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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 9

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verses 1-9

Hos 9:1-9

LOVE REBUKING Hosea 9:1 to Hosea 13:16


TEXT: Hosea 9:1-9

Israel is warned not to feel so secure in a few seasons of material prosperity. Because Israel had been unfaithful to her God she would be carried away into bondage in Assyria where she would be unable to make acceptable approach to God,

Hosea 9:1 RejoiceH8055 not,H408 O Israel,H3478 forH413 joy,H1524 as other people:H5971 forH3588 thou hast gone a whoringH2181 fromH4480 H5921 thy God,H430 thou hast lovedH157 a rewardH868 uponH5921 everyH3605 cornfloor.H1715 H1637

Hosea 9:2 The floorH1637 and the winepressH3342 shall notH3808 feedH7462 them, and the new wineH8492 shall failH3584 in her.

Hosea 9:3 They shall notH3808 dwellH3427 in the LORD’SH3068 land;H776 but EphraimH669 shall returnH7725 to Egypt,H4714 and they shall eatH398 uncleanH2931 things in Assyria.H804

Hosea 9:1-3 REJOICE NOT, O ISRAEL . . . THE NEW WINE SHALL FAIL . . . THEY SHALL EAT UNCLEAN FOOD IN ASSYRIA . . . It seems that Israel was enjoying certain periods of harvest blatantly supposing them to be signs that all was well and secure in spite of their iniquitous excesses. Israel also attributed its agricultural prosperity to the idols it had appropriated from its heathen neighbors. Israel had played the harlot in its unfaithfulness to Jehovah, “regarding the harvest-blessing upon its threshing-floors as gifts . . . from the Baals, for which it served them with still greater zeal.” While the “harlotry” spoken of in Hosea 9:1 refers primarily to spiritual adultery (cf. ch. Hosea 2:5; Hosea 2:8; Hosea 4:12), it is still a fact that the harvest festivals were also occasions for boisterous festivities in honor of the fertility deities; and they committed at the threshing floors and wine presses the shameful immoralities against which Hosea and Amos so vehemently protest (cf. ch. Hosea 4:13-14).

Zerr: Hosea 9:1. Rejoice not is a prediction in the form of an announcement that Israel was headed for a fall, and it would be on account of the unfaithfulness of the nation. Gone a whoring refers to the lusting after the gods of the heathen, and also the reliance that Israel placed in the heatben themselves. Reward upon every cornfloor. The cornfloor means the grain that was threshed out at such a place. The Israelites thought they would have their temporal prosperity assured by the support of the heathen nations. Hosea 9:2. This verse is a simple prediction of the industrial provisions of the country, that they would be cut off by the invasion of a strange force. Hosea 9:3. This verse gives the reason for prediction of the preceding one; that Israel was to be deprived of dwelling in the Lord’s land, which means Palestine. Ephraim means the 10-trlbe kingdom, and so named because its capital city was located in the possession of that tribe. Return to Egypt; not literally, but into a bondage ae bad as the Egyptian enslavement was. Eat unclean things in Assyria is literal, referring to the exile of the ten tribes into the land of Assyria.

Their good fortune with their crops was only temporary, however, for it would all soon be gone and God was about to withdraw His beneficence.

In addition to imminent crop failure, their exile was so near as to be spoken of by Hosea in the perfect tense (as if it had already happened). Israel has made itself an unwelcome guest in the land of Jehovah. Of course, Israel did not consider it Jehovah’s land and herself a guest. Very few nations do! Yet it is still true that God owns the heavens and the earth and all the cattle on a thousand hills (cf. Psalms 24:1-2; Psalms 50:10-15; Isaiah 66:1-2), and men and nations are merely stewards of His grace. They shall give an account! Israel would be plucked from this land given to her ancestors who came from Egyptian slavery, and cast into a bondage like those of old except that the new exile would be in Assyria. Egypt is not to be taken literally here. Hosea 9:3 is a perfect example of Hebrew poetic parallelism. Egypt becomes a figurative picture of what the Assyrian exile will be like. All food which was not sanctified to the Lord by the presentation of the first fruits, was unclean, unlawful food to Israel (Exodus 22:29; Exodus 23:19; Exodus 34:22; Exodus 34:26; Leviticus 23:10-12; Leviticus 23:15-17). In heathen lands it would be impossible for Israel to come to the Temple of Jehovah (which could lawfully be located only in Jerusalem) and sanctify her harvests. In addition to this they might be forced (cf. Daniel 1:5; Daniel 1:8 ff) to partake of food that would be strictly prohibited by the Mosaic law. The context here seems to indicate the former as the primary consideration.

Hosea 9:4 They shall notH3808 offerH5258 wineH3196 offerings to the LORD,H3068 neitherH3808 shall they be pleasingH6149 unto him: their sacrificesH2077 shall be unto them as the breadH3899 of mourners;H205 allH3605 that eatH398 thereof shall be polluted:H2930 forH3588 their breadH3899 for their soulH5315 shall notH3808 come intoH935 the houseH1004 of the LORD.H3068

Hosea 9:4 . . . THEIR SACRIFICES SHALL BE UNTO THEM AS THE BREAD OF MOURNERS . . . The “bread of mourners” was bread that had been in a house where a dead body had lain. Because the dead defiled a house for seven days and all that was in the house—bread thus defiled was called “bread of mourners.” Any sacrifice they might attempt to make in Assyria to Jehovah would be unclean or defiled (like mourner’s bread) because there was no place to offer sacrifices acceptable to God but Jerusalem and the Temple. They would have to eat bread for the support of life—“for their appetite”—but since they could not sanctify the first fruits of the harvest, it too would be unclean. Hosea is trying to emphasize here the awesome, terrifying nature of Israel’s spiritual destruction when God withdraws His gracious presence. Israel will be cut off from God. God will not hear her—she will be dead.

Zerr: Hosea 9:4. The general meaning of this verse is the dissatisfaction which God felt for the entire conduct of His people. They professed to he consecrated to the true God, and to take delight in the ordinances of the law, but all their performances were tinctured with the poison of idolatry. Because of all this abominable way of life, God’s people were destined to be taken away into the land of Assyria. When they got there the practices described in this verse which they professed to be doing because of their devotion to God (but not with sincerity), will not be attempted at all in the strange land. Bread for their soul. When the people of Israel were performing these sacrifices in a lawful manner, and in connection with a life devoted to the true God, it benefited their soul; was for their spiritual as well as legal upbuilding. In the foreign land there would be no bringing of such articles into the house of the Lord.

Hos 9:5 WhatH4100 will ye doH6213 in the solemnH4150 day,H3117 and in the dayH3117 of the feastH2282 of the LORD?H3068

Hosea 9:5 WHAT WILL YE DO IN THE . . . DAY OF THE FEAST OF JEHOVAH? Israel will not be able to worship God, give thanks to Him and call upon Him for forgiveness and blessing in the great annual feast-days while in captivity. They would be deprived of all their ancestors had counted valuable, beautiful, holy and needful. All the religious, national, social, economic, cultural heritage of Judaism centered around its great feasts. Their extreme importance may be seen in the fact that the Jews have attempted to perpetuate these feasts in the centuries following the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. by the Romans. No Jew worships on any holy day today as God has directed for the simple reason there is no temple in Jerusalem to which they may go. To observe the Passover, or Day of Atonement, in New York City is contrary to the Torah (O.T. Law). And Israel, in captivity to Assyria, would be bereft of all opportunity to approach God in a way acceptable to Him.

Zerr: Hosea 9:5. What will ye do, etc. This is a reminder that when the period of exile comes upon Israel, the nation can have nothing to do with the solemn feast days that they once practiced in the home land.

Hosea 9:6 For,H3588 lo,H2009 they are goneH1980 because of destruction:H4480 H7701 EgyptH4714 shall gather them up,H6908 MemphisH4644 shall buryH6912 them: the pleasantH4261 places for their silver,H3701 nettlesH7057 shall possessH3423 them: thornsH2336 shall be in their tabernacles.H168

Hosea 9:6 . . . EGYPT SHALL GATHER THEM UP, MEMPHIS SHALL BURY THEM . . . THORNS SHALL BE IN THEIR TENTS . . . Egypt will not be the actual place of the captivity of Israel (cf. Hosea 9:3) nor will they literally die and be buried in Memphis. These are symbols of bondage, slavery and death, These are places where their ancestors had been in bondage centuries ago. The prophet is simply making his prediction of their future captivity in Assyria as vivid and real as he can by referring to a past experience of the nation. Many thousands of the people of Israel were buried in Assyria, never to see their homeland again. A few Israelites, of a generation or two later than Hosea’s, returned from captivity, (cf. comments on Hosea 8:8-9).

Zerr: Hosea 9:6. Most of this verse is figurative and refers to the shameful interest that Israel had shown for the heathen countries. That very interest will prove to be the undoing of the nation, as much so as if it had been taken bodily to Egypt.

Their land would be desolate. Their “spacious dwellings” (cf. Hosea 8:13-14), the objects of their affections, their precious treasures would all be looted by an enemy or left behind to be overgrown with weeds and thorns—deserted. Things for which they had devoted so much of their time and energy would be wrested from them (cf. Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:15-21).

Hosea 9:7 The daysH3117 of visitationH6486 are come,H935 the daysH3117 of recompenceH7966 are come;H935 IsraelH3478 shall knowH3045 it: the prophetH5030 is a fool,H191 the spiritualH7307 manH376 is mad,H7696 forH5921 the multitudeH7230 of thine iniquity,H5771 and the greatH7227 hatred.H4895

Hosea 9:7 THE DAYS OF VISITATION ARE COME . . . ISRAEL SHALL KNOW IT . . . THE PROPHET IS A FOOL . . . FOR THE ABUNDANCE OF THINE INIQUITY . . . “Visit” means to come with a special purpose, either of blessing or punishment. God “visits” men to bless (Genesis 50:24; Psalms 106:4; Zephaniah 2:7; Luke 1:68; Luke 1:78; Luke 7:16; Acts 15:14). God also “visits” men to judge and punish them (cf. Leviticus 18:25; Psalms 59:5; Isaiah 10:3; Isaiah 23:17; Jeremiah 10:15; Jeremiah 51:18; Micah 7:4). Woe to that person or nation who does not recognize God’s “visit” of blessing (cf. Luke 19:44; 1 Peter 2:12), for they shall soon receive His “visit” of punishment! Whenever a prophet, preacher or teacher of God’s Word comes to a person or community or nation with a message from God’s Word, he is God’s ambassador, and God has visited that person or nation. Woe to those who are indifferent and pay no heed to God’s “visitors”—woe to those who reject and persecute God’s visitors!

Zerr: Hosea 9:7. Day of visitation denotes the day when God’s threatened judgments would be heaped upon them. Prophet . . , spiritual man mad . . . fool. According to Lamentations 2:14; Ezekiel 13:3; Micah 3:11 and Zephaniah 3:4, this prophet and spiritual man means the false prophet who had made predictions about the safety of the nation. When the exile comes upon the people they will realize that their prophets were fools as Israel had shown for the heathen countries. That very interest will prove to be the undoing of the nation, as much so as if it had been taken bodily to Egypt.

Just which prophet is called a fool and who is doing the calling is a matter debated by the commentators. We prefer the interpretation that the “prophet” is the false prophet who prophesies lies. When God “visits” His judgment of justice and truth upon Israel then she will recognize and know that the prophets she had been following who were promising her peace when there was no peace, are fools (cf. Ezekiel 13:10 ff; Jeremiah 6:14; Jeremiah 8:11; Micah 3:5). The “man that hath the spirit” and “is mad” is the same demon possessed false prophet as is described in Micah 2:11 who “utters wind and lies.” False prophets usually were under the influence of demoniacal power and were inspired by a “lying spirit” (cf. 1 Kings 22:22), It is also undoubtedly true that the wicked people of Israel were, at this time, calling God’s true prophets, “fool” (cf. Amos 7:10-17). The prophets were despised, slandered, called “mad,” hunted, tortured, slain (cf. 2 Kings 9:11; Jeremiah 29:26; Hebrews 11:32 ff). But what men call “foolish” and what God calls “foolish” are usually exactly opposite (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18Hosea 2:16)!

Israel’s punishment and judgment is about to come because of her “abundant” iniquity and great enmity. Israel’s terrible sin was that she had “mislaid” God (cf. Hosea 8:14). Israel’s abundant iniquity was in being indifferent to the many “visits” of blessing Jehovah had made to her. Her great enmity against God was manifest in her enmity against God’s ambassadors, the prophets. One is reminded of the great enmity of the Jews of a later generation as they expressed it in killing the Son of God (cf. Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 19:9-19). Israel demonstrated its hate for God by its hate for the prophets of God! What of those men and nations today who have hated and killed Christian preachers and missionaries—how great is their hate for God!

Hosea 9:8 The watchmanH6822 of EphraimH669 was withH5973 my God:H430 but the prophetH5030 is a snareH6341 of a fowlerH3352 inH5921 allH3605 his ways,H1870 and hatredH4895 in the houseH1004 of his God.H430

Hosea 9:8 EPHRAIM WAS A WATCHMAN WITH MY GOD: AS FOR THE PROPHET, A FOWLER’S SNARE IS IN ALL HIS WAYS, AND ENMITY IN THE HOUSE OF HIS GOD. Keil translates the first phrase of Hosea 9:8, “A spy is Ephraim with my God.” The meaning Hosea intended, according to Keil and Lange, is that “Israel searches out divine revelations on her own along with the God of Hosea.” In other words, Israel does not depend on Hosea to be declaring to her the revelation of God, but she trusts in her own so-called prophets (who were not commissioned by God). Ephraim (Israel) believed the revelations of her false prophets to be equal with, if not superior to, the revelations of Hosea. But, her prophets were leading her into the snare (trap) of the devil (pride). Israel’s prophets were leading her into the devil’s camp which was at war (enmity) with God. By insisting to the people that their message was right and that Israel should set up a temple of her own and worship a golden calf, they were leading the people to join with Satan and the hosts of wicked demons in war on God!

Zerr: Hosea 9:8. The watchman means the man who was faithful to his God. (See Ezekiel 3:17.) Such a servant gave true warnings of danger whether the people gave him heed or not. The (false) prophet is a snare of a fowler (a hidden trap such as those used by a hunter for fowls), that gets the people into trouble because they are not giving heed to the warnings of the watchman.

Hosea 9:9 They have deeplyH6009 corruptedH7843 themselves, as in the daysH3117 of Gibeah:H1390 therefore he will rememberH2142 their iniquity,H5771 he will visitH6485 their sins.H2403

Hosea 9:9 THEY HAVE DEEPLY CORRUPTED THEMSELVES, AS IN THE DAYS OF GIBEAH . . . Israel has fallen to the depths of sin. Nothing is sacred to her anymore—God’s Word, human life—nothing. They are as corrupt as those despicable, beastly men of Gibeah who, when they could not take the Levite man and molest him sexually, took the Levite’s concubine, all of them, raped and ravaged her and left her for dead on the doorstep (cf. Judges chap. 19–20). As a result of the sins of the men of Gibeah, the tribe of Benjamin was almost completely exterminated. The Lord has laid the sins of Israel to their charge. What they have sown, they will reap. The Lord will pay them “in full” for their evil works.

Zerr: Hosea 9:9. The comparison to Gibeah is because of the gross immorality that was committed at that place (Judges 19). The people of Israel were guilty of both physical and spiritual pollutions. ’Will visit their sins means that God will punish his people for their sins by a visitation of some unpleasant experience.


1. Why did Hosea tell Israel to cease her rejoicing?

2. Why was the land of Israel called “Jehovah’s land?”

3. Did Israel go into captivity to Egypt? Why?

4. Why were the offerings and sacrifices of Israel not pleasing to Jehovah when they were in captivity?

5. How would Israel’s daily food in Assyria become unclean?

6. What is Hosea trying to emphasize by showing their condition in captivity?

7. How does God “visit” men? Name two ways.

Verses 10-17

Hos 9:10-17


TEXT: Hosea 9:10-17

Israel, so pleasing to God when He delivered her from Egypt, became as abominable as the licentious, pagan religions she adopted. God will dispossess her and make her to become a vagabond people.

Hosea 9:10 I foundH4672 IsraelH3478 like grapesH6025 in the wilderness;H4057 I sawH7200 your fathersH1 as the firstripeH1063 in the fig treeH8384 at her first time:H7225 but theyH1992 wentH935 to Baalpeor,H1187 and separated themselvesH5144 unto that shame;H1322 and their abominationsH8251 wereH1961 according as they loved.H157

Hosea 9:10 I FOUND ISRAEL LIKE GRAPES IN THE WILDERNESS . . . BUT THEY CAME TO BAAL-PEOR . . . AND BECAME ABOMINABLE LIKE THAT WHICH THEY LOVED . . . Israel’s faith and obedience and love to Jehovah when He first chose them while they were still in Egypt was refreshing to God. Their love to Him was as pleasing as juicy grapes or fresh figs would be to a tired, thirsty, hungry traveler in the desert. Other prophets speak of God’s pleasure with early Israel (cf. Exodus 19:8; Exodus 24:3-7; Deuteronomy 5:27-29; Jeremiah 2:2-3).

Zerr: Hosea 9:10. Grapes in the wilderness would indicate something that was unattended and unpossessed by any particular person, Israel is likened to such an article because the Lord made tlie nation to become great out of an insignificant beginning. Firstripc fig is used in the same sense concerning the early existence of the nation. The illustration supposes a man finding a fruit thus growing wild, uncultivated and producing inferior fruit. He takes charge of the plant, cultivating it and making it possible to produce better fruit. But instead of doing that, it produced worse crops than it had done In the beginning. Likewise, after God took Israel under liis care, the nation was cultivated and given the opportunity to produce the desirable kind of fruit, namely, true religious devotion to the Lord. But instead of doing so, the nation began to bear the fruit of Idolatry, Baal-peor being one of the false gods. Abominations according as they loved indicates that they became as abominable as the false god that they loved. That conclusion is logical, for it is well known that a person tends to become like his ideal. This is true whether the ideal is a good or an evil character or principle. Paul taught this great truth in 2 Corinthians 3:18. How important, then, that we select the proper ideal for our life model.

But, alas, what a change came over this people! They allowed themselves to be deceived by sin (Hebrews 3:12-14). They had devoted themselves, heart and soul to Jehovah at Horeb; but the allurement of sensuality and materialism had led them to devote themselves heart and soul to Baalism (for a description of Baal worship see our comments on Hosea 2:8; Hosea 2:13; Hosea 2:17; and Hosea 4:12-13). The lasciviousness and abominable excesses that accompanied Baalism must have been great to deserve the extreme treatment sanctioned by God in Numbers 25:1-18. Israel kept flirting with Baalism from then on (cf. Judges 2:11; 1 Kings 16:31; 2 Kings 10:19; 2 Kings 21:3; Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 19:5; Jeremiah 23:13; Jeremiah 23:27).

When people “consecrate” themselves to any person, thing or idea, it is a moral law that “they become like that which they love.” One cannot love without imitating (cf. Ephesians 5:1-2 in RSV; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 3:1-13; Hebrews 12:1-8; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 3:1-24; 2 Corinthians 3:18). When men worship idols and animals, they behave like dumb images and sensual animals (cf. Romans 1:18 ff). It is undeniably correct that Adolph Hitler’s infatuation with and adoration of Friedrich Nietzsche’s evolutionary philosophy transformed the “little corporal” into the insane, savage executioner of Europe. Karl Marx’s religion of materialism and humanism has given the world the Kremlin criminals and the Peking pirates. As one ancient has put it, “The object which the will desires and loves, transfuses its own goodness or badness into it” (cf. Psalms 115:4-8). Man, without God, makes a god in his own image and likeness, the essence and concentration of his own bad passions, and then conforms himself to the likeness of what was most evil in himself. Thus the heathen made gods of lust, cruelty, thirst for war. Then, fooling themselves, they deliberately forgot that these gods were the work of their own hands, the conception of their own minds, and fearfully and passionately imitated and obeyed them; Augustine wrote, “. . . what a man’s love is, that he is . . . Naught else maketh good or evil actions, save good affections.” Love has a transforming power over the soul, which the intellect has not. Tell me what a man loves with all his heart and I will tell you about the man. There is a Jewish proverb which says, “He who serveth an abomination is himself an abomination.” One of the early church fathers wrote, “The intellect brings home to the soul the knowledge on which it worketh, impresses it on itself, incorporates it with itself. Love is an impulse whereby he who loves is borne forth towards that which he loves, is united with it, and is transformed into it.”

Hosea 9:11 As for Ephraim,H669 their gloryH3519 shall fly awayH5774 like a bird,H5775 from the birth,H4480 H3205 and from the womb,H4480 H990 and from the conception.H4480 H2032

Hosea 9:11 AS FOR EPHRAIM, THEIR GLORY SHALL FLY AWAY LIKE A BIRD . . . Israel had gloried in her continued existence when empire after empire, race after race, nation after nation had long since disappeared. God had protected, sustained and increased Israel’s economy, her territory and, most important of all, her youth. Israel was proud of all this and boasted that all this was due to her progressive, liberal attitude. She probably attributed all her prosperity, like America today, to her own human goodness and intelligence in breaking away from all the old, outdated, irrelevant mores of her ancestors. What an awakening Israel was soon to have! All that she gloried in would soon “fly away like a bird.”

Zerr: Hosea 9:11. Ephraim is a brief name for the 10-tribe kingdom of Israel, against whom the prophet Hosea directed most of his book. Birth, womb, conception is a condensed tracing of human existence, going back to the very beginning of the individual. The first is the conception, then the womb retains the conceived germ until time for it to be ushered forth by birth into the outside life. The picture means to show the complete degeneration of the nation from the glory of true devotion to the true God, down to the low estate of an idolatrous worshiper.

Hosea very evidently did not mean that God would bring about absolute execution of every single baby born to any Israelite mother, for in Hosea 9:17 he prophesies that they shall become wanderers among the nations. What he means is that since they took great pride in their numbers, they would be reduced in every stage from conception to ripened manhood, (cf. Deuteronomy 28:58; Deuteronomy 28:62).

Hosea 9:12 ThoughH3588 H518 they bring upH1431 (H853) their children,H1121 yet will I bereaveH7921 them, that there shall not be a manH4480 H120 left: yea,H3588 woeH188 alsoH1571 to them when I departH5493 fromH4480 them!

Hosea 9:12 . . . YET WILL I BEREAVE THEM, SO THAT NOT A MAN SHALL BE LEFT . . . The populace of Israel shall be decimated in all stages, even those in the prime of manhood would be taken away by death, war, epidemic, etc.

Zerr: Hosea 9:12, A common desire in ancient times was to have a generation of descendants to take the place of the present race. This was especially true In view of the need for sons to defend the homes and country against foreign foes. But the unfaithfulness of the nation brought from God the prediction that though the children would be produced they would be taken away. This was accomplished partly by misfortunes and judgments imposed upon them while living in the home land, and partly by the exile.

Hosea 9:13 Ephraim,H669 asH834 I sawH7200 Tyrus,H6865 is plantedH8362 in a pleasant place:H5116 but EphraimH669 shall bring forthH3318 his childrenH1121 toH413 the murderer.H2026

Hosea 9:13 EPHRAIM, LIKE AS I HAVE SEEN TYRE . . . God blessed Israel and gave her a favored place in which to dwell and prospered her so that she became rich and powerful, like Tyre (cf. Ezekiel 27:32 -Ezekiel 28:19). But, like Tyre, she also became self-sufficient, proud, boastful, and so God’s justice must fall (cf. Isaiah 28:1-4). How often those with the advantages and privileges graciously provided by God misuse and pervert those privileges! Israel was privileged for a purpose. She was “planted in a pleasant place” in order to be “salt” unto the nations, and “light” to the pagan darkness. But she turned her pleasant place into the abode of the selfish and sensual. So now God decrees that she shall “bring her children out to the slayer.”

Zerr: Hosea 9:13. The original prosperity of Ephraim (Israel) is compared to that of Tyrus that was once a flourishing city. But all of this was reversed against the unworthy nation, and its children were to be murdered by the enemy.

Hosea 9:14 GiveH5414 them, O LORD:H3068 whatH4100 wilt thou give?H5414 giveH5414 them a miscarryingH7921 wombH7358 and dryH6784 breasts.H7699

Hosea 9:14 GIVE THEM, O JEHOVAH: WHAT WILT THOU GIVE? . . . This is an expression of the agony in the soul of Hosea (like the “lamentations” of Jeremiah) over the impending doom of his countrymen. However, he surrenders, interrupting his wail of mourning with agreement to the pronouncement of God.

Zerr: Hosea 9:14. The man power of the nation was to be reduced in another way. Either the mothers would not be able to carry their infants through to mature birth, or, if they did so, they would not be able to nourish them because of failing breasts.

Hosea 9:15 AllH3605 their wickednessH7451 is in Gilgal:H1537 forH3588 thereH8033 I hatedH8130 them: forH5921 the wickednessH7455 of their doingsH4611 I will drive them outH1644 of mine house,H4480 H1004 I will loveH157 them noH3808 more:H3254 allH3605 their princesH8269 are revolters.H5637

Hosea 9:15 ALL THEIR WICKEDNESS IS IN GILGAL . . . This may have been a different Gilgal than the one two miles from Jericho where Joshua’s army first camped, Some think the Gilgal mentioned in this verse was near Shechem. Gilgal was certainly not the first place Israel sinned, therefore we cannot interpret this verse to mean that God began His hate for Israel’s sin at this place. Gilgal simply became another source for His terrible hate because it was another place where Israel’s sin was flagrantly and blatantly practiced. The phrase “I will drive them out of my house . . .” is simply another way of saying “I will cut them off from covenant relationship with Me.” Israel is no longer an heir, a son in the house of God. The covenant-love of God is no longer their privilege for they have withdrawn themselves from His covenant by rejecting and disobeying it. They do not want God’s love—they shall not have it! They can do without God’s love—they shall have the opportunity to try! They are like the “prodigal son” (Luke 15). God never really stopped loving them—they stopped loving God and preferred that He stop loving them. They are left to the only other alternative in this morally-governed existence—self, sin, separation from good (cf. Jeremiah 16:5).

Zerr: Hosea 9:15. The reference to Gilgal pertains to the sin of Saul who was the first king of the Israelites. From that, time the people had been more or less guilty of disobedience (See 1 Samuel 13:8; 1 Samuel 13:12). There I hated them. We generally shrink from using the word “hate” because we think of it as being always wrong; especially when used with reference to God. But since God cannot do anything wrong, it follows that the word is not always an objectionable one. The English definition is given by Webster as follows: "(1) To feel an intense aversion to: detest; abhor. (2) To dislike exceedingly," Such a sentiment would not necessarily lead to unjust treatment of a person hated. The true application of the word is to think of hating the things a man does and not the man individually. But it is often impossible to deal with the wicked things that are hated without doing so with the persons who are guilty. Hence the nation of Israel was destined to feel the sting of God’s hatred for sin. Will love them no more is to be understood from the same basts as the word “hate," just explained. God’s evidence of ceasing to love the nation was to be seen in the event when He would drive them out of his house, which was to be accomplished by the exile into a foreign land.

The phrase “all their princes are revolters . . .” is a pun! The men who claimed to be governors and for government were really responsible for all the anarchy and injustice then prevalent! What irony!

Hosea 9:16 EphraimH669 is smitten,H5221 their rootH8328 is dried up,H3001 they shall bearH6213 noH1077 fruit:H6529 yea,H1571 thoughH3588 they bring forth,H3205 yet will I slayH4191 even the belovedH4261 fruit of their womb.H990

Hosea 9:16 EPHRAIM . . . IS DRIED UP . . . THEY SHALL BEAR NO FRUIT . . . The very roots of Israel are dried up and since there is no nourishment being furnished the tree it is good for nothing but to be cut down (cf. Luke 13:7). Even if Israel should bear fruit it would be as worthless as the tree and would be plucked off and thrown away. Only the people whose “roots” are drawing from the word of God will produce a tree “planted by the rivers of water . . .” “bringing forth his fruit in his season . . .” (Psalms 1:1-6).

Zerr: Hosea 9:16, This verse is virtually the same as verse 13. See Hosea 9:13.

Hosea 9:17 My GodH430 will cast them away,H3988 becauseH3588 they did notH3808 hearkenH8085 unto him: and they shall beH1961 wanderersH5074 among the nations.H1471

Hosea 9:17 . . . THEY SHALL BE WANDERERS AMONG THE NATIONS . . . According to the warning God had given their ancestors centuries ago by Moses (Deuteronomy 28:65), Israel would be cast into the midst of the nations, forever after to be a race of homeless vagabonds. And it is true to this day! There are more Jews in New York City than in all of Palestine! They have wandered all over the world. There are Jews in Russia, Germany, Italy, America, Canada, France and practically every other country under the sun today!

Zerr: Hosea 9:17. This verse is a direct prediction of the exile of the ten tribes into the land of Assyria, the record of which is in 2 Kings 17.


1. How and why do people become like the person or thing they love?

2. In what did Ephraim glory? and how did God take it away?

3. How was Israel like Tyre?

4. What happens when men reject the love of God?

5. Does the new nation of Israel established by the U.N. mean the “wanderings” of the Jews are over?

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Hosea 9". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/hosea-9.html.
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