Scripture reading – Hosea 8; Hosea 9; Hosea 10

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Hosea 9 and 10 continued Hosea’s prophecies concerning the judgments soon to befall Israel.


Hosea 9


Beginning with the warning, “Rejoice not, O Israel” (Hosea 9:1), Hosea condemned Israel as a spiritual whore. The prophet declared, “Thou hast gone a whoring from thy God” (Hosea 9:1).

The prophet declared that the people “loved a reward upon every cornfloor” (Hosea 9:1). Apparently, the people of Israel credited idols for the fruits of their fields. The LORD, therefore, announced the fruit of their fields would be taken from them as an act of God’s judgment (Hosea 9:2-4). The people would be taken into bondage (Hosea 9:3a) and be forced to “eat the unclean things in Assyria” (Hosea 9:3b). In bondage, they would be unable to bring “wine offerings to the LORD” (Hosea 9:4a) or “come into the house of the LORD” (Hosea 9:4).

“The Days of Visitation” (Judgment) Had Come (Hosea 9:7-17)

“The Days of Visitation” (Judgment) Had Come (Hosea 9:7-17)


Knowing the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), we understand “the days of recompence,” for the time of God’s wrath was come (Hosea 9:7a). Israel had looked upon the prophets as fools, and the spiritual men as mad men (Hosea 9:7b).

Ephraim, the principal tribe of Israel, should have been God’s watchman. Instead, that tribe led the nation to hate “the house of God” (Hosea 9:8). Like Gibeah of old (Judges 19:1-20:48), Israel was guilty of gross immorality (Hosea 9:9). Because they rejected the LORD, Hosea foretold Ephraim’s glory would “fly away like a bird” (Hosea 9:11). The children died in their youth (Hosea 9:12), her men were slain (Hosea 9:13), and mothers miscarried their infants (Hosea 9:14).

Because Israel rejected God’s mercy and refused to repent, the LORD rejected them, saying, “I hated them: for their wickedness…I will love them no more…their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit” (Hosea 9:15-16). 

Hosea declared, “My God will cast them away because they did not hearken unto him: And they shall be wanderers [scattered] among the nations” (Hosea 9:17).


Hosea 10


The spiritual state of Israel was described as “an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself” (Hosea 10:1a). The keeper of a vineyard knows he must trim the leaves of a vine; otherwise, it pours its energy into producing nothing but leaves rather than the fruit its owner desires. 

 Isn’t that the state of a backslider? He lives for himself and consumes his wealth for pleasure rather than a trust from the LORD. Knowing the hearts of his people, Hosea declared their hearts were divided (i.e., deceived), their altars would be destroyed, and their king would be removed (Hosea 10:2-3). The people made covenants, but “swearing falsely,” they did not keep them (Hosea 10:4).

The Bull of Bethaven (Hosea 10:5-8)

The Bull of Bethaven (Hosea 10:5-8)

Jeroboam, the king who led away the northern ten tribes, made calves for the people to worship. One calf was placed in Bethel, that sacred place known as the “house of God.” Because of the wickedness of Bethel, its name was changed to Bethaven, meaning the “house of evil” (Hosea 10:5).  

Hosea declared the “calves of Bethaven” would be “carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb” (Hosea 10:6a). Ephraim and Israel would be shamed, for they had consulted with idols (Hosea 10:6b). The idol places would be destroyed. Thorns and briars would overgrow their altars (Hosea 10:8). Bearing the wrath of God’s judgment, the people would cry out for the hills to cover and fall on them (Hosea 10:8).


The Moral Depravity of Israel (Hosea 10:9-11)

Once again, Gibeah, notorious for its wickedness and immorality, was mentioned to remind God’s people how far Israel had departed from their covenant with the LORD (Hosea 10:9; Judges 19:1-20:48). Hosea prophesied the LORD would use Gibeah to punish His people (Hosea 10:10).  He foretold that Ephraim would bear the yoke of bondage like a heifer bears a yoke when it treads out seed (Hosea 10:11).

Briefly, the prophet returned to a penitent message and appealed to the nation to turn to the LORD, saying, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground [hard hearts]: For it is time to seek the Lord, Till he come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12).


Israel’s Sins and God’s Judgment (Hosea 10:13-15) 

Today’s Bible study concludes with Hosea reminding the people that they had “plowed wickedness [and] reaped iniquity.” They had lived off lies and were proud and self-sufficient (Hosea 10:13). Therefore, the judgment of the LORD was certain. The cruelty of Assyria’s soldiers was foretold, for not even expecting mothers would be spared their brutality (Hosea 10:14). Bethel would not be spared, and the king of Israel would be taken away (Hosea 10:15).

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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