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Sunday, July 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 14

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes


A tone of exhortation and instruction marks this fifth and last collection of messages.

Verse 1

Hosea appealed to Israel to return to Yahweh her God because her iniquities had caused her to stumble in her history as a nation. We know from Israel’s history that Hosea’s generation of Israelites did not repent, but still God’s invitation was open and genuine.

Verses 1-3

1. An appeal for repentance 14:1-3

"As we move toward the conclusion of Hosea’s prophecy, the thundering voice of the prophet becomes a tender whisper as he pleads lovingly with Israel." [Note: McComiskey, p. 229.]

Verses 1-8

B. Restoration in spite of unfaithfulness 14:1-8

As usual in the major sections of Hosea, promises of restoration follow announcements of judgment. This final section of restoration promises begins with an appeal for repentance and closes with the prospect of full and complete restoration.

"In beauty of expression these final words of Hosea rank with the memorable chapters of the OT. Like the rainbow after a storm, they promise Israel’s final restoration. Here is the full flowering of God’s unfailing love for his faithless people, the triumph of his grace, the assurance of his healing-all described in imagery that reveals the loving heart of God." [Note: Wood, "Hosea," p. 223.]

Verse 2

The prophet counseled the people to return to the Lord with words (not animal sacrifices) that expressed their repentance. They should acknowledge their sins and ask Him to remove their iniquity (cf. 1 John 1:9). They should also ask Him to receive them graciously with a view to their praising Him with their lips (not offerings).

Verse 3

They should renounce confidence in Assyria (a synecdoche for political alliances) and war horses (military might) for their security and victory. They should also promise not to call their hand-made idols their gods (heterodox worship). And they should acknowledge that only from Him could vulnerable, dependent orphans such as themselves find mercy. They were orphans in that they had no other means of deliverance and support.

"If their hearts were broken, their relationship to God would be mended." [Note: Ibid., p. 237.]

Verse 4

When Israel repented, the Lord promised to heal the apostasy of the Israelites that had become a fatal sickness for them (cf. Hosea 6:1). He also promised to bestow His love on them generously because then He would no longer be angry with them.

"When a person collapses with sickness, it’s usually the result of a process that’s been working in the body for weeks or months. First an infection gets into the system and begins to grow. The person experiences weariness and loss of appetite, then weakness, and then the collapse occurs. When sin gets into the inner person and isn’t dealt with, it acts like an insidious infection: it grows quietly; it brings loss of spiritual appetite; it creates weariness and weakness; than comes the collapse." [Note: Wiersbe, pp. 329-30.]

Verses 4-8

2. A promise of restoration 14:4-8

Verse 5

The Lord would descend on Israel with blessing like the dew. Instead of being dry and withered (Hosea 13:15) Israel would blossom like the prolific spring lily (or crocus, cf. Song of Solomon 2:2). The Israelites would become as beautiful as an olive tree that is not only attractive but the source of beneficial products (cf. Psalms 52:8; Jeremiah 11:16). Israel would take root and grow strong, like a cedar of Lebanon (cf. Song of Solomon 4:11).

Verse 6

Israel would become productive and attractive to the eye and nose, namely, totally appealing. Shoots imply stability, beauty suggests visibility, and fragrance connotes desirability.

Verse 7

Other nations would also flourish as they benefited from Israel’s good influence. The Israelites would again grow grain, a mark of covenant blessing (cf. Hosea 2:21-23; Deuteronomy 28:4; Deuteronomy 28:8; Deuteronomy 28:11; Deuteronomy 30:9; Amos 9:13-15). The nation would be like a fruitful vine that produced the best wine, no longer like a scraggly vine in the wilderness (Hosea 10:1).

Verse 8

Ephraim would repudiate her dealings with idols (cf. Hosea 2:8; Hosea 4:17; Hosea 8:4-6), and the Lord would respond with a commitment to care for her. Formerly He lay in wait (Heb. shur) for Israel like a leopard ready to pounce on her in judgment (Hosea 13:7), but now He would care (Heb. shur) for her. He would be the source of her fruit, like a cypress or pine tree that bears cones.

"Hosea closes his book with the heartening word of forgiveness. When Israel responds to the LORD’s loving plea to return to Him (Hosea 14:1-3), then will follow the gracious healing of their backsliding, the free bestowal of His love, the turning away of His anger, the future blessing of their restoration, and their final repudiation of idolatry (Hosea 14:4-8)." [Note: The New Scofield . . ., p. 927.]

The Israelites have not yet met these conditions for restoration, and restoration has not yet come to them. Fulfillment awaits the return of Christ to the earth and His millennial reign that will follow. Then Israel will be blessed and will become a source of blessing for all the other nations of the world, as the prophet predicted.

Verse 9


Hosea added a conclusion to his prophecies that is a word of wisdom for the discerning reader. One should learn three things from this book. First, the Lord’s ways (covenant commands) are the right (correct and, therefore, best) ways. Second, righteous people will choose to walk in the Lord’s ways and to keep His covenant commands because that results in blessing. Third, transgressors (rebels) will stumble over His ways and bring destruction on themselves for their disobedience. Their downfall results from their failure to obey His commands, to walk in His ways

This is an unusual closing verse in a Bible book in that it applies the teaching of the whole Book of Hosea to the reader.

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Hosea 14". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/hosea-14.html. 2012.
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