Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 6

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-11

Chapter 6

And they will say,

Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up ( Hsa Hosea 6:1 ).

This is the prayer that they will be offering unto God or this is the declaration that they'll be making to each other. "Come, and let us return unto the Lord. He has torn us, but He will heal us. He has smitten us, but He will bind us up."

After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight ( Hsa Hosea 6:1-2 ).

This is a fascinating prophecy, because if you look at the nation Israel, it has been almost two thousand years since they existed as a nation. Now we read in Peter that a thousand years is as a day unto the Lord and a day is as a thousand years. Using that formula, the two days would be two thousand years. That would completely coincide with the facts, for Israel has been smitten for about two thousand years and we are seeing the revival of the nation. "In the third day He will raise us up," in third millennia. And we see Israel being raised up. "In the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.

That is, the Messiah will be there and they will dwell with the Messiah. In the millennium, the thousand-year reign of Christ, Israel the nation will again have a very prominent place and God will fulfill all of the unfulfilled promises of the Old Testament upon the nation. First of all, the expansion of their borders to that area that God had promised them. Secondly, the King forever upon the throne of David to order it and to establish it in righteousness and in judgment, henceforth even forever, the Messiah and His reign. And this is an extremely fascinating prophecy, because as we look at the situation as it exists today, using the thousand-year day formula, you say, "Well, how do you know you can use that?" Because it fits. Surely it is not two literal days, and the fact that it has been two thousand years and now they are being raised up. We look forward to the beginning of that three-thousandth year, which will be the seven-thousandth year in the history man. And you have again all of the other interesting analogies of the Old Testament where a servant was to serve for six years but the seventh year he was to be set free. And so we look forward to that glorious seventh millennia when Christ shall sit upon the throne of David, and they, Israel, shall live in His sight.

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and the former rain unto the eaRuth ( Hsa Hosea 6:3 ).

So this glorious promise as the latter rain and as the former rain unto the earth so that the blessings of the last days, and that's what it is making a reference to, of God's restoration on Israel. The blessings of that day are going to be absolutely glorious. Paul the apostle, in writing of this day of restoration, said, "If the cutting off of them brought the glory and salvation unto the Gentiles, what will the restoration be? But the glorious, really, restoration of the whole world." The Kingdom Age, the millennial reign of Christ.

Now God cries out to Ephraim, the Northern Kingdom:

O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? ( Hsa Hosea 6:4 )

And then unto Judah:

O, Judah, what shall I so unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goes away ( Hsa Hosea 6:4 ).

Of course, this is something that we could relate to here in Southern California, the morning clouds. So often we hear on the news report, "Early morning clouds along the coast," you know. And they burn off, that's the thing about the early morning cloud, it doesn't last; they burn off. As soon as the sun raises in the sky, the early morning clouds burn off. And so the goodness of Ephraim and of Judah didn't last; it would burn off.

Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. For [the Lord said] I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than the burnt offerings ( Hsa Hosea 6:5-6 ).

The people were still going on with the form of religion, the form of worship, but they lacked the real essence. God was looking for them to have the attitudes of mercy; God was desiring that they should have a knowledge of Him, but all they had was a form of religion. They still had the burnt offerings, they still had the sacrifices, but they really didn't have a vital relationship with God.

You remember when Jesus addressed Himself to the church of Ephesus in Revelation chapter 2, He said, "I have this against thee." He said, "I know thy works, working church." And He remarks, He makes special comment on their works. But He said, "I have this against you: you've left your first love." We see so many churches like that today. They are working churches. I mean they've got so many committees and everybody, you know, is being bugged by somebody else to do their job, and if you don't do your job there's someone whose gonna be giving you a call or writing you a note or whatever. I mean they got the whole thing so smoothly organized and they're a working church; they've got all the motions. But Jesus said, "You don't have the emotion. You don't have the love."

Here it was with Ephraim, with Judah. You've got the sacrifices, you've got the burnt offerings, but there's no mercy; there's no real knowledge of God. I would rather that you be merciful. I'd rather that you really know Me. This would be preferable to just the formal works.

But they like men have transgressed the covenant: they have dealt treacherously against me. Gilead is a city of those who work iniquity, it's polluted with blood. And as troops of robbers they wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness ( Hsa Hosea 6:7-9 ).

So the priesthood was guilty and were as a troop of robbers. Now according to the original Hebrew they were actually lying in wait for those who were fleeing to the cities of refuge and were killing them.

I've seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is whoredom of Ephraim, and Israel is defiled. Also, O Judah, he has set a harvest for thee, when I return the captivity of my people ( Hsa Hosea 6:10-11 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Hosea 6". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/hosea-6.html. 2014.
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