Hosea, Rightly Divided & Verse-by-Verse
Session 9 | Hosea 5:1-15
Hosea 5:1-9 | Charge Against The Nation
Verse 1 –
God had given a charge against the priests (Hos. 4:6-11), then against the people (Hos. 4:12-17), followed by the mention of specific locations (Hos. 4:18-19). Now He comes to the house of Israel, inclusive of the priests and the king, to let them know that judgment is toward you.
The Lord gives two reasons for this judgment, the first in verse 1 and the second in verse 2.
First, Israel has been a snare on Mizpah, And a net spread upon Tabor. A snare is a trap, similar to a net spread, so we assume that what was done at Mizpah and Tabor are similar. Both places are difficult to interpret because they can be descriptions of actual locations. Mizpah, especially, has several locations by that name. Likely the most plausible understanding is that given by the Jewish sage Rashi, who says, “On these two mountains they stationed sentries so that Israel would not make the pilgrimage to the Temple.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
Verse 2 –
The second charge is that the revolters (i.e.: the rebels against God) are profound to make slaughter (i.e.: they are quick to kill any who do not comply). If we are interpreting correctly, the government (priestly and civil) of Israel had prohibited worship at the Temple, and these government leaders (the revolters) are now dogmatic in their new prohibitions. All the while, God has been a rebuker of them all, giving plenty of opportunity for them to change their wicked ways.
Verse 3 -
Previously we took the view that Ephraim was representative of the heartland (see note on 4:17). It is also the location of the religious heart of the nation, including Shiloh and Bethel. The pointing out of Ephraim among the tribes of the north seems to be to highlight the fact that if Ephraim will do that, then there is no hope. Thus, When Ephraim committest whoredom then Israel is defiled.
Verse 4 -
A further description of the nation and its stubborn refusal to turn unto their God. The accusation that they have not known the LORD is the worst accusation that can be given the chosen people since knowing the LORD is at the heart of the covenants.
Verse 5 –
The pride of Israel is the LORD Himself, and his face is the face of Israel, thus the phrase can be understood to say, “the God of glory testifies against Israel.” It is for this reason that they will fall in their iniquity. However, we now see that Judah also shall fall with them. Only beginning with this verse is Judah mentioned in judgment, but it is not stated that the fall will be together with or separate from the fall of Israel.
Verse 6 –
It is difficult to know whether the plural pronoun they in verses 6-7 is inclusive of Judah or is just Israel and Ephraim, but due to a several phrases in the following verses I am going to interpret the Judah phrase in verse 5 to be parenthetical. Thus, Israel and Ephraim shall go with their flocks and with their herds (that is, bring their sacrifices), But they shall not find him. This speaks of a future repentance, but the Lord says, in effect, “too little, too late.” This, therefore, is not a reference to the ultimate return of Israel in the last days, but to the more immediate judgment of the nation.
Verse 7 –
The Lord hath withdrawn himself from them (v. 6) because they dealt treacherously agains the LORD. Now a month will be all that it takes to devour them with their portions. This could be a reference to a swift destruction but is also likely a reference to a specific new moon (i.e.: month) which will bring destruction. In all likelihood, this testifies that in the month of Av they will be destroyed. This was the Jewish interpretation and fit the historical circumstances.
Verses 8-9 –
Because of the coming swift destruction, the sentries should blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, And the trumpet in Ramah.
Both Gibeah and Ramah were associated with King Saul, who was also of the tribe of Benjamin, all three mentioned in verse 8. Saul was crowned at Gibeah, and Samuel, who did the coronation, was from Ramah. It is possible that this is all a poetic reference to the “beginning of the end.” That is, the founding locations of the Monarchy are ultimately where the problem began.
In the end, Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke. Note that this day of rebuke is not the “day of the Lord,” which is in the last days. Rather, this is a prophecy of the day of Israel’s fall to the Assyrians.
Hosea 5:10-15 | Last Days Prophecies For the Whole Nation
Verses 12-13 –
Verses 10-13 move their attention, in my interpretation, from the immediate judgment of Israel to the ultimate judgment (and return) of both Israel and Judah in the last days.
In the last days, the whole house of Israel will experience God’s wrath upon them like water (v. 10). Ephraim, specifically, willingly walked after the commandment (v. 11), in reference to the evil commandment, likely of an evil leader such as the Antichrist. Recognizing their ailments, went Ephraim to the Assyrian, And sent to king Jareb (v. 13). While the Assyrian could be taken in an immediate context (for the Assyrian king destroyed the northern kingdom, I am more inclined to associate this with the Antichrist, as in other prophets. And who is king Jareb? No such king is known, and many possibilities have been set forth. I will take this as a title rather than a name, meaning “the great king.” This king, however, could...not heal you, Nor cure you of your wound (v. 13).
Verses 14-15 –
These verses seem to be such a reference to the tribulation so as to be almost undeniable. God will punish His people Till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face (v. 15). And, fortunately, In their affliction they will seek me early (v. 15). When Israel, in the last days, seeks the LORD, He will be found!
[<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>](#ftnref1) [https://www.chabad.org/library/biblecdo/aid/16159/showrashi/true/jewish/Chapter-5.htm](https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16159/showrashi/true/jewish/Chapter-5.htm). Accessed December 13, 2022.