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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Hosea 5

Verse 1

Hos 5:1. Mizpah and Tabor were prominent places in Palestine, and the complaint of the Lord was that the priests had taken advantage of them to mislead the people of the congregation, It was expected that the priests would be teachers of the people (Lev 10:11; Deu 17:9; Ma- lachi 2:7). But instead of leading them aright, they laid snares for them and got them caught in the meshes of idolatry.

Verse 2

Hos 5:2. A revolter is one who resists authority, and the leaders of Israel had done that very thing. In pursuing their abominable practices they did not shrink from murder when their plots called for that crime.

Verse 3

Hos 5:3. Ephraim, and Israel are named separately as if they were not the same people. The former has specific reference to one of the tribes, but the capital of the 10-tribe kingdom was located in his possessions, hence Ephraim is often used as a name for the kingdom. In the matter of guilt, since the capital was in that possession, it is understandable that much of the evil influence would issue from it.

Verse 4

Hos 5:4. Frame their doings indicates the planning for the activities, including the teaching that would affect others. These leaders would not plan to turn unto the Lord themselves, nor to lead the people back to Him from their life of unfaithfulness. Spirit of whoredom. This Indicates that they not only had given way to a sinful life, but their controlling principle of life was one of harlotry, to such an extent that they had forgotten the Lord,

Verse 5

Hos 5:5. Pride . . . testify . . . face. The folly of Israel in being influenced by the dominating pride is in evidence as the prophet writes Ills message. Israel and Ephraim are referring to the same people virtually; see comments at verse 3. With prophetic eyes the prophet beholds the future of Judah, although at, present the main complaint of the Lord is against Israel. Many of the complaints and predictions being made were true of both divisions of the Jewish people, Israel and Judah,

Verse 6

Hos 5:6. The thought intended by this verse may be realized some better by making it read, "Although they go with their flocks” etc,, they shall not find him. The Lord had called for these articles of service by the law, therefore it might seem strange to have Him withdraw so that the people could not find him. This apparent contradiction is explained in a comprehensive note at Isa 1:10 in volume 3 of this COMMENTARY.

Verse 7

Hos 5:7. The treachery of which they were guilty consisted in mingling their blood with the people of other nations. The Lord wished to maintain a pure blood down through the ages, and to do so It was necessary for His people to marry within the Jewish families. The children born of these un-lawful unions were considered strange because that word means "outside.” Month is used indefinitely, meaning their ruin would be accomplished in a short time after it began.

Verse 8

Hos 5:8. Trumpets were used to sound any alarm of danger that might come or threaten to come on the nation (Num 10:1-5; Num 31:6). The language is used here by way of prediction that the country would be attacked by an enemy force.

Verse 9

Hos 5:9. Ephraim is used to mean the 10-tribc kingdom, otherwise called Israel. Day of rebuke refers to the time when the country was to be invaded and the people carried off into exile.

Verse 10

Hos 5:10. Judah is brought into the prediction because she also was destined to be punished for her departures from the Lord. "When the pouring of water is used figuratively, it denotes a.n overflowing of some kind of misfortune. The people of God were destined to be invaded by the heathen nations.

Verse 11

Hos 5:11. The commandment could not mean that, of the Lord, for that would not have been condemned. We know, therefore, that, it refers to some idolatrous ordinance. It Is the one in 1Ki 12:28-30, where Jereboam made the idols and told the people to worship them, which they did.

Verse 12

Hos 5:12. Again the two divisions of the Jewish people, Ephraim (Israel) and Judah, are named in the predictions of God's wrath. A moth consumes the material which it attacks, and the Lord decreed to attack his unfaithful people in time to come.

Verse 13

Hos 5:13. Ephraim saw his sickness means he was confronted with a dangerous situation, which was the pres-ence of a foreign king (2Ki 15:19). Judah sent to Jareb which Strong defines. “A symbolical name for Assyria." The name seems to be used figuratively and means that Judah sought help from an outside source instead of God,

Verse 14

Hos 5:14. God is always displeased when his people look to strangers for help; it is an indication that they have lost faith in Him. Hence, when these kings of the Jews appealed to the heathen for help, they not only failed to obtain any. but brought down upon them the wrath of the Lord.

Verse 15

Hos 5:15, Return to my place denotes that God would abandon his people to their fate; leave them in the hands of the heathen to whom they had appealed. This was not to be in the spirit of spite or resentment, for God is incapable of such a principle, but it was in order to make them see their folly, and repent. In their affliction they will seek me early is forcefully described in Psalms 137 and the fulfillment may be seen in Eze 37:11, which was written in Babylon at the time it was happening.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Hosea 5". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/hosea-5.html. 1952.