Hosea (Ch 11-12)

The Prophecy of Hosea is primarily to the house of Ephraim (mentions 32 times in Hosea, more than in any other books of the Bible). Often, as Ephraim being the chief tribe of the ten tribes, the name is used in place of Israel (used 41 times) when referring to the northern kingdom.

Yet from God’s point of view, he address Israel as “thy calf, O Samaria!” This being the case because Samaria was also the capital of the northern kingdom. Second, Ephraim also indulged in many of the abomination of the Samaritans that were relocated by the Assyrians!

More on (1) Ephraim / The United States; (2) Ephraim and Manasseh

Hosea 11

1 “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt. — or “though Israel was a child” a weak, helpless, foolish, and imprudent one, “yet I loved him”; or “when a child” in the infancy when in Egypt as he said to Pharaoh, “Israel is My son, even my firstborn; let my son go, that he may serve me” Exodus 4:22-23;

— and in the wilderness; the Lord loved him, not only as his creature, as he does all the works of his hands, but with a more special love than he loved others; choosing them to be a special people above all others; giving them his law, his statutes and his judgements.

2 As they called them, so they went from them; they sacrificed unto the Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. — but they turned a deaf ear to them, and their backs upon them; or as the Targum says, “I sent the prophets to teach them, but they wandered from them;”

3 I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. — I taught Ephraim and all the tribes of Israel to go; Ephraim or with the rest of the ten tribes; these the Lord instructed in the way of his commandments;

— and taught them to walk therein; he with his angel before them to lead them through the wilderness; yea, he himself went before them in the pillar of cloud by day and in the pillar of fire by night; so the Targum says, “I, by an angel sent by me, led Israel in the right way.”

— and just a recollection; the Targum, whose origin in the Aramaic language, could be traced to the work of Ezra, and hence has prominence and insights in giving us further understanding of biblical concepts which, sometimes, are lost in the Masoretic Text.

4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love; and I was to them as they that take off the yoke from their jaws, and I laid meat before them. — when Israel were weak I drew them with cords of a man, as with bands which support the first weak steps of a child, with bands of love, not with chains to hold them captive against their will;

— and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, as when a man slips back the yoke on the neck of a draft animal in order to give it the liberty to eat freely, and I laid meat unto them, gently offering them food for their souls.

5 “He shall not return into the land of Egypt; but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return. — the Septuagint: “and Ephraim dwelt in Egypt” he did so indeed with the other tribes formerly; but it is said here as he shall not return unto God, he shall be a captive again and he shall go into bondage more severe than that in Egypt, even into captivity in Assyria.

6 And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches and devour them, because of their own counsels. — because of their own evil counsels; which they took and pursued, contrary to the counsel of God, notwithstanding all the admonitions, exhortations and threatenings of God by his prophets;

— or else because of their counsels with the Egyptians, and their covenants with them, for help against the Assyrian, whose yoke they were for casting off, and refused to pay tribute to; which provoked him to draw his sword upon them, which made the havoc it did in their cities, and the inhabitants of them.

7 And My people are bent on backsliding from Me; though they called them to the Most High, none at all would exalt Him. — none at all would exalt him; the most high God, and give him the praise and glory due to his name; but, they extolled their idols;

— Rashi paraphrases it, “when the prophets teach them to return to Me, they are in doubt whether to return or not to return; it is with difficulty that they return to Me.”

— none at all would exalt him; the most high God, and give him the praise and glory; but they kept looking to earthly things, particularly to their idols; but were deaf to all counsel and reproof; the Targum says, “my people divide (or hesitate) to return to my law.”

8 “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? How shall I deliver thee, Israel? How shall I make thee as Admah? How shall I set thee as Zeboiim? Mine heart is turned within Me; My repentings are kindled together. — how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? two cities that were utterly destroyed by fire from heaven, along with Sodom and Gomorrah, Deuteronomy 29:23

— so would God even judge and put an end to Ephraim as Sodom and Gomorrah, who were so severely punished for their sins, and were never restored again? God is asking a question for reflection above, so should we?

9 I will not execute the fierceness of Mine anger, I will not return to 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. — theu God answer the above question, that he will not return to destroy Ephraim; or “again” or “any more, destroy” him; not twice;

— he might be destroyed when carried captive into Assyria; but the remnant that shall spring from him in the latter day shall not be destroyed, but saved; as the Targum says, “my word shall not return to destroy the house of Israel.”

10 “They shall walk after the Lord; He shall roar like a lion. When He shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. — the remnant shall tremble and hearken to God’s call, and shall comply with his commands;

— the phrase, “from the west” or “from the sea”, meaning the Mediterranean sea, which lay west of Judea, and is often used for the west, may signify the western or European part of the world, where the house of Israel for the most part are, and from whence they will be regathered;

— the Targum says, “for he shall roar, and the captives shall be gathered from the west.”

11 They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria; and I will place them in their houses,” saith the Lord. — they shall tremble as a bird out of captivity; they shall come from thence with fear and trembling;

— which may allude to the trembling of birds at the roaring of a lion, or to the trembling motion of their wings in flying to their own land, under divine influence and direction.

12 Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints. — their chief lie was the setting up of the worship of the calves, with a worldly end, yet with pretence of religion toward God; denying him, the One true God, in that they joined idols with him, yet professing to serve him;

— chronic political liars like Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, freely admitted those lies about the CIA: We lied, We cheated, We stole.

Ex-CIA director Pompeo said: “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole,” former CIA director and now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on April 15, 2019 at a forum at Texas A&M University. “It was like – we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.” Interestingly, a Christian religious news broadcaster that described Pompeo’s words with such precision as follows: “that’s not the resume of the Secretary of State… that’s the resume of Satan.”

Hosea 12

1 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind; he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt. — Ephraim is alwasy associated with lies, falsehood and desolation while multiplying idols, which are fallacious and deceitful;

— not content with the daily increase of their idolatries among themselves, they continually persecute, spoil and plunder those who do not give into their false worship: thus the Targum says, “lies and spoil they multiply;”

— and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians: and gave tribute and presents to their kings, as Menahem did to Pul, and Hoshea to Shalmaneser, to strengthen their kingdom; see 2 Kings 15:19;

— and oil is carried into Egypt: while they sent presents to the Assyrians, to obtain their favour; at another time to the Egyptians; to So king of Egypt; see Isaiah 57:9. So the Targum says, “and they carried gifts to Egypt.”

2 The Lord hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will He recompense him. — and God will punish Jacob according to his ways; all the posterity of Jacob, whether Ephraim or Judah; those, “will be visited according to his ways” if right, or if wrong, a divine visiting used both ways.

3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God. — he took Esau by the heel in the womb in order to obtain, if possible, the privileges of the first-born; then I will not let thee go except thou bless me; intimating the strength of his faith, henceforth, Jacob’s name, meaning “supplanter,” was changed to Israel.

— and of his getting the birthright and blessing from him, so says the Targum,”prophet, say unto them, was it not said of Jacob, before he was born, that he would be greater than his brother?”

4 Yea, he had power over the angel and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication unto Him; he found Him in Bethel, and there He spoke with us, — yea, he had power over the angel (messenger), who is identified with God, and perhaps the revelation of the Son of God, and made supplication, by stating that he would not let go without having received a blessing.

5 even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial. — the Lord is his memorial: or his name, Yehovah; this “angel” is most probably the Son of God, who also has the name Yehovah as well as the Lord God of hosts.

— “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him” Exodus 23:20-21

6 Therefore turn thou to thy God; keep mercy and judgement, and wait on thy God continually. — keep mercy and judgement; or “observe” them to do them; to show mercy to persons in misery, to the poor and indigent, which is what the Lord desires and delights in.

— as Jacob did, and his posterity should, and many of them were in this posture, before and at his coming; the Targum says, “and wait for the redemption or salvation of thy God continually.”

7 Canaan is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand; he loveth to oppress. — not Ephraim, but Canaan should he be called; for his ideal is Canaan’s; thus Ephraim had became a Canaanite: the word also signifies a merchant; they carried on trade upon Canaanitish principles;

— the balances of deceit are in the hand of the merchant; that is, instead of practising just and fair dealing, they made use of unjust weights and measures, and practised frauds, deceits and cunning, in buying and selling;

8 And Ephraim said, “Yet I am become rich, I have found myself substance; in all my labors they shall find no iniquity in me that were sin.” — here again Ephraim, or the people of Israel, vainly ascribe all their wealth and riches to their own labour, diligence, and industry,

— and take no notice of God and his providence, or of his blessing upon them; and pretend to be very upright and honest in their dealings.

9 “And I that am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast. — and I that am the Lord, thy God, from the land of Egypt, where he first revealed the greatness toward Israel;

— will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles as in the days of the solemn feast; the Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles; which brought to the attention of the Israelites the blessings with which the Lord so richly supplied them in the Land of Promise.

10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes (parallelism, analogy) by the ministry of the prophets.” — used by the prophet Hosea, taking a wife and children of whoredoms, and Ezekiel being bound 390 (or 190 Septuagint) days for the iniquity of Israel and 40 days for Judah (Ezekiel 4).

11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? Surely they are vanity. They sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields. — “In Gilgal they have sacrificed oxen.” Gilead represents all the country on its side, the East of Jordan; “Gilgal,” all on its side, the West of Jordan.

— in both, God had signally shown forth his mercies; in both, they dishonored God, sacrificing to idols, and offering his creatures, as a gift to the devils; in both they had a multitude of altars that stood there, so the Targum says,”they have multiplied their altars, like heaps upon the borders of the fields.”

12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep. — and Jacob chose poverty and servitude rather than marry an idotatress of Canaan; he went to serve for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep;

— and so the last clause is supplied by the Targum: this was after his flight into Syria, and before he fled from Laban, whom he served seven years for Rachel; and seven years more for the same in like manner.

13 And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved. — a prophet Moses is here referred to, and perhaps, a hint that the Lord would yet again save Israel from worse than the Egyptian bondage where they had been bondmen two hundred and fifteen years;

— and by the words and warnings of another prophet, Joshua, they were preserved and were safely conducted through Jordan into the land of Canaan, and settled there; where the covenant of circumcision was renewed, and the first Passover in the land kept;

14 Ephraim provoked Him to anger most bitterly; therefore shall He leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him. — “return unto him” it was Ephraim or the ten tribes that provoked God to stir up his wrath against them; and this rift in the clouds is closing again, and another severe rebuke will sure follows;

— “The anger of the Lord shall not return, until He has executed and till He has performed the thoughts of His heart; in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly” Jeremiah 23:20

— this sequence could re-occured at the endtime, where Ephraim would fall into captivity first, then after 150 years, Judah would join the fall; and together, for another 40 years; (for more, see  Ezekiel 4 – 190/40 Years of captivity).

~ by Joel Huan on December 13, 2022.

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