Hosea Chapter 11: The Birth of the Nation of Israel, Why they have to go through Jacob’s Trouble

Dec 11th, 2009 | By | Category: Hosea, Psalm 83 and Gog & Magog, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Hosea Chapter 11: The Birth of the Nation of Israel, Why they have to go through Jacob’s Trouble

Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

Hosea likened Israel to a child at the time the nation came out of Egypt and the Law Covenant was made with them in Sinai. In one sense, Hosea likened this event to the birth of the nation.

From another standpoint, the birth occurred with the death of Jacob. Previously, in the Patriarchal Age, God dealt with individuals.

In Egypt, Israel was like a son in the womb. In that sense, the nation was not born until the Exodus, when God called the Israelites out of Egypt (the womb). Following that experience, a contract was made with them at Mount Sinai, thus formalizing the prerecognition of their being the children of Jacob.

Another picture likened Israel to a newborn babe. God severed the umbilical cord in the Wilderness of Sinai. He treated the Israelites as a mother eagle treats her eaglets. He bathed, nursed, and nurtured them until they matured as a nation. Ezekiel 16:4-6 similarly likened their birth to an infant who was thrown on the ground and abandoned until God took that child and swadled, nursed, nurtured, and taught him various things.

Matthew 2:15 quotes the last part of verse 1: “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” God called Jesus out of Egypt after Joseph and Mary had taken him there to flee from the wrath of Herod.

Many Old Testament Scriptures that are quoted in the New Testament are only secondary applications of the actual picture, and that is the case with Matthew 2:15. Hosea 11:1 refers primarily to Ephraim and the nation of Israel, who were called out of Egypt in the Exodus.

With regard to Jesus, some Old Testament prophecies were a primary fulfillment in him, and others were secondary. Thus Old Testament prophecies in the New Testament often indicate that we should go back to where they were originally given, for buried in them is a picture of Messiah. Jesus was sent into Egypt so that he could be called back out of Egypt. The coming out of Egypt pictures the called-out ones (the ecclesia) of the Gospel Age. Thus Jesus, the Church, and Israel were all called out of Egypt either literally or symbolically.

Israel was a “child” at the time of the Exodus. “Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn” (Exod. 4:22). Israel was God’s firstborn in the sense that this was the first nation He  dealt with. “You only have I known of all the families of the earth” (Amos 3:2). Before that time, God dealt with individuals—the patriarchs such as Abraham and Noah. The nation came into being at the time of Jacob’s death with his 12 sons. Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel,”and his 12 sons and posterity were the “children of Israel.” Hence Jacob’s new name was passed on to his progeny. The next prominent personality God dealt with was Joseph.

Comment: Please explain again the relationship of verse 1 to Matthew 2:15, which applies to Jesus, whereas in the context here in Hosea, the application is to Israel.

Reply: Moses, a type of Jesus, led the Israelites out of Egypt as deliverer. Jesus was also called out of Egypt, and he will be the Deliverer of the world. In compassion and mercy, God recognized the Israelites in Egypt and led them out through Moses into the Wilderness of Sinai. God could have utterly turned His back on Israel but, instead, showed compassion. Jesus will do the same for those in “Egypt” (the world).

From another standpoint, the Israelites cried unto God for help from bondage, and He heard them. Prior to becoming Christians, we were under bondage to sin and death. All down the Gospel Age, many Christians have cried out and then been blessed with the truth. The point is that if one repents, redemption is possible—and salvation.

Hosea 11:2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.

“As they [the prophets] called them [Israel], so they [Israel] went from them [the prophets].”

The RSV translates verse 2 as follows: “The more I [God] called them [Israel], the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and burning incense to idols.” This verse was the burden of Hosea, and he kept emphasizing it; namely, the more God favored Israel and the more they prospered, the deeper they got into sin and alienation from Him. The “father” (God) did everything possible for the child (Israel), but when the child grew up to maturity, he forgot his father. God worked great wonders to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage and taught the Israelites how to walk and have faith by instructing them with visual images (the Tabernacle, the cloud, manna, water springing forth from dry ground, their shoes not wearing out, etc.). It was as if God got down on His knees and used a rattle to get the child’s attention, but the child did not remember the time and effort expended on his behalf. God was merciful and compassionate (verse 4), yet at the slightest provocation, the Israelites were off worshipping idols and false gods.

The RSV seems to be the preferred translation, for even though the literal Hebrew is “they,” the context straightens out the first pronoun. The Septuagint also uses the pronoun “I.”

However, if the King James is used, the first use of the pronoun “they” would refer to Moses, Joshua, and the prophets whom God raised up to bring Israel into alignment. Baalim (plural) signifies “false lords.” “Graven images” were idols, usually statues (as opposed to just pictures).

Incense was burned unto the statues as a sacrifice. Tabernacle Shadows explains that a sacrifice made the incense acceptable. The powdered incense was burned to produce a smoke, or gas, that gave off an aroma, and the fragrance, or aroma, lingered as a smoke after the incense was burned. The ingredients of the incense represented praise, sacrifice, etc., particularly as manifested in Jesus’ perfect humanity when exposed to the trials of life.

Thus the incense represented a sacrifice. It is not the prayer, but the vehicle carrying the prayer, that makes it acceptable to God. Revelation 8:3, which reads, “There was given unto him [Jesus] much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints,” shows that the incense is not the prayer but the sacrifice involved. The sacrifice makes the prayer effectual. However, here in verse 2, the incense of Israel symbolized an unholy sacrifice made to heathen gods. The incense was supposed to lift up the devotion and prayer to the false gods for their acceptance.

With regard to the true God, Psalm 141:2 says, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice,” or paraphrased, “Let my prayer rise before thee as the sweet incense of the morning and evening sacrifice.” The incense carries the prayers up to God.

The burning of incense to false gods was a copy, or counterfeit, of incense being offered to Jehovah. A great deal was known about God’s plan in early ages that is not recorded in Holy Writ. For example, much knowledge was known through the Great Pyramid long before the Bible was written. The true meaning of the Great Pyramid was understood way back there in a rudimentary sense, and right away Satan started to counterfeit and substitute an opposite picture.

At the time Israel was learning to walk, the people sacrificed to Baalim instead of growing up the proper way. Of those who originally departed from Egypt, only two entered the Promised Land—two out of 2 million people! (Of course only those 20 years and older were subject to this prohibition because such were considered fully responsible—Num. 14:29.) The children entered the Promised Land but not the fathers. God led the Israelites in the wilderness for 38 more years until all of the older generation had died except Joshua and Caleb.

These verses are emotional, and Hosea was very involved in the message. He fluctuated back and forth between encouragement and discouragement.

Hosea 11:3 I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.

Although God did not specifically call Israel a babe in this context but used the terms “child” and “son” (verse 1), the allusion was to a babe, for He taught them how to walk. The RSV reads, “Yet it was I [God] who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them.” As Ephraim toddled along on wobbly knees, the Lord guided them as a father helps a son so that there would be no damage.

“But they [Israel] knew not that I  healed them.” When a child learns to walk, the parent holds the arms to guide a straight path and to prevent the child from falling. God taught helpless Israel how to walk, but His instruction, guidance, and care were not appreciated and thus were forgotten. However, Israel was responsible for remembering, for the record was in the Pentateuch.

The Lord did something else that was tender when Israel was helpless and vulnerable to outside influences; namely, He was an “eagle” to the nation. He bore them up on wings and repeatedly caught them as they fell in learning to fly (Deut. 32:11,12). In places, God likened Himself to either a mother nurse or a father depending on the perspective.

Hosea 11:4 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.

“I [God] drew them [Israel] with cords of a man, with bands of love.” The “cords of a man” were the “bands of love.” Therefore, this “man” was like a considerate father. Hosea was emotional. He was a sensitive farmer—sensitive to the simple, wholesome values of life.

Comment: With regard to the “cords,” Ezekiel 16:4,5 is good in the NIV. “On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloth. No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.”

Reply: Yes, we were referring to that Scripture. When Israel was born as an infant and exposed on the wilderness floor, none of the other nations came to the rescue. The Israelites were helpless, so God alone dealt with and rescued them from all their foes. We sing a hymn about being rescued from all our foes and ask God to draw us with the cords of love—“and thus He bound me to Him!”

Why was a “man” synonymous with “love” here in verse 4? (Usually we think of a woman as being more loving.) This would be a perfect man, for a man in perfection is symbolic of mercy, compassion, and love. Stated another way, a man’s face represents love. And a man’s face is emblematic of one of the four attributes of God—love (Ezek. 1:10). Also, man was created in God’s image, and “God is love” (1 John 4:8). As God is masculine and man is His image, so God’s likeness would be love. This thought harmonizes with God’s attributes, where man represents the element of love.

For verse 4, the RSV has, “I [God] led them [Israel] with cords of compassion, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.” God took off Israel’s “yoke” under the taskmasters in Egypt and gave “meat” (meal, that is, food) to them.

The high and lofty One dwells with the contrite, which Israel was initially (Isa. 57:15). The nation was desirable in Egypt, and so is an individual before consecration, when he is humble and defenseless and recognizes his need for help.

At the beginning of the Exodus, it appears that all of the Israelite families had the blood of a lamb on their doors, for the account records no disobedience. God had compassion on them and brought them out of bondage into freedom—the freedom of Sinai. They needed much help at that time. Solomon was similarly humble and pleasing to God at the beginning of his reign. Later he went astray as he prospered—and so did Israel.

When God heard the cry of the Israelites in Egyptian bondage, He stooped down, removed their yoke, fed them with miraculous manna, and led them as a toddler to grow up under His special influence in the Wilderness of Sinai. Later, at the end of the 40 years, the Israelites were to enter the Promised Land. When they came to the land of Esau (Edom) for a shortcut, Moses promised that the Israelites would go through quietly and not take any cattle, but the answer of the Edomites was no. Thus the Israelites had to take the desert road in the burning heat to circumvent Edom and go up to Moabite territory. However, the Moabites were also unsympathetic, and King Balak wanted Balaam to curse the Israelites. No one helped or watched out for this untrained newborn nation. Only God had compassion, without which the Israelites would have been destroyed.

Hosea 11:5 He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.

“He shall not return into the land of Egypt.” What is the thought here?

Comment: Hosea 8:13 states the opposite: Israel “shall return to Egypt.” For Hosea 11:5, the RSV has, “They shall return to the land of Egypt,” and the NIV uses the question form: “Will they not return to Egypt?”

Reply: Both the RSV and the NIV are accurate, but the question form seems to be the better rendering. Here is a paradox like the one in regard to King Zedekiah, who would go to Babylon but not see it. In his case, the fulfillment was that he was taken to Babylon blind! In verse 5, Hosea was speaking of Ephraim. The preponderant number of survivors would be taken captive to Assyria, but a few fled to Egypt. Up to that time, the Lord sent prophets to the ten tribes, but they had deaf ears—they “refused to return” to God. In the Assyrian captivity, they would be made to hearken.

Hosea 11:6 And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.

Hosea 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.

“The sword shall abide … and shall consume … and devour them [the cities of Ephraim], because of their counsels.” In other words, idol worship and the false prophets of Baal led them further and further from the counsel of “the most High” God. What foolishness! When people are drunk with the environment they find themselves in, they lose their sense of balance and reason.

“My people are bent [determined, prone] to backsliding from me: [even] though they [the contemporaneous prophets] called them [the ten tribes] to the most High, none at all would exalt him [God].” Isaiah and Hosea were two of these prophets.

With regard to spiritual “backsliding,” the ten tribes are sometimes likened to the Great Company, who backslide to a certain extent. Hence they need a personal experience in the Time of Trouble to draw them to repentance, to cause them to wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb, and to enable them to be closer to their Lord and Maker. This cleansing experience during the great tribulation will take place after the true Church is taken home. Just as the Great Company will come to their senses in the great tribulation, so the ten tribes came to their senses in captivity.

Hosea 11:8 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.

Verse 8 is a radical change, or turnabout, but it continues on the same subject. God was speaking and repeatedly asking, “How shall I…?” Admah and Zeboim are two cities that were utterly destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah. All four cities are still under the Dead Sea. Incidentally, Zoar, the place where Lot fled, is the only city in the plain area that was spared. “Mine heart is turned within me.” A conflict of emotions was being expressed. Character demanded that a certain action be taken, but emotions wanted to do something else. Principles caused an internal churning as to what to do, as to what the right decision was. Love and compassion said one thing, but justice and principle said another.

God was saying to Israel, “You demonstrate your unworthiness and lack of appreciation for what I have done for you in taking you out of Egypt. Your whole history is one of backsliding, and you ignore the prophets when they call you to repent, yet my desire is to save the sinner if he will respond.” Here was the lesson of the prodigal son.

“My repentings are kindled together.” The RSV has, “My compassion grows warm and tender.” The NIV reads, “All my compassion is aroused.” God’s emotions were in turmoil and churning indecision.

Comment: Many times God gave a stern judgment of Israel, and in the next breath, He was like a loving Father, who would not forget Israel.

Reply: God is moved with feelings; He is not a stoic God. As Revelation 4:3 shows, He is hard and strict (diamond quality) on the one hand, and He is compassionate and loving (the sard stone) on the other hand. Thus there is a conflict between justice and love. For Israel’s good, justice came first, for justice is the foundation of God’s throne. Therefore, at least momentarily, Israel had reached the point of no return to favor. God had had their rebellion up to the neck, as it were, so harsh judgment was necessary, but in the dispersion, He would exercise compassion and show mercy to those who came to their senses and repented. As stated elsewhere in Scripture, God would have a little sanctuary for the ten tribes, for in their midst would be a place where those in the right disposition would be fed lest they be extinguished.

Hosea 11:9 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.

The statement “I am God, and not man” pertains to God’s love. As imperfect human beings, we are apt to say “good riddance” and demand vengeance when we get disgusted with someone. But God had made a promise, or covenant, of the sure mercies of David, so there were extenuating circumstances. If He were too hasty, He would forget the promise, but unlike us, God keeps His promises! He remembers—not because of Israel’s goodness but for the fathers’ sakes (Rom. 11:28).

More than 200 years later, at the end of the Babylonian captivity in 536 BC, the return to favor was to all Israel, not to individuals, for in the latter case, confession and repentance would have been required. However, only a few of the ten tribes came back, and only about 50,000 of Judah returned to the Promised Land. The ten tribes had more difficulty because of their wide dispersion, but even with the two tribes, only a minority came back. Those who returned had faith in the promise that the Messiah would come out of Judah (Gen. 49:10).

“I will not enter into the  city.” For this last clause, the RSV has, “I will not come to destroy. ”Man would be more apt to seek vengeance and destroy and give up Ephraim as a lost cause.

Hosea 11:10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.

Hosea 11:11 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 [Israel] shall walk after the LORD.” There is a change here. The preceding verses gave a thumbnail history of Israel, but verses 10 and 11 are a prophecy not yet fulfilled.

“He [God] shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.” Jehovah will roar in judgment, and subsequently the “children” will come trembling “from the west [and southwest],” that is, from Europe and the United States. This is a specific prophecy of the Lord’s roaring in the Day of Vengeance, the Time of Trouble. After the trouble, there will be a great influx of Jews back to the Holy Land; that is, a second regathering will take place. A nucleus is being regathered back to Israel at the present time, before the Time of Trouble, but another regathering will occur after the Time of Trouble. Thus there are two regatherings at the end of the age. Verse 10 deals primarily with the Jews of the United States, showing a return to Israel just after the end of the Time of Trouble.

In fact, at that time, the Gentiles will ship the surviving Jews back, bag and baggage, in every way, shape, and form. The Gentiles will want to get rid of the Jews because of the holiness of the latter, based on God’s miraculous and spectacular deliverance of Israel out of Jacob’s Trouble. Moreover, the Jews will be ashamed. Now many do not return to Israel because of family, employment, trouble with the Arabs, and other reasons; they send money instead. But when God causes Israel’s awesome deliverance in the near future—the Six-Day War was as nothing in comparison—the Jews in other lands will want to return out of shame. The Gentiles will say, “You, a Jew! What are you doing here?” The Jews will catch the spirit and think, “Yes, we belong in Israel.” The Gentiles will furnish their transportation back. Thus when God roars in the Time of Trouble, the Jews will subsequently come back “trembling.

“They [the Jews after the trouble] shall tremble [come trembling] as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria.” When a very unusual storm is coming, the birds get excited and flutter around, and a dove is particularly delicate and sensitive. The trembling will be a result of God’s previous judgments, which the Jews will see and hear about. As a consequence of the terrific deliverance, they will return to Israel a humbled people, being a little shaky because of not living up to being Jews. Today, generally speaking, they are interested in making money and are no better and no worse than the Gentiles. All are children of Adam and bent on their own ways, following the world, the flesh, and the devil. Then, all of a sudden, God will work great wonders in the Holy Land to effect a deliverance. Although the Jews in other lands will feel duty-bound to return, they will be scared to do so because they will realize they have not been living up to their obligations as Jews. It will be their God calling, the God of Israel, who will then be known as the true God. Thus the Jews will return, but with uncertainty.

In wrath, God will roar against Israel’s enemies, who will want to exterminate the nation. God’s exercise of power and wrath will put reverential fear into the hearts of the delivered Jews. The revealment of God in a position of authority will be like Joseph’s revealing his identity to his brethren. Joseph had to comfort them because their past iniquities came to mind. And God will similarly console the Holy Remnant a little while after Jacob’s Trouble.

Comment: Joel 3:16 is a good cross-reference: “The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”

Some prophecy should be understood in advance—like the prophecies of the Flood. Noah acted on the preknowledge—that preknowledge had an effect on his life. And prophecy helps and forewarns the Church. After prophecy is fulfilled, it becomes a testimony for the world of mankind of God’s foreknowledge and also a testimony against the unconsecrated for not heeding the Scriptures. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD” is a disparaging testimony, a condemnation, as can be seen by studying the context, yet the JWs have taken this statement as a slogan (Isa. 43:10,12).

“I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD.” The Jews will be resettled in their homeland whether or not they like it. In the Kingdom, their duty is to go back to their land, which is their proper place. Currently only a nucleus is being regathered, but all Jews who survive the Time of Trouble will be shipped back to Israel. “Assyria” represents communistic and/or Muslim nations; “Egypt” pictures the world in general. Originally, the communist movement was primarily a Jewish movement. Then Trotsky was murdered. Early communist sympathizers in the United States were almost all Jews.

The NIV reads, “I will settle them in their homes.” God will settle the Holy Remnant in His own way in the homes He will make for them, for when the Kingdom is established, the contemporary generation of Jews will go back to Israel first. The Jews who come forth from the tomb throughout the Kingdom will comprise the second phase of the regathering that takes place after Jacob’s Trouble, for they will come forth in the various lands where they lived previously. As they go back to Israel, God will settle them as He did the Holy Remnant—in His way in the homes that He will make for them, for each man will have his own vine and fig tree.

Ezekiel gave the land divisions, which are different from those in the Book of Joshua. In other words, God will settle the Jews in their new homes, where they will be secure.

Comment: Ezekiel 28:25,26 talks of the true safety after Jacob’s Trouble (as opposed to the false confidence in the near future, prior to Jacob’s Trouble, in fulfillment of Psalm 83). “Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.”

Comment: The Prophet Jeremiah told that in the future, Israel will be pastoral and agrarian.

Reply: Shepherds, flocks, and natural homegrown foods will prevail. People will know, help, and socialize with their neighbors.

Before considering verse 12, we will again read verse 1 of this chapter: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” Here this verse clearly applies to Israel, but the New Testament applies it to Jesus. What is the relationship of these two thoughts to each other? Why does Holy Writ go back to the Book of Hosea to call attention to this deliverance from Egypt when God called Israel His son, yet in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit gave verse 1 a personalized application to Jesus? Both are true, but why was this done?

Comment: Moses, who led the deliverance, was a type of Jesus, who will lead the deliverance of the world.

Reply: God, in His mercy, recognized the children of Israel in Egypt and called them out and then dealt with them in the wilderness. In His compassion, He did not condemn and utterly turn His back on the Israelites but sent Moses as a deliverer. In the New Testament, Jesus will do the same for “Egypt,” the world of mankind in the antitype.

Moreover, the Israelites cried unto Jehovah for deliverance and help when they were burdened under the taskmasters in Egypt. He heard them when they were in bondage. Similarly, those who become Christians were formerly under the bondage of sin, death, and slavery to the vices in their frame as children of Adam. Many of the Lord’s people all down the Gospel Age have been in a similar situation where He answered their cries by giving them the truth. How wonderful that if one repents, there is the possibility of redemption and salvation instead of being cast off forever with no hope! We think Hosea entered Israel’s situation with empathy, even though the more he tried to help them, the further they went from him. As God’s spokesman, he had nothing but criticism in earlier chapters and told the people all their inconsistencies, but they needed a hope that they could make a change. Otherwise, none would even try. Everything would become darkness, and they would just plunge deeper into sin. Thus, after several chapters of real condemnation, Hosea was introducing mercy.

Hosea 11:12 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.

Verse 12 reads as follows in the RSV: “Ephraim has encompassed me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah is still known by God, and is faithful to the Holy One.” The last clause harmonizes with Hosea 1:7 and 4:15. Judah was spoken of more favorably than the ten tribes. Their apostasy was not comparable to that of the ten tribes at the time of the Assyrian captivity, but 130-plus years later Judah was corrupt and was thus taken captive by the king of Babylon, the successor to the Assyrian kingdom. In other words, verse 12 was a criticism against the ten tribes, who had passed the point of no return, but God had not rejected Judah at this time.

Spiritually speaking, how did Ephraim “compass” God with lies? Catholicism went astray first, yet if we examine the conduct and doctrine of some of the Reformers, not everything was favorable by any means. However, in comparison to Catholicism, Protestantism adhered more closely to the Lord and His standard, the Bible. Of course today Protestantism has gone downhill considerably.

Why was Ephraim, the ten tribes, labeled “unfaithful,” and Judah, the two tribes, called “faithful.” Three stages of history were being discussed: (1) The early phase was when Israel was born. Both the ten tribes and the two tribes were taken out of Egypt, but Hosea was concentrating on the Ephraim segment and their wayward characteristics. (2) Then came a big time jump to the future—to how God will lead and deliver the Holy Remnant. (3) Now Hosea was coming back to his day.

The first part of the Book of Hosea was primarily the history of Israel prior to Hosea’s day and up to his lifetime. Then there was a jump in time to the future. Now the account comes back to Hosea’s day and tells that the two-tribe kingdom of Judah was more or less faithful at that time, whereas the ten-tribe kingdom of Ephraim was derelict and deserved to be taken into captivity. Being ripe for captivity, the latter were taken away shortly thereafter. Subsequently, however, Judah also went astray, as Hosea had prophesied earlier. Judah was just as guilty as Israel and would manifest these traits a little later.

1969 and 1993 Studies

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