Hear . . . O priests. This is a call to the priests and others, as Hosea 4:1-5 was also a call to Israel.
judgment is toward you = judgment is denounced upon you.
Mizpah. There were five places with this name: (1) Now Suf (Genesis 31:49. Judges 10:17; Judges 11:11, Judges 11:29, Judges 11:34; Judges 20:1, Judges 20:3; Judges 21:1, Judges 21:6, Judges 21:8). (2) In Moab (1 Samuel 22:3), not identified. (3) The land (or valley) of Moab, now el Bukei"a (Joshua 11:3). (4) In Judah, not identified (Joshua 15:38). (5) In Benjamin, not identified (Joshua 18:26. Judges 22:1-3; Judges 21:1, Judges 21:5, Judges 21:8; 1 Samuel 7:5-16; 1 Samuel 10:17. 1 Kings 15:22; 2 Kings 25:23, 2 Kings 25:25; 2 Chronicles 16:6. Nehemiah 3:7, Nehemiah 3:15, Nehemiah 3:19. Jeremiah 40:6-15; Jeremiah 41:1-16, and in this passage, Hosea 5:1). Mizpah was a symbol of keeping apart, not of meeting again, as erroneously used to-day. Tabor is on the west of Jordan and not connected with Ephraim; but Tabor means a mound; so that the idolatrous altar may have been called Mizpah, while Tabor was the "mound" of Gen 31, both belonging to the same district. Hosea is said to have been buried at Mizpah.
revolters = apostates.
are profound to make slaughter = have deeply designed a slaughter.
though I have been, &c. = and I [will denounce] chastisement to them all. The Ellipsis thus supplied explains "these difficult words".
Ephraim, the largest of the ten tribes, is put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), App-6, for the whole.
whoredom = idolatry. See note on Hosea 1:2.
frame = fashion.
God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.
the spirit of whoredoms. See note on Hosea 4:12, Hosea 4:19.
spirit. Hebrew. ruach.
not known. See note on Hosea 2:20.
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah.(with "eth) = Jehovah Himself App-4.
the pride of Israel. An appellation of Jehovah = the excellency, or the glory of Israel. He in Whom Israel should have gloried; so again in Hosea 7:10. Compare Amos 8:7, where it is "the Excellency of Jacob".
his: i. e. Ephraim"s, or Israel"s.
iniquity. Hebrew "avah. App-44.
go. seek the LORD. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 10:9).
seek the Lord. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 4:29). App-92.
withdrawn Himself. Heb. halaz; not sur ("depart") in Hosea 9:12.
strange = apostates (who had become as foreigners). Heb. sur. See note on Proverbs 5:3.
children = sons.
a month. A short time will complete their dispossession. Shallum reigned just a month (2 Kings 15:13).
cornet = horn.
Beth-aven. See note on Hosea 4:15.
after thee, &c. Apparently a war-cry = "[Look] behind thee, O Benjamin! "Compare Judges 5:14; Judges 20:40.
that remove, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 19:14; Deuteronomy 27:17). App-92Elsewhere only in Job 24:2. Proverbs 22:28; Proverbs 23:10.
bound = boundary, or landmark.
oppressed and broken. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 28:33).
willingly = willfully.
walked after = followed (perseveringly).
the commandment. Note the Ellipsis: "the [idolatrous] commandment [of Jeroboam]" (1 Kings 12:28. 2 Kings 10:29-31). Compare Micah 6:16. Aramaean, Septuagint, and Syriac read "falsehood". Vulgate reads "filthiness", reading zo in pl, for zav.
Therefore will I be = For I [am].
rottenness: or, a worm.
king Jareb. Professor Sayce (Higher Criticism and the Monuments, pp 416, 417) thinks "Jareb" may he the birth-name of the usurper Sargon II, the successor of Shalmaneser. Shalmaneser did not take Samaria, but his successor did, as stated in an inscription found in the palace which he built near Nineveh. This gets rid of several fanciful hypotheses as to the meaning of "Jareb" besides explaining an historical difficulty Compare Hosea 10:6.
I will. Some codices read "and I will".
take away = carry off.
till they acknowledge their offence. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 26:40-42). National repentance is the condition of Israel"s restoration.
Seek My face. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 4:29). App-92.
seek Me early. This expression, though not found in the Pentateuch, occurs in Job 7:21; Job 8:5; Job 24:5. Psalms 63:1; Psalms 78:34. Proverbs 1:28; Proverbs 7:15; Proverbs 8:17; Proverbs 11:27; Proverbs 13:24. Hebrew rising up before dawn to seek. Not the same word as in the preceding clause. Supply the ellipsis after "early": "[they shall say] "Come"", &c.
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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Hosea 5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany