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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Hosea 6

Verses 1-3

HOSEA - CHAPTER 6

THE CRY OF THE REMNANT IN THE LAST DAYS

Verses 1-3:

Verse 1 contains an appeal of the Israelites, one to another, affirming their convictions that their sufferings, afflictions and captivity are from their Jehovah God, who will have mercy upon them, if they will only repent of their sins and return to Him, on the basis of His word, Deuteronomy 32:39; Job 5:18; Jeremiah 30:17. They were smitten, but not so badly that He would not heal them, Psalms 130:4.

Verse 2 expressed their faith in being healed in a few days---two or three days, being used to denote a short period of time, as in Isaiah 17:6; Luke 13:32-33. The resurrection the third day alludes to the resurrection of Christ, as assurance of Israel’s eventual, complete resurrection and restoration, to live in His sight, Isaiah 49:3; Matthew 2:15; John 2:19; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Isaiah 53:10; Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:1-14; 1 Corinthians 15:22-23; Daniel 12:1.

Verse 3 reveals that then, at the revelation of Jesus, as the restorer of Israel, shall they know or comprehend, who seek knowledge or truth to know the Lord, that He is the true Messiah, the true God, Jeremiah 22:15-16. His "going forth" is like the rising sun, to give light in the midst of darkness, Genesis 19:23. The coming of the Lord to backslidden and exiled Israel’s rescue, not only from Babylonian exile but also from world dispersion today, shall be like rain in time of a great drought: 1) First "latter rain" refers to the crop-rain, that came to Israel’s fine grain in March and April, to mature and ripen it, and 2) Second the "former rain" refers to that which fell from October to late December, putting moisture in the earth for early planting, as Divinely promised to Israel for her obedience to His commands, Deuteronomy 11:14; Job 29:23; Joel 2:23. This is why His blessings are compared with the early and latter rains, Psalms 72:6; 2 Samuel 23:4. As the rains restore life to Palestine, so the favour of the Lord will one day, yet, restore life to barren Israel.

Verses 4-11

Jehovah’s Response - v. 4-11

Verse 4 laments what more God may do by His mercy and chastening to bring Ephraim or Israel back to obedient piety, Isaiah 5:4. Israel’s goodness or kindness was as fickle and untrustworthy as an early morning cloud, and uncertain as evaporating dew, Hosea 11:3. Her piety was a temporary veneer.

Verse 5 contains the divine lament of Jehovah, with His complaint against Israel, whom He had hewed by the mouth of His prophets and upon whom He had hammered with His word, to cut them down like a tree, or hammer them down; as in shaping a stone, all because of their obstinate disobedience to Him, Isaiah 10:15; Jeremiah 23:29. The word has power to slay and to make alive, Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 49:2; Hebrews 4:12. God’s penal judgments are as clearly revealed as the sun, so that men are without excuse in failing to heed their warnings, Zephaniah 3:5.

Verse 6 reveals what God desired of Israel, so different from what they offer Him. Sacrifices are less worthy than showing humanitarian mercy and piety, which Israel no longer practiced, Matthew 9:13; Matthew 12:7. Moral obedience is of more value than formal sacrifices of worship. Internal worship, in the spirit and in truth, must precede acceptable external worship, John 4:24. Knowledge of God, experimentally practiced, is of more value than natural knowledge without an affection of love and regard for the attributes of God in ones daily experience, Jeremiah 22:16; 1 John 2:3-4.

Verse 7 explains that "they", both Ephraim and Judah, have transgressed the covenant, like Adam ad Eve, willfully, knowingly, and responsibly, Job 31:33. Even so do men yet transgress divine laws, Psalms 82:7; Romans 3:23. "There," both in the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and Judah, they dealt "treacherously" with God, their hope and strength, like a whoring wife deals treacherously with her husband, Jeremiah 3:6-14.

Verse 8 charges Gilead with being a polluted, corrupted, vile city, the Divinely appointed as a "city of refuge," the residence of priests. It perhaps refers to Ramoth-Gilead, metropolis of the hilly region east of Jordan, south of the Jabbok stream, 1 Kings 4:13; Genesis 31:21-25. it was a city marked with blood, in complicity with regal schemes of murder for preeminence of Pekah, 2 Kings 15:25. Many homicides occurred there, in spite of the three more reachable cities of refuge in this eastern Jordan territory than on the western bank, They were in: 1) Gad at Ramoth-Gilead, 2) In Reuben at Bezar, and 3) In Manasseh at Golan, yet blood pollution flowed heavily in Gilead, Numbers 35:14; Deuteronomy 4:41-43; Joshua 20:8.

Verse 9 further charges their priests as leading thugs and bandits, as predatory bands, to pounce upon travelers and murder them for their loot along the highways of the regions: The term "by consent" means like ox yoked together, for a single purpose, Zechariah 3:9. The term "lewdness" means deliberate, premediated evil or wickedness. The priests actually way-laid men fleeing to their cities of refuge, where they should have received and protected them, but killed, murdered them in the way and seized their possessions. Is it little wonder that God sent judgment upon them and their land? Genesis 6:7-8.

Verse 10 reaffirms that the all-seeing-eye of a caring God had kept watch over the horrible deeds occurring, to make one shudder in the house of Israel, to defile her in her whoredoms, both literal and spiritual, all her idolatrous deeds, in spite of His will and warnings, Jeremiah 5:30; Jeremiah 18:13; Jeremiah 23:14; Exodus 20:1-5.

Verse 11 envisions pending Assyrian captivity for Judah as a judgment harvest for her wicked ways. "When" He (Judah) would have turned from their wicked idolatries, returned to His Dedicated Sanctuary in Jerusalem and acknowledged all their sins, 2 Chronicles 7:14. Yet, God will restore them again, in the future, from their scattering among all nations, when they come to Him in repentance, Deuteronomy 30:3; Psalms 14:7. Then "they that sow in tears shall reap in joy," first fulfilled in their return from Babylon, but later as a fulfilled promise to all His obedient servants, Psalms 126:1; Psalms 126:5-6.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Hosea 6". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/hosea-6.html. 1985.