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Hosea Chapters 10 through 11 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 02-17-2012
I will repeat an important concept which I discussed last week. Here is what is written in the law at Leviticus 20:10 concerning adultery: “And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Israel, as a nation being the wife of Yahweh, has committed fornication with every other nation and race upon the face of the earth. There are many in Christian Identity today who want to extend the mercy of God to the lovers of the whore: the other races which our Israel nations consort with unto this today. That is universalism! That is not the Scripture, where it tells us that the mercy of God is extended to Israel alone. The day shall come, when we see the words of Jeremiah fulfilled: “Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed” (Jeremiah 22:20). The children of Israel shall indeed be spared, as Yahweh has promised, but all those consorting with her - all of her lovers - shall be destroyed by God, according to His law. Thus Yahweh warns us in Isaiah chapter 52 - which Paul repeats – to come out from among them, and touch not the unclean – so that He would receive us and be our God, and we could be His people, if indeed we are of the children of Israel.
Jeremiah 30:11: “For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”
Jeremiah 46:28: “Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.”
Attempting to extend the promises of Yahweh for preservation to anyone but the children of Israel is universalism. It is also an accusation against God, that He will break His own laws concerning adultery, because Israel has indeed committed adultery with every nation and race on the face of the earth.
Zephaniah 3:8: “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.”
Isaiah 29:1-8: “1 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. 2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. 3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. 4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. 5 Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly. 6 Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. 7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision. 8 It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.”
KJV Hosea 10:1 Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.
Israel is an empty vine. This allegory is much like the one we see concerning Israel in Isaiah chapter 56, which uses the allegory of a dry tree. There are a lot of sick individuals who would try to abuse Isaiah chapter 56 in order to bring universalism into the Gospel message, so here since it fits so well with the general theme of Hosea, we shall discuss that chapter. The universalists are indeed, as we shall see, the “greedy dogs which can never have enough, and ... shepherds that cannot understand” of Isaiah 56:11.
The first 40 chapters of Isaiah are mostly prophecies to Israel before the final end of the kingdom. The entire last 26 chapters are written to the children of Israel as if they were all already in the dispersion, and indeed, Isaiah was writing those chapters as the children of Israel had gone off into the Assyrian captivity, and many of the children of Israel had left to inhabit the coastlands of the west before that. The context is clear throughout these chapters, that they apply only to those dispersed children of Israel. Here is Isaiah 54:4-8, which helps to set the context for Isaiah chapter 56: “4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. [The children of Israel sinned in their national youth, and therefore Yahweh their husband put them out, making them as if they were widows.] 5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. 6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God [this describes Israel having been put away, and looks forward to a reconciliation]. 7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. [Meaning Israel, and nobody else.] 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment [a 750-year moment]; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.” The universalists love to twist the verses of Isaiah out of context, but this is the context - they can only apply to the very same children of Israel who were cast off from the polity of the ancient Kingdom of God.
Isaiah 56:1-2: “1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.”
This does not admit outsiders. Rather, those outcasts of Israel who sought to continue in the commandments would be blessed, which is the natural result of keeping His commandments. This can include only Israel, because nobody else was even cognizant of the Laws and Sabbaths which were required by God only of Israel.
Psalm 78:5: “For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children.”
Psalm 105:6-10: “6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. 7 He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth. 8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. 9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; 10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant.”
Psalm 147:19-20: “19 He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. 20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.”
Nobody else but Israel, as the references in the Psalms just quoted fully demonstrate, could have sought to keep the Sabbaths and the Laws of God. For that reason alone, references to those keeping them in Isaiah chapter 56 must be references to estranged Israelites. The nation is put away for iniquity, yet here there is a promise that Yahweh would provide for the individuals of that nation who did not practice that iniquity, and rather sought His justice.
Isaiah 56:3: “Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.”
The son of the stranger here represents the descendants of those same outcasts of Israel, who were estranged by Yahweh and therefore were as good as strangers to Yahweh. While the nation was outcast, the individuals who kept His ways during the estrangement were here promised an ultimate reward. None of this can include non-Israel peoples, because Yahweh already separated non-Israel peoples a thousand years before this time, at Mount Sinai. Here, those cast-off Israelites who choose to keep His ways are reassured that they will not be separated from being counted among His people. The only way they could say that “Yahweh hath utterly separated me from His people” is if they were His people in the first place, and therefore the allegorical eunuchs who may have said this could only be of Israel! They were estranged, therefore they were figurative strangers and figurative eunuchs. That estrangement ended with the reconciliation of the cross of Christ.
Among other places in the New Testament, this is evident in Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians. The Ephesians were descendants of the ancient Israelites, not those of the Assyrian deportations, but of the even earlier colonizations of the Israelites of the Exodus and Judges periods, during which time many of the people later known some as Greeks, and some as Phoenicians, and some as Trojans, had made settlements throughout the Mediterranean. Paul tells the Ephesians: “11 On which account you must remember that at one time you, the Nations in the flesh, who are the so-called ‘uncircumcised’ by the so-called ‘circumcised’ made by hand in the flesh, 12 because you had at that time been apart from Christ, having been alienated from the civic life of Israel, and strangers of the covenants of the promise, not having hope and in the Society without Yahweh; 13 but now you among the number of Yahshua Christ, who at one time being far away, have become near by the blood of the Christ.” Paul is speaking of the very reconciliation of the descendants of the ancient Israelites to God through Christ. The New Testament proves the contextual and historical interpretation of the Old Testament. It is the only valid interpretation.
Isaiah 56:4-7: “4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.”
A stranger here is one who has been alienated from God, since the context can include only the children of Israel. A eunuch cannot have children, and Yahweh forsaking the children of Israel, to Him they became as if they were eunuchs. All of the Israelites of the captivity were sons and daughters of God. Yahweh said of Israel in Deuteronomy 14:1 that “Ye are the children of the LORD your God”. Here we see that if, in the the captivity, any one of them remained in the covenant-agreement with Him to keep the Laws and the Sabbaths, that they being sons and daughters would be given a reward greater than sons and daughters. These are four passages from here in Hosea which illustrate that Israel became as a “eunuch” to Yahweh, when the nation was cast off, and therefore individual Israelites are allegorically the eunuchs of Isaiah 56, and each of these verses promises a reconciliation between Yahweh and those very same children of Israel:
Hosea 1:10: “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. “
During the period of alienation from Yahweh, the children of Israel were not recognized as children to Him. This is an allegory, and it is also promised that nevertheless one day it would be explained to those very same people that they are indeed His children.
Hosea 2:4-7: “4 And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms. 5 For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink. 6 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. [In other words, the captivity of Israel will not return to Palestine.] 7 And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband [Christ]; for then was it better with me than now.”
Again, we see prophesied an estrangement, and then a reconciliation. The prophecy of Daniel concerning Christ, at Daniel 9:24: “24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression [to finally end the ancient nation], and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” The apostle John spoke of that anointing of the most holy, where he said at 1 John 2:27: “And the anointing which you have received from Him, it abides in you and you have no need that one should teach you, but as His anointing teaches us concerning all things and is true and is not a lie, then just as He has taught you, you abide in Him.” The purpose of Christ is to offer reconciliation, and to offer His anointing to those of His people who choose to follow Him.
Hosea 3:4-5: “4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim [all the symbols of their national heritage]: 5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.”
Again we see the promise of the reconciliation of Israel to God. And Paul explains that to be his ministry, at 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 where he states: “18 But all things from Yahweh, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and is giving the service of reconciliation to us. 19 How that Yahweh was within Christ reconciling the Society to Himself, not accounting their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of that reconciliation.” Paul knew the nations he went to, that they were the “lost sheep” of the House of Israel, and he knew that his message was one of reconciliation between Israel and God, as promised in the prophets and as he explains throughout his epistles.
Hosea 9:12: “Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!”
The children of Israel were as eunuchs to God, until the promised reconciliation in Christ, which Daniel 9:24 says is “to make reconciliation for iniquity”. The Bible is a consistent book with a consistent message, from cover to cover.
Now before proceeding with Hosea, it may be fitting to read the rest of Isaiah 56:
Isaiah 56:8: “The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.”
So we see that in Christ, God intends to gather nobody but the lost sheep, the outcasts of Israel. This alone should prove the assertions given here in the interpretations of Isaiah chapter 56. Nobody else is ever promised this gathering to God, except the outcasts of Israel. The gathering of others to him, besides those which are gathered, is still inclusive only of Israelites, because Yahweh “gathers the outcasts of Israel”. The children of Israel even before the Assyrian deportations had already come to colonize much of Europe by sea, all the way to the British Isles and the Scandinavian coasts.
Isaiah 11:11-12: “11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
Again the focus is on the gathering of dispersed Israel, and nobody else. Now at the end of Isaiah chapter 56, we shall see a prophecy concerning universalism, which is being fulfilled throughout the White Christian nations in this very day:
Isaiah 56:9-12: “9 All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. [Even like certain so-called Christian Identity pastors, they want to save the beasts!] 11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. 12 Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.” They think there is profit in universalism, and there is only destruction.
2 Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images. 3 For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us? 4 They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
At Hosea 10:2-4 the Septuagint renders the rhetorical question concerning kings a little clearer: 2 They have divided their hearts; now shall they be utterly destroyed: he shall dig down their altars, their pillars shall mourn. 3 Because now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the Lord: 4 and what should a king do for us, speaking false professions as his words? he will make a covenant: judgment shall spring up as a weed on the soil of the field.
In 2 Samuel 8 it is described how the children of Israel, who had God for their king, wanted earthly kings, like the surrounding nations had. Yahweh warned them of much of the treachery that earthly kings would do, and they did not heed his warning, persisting in their own devices. Here in Hosea we see that earthly kings would make false oaths, treacherous covenants, and judgement would come because of those things. Think about the international agreements which our modern kings have made with all of the world's heathen nations, and this prophecy rings absolutely true for us today, as it was then. Even in the days of Solomon we see that the king had merchants engaging in international trade. This can be seen at 2 Chronicles 1:16-17: “16 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price. 17 And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means.”
It was the earthly kings who caused the children of Israel to engage in idolatry, as is witnessed in the story of Jeroboam, who changed the religion of the nation for reason of his own perceived political expediency. We have seen these things repeat themselves throughout history. Today's so-called Christian churches teach politically expedient lies, and the people are worshipping the jews and not the Christ, for the sake of maintaining those in power and for the sake of not excluding anyone from the nation's commerce. Therefore “their hearts are divided”, as Hosea exclaims of ancient Israel here for these very reasons: no man can serve two masters, God and Mammon. So it was then, and we have the same situation throughout all Christian nations today. We see the people explain “We have no king, because we feared not the Lord.” Yahweh forsook them, and when their earthly kingdom was destroyed, they were left destitute of any reprieve before God.
5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it. [In other words, for these reasons the priests shall also mourn for the loss of their pagan idols.] 6 It shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel. 7 As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water. 8 The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.
The golden-calf idols of Bethaven, a name which means “house of vanity”, were to be carried off as booty to Assyria. This is the second time in Hosea that we have seen the king of Assyria called after the word “jareb”, the other being in Hosea 5:13. The word in Hebrew means contender, and need not be a personal name, but seems to merely describe the role for which Assyria was elevated by Yahweh and chosen to play in history at this time.
The “high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel” shall be destroyed. Aven here is a play on words in contrast to Bethaven, and the word, meaning vanity, refers to the vanity of the places of idol-worship. The people, wishing that the mountains could bury them, would rather die than go into captivity.
9 O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.
Once again Gibeah is used as an example of the sin of Israel. This is the last mention of Gibeah in Scripture. At Hosea 9:9 Yahweh said “They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.”
The mention of the “days of Gibeah” is a reference to the civil war which was caused when a woman, a concubine of a Levite traveler, was raped and murdered by “men of Belial” in Gibeah, which was in the land of Benjamin. The tribe of Benjamin defended these men of Belial against those who would avenge the woman. The result was that at first the other tribes of Israel took heavy losses, but ultimately most of Benjamin was destroyed. Examining Hosea chapter 9, it is evident that with the reference to the iniquity at Gibeah, we see that a strong connection is being made between the sin of the men of Belial, the strangers in Ephraim, and the sin of Israel in Hosea's time for which the kingdom is being judged by God. Race-mixing is indeed the worst of all sins. At Gibeah the perverted crimes of such men were then defended by the people, a horrible situation indeed. It is also a situation that we have once again today, where people are found actually defending some pervert's so-called “right” to be a sexual deviant, a race-mixer, or to engage in other forms of sexual promiscuity. Often this immorality is even disguised in noble-sounding terms, such as libertarianism. It sounds wonderful and freedom-loving, but it is really the perfect ideology for the anti-Christ jew, and eventually leads to tyranny. Again we shall be judged accordingly. One more lesson in the story of Gibeah, is that the wrong-doers prevailed in two major victories before they were ultimately defeated.
10 It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows.
If the appropriate reading is two furrows, then the reference is to the Assyrian and coming Babylonian captivities. But the NAS has this last clause from a marginal reading, “When they are bound for their double guilt.” That agrees with the Septuagint which has “when they are chastened for their two sins”, where the word is actually injustices in the Greek. What the two injustices may be is arguable. In context, in the first verse of the chapter Israel is criticized for two things, where it says of Israel that “according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.” The primary injustice – which leads to all other sin – is the acceptance of the false gods of the other nations.
11 And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break his clods. 12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.
They trusted in themselves, and not in God. They created their own moral climate, rather than live by the word of their God. The Septuagint has verse 11: “Ephraim is a heifer taught to love victory, but I will come upon the fairest part of her neck: I will mount Ephraim; I will pass over Juda in silence; Jacob shall prevail against him.” This repeats the already-promised continuance of the Kingdom of Judah, while Ephraim - representing the rest of Israel - shall ride, into captivity.
However where Septuagint has in verse 11 the phrase “Jacob shall prevail against him”, meaning against Ephraim, the King James has “Jacob shall break his clods”. The literal translation is practically nonsensical. Ephraim has a multitude of sins, and is deserving of death. Ephraim loves his sin, where the allegory is that “Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn”. Yet although Ephraim deserves death for his sin, Jacob shall prevail against him, meaning that the promises which Yahweh made to Jacob shall prevail over anything which Ephraim does. The seed of Israel is preserved not for themselves, but for Yahweh, on account of His promises to the fathers. In verses 12 and 13, Ephraim is once again encouraged to seek Yahweh God, and if indeed he does, he shall yet be rewarded in spite of the sins that had been committed. Paul said this at Romans 15:8: ”Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.” Likewise Luke recorded the words of Zacharias the father of John the Baptist, concerning the purpose of Christ: “68 Blessed is Yahweh the God of Israel, that He has visited and brought about redemption for His people, 69 and has raised a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant, 70 just as He spoke through the mouths of His holy prophets from of old: 71 preservation from our enemies and from the hand of all those who hate us! 72 To bring about mercy with our fathers and to call into remembrance His holy covenant, 73 the oath which He swore to Abraham our father, which is given to us: 74 being delivered fearlessly from the hands of our enemies to serve Him 75 in piety and in righteousness before Him for all of our days.” On account of the promises Yahweh made to our most ancient ancestors, we cannot lose our redemption, even if we so desired. Jacob shall prevail over the sins of Ephraim.
14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children. [The mother is the kingdom, figuratively.] 15 So shall Bethel do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.
Shalman seems to be short for the Assyrian king Shalmaneser, who is described as having invaded Israel and having taken away many captives in 2 Kings chapters 17 and 18. This name for him and only appears here. It was Shalmaneser who took Samaria, circa 722 BC. Samaria must have been a powerful city, because 2 Kings 18 describes the siege as having lasted three years. The last king of Israel was Hoshea, and the siege lasted from his 6th to his 9th years. According to Assyrian records, over 27,000 inhabitants from Samaria alone were taken captive to Assyria. Biblical records show that many more were taken from other parts of Israel in addition, and we have neither the complete Israelite nor the complete Assyrian records of these events.
Beth-Arbel means "house of God's Ambush". Many commentators assume it to be a place, but it cannot be identified and it is not necessarily a place. It may only indicate that the Assyrian conquest of Israel was indeed the will of God.
Verse 15 seems to be in error in the King James Version. Bethel is in Israel, and will not be doing anything to Israel. The NAS has it “Thus it will be done to you at Bethel because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel will be completely cut off.” The Septuagint has Hosea 10:15 “thus will I do to you, O house of Israel, because of the unrighteousness of your sins.” Either of those readings better fits the context and history of the chapter.
KJV Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
The apostle Matthew asserted these words of the prophet to refer to Christ, and that is the only interpretation that most mainstream commentators recognize. Matthew 2:15, in reference to Joseph, Mary, and the Christ child, says that they were in Egypt “... until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.” But here in Hosea it is evident that the words clearly and primarily refer to the nation of Israel. Figuratively as a nation Israel is often depicted as the bride of Yahweh, but here figuratively Israel the nation is depicted as the son of Yahweh, which is also true of the children of Israel both collectively and as individuals.
Paul explains in Hebrews chapter 2, verses 16-18: “16 For surely not that of messengers has He taken upon Himself, but He has taken upon Himself of the offspring of Abraham, 17 from which He was obliged in all respects to become like the brethren, that He would be a compassionate and faithful high priest of the things pertaining to Yahweh to make a propitiation for the failures of the people. 18 In what He Himself has suffered being tested, He is able to help those being tested.”
Matthew's pointing to Hosea 11:1 in reference to Christ is a token of this same thing: that Yahshua was indeed the Christ, who has both symbolically and literally taken upon Himself the flesh of the Adamic Israelite man and suffered that same experience that His Israel people had suffered. In that manner alone could He fairly be their judge: having shown that He too suffered their experiences. His sojourn to Egypt and His coming out is a token of the certainty of this, and Matthew points out its fulfillment.
2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
There seems to be some pronoun confusion here. The Septuagint more clearly has this verse: “As I called them, so they departed from my presence: they sacrificed to Baalim, and burnt incense to graven images.” No sooner, coming out of Egypt, than when the children of Israel encountered other peoples did they quickly follow their ways, and depart from Yahweh their God for the enticements of Baal worship. This tendency to slip away so easily is immediately evident at Sinai, and then again on the plains of Moab as it is described from Numbers chapter 25, where the chief enticement was sexual gratification.
Numbers 25:1-3: “1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.”
3 I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. 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 on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
The Septuagint has Hosea 11:3: “Yet I bound the feet of Ephraim, I took him on my arm; but they knew not that I healed them.” Even coming out of the captivity of Egypt and the wars and conquests of Canaan, the people did not put things in their proper perspective, and give appropriate honor to Yahweh their God for their success.
5 He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.
Having strayed from the God which they owed their very existence to, they refused to return, meaning to repent of their wickedness. The Geneva Bible has convert. We saw earlier in Hosea the prophecy that Israel would return to Egypt, at Hosea 8:13 and 9:3. At 8:13 it states explicitly that “they shall return to Egypt.” There is no discrepancy here. Rather, here in Hosea 11 we see it reinforced, that the proper interpretation of Egypt in chapters 8 and 9 is as a metaphor for captivity. There is no return to the land of Egypt, but rather there is a return to the state of captivity that was once suffered in Egypt, however this time it would be at the hands of the Assyrians.
6 And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels. 7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.
Judgement is a result of sin. Sin inevitably leads to judgement. These are simple rules expressed all throughout the Bible, and throughout our history, yet people still ignore the probabilities. It is not a mistake, that our ancestors chose the Greek word krisis, which means judgement, to describe calamity.
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 Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.
These questions are all rhetorical. The second question asks how Israel could possibly be saved. The other questions ask how Israel could possibly be destroyed. Admah and Zeboim were among the wicked Canaanite cities of the plain that had been destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah. The quagmire is due to Yahweh's own honor: for He keeps both His laws, by which Ephraim should die, and His promises, which preceded the laws, and on account of which Ephraim must live.
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.
Yahweh being God, He shall find a way to preserve Ephraim, in spite of Ephraim himself. This promise was later repeated, among other places, in Jeremiah chapter 31. There, for instance, it says at verses 35 and 26: “35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: 36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.” If there is a sun and moon and stars, then the offspring of Israel are a nation. [Of course, this could never describe the jews.]
10 They shall walk after the LORD: he [Yahweh] shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. [Christendom has always often considered “the West”, as opposed to the East, and this is but one more prophecy which shows where the dispersed of Israel were expected to be.] 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.
The Septuagint reads verse 11: “They shall be amazed and fly as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of the Assyrians: and I will restore them to their houses, saith the Lord.” And these things they did do, the prophecy foreseeing not a return to Israel geographically, but a return to being a people separate from the Assyrians, although the Assyrians took them into captivity. These things were of course fulfilled in the Scythian migrations of the centuries which followed.
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.
We saw in the previous chapter of Hosea the reference to Shalmaneser, and to events which occurred in the days of Hoshea the last king of Israel. During this same period, Hezekiah is the ruling king in Judah, and we see in Hosea 1:1 that the time of his prophecy ends while Hezekiah is the king of Judah. Here we are told by the prophet that Judah during this period is faithful to Yahweh their God, and 2 Kings chapter 18 corroborates all of this for us. The Bible is a very complex collection of writings, however once everything is properly lined up, we see that it is indeed a true collection of writings.
2 Kings 18:1-7: 1 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. 3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. 5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. 6 For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. 7 And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.
With Hezekiah's ruling the kingdom of Judah righteously at this time, we see it fulfilled that “Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints”. So the kingdom of Judah was spared total destruction at the hand of the Assyrians, and continued for many decades after. However a great number of Judah had already been taken by the Assyrians, which fulfilled other prophecies since Judah is indeed a part of Israel.