Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, June 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 9

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

Verse 1

Hos 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.

Verse 2

Hos 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.

Verse 3

Hos 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.

Verse 4

Hos 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 saeri Sees in a lawful manner, and in connection with a life devoted to the true God, it benefited tbeir soul; was for their spiritual as well as legal upbuilding. In the foreign land there would be no bringing of auch articles into the house of the Lord.

Verse 5

Hos 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.

Verse 6

Hos 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.

Verse 7

Hos 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; Eze 13:3; Mic 3:11 and Zeph aniah 3; 4, this prophet and spiritual man means the false prophet who had made predictions about the safety of t.he nation. When the exile comes upon the people they will realize that their prophets were fools.

Verse 8

Hos 9:8. The watchman means the man who was faithful to his God. (See Eze 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.

Verse 9

Hos 9:9. The comparison to Gibea 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.

Verse 10

Hos 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 t'J 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, Baalpeor 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 : IS. How important, then, that we select the proper ideal for our life model.

Verse 11

Hos 9:11. Ephraim is a brief name for the 10tribe 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 Cor it to he ushered forth by birth into the outsfde 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.

Verse 12

Hos 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.

Verse 13

Hos 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.

Verse 14

Hos 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.

Verse 15

Hos 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 1Sa 13:8; 1Sa 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.

Verse 16

Hos 9:16, This verse is virtually the same as verse 13.

Verse 17

Hos 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.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Hosea 9". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/hosea-9.html. 1952.
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