Hosea 10: The Fruits of Invasion
Comment: The warnings continue. Israel had
started well and prospered [v.1] but in their pride they turned
to idols which the Lord will now destroy [v.2]. When it happens
Israel will for a moment appear leaderless and helpless [v.3].
They had also been unrighteous in their dealings with one another
[v.4] but now as the invader will sweep through the land as far
as their southern boundary, they will fear the loss of their idol
there [v.5] which will be taken by the invader back to Assyria
[v.6], their king being killed in the process [v.7] as the army
pours through the land clearing all their precious idols on the
hill sides [v.8]. Ever since the days of the Judges [v.9] that
southern area had been unrighteous and now they will be punished
[v.10]. An agricultural metaphor is employed: from the start God
had wanted them, when they took the Promised Land, to plough it
or break up all the idolatry that was there with the Canaanites
[v.11] but as they had allowed the land to revert to idolatry,
they needed to ‘plough' the land afresh [v.12]. That is what they
should be doing but instead they are happy to continue sowing
unrighteousness [v.13] thinking they are safe with their own strength,
but they are not for the sounds of the invader are coming soon
[v.14], as far south as Bethel on the boundary with Judah and
Benjamin [v.15], their whole land being taken in the process.
A chapter of severe and specific warnings.]
Israel [‘he' – the man, the family, the nation] flourished, spread
was a spreading vine;
he brought forth fruit for himself.
As his fruit increased,
he built more altars;
as his land prospered,
he adorned his sacred stones.
But pride meant they turned from God and adopted idols which God
heart is deceitful,
and now they must bear their guilt.
The Lord will demolish their altars
and destroy their sacred stones.
They will see they are leaderless because of turning from God
they will say, ‘We have no king
because we did not revere the Lord.
But even if we had a king,
what could he do for us?'
They are a covetous, dishonest people who trade but break agreements
make many promises,
take false oaths
and make agreements;
therefore lawsuits spring up
like poisonous weeds in a ploughed field.
The southern calf [1 Kings 12:29] near Bethel is about to be taken
people who live in Samaria fear
for the calf-idol of Beth Aven.
Its people will mourn over it,
and so will its idolatrous priests,
those who had rejoiced over its splendour,
because it is taken from them into exile.
It will be taken back to Assyria by the invaders
will be carried to Assyria
as tribute for the great king.
Ephraim will be disgraced;
Israel will be ashamed of its foreign
In the process the king in Samaria will be killed by the invaders
king will be destroyed,
swept away like a twig on the surface
of the waters.
The invaders will move through the land, sweeping away all the
high places of wickedness will be destroyed –
it is the sin of Israel.
Thorns and thistles will grow up
and cover their altars.
Then they will say to the mountains, ‘Cover us!'
and to the hills, ‘Fall on us!'
Since the affair of Judges 19-21, Gibeah had a bad reputation;
now invaders will come
the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, Israel,
and there you have remained.
Will not war again overtake
the evildoers in Gibeah?
Destruction will come on them
I please, I will punish them;
nations will be gathered against them
to put them in bonds for their double
On entry, Israel had been called to clear [plough] the land –
AND still now
is a trained heifer
that loves to thresh;
so I will put a yoke
on her fair neck.
I will drive Ephraim,
Judah must plough,
and Jacob must break up the ground.
This ‘ploughing' must be done by seeking God to then sow righteousness
righteousness for yourselves,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unploughed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
and showers his righteousness on you.
Instead they had planted wickedness and deception in their own
you have planted wickedness,
you have reaped evil,
you have eaten the fruit of deception.
Because you have depended on your own strength
and on your many warriors,
So now the invader will come to purge the land [implied]
roar of battle will rise against your people,
so that all your fortresses will be devastated –
as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle,
when mothers were dashed to the ground
with their children.
They will come as far as the southern boundary because of Israel's
will it happen to you, Bethel,
because your wickedness is great.
When that day dawns,
the king of Israel will be completely
to Chapter 11