liberalism.  Across this land there are many men who are teaching the Word of God, and they are the ones who are getting a hearing today.  However, their ministries and the ministry of a Bible teaching radio program like ours [or this website] is a drop in the bucket---this nation is ignorant of the Word of God.”  [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol. III, p. 643]  To see the most effective method of preaching the Word of God a pastor can use, log onto:  http://www.unityinchrist.com/pom/philofmin.htm. This is what it is all about, pastors, healthy sheep reproduce.  Go learn what that means.

 

Going through the motions of worship

 

Verses 13-14a, “For the sacrifices of my offerings they sacrifice flesh and eat it, but the LORD does not accept them.  Now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.  They shall return to Egypt.  For Israel has forgotten his Maker, and has built temples;…”  This applied to Israel, who had false worship in many false temples they built, even the ‘king’s chapel’ in Bethel with Amos, as we’ll read about in a couple books from here.  But this applies now more than ever, in the “liberal” churches.  Those that have gone “liberal” are the dead and dying older Christian denominations, two, three hundred years or more old, such as the Congregationalists, Methodists etc, and a great many Baptists even.  They’re all about ritual and ceremony.  Even in Hosea’s day those God was condemning were doing the same thing, going through the ceremonial motions but the worship wasn’t real.  Verse 12 told us why it wasn’t real.  Verse 14a here is describing what the northern kingdom of Israel did, they built two substitute temples one in the north of their territory, and one in the south of their territory.  This happened under Jeroboam I, and never ceased.  They set up alternate Holy Days to God’s and worshipped in these temples instead of in Jerusalem, right up to the reign of righteous King Hezekiah, king of Judah.  In verse 13 the reference to Egypt is symbolic, it is referring to going back into slavery.  Right after the final fall of Israel to Assyria in 721BC, the fenced cities in Judah, fortified in fear of Assyria, were attacked by Sennacherib around 701BC.  Ultimately God drove Sennacherib out (after hearing Isaiah’s and Hezekiah’s pleas for protection) but not before many of these fortified cities were destroyed (i.e. look up siege of Lachish, 701BC).  Verse 14b, “Judah has also multiplied fortified cities; but I will send fire upon his cities, and it shall devour his palaces.”  Ultimately, Nebuchadnezzar II came with his army and burned Jerusalem and the Temple of God to the ground in 586BC, but that was a long way away from Hosea’s time and warning to Israel, the northern tribes, in the mid 700s BC.

 

Hosea 9:1-17

 

‘You’re Going Back Into Captivity’

 

Verses 1-7, “Do not rejoice, O Israel, with joy like other peoples, for you have played the harlot against your God.  You have made love for hire on every threshing floor.  The threshing floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.  They shall not dwell in the LORD’s land, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and shall eat unclean things in Assyria.  They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD, nor shall their sacrifices be pleasing to him.  It shall be like bread of mourners to them; all who eat it shall be defiled.  For their bread shall be for their own life; it shall not come into the house of the LORD.  What will you do in the appointed day, and in the day of the feast of the LORD?  For indeed they are gone because of destruction.  Egypt shall gather them up; Memphis shall bury them.  Nettles shall possess their valuables of silver; thorns shall be in their tents.  The days of punishment have come; the days of recompense have come.  Israel knows!  The prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is insane, because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity.”  In the ancient nations around Israel the threshing floors and winepresses were used in sexual fertility rites.  This was in association with Baal worship.  Verse 3 shows Israel was going back into captivity, Egypt being a symbol of the coming Assyrian captivity.  Verse 4 indicates Israel would be insufficiently fed in their Assyrian captivity and slavery.  Verse 6 refers to Memphis burying them. The great necropolis, Egyptian burial ground was in Memphis.  This was God’s symbolic language for saying they’d die in slavery in the land of their captors, which historically was the Assyrians.  But since Jesus quoted Hosea 9, verse 7 in Luke 21:22-24 in describing the Tribulation, these verses and this whole chapter and book for that matter also apply to whomever the northern tribes of Israel are today.  The Jews in World War II got a good taste of this type of captivity in Nazi slave-labor camps.  A total captivity of Ephraim and Manasseh, and whoever the rest of Israel is, is coming in the Tribulation. 

 

‘You are corrupt, as in the days of Gibeah’

 

Verses 8-14, “The watchman of Ephraim is with my God; but the prophet is a fowler’s snare in all his ways---enmity in the house of his God.  They are deeply corrupted, as in the days of Gibeah.  He will remember their iniquity; he will punish their sins.  I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season.  But they went to Baal Peor, and separated themselves to that shame; they became an abomination like the thing they loved.  As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird---no birth, no pregnancy, and no conception!  Though they bring up their children, yet I will bereave them to the last man.  Yes, woe to them when I depart from them!  Just as I saw Ephraim like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place, so Ephraim will bring out his children to the murderer.  Give them, O LORD---what will You give?  Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts!”    In verse 8, J. Vernon McGee defines this verse pretty accurately, “‘The watchman of Ephraim was with my God’---evidently there were a few fanatical fundamentalists around in that day warning the people of coming judgment.  ‘But the prophet is a snare of the fowler.’  That is harsh language, and I would never use that kind of language to speak of the liberal today.  However, I do believe that liberalism is in control in my day [ten times worse now Dr. McGee], especially over the news media.  They have sacred cows known as freedom of the press and freedom of speech, but they allow the fundamentalists very little freedom.  I can assure you of that.  Liberalism---whether it is in politics, the news media, or in the pulpit---is a snare; it is like a trap, and it brainwashes people.  As a result, this nation has been in trouble ever since World War II.  It is time someone made the diagnosis and gave the prognosis of the case:  the problem is that we have turned from God as a nation.  God has become a big swear word in Washington, D.C.  His name is often used in the form of blasphemy but seldom in the form of prayer or in worship of Him.”  [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol. III, pp. 645-646]  Verse 9, “They are deeply corrupted, as in the days of Gibeah.  He will remember their iniquity; he will punish their sins.”  This verse refers to the rape and murder of young women, pointing back to the sin of Gibeah in Judges 19.  Be sure to look up and read that gruesome chapter.  This same identical crime is becoming prevalent and very commonplace in our so-called modern English-speaking nations, cases showing up weekly in the newspapers and online periodicals.  This was showing this sinful condition that had occurred in Gibeah in Judges 19 had also become common in Hosea’s day, just as it has become now.  Don’t believe me?  Log onto http://www.foxnews.com daily for a month and keep record, print up each article that shows up detailing these despicable crimes, the kidnap and rape of innocent children and young women, and their subsequent murders.  What you see is just the tip of the iceberg.  What was causing this condition of Gibeah back in Hosea’s day?  The spiritual infection of widespread Baal worship with its sexual fertility rites, coupled to the child sacrifices of the “unwanted babies” that were the natural result of their sexual activities.  The society became over-sexed, with women becoming mere sex objects.  Sound familiar?  Our so-called modern sexual revolution of the 1960s, coupled to the abortions of the resultant “unwanted babies” is really no different.  The magnitude of our sin in America, 45+ million babies aborted since the 1960s, may be greater in God’s eyes.

 

‘They Shall Be Wanderers Among the Nations’

 

Verses 15-17, “All their wickedness is in Gilgal, for there I hated them.  Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive them from my house; I will love them no more.  All their princes are rebellious.  Ephraim is stricken, their root is dried up; they shall bear no fruit.  Yes, were they to bear children, I will kill the darlings of their womb.  My God will cast them away, because they did not obey him; and they shall be wanderers among the nations.”  God’s judgment “they shall be wanderers among the nations.”  This occurred after the Assyrian invasions and captivity of the 700s BC, as well attested to in Steven Collins two history books about where the northern 10 tribes went after their captivity,  They became very large populations, fulfilling part of Abraham’s birthright promises by God, but they did wander among the Gentile nations, until they eventually settled down in their present locations.  To read about these little understood wanderings, be sure to buy his books titled : “Parthia: The Forgotten Ancient Superpower, And Its Role In Biblical History” and “Israel’s Tribes Today”  Each book is $20.oo, and $5.oo shipping and handling.  The mailing address to order them is Steven Collins, PO Box 88735, Sioux Falls, SD  57109-8735.  It tracks where the ten tribes went, following the “smoking gun” of historic evidence quite well.  This verse 17 has been fulfilled to the T.

 

Hosea 10:1-19

 

‘Divided Loyalties’

 

Chapter 10 is a continuation of God’s correction given to Israel under Ephraim’s leadership in the city of Samaria. Verses 1-2, “Israel empties his vine; he brings forth fruit for himself, according to the multitude of his fruit.  He has increased the altars; according to the bounty of his land they have embellished his sacred pillars.  Their heart is divided; now they are held guilty.  He will break down their altars; he will ruin their sacred pillars.”  As we have seen in our study of Kings & Chronicles, Israel was very wealthy, not just agriculturally, but due to the lucrative naval-merchant marine alliance they had with the Phoenician Empire headquartered in Tyre and Sidon.  Viewing the duality of these prophecies, this also corresponds to the great wealth the English-speaking peoples have, both agriculturally and through manufacturing and international trade.  Our Navy, especially when combined with the other English-speaking nation’s navies, amount to the most powerful naval fighting force on the planet (at least currently---but that’s all in the process of changing, due to our HUGE national debt).  Verse 2 refers to Israel’s divided loyalty, to God and to Baal.  This divided loyalty is summed up by Elijah’s words in 1st Kings 18:21, which states “How long will you falter between two opinions?  If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” 

 

Assyria to Attack Samaria

 

Verses 3-9, “For now they say, ‘We have a king, because we did not fear the LORD.  And as for a king, what would he do for us?’  They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant.  Thus judgment springs up like hemlock in the furrows of the field.  The inhabitants of Samaria fear because of the calf of Beth Aven. For its people mourn for it, and adulterous priests shriek for it---because its glory has departed from it.  The idol also shall be carried to Assyria as a present for King Jareb.  Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.  As for Samaria, her king is cut off like a twig on the water.  Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed.  Then the thorn and thistle shall grow on their altars.  They shall say to the mountains, ‘Cover us!’ and to the hills, ‘Fall on us!’  O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah; there they stood, the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overcome them.”  A part of the ten northern tribes of Israel (three and a half tribes), the part under Ephraim’s leadership in Samaria, and those who dwelt across the Jordan (Gad, Reuben and the half tribe of Manasseh) along with Naphtali in Galilee were heavily into Baal worship, defiantly so.  It is these very three and a half tribes along with the city of Samaria, who were literally conquered militarily and deported into captivity, deported into the lands of Assyria along the Caspian Sea.  Other tribes, six and a half of them to be exact, escaped captivity, quietly migrating northwest past Assyria to a spot just north of Armenia (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/3.html).  The calves of Beth Aven (literally, house of evil, is a play on words, referring to Bethel) refers to Israel’s national false Baal ‘sun-god worship’ and the rampant sexual fertility rites that were an integral part of Baal worship.  They would then roast all the ‘unwanted babies’ that resulted from this as burnt offerings to Baal.  We are no better, with our free-love, anything goes society since the mid 1960s, accompanied by 45 million abortions from then to now, with 1-million more being added to this gruesome figure every year that goes by.  Has anything changed?  No.  Will God’s judgment on the modern descendants of these ten northern tribes be any different?  No.  Assyria attacked swiftly in two separate invasions.  In case you didn’t realize it, the modern Germans are the descendants of ancient Assyria.  Prophecy indicates a resurgent Germany at the head of some kind of European confederation of nations will be conquering many nations during the great Tribulation.  God will not be mocked by our nations.  In verse 6 this mysterious king Jareb is mentioned again, thought to be a direct reference to the modern king of Assyria leading this European confederation.  There was no king Jareb ever mentioned in the meticulously kept cuneiform historic records of Assyria.  The king of Samaria both then and now, leader of our English-speaking nations, will go down fast in this invasion. 

 

Ephraim & Judah Going into Slavery for the Sins of Gibeah

 

Verses 9-11, “O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah; there they stood.  The battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overcome them.  When it is my desire, I will chasten them.  Peoples shall be gathered against them when I bind them for their two transgressions.  Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh grain; but I harnessed her fair neck, I will make Ephraim pull a plow.  Judah shall plow; Jacob shall break his clods.”

This verse 9 is a direct reference to the sin of Gibeah, which in Judges 19 was described as the commonplace rape and murder of young women, which also, along with the rape and murder of young children has also become very commonplace in our so-called “enlightened” English-speaking nations.  In verse 10 God says he’ll chastise the House of Israel for this, it’s coming, and it did come for them, and will yet come for us.  Verse 11 is addressed to Ephraim again, the leadership tribe (representing Ephraim & Manasseh, then and now).  The reference of Ephraim being like a heifer that loves to tread the corn (grain) refers to the practice of letting a heifer roam in perhaps a paddock where grain was spread on the floor.  It was by Mosaic law supposed to be unmuzzled so she could eat all she wanted to. Compared to being yoked as oxen were, to plow fields, this was an easy task.  The analogy is that Israel’s farms were rich, just as they are in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  They lived off the fat of the land, as we do now.  By no means was this subsistence farming.  But the second half of the verse shows God is going to yoke Ephraim (and Manasseh) and Judah, his way of saying he was going to send them into slave-labor in the lands of their enemies.  This happened to a part of the northern tribes of Israel, deported as slaves to Assyria, and it will yet happen again.  Plowing as part of a ‘yoke of oxen’ was intensive work compared to a heifer treading out the grain and munching on it whenever she got hungry. 

 

Verses 12-15, “Sow yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD, till he comes and rains righteousness on you.  You have plowed wickedness; you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men.  Therefore tumult shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be plundered as Shalman plundered Beth Arbel in the day of battle---a mother dashed in pieces upon her children.  Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel, because of your great wickedness.  At dawn the king of Israel shall be cut off utterly.”  Verse 12 showed the only way for Israel to avoid this fate.  This verse is often quoted by Christian pastors to explain about repentance, breaking up hardened attitudes of sin, seeking righteousness.  Paul brought this principle out in Galatians 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”  So God is warning them to start sowing righteousness.  But God in the remainder of the passage is saying they have sown, plowed, iniquity and reaped iniquity, and then they have trusted in their mighty military strength.  This sounds a bit like us in the United States of America.  What happened to the northern ten tribes?  Verses 14-15, “Therefore tumult shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be plundered as Shalman plundered Beth Arbel in the day of battle---a mother dashed in pieces upon her children.  Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel, because of your great wickedness.  At dawn the king of Israel shall be cut off utterly.”  And so shall this happen to us. God is no respecter of persons.  Whoever our leader is, whomever the leaders of Ephraim and Manasseh are in our English-speaking nations, they will fall quickly. Hoshea, king of Israel was snatched up very quickly, just before the siege of the city of Samaria began.  He was imprisoned and died in Assyrian captivity.  One can only imagine what they did to him.

 

Hosea 11:1-12

 

‘Out of Egypt I Called My Son’

 

Verse 1, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.”  From the time of Jacob and his twelve sons, and on through their huge numeric growth down in Egypt, and on into the Promised Land, Yahweh demonstrated his huge love for Israel, all 12 tribes.  In this second half of verse 1 God calls Israel his son.  But this verse, quoted in Matthew 2:13-15, is also a direct prophetic reference to Jesus Christ, the Messiah, about how he, God the Father, would bring his son Yeshua out of Egypt.  This is one of about 300 specific prophecies about the Messiah’s 1st Coming which are scattered throughout the Old Testament (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/1stcoming.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/mathew/Matthew 2-1-23.htm). 

 

‘I Raised Ephraim, But They Did Not Know…’

 

Verses 3-7, “As they called them, so they went from them; they sacrificed to the Baals, and burned incense to carved images.  I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms; but they did not know that I healed them.  I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love. And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.  I stooped and fed them.  He shall not return to the land of Egypt; but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to repent. And the sword shall slash in his cities, devour his districts, and consume them, because of their own counsels.  My people are bent on backsliding from me.  Though they call to the Most High, none at all exalt him.  In this set of verses Yahweh is addressing the specific tribe of Ephraim, the leadership tribe of the northern 10 tribed kingdom of Israel, whom the very Book of Hosea is addressed to.  Verses 3-4 talk about the tender love in which God raised Ephraim, but verses 5-7 describe the punishment to be brought onto Ephraim, this punishment is a then and now occurrence.  It was in Hosea’s time about to happen to them (745-740BC and then in 724-721BC) and it also refers to Ephraim during the Great Tribulation, and his being saved out of it by the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ. 

 

Future Punishment of Ephraim---not to be total destruction---Who is Ephraim?

 

Verses 8-11, “‘How can I give you up, Ephraim?  How can I hand you over, Israel?  How can I make you like Admah?  How can I set you like Zeboiim?  My heart churns within me; I will not execute the fierceness of my anger;  I will not again destroy Ephraim.  For I am God, and not man, the Holy One in your midst; and I will not come with terror.  They shall walk after the LORD, he will roar like a lion.  When he roars, then his sons shall come trembling from the west [when Ephraim was taken captive to Assyria, they were taken northeast up to the Caspian Sea region, not northwest, or west]; They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt, like a dove from the land of Assyria.  And I will let them dwell in their houses,’ says the LORD.”  ‘How can I give you up, Ephraim?  How can I make you like Admah?  How can I make you like Zeboiim?’ Yahweh asks rhetorically.  Admah and Zeboiim were two cities which were obliterated along with Sodom and Gomorrah.  Yahweh, in the person of the returning Jesus Christ is not going to allow Ephraim to be utterly destroyed and obliterated like Admah and Zeboiim where along with Sodom and Gomorrah.  In verses 10-11 this roaring like a lion is describing the returning Christ, the Lion of Judah, roaring out at his enemies (we’ll get into that in Zechariah).  The captives of Ephraim and the other 10 tribes of Israel will be coming out of their captivity “trembling like a bird from Egypt, like a dove from the land of Assyria” [Germany, to the west-northwest of the Promised Land].  The 10 northern tribes never came back to the Promised Land “trembling like a bird from Egypt” or “like a dove from Assyria” in time past, this is future 2nd Coming stuff.  Verse 12, “Ephraim has encircled me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Judah still walks with God, even with the Holy One who is faithful.”  This describes more of the sin of Ephraim and some of the other 10 tribes (both then and now), leading up to the times of their respective punishments (then and not far into the future).  This reference to Judah is that they were still comparatively righteous just before Israel’s captivity in 721BC, they’re not a problem, yet.  It would behoove us to know just who Ephraim is, prophetically speaking, since such a great condemnation and punishment is about to come upon him.  The identity of Ephraim is clearly prophetically revealed by looking at just a few Abrahamic blessings, covenant promises.  God promised Abraham he would become the father of many nations [not just the Jews].  Look up and read Genesis 22:15-18.  He also promised they would “possess the gate of their enemies”, i.e. military choke points, such as Gibraltar, Eden, Suez, Cape of Good Hope, the Falkland Islands, Panama, Bering Straits, Strait of Malacca (see Genesis 24:59.  They would be “a great nation and a company of nations” (Genesis 35:9-12).  These birthright promises were then handed to the two sons of Joseph [not Judah,], whom Jacob inherited for birthright purposes, making Ephraim and Manasseh, Josephs two sons tribes as well.  The birthright promises of national wealth, possessing the gates of their enemies, were handed by Jacob to Ephraim and Manasseh, as detailed in Genesis 48:1-20. So we see that the birthright promises of great national wealth and land and sea gates, military choke points, have been handed, bestowed on two very specific tribes of Israel, Ephraim and Manasseh, and not Judah, the Jews.  What about Judah?  Read 1st Chronicles 5:1-2.  The kingly line, from David to Christ, would come from Judah. We also read in Genesis 48:1-20 that this birthright group would be made up of “a nation”, one great nation, “and a company of nations”, and that they both would possess “the gates of those who hate them,” the military choke points of their enemies.  Who, just who, in our modern times have possessed the land and sea gates, military choke points of their enemies, and are composed of two brother nations made up of “a nation and a company of nations.”  A school child could answer that one, the United States and British Commonwealth of Nations!   Another unique sign, found in linguistics:  The very word British is made up of two Hebrew words, Brit meaning “covenant” and ish meaning “man.”  The very word British means “Covenant man” in Hebrew.  If these promises are to be believed (if you don’t believe them and take them at face value, then you don’t believe the Bible, and you must be a “liberal Christian”), then England and the British people (England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) must be Ephraim, and their brother tribe, Manasseh must be the United States of America.  Ephraim is about to be judged, along with their brother tribe, Manasseh, the United States of America!  We’d better wake up and heed the warning to our respective peoples before it is too late.  This information about the identity of Ephraim and Manasseh does not make us English-speaking people superior in any way to the other races of the world.  In a very real sense, because we’ve been given God’s Word, and knowledge of the Lord over several centuries, we are far more guilty before God than the Gentile nations.  Because of our turning our backs on God, and our collective sins, we are and have been quite inferior to other nations and races of people.  We do not deserve the blessings of Abraham God has so richly bestowed upon us.  And the way we grabbed some of those national blessings out of other’s hands is reprehensible (i.e the native Americans, and the Aborigines in Australia, and how we treated the Philippinos in the early 1900s, and those in Latin America from 1945 onward through the early1990s).  Also look at how we’ve squandered and abused those blessings!  Since Hosea is basically addressed to Ephraim (and by extension Manasseh) giving this knowledge is necessary.  It fits in with Hosea.  But it does not fit in with the Gospel of Salvation, or most of the other parts of the Word of God.  It helps with prophecy, and pinning national blame where it deserves to be pinned.  But the core of Christianity, and Salvation through Jesus Christ is about grace, not race.

 

Hosea 12:1-14

 

A Little History About Jacob

 

Verses 1-2, “Ephraim feeds on the wind, and pursues the east wind; he daily increases lies and desolation. Also they make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried to Egypt.  The LORD also brings a charge against Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his deeds he will recompense him.”  This is a continuation of verse 12 of the last chapter.  Historically God had a controversy with Judah (the Jews) and Jacob (the word Jacob is used to mean Israel whenever God is addressing Israel while they’re sinning and being treacherous, which Jacob tended to be before the Lord named him Israel.  So this is referring to Ephraim and Manasseh, cf. Genesis 48:1-20).  But he also has a controversy now with these two parts of Israel.  Verses 3-6, “He took his brother by the heal in the womb, and in his strength he struggled with God.  Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; he wept, and sought favor from him.  He found him in Bethel, and there he spoke to us---that is, the LORD God of hosts.  The LORD is his memorable name.  So you, by the help of your God, return; observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually.”  Here God is telling Ephraim and Israel to remember who you are and where you came from, and start practicing mercy and justice---they had become a land that was not merciful to the poor, a land filled with bribes and injustice.  “And wait on your God continually…” i.e. ‘and start living holy lives.’ Verses 7-8, “A cunning Canaanite!  Deceitful scales are in his hand; he loves to oppress.  And Ephraim said, ‘Surely I have become rich, I have found wealth for myself; in all my labors they shall find in me no iniquity that is sin.’” But Ephraim wasn’t heeding this advice.  Next God gives Ephraim and Israel a little history lesson.  Telling Ephraim ‘he will yet dwell in tents, as in the days of the appointed feasts’ is a little dig, telling Ephraim he will yet be observing God’s Holy Days in the Millennium.  ‘Jacob fled from his brother Esau to Syria, served for a spouse and tended sheep for a wife (Leah and Rachel)…’  Then God brought Israel out of Egypt by the prophet Moses and preserved them.’  Here beginneth the lesson:  Verses 9-13. “But I am the LORD your God, ever since the land of Egypt; I will again make you to dwell in tents, as in the days of the appointed feast.  I have also spoken by the prophets, and have multiplied visions; I have given symbols by the hand of the prophets.  Though Gilead has idols---surely they are vanity---though they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal, indeed their altars shall be heaps in the furrows of the field.  Jacob fled to the country of Syria; Israel served for a spouse, and for a wife he tended sheep.  By a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet he was preserved.”  And then in verse 14 Yahweh goes right back to condemning Ephraim, saying essentially, ‘The blood’s on his own head for his sins.’  Verse 14, “Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly; therefore his LORD will leave the guilt of his bloodshed upon him, and return his reproach upon him.”

 

Hosea 13:1-16

 

God’s Judgment of Israel Will Happen, It’s a Sure Thing

 

Verses 1-6, “When Ephraim spoke, trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended through Baal worship, he died.  Now they sin more and more, and have made for themselves molded images, idols of silver, according to their skill; all of fit is the work of craftsmen, they say of them, ‘Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!’ [margin: worship with kisses]  Therefore they shall be like the morning cloud and like the early dew that passes away, like chaff blown off from a threshing floor and like smoke from a chimney.  Yet I am the LORD your God ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no God but me.  I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.  When they had pasture, they were filled; they were filled and their heart was exalted; therefore they forgot me.”  This chapter shows God’s judgment of Israel is a foregone conclusion---it’s going to happen.  The capital city of Ephraim (i.e. Samaria) and all of the ten tribed House of Israel spiritually died under the evil spiritual influence and practices brought into their land by the evil Ahab and Jezebel in the 850s BC.  The historic demise of the northern House of Israel is clearly shown in Kings & Chronicles (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/3.html).  Ephraim’s demise, verse 3, will be quick when it comes.  Verse 4 says ‘When you were in a desert place, land of drought---i.e. small and humble in your own eyes---I knew you.  But when you were exalted you forgot all about me.  That was Ephraim then, and if Ephraim now really are the people which make up the vestiges of the British Empire, that certainly applies to them as well.  Their power and prestige literally evaporated at the end of World War II (verses 5-6).

 

Swift Judgment Coming, As Swift as a Leopard

 

Verses 7-16, “So I will be to them like a lion; like a leopard by the road I will lurk; I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs; I will tear open their rib cage, and there I will devour them like a lion.  The wild beast shall tear them.  O Israel, you are destroyed, but your help is from me.  I will be your King; where is any other, that he may save you in all your cities?  And your judges to whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes’?  I gave you a king in my anger, and took him away in my wrath.  The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is stored up.  The sorrows of a woman in childbirth shall come upon him.  He is an unwise son, for he shall not stay long where children are born.  I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.  O Death, I will be your plagues!  O Grave, I will be your destruction! [cf. 1st Corinthians 15:49-54; also see http://www.unityinchrist.com/ezek/Ezekiel%20pt3-2.htm and scroll to the section on Ezekiel 37 for a plausible explanation of this verse when God will ransom them from the Grave.]  Pity is hidden from my eyes.  Though he is fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come; the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness.  Then his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up.  He shall plunder the treasury of every desirable prize [he, the Assyrian].  Samaria is held guilty, for she has rebelled against her God.  They shall fall by the sword, their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child ripped open.”  God’s judgment is coming swiftly.  From 745BC through 721BC Assyrian conquest came quickly, in two waves.  In the second wave, Ephraim and Samaria fell quickly.  God said ‘Don’t blame me, you destroyed yourself (verse 9).’  There is a bit of Israelite history in verses 10-11, ‘God gave them a king in his anger,’ king Saul, ‘and took him away in my wrath,’ both Hoshea and Zedekiah were taken away in wrath, judgment.  Verse 14 points to Paul’s statement in 1st Corinthians 15:49-56, especially verse 55.  Verse 16 shows what happened to Samaria when her walls fell to the Assyrians.  The Assyrians in war, just like their modern counterpart, are ruthless killing machines.  This happened in 721BC, and it will yet happen again in the Great Tribulation, World War III, as this also points to the other fall of our English-speaking peoples during the Tribulation, since we’ve seen elsewhere in the Book of Hosea this points to the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ.  These prophecies are duel throughout Hosea.

 

Hosea 14:1-9

 

All Israel Will Be Saved---In The Future

 

Hosea 14 points to the future healing and return of all Israel, all 12 tribes.  The whole chapter points to a future return and repentance of Israel, all Israel.  This obviously is future.  All through Hosea, Ephraim’s sinning and idol worship have been highlighted.  Verses 8-9 show a total repentant Ephraim who is now bearing Godly fruit.  Verses 1-9, “O Israel return to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity; take words with you, and return to the LORD.  Say to him, ‘Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously, for we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.  Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride on horses, nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.’  ‘For in you the fatherless finds mercy.’  I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for my anger has turned away from him.  I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall grow like the lily, and lengthen his roots like Lebanon.  He branches shall spread; his beauty shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon.  [like a pine forest]  Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall be revived like grain, and grow like a vine.  Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.  Ephraim shall say, ‘What have I do anymore with idols?’  I have heard and observed him.  I am like a green cypress tree; your fruit is found in me.  Who is wise?  Let him understand these things.  Who is prudent?  Let him know them.  For the ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.”

 

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