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Friday, July 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 10

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Verse 1

Hos 10:1. The thought of this verse may well be expressed by the one word, “selfishness.” It is illustrated by supposing a vine to retain the substance of its fruit within itself instead of depositing it on the outside in clusters where the owner could make use of it. The situation is made worse by the wrong use the vine makes of this substance that is retained. It would be bad enough were the vine to convert the substance into grapes and then consume the fruit selfishly. But this vine diverted it into unlawful uses, literally referring to idolatrous altars in the application of the parable. According to the goodness, etc. The more prosperous Israel became, the more corrupt he became with idolatry.

Verse 2

Hos 10:2. Heart is divided denotes that Israel mixed his devotions, giving most of them to the idols but professing to be serving the true God. Continuing the illustration of a vine, this nation produced faulty or objectionable fruit An owner of a vineyard would reject such a plant and remove it from his soil. Likewise the Lord threatened to break down the altars of the idolaters.

Verse 3

Hos 10:3. This verse is a prediction that Israel was to be deprived of a king. It was fulfilled when the Assyrians took the ten tribes into captivity as recorded in 2 Kings 17. What then should a king do to usf The words are put into the mouths of the Jews by the Lord, signifying that it would do them no good to have a king as long as they had no fear for the Lord.

Verse 4

Hos 10:4. The people of Israel were not sincere when they made their vows. They would swear to serve the Lord, then break that oath at the first, opportunity for worshiping at an altar. As a punishment for this impure manner of life, the Lord predicted that He would bring judgment upon the people that would be likened to poisonous weeds in their fields.

Verse 5

Hos 10:5. The gist of this verse is a prediction that Israel will come to regret the whole practice of idolatry. The calves of Bethaven is an indirect reference to the Idol calves that Jeroboam reared up in Bethel and Dan (t Kings 12: 29), which became a signal for a national corruption that finally resulted in the exile of the ten tribes into the land of the Assyrian Empire.

Verse 6

Hos 10:6. The antecedent of it is “glory” in the preceding verse, and it was to be carried into Assyria as a present. Strong's lexicon says that Jareb was a symbolical name for Assyria. That country will be the victor in the conflict with the people of Israel whose capital city was Samaria,

Verse 7

Hos 10:7. Foam is a figure to illustrate the lightness and lack of importance of the kingdom of Israel. Foam is also something that denotes a frothy discharge, making more of a threatening show than possessing real strength or merit.

Verse 8

Hos 10:8. Avert, is an abbreviation of Bethaven, and that name refers to the idolatrous practices at Bethel. It is predicted here that the sin was to be destroyed, and that was fulfilled by the exile. The land was to be deserted by its idolatrous inhabitants so that the thorn and thistle could grow up over the spots where the false worship had been conducted. Saw to the mountains , . . fall on us is figurative and refers to the dejected state of mind that Israel was to have as a result of the national corruption of idolatry.

Verse 9

Hos 10:9. Israel is used in the sense of a nation, and this institution had Saul for its first king. But he committed a grievous sin and set the example of disobedience for the generations following. Gibeah was an Important city connected with the public life of Saul, hence the reference to the place in connection with the evils carried on by the nation over which he was the first king.

Verse 10

Hos 10:10. The purpose of the distress that God was going to bring upon his people is expressed in the words that 1 should chastise them. The people who were to be gathered against them were the Assyrians. Two means twofold and furrows means misconduct or transgressions. Their iniquity was twofold in the sense of being great or more than ordinary. It also was literal in that the chief national evil (idolatry) was begun with the two idols which Jeroboam reared up when he led away the ten tribes and formed the kingdom of Israel (1Ki 12:29).

Verse 11

Hos 10:11. Cattle were used for two purposes in Biblical times; to tread out corn and to pull the plow. The former was much easier and any heifer would prefer that work. Ephraim (Israel) is likened to a heifer that desired to be left at that work because she was taught or accustomed to it. But her owner was going to make her get into the yoke and help pull the plow. This is the meaning of passed over upon her fair (arched or proud) neck. Hide means to go forward into the work of pulling the plow. Of course this is all figurative and means that Israel had been blessed with the comparatively easy task of serving God In their home land (likened to the treading out of the grain), but now she is going to be forced into exile (likened to the heavier task of pulling the plow). And while in the figure, a few words are used to include Judah (the 2-tribe kingdom) in the prediction, since that kingdom also was destined to go into captivity as a punishment for its idolatry.

Verse 12

Hos 10:12. This verse is an exhortation based on the familiar illustration of sowing and reaping, that "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal 6:7). Righteousness (the thing sown) will bring the reaping of mercy. Break up your fallow ground means to make use of the ground that is capable of producing good crops but which has been allowed to lie uncultivated. The writer offers his own explanation of this figure in the words time to seek the Lord. The figure is then resumed in the words rain righteousness, since it is necessary to have rain to produce a crop.

Verse 13

Hos 10:13. Plowing and reaping is again used figuratively, and this time it pertains to the evil kind of products. The things sowed (plowed) is wicked-ness and the harvest is iniquity, and the particular kind of iniquity is lies. Israel was deceived by the leading men in the nation, who were selfish and unscrupulous in their teaching.

Verse 14

Hos 10:14. The tumult threatened was to be the result of the Assyrian invasion. Shalnian is another form for Shalmaneser the Assyrian king who came against Israel in a hostile manner and finally overcame the nation (2Ki 17:3).

Verse 15

Hos 10:15. The reference to Bethel is because of the idol that was set up there by Jeroboam (1Ki 12:29), which started the 10-tribe kingdom on its national record of idolatry. Bethel do unto you denotes that the ruin of the nation was to be as a chastisement for its constant worship of idols, beginning with the one placed at Bethel. Morning is used figuratively, meaning that the king of Israel would be overthrown in a short time after his country was invaded.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Hosea 10". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/hosea-10.html. 1952.
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