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FRAMEWORKS: Hosea 13: Causes of an Inevitable Judgment


[Preliminary Comment: The chapter is predominantly one of severe warnings but with echoes of the previous chapter with some appeals to the past. A powerful nation, they foolishly turned to idols [v.1] more and more [v.2]. Because of this a judgment will come that will speedily sweep them away [v.3].

The Lord has been with them from the beginning [v.4] so they should have no other God. He had cared for them [v.5] and provided for them [v.6] but in their affluence [implied] they became proud. So now He'll come with frightening power [v.7,8] and even though they think they can stand against Him, they can't [v.9] even though they trust their king to protect them, he won't [v.10] because God will remove him [v.11]. Their sins have been recorded [v.12] and when judgment comes they won't have the sense to realise repentance is the way out [v.13]. The word of hope is that God will not utterly obliterate them [v.14] but the invader WILL come [v.15] and many will fall by the sword [v.16]. Warning after warning through picture after picture. No excuses.]



v.1 Israel had been powerful but gave way to [unnecessary] idol worship


v.1  When Ephraim spoke, people trembled;
    he was exalted in Israel.
    But he became guilty of Baal worship and died.

v.2 Despite their strength they gave way more and more to idolatry


v.2  Now they sin more and more;
    they make idols for themselves from their silver,
cleverly fashioned images,
    all of them the work of craftsmen.
It is said of these people,
    ‘They offer human sacrifices!
    They kiss calf-idols!'

v.3 So now, they will be here one minute, but gone the next


v.3  Therefore they will be like the morning mist,
    like the early dew that disappears,
    like chaff swirling from a threshing-floor,
    like smoke escaping through a window.


v.4 Because you've known God from the very beginning, He alone should be yours


v.4  ‘But I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt.
You shall acknowledge no God but me,
    no Saviour except me.

v.5 Remember how He had cared for the nation through the wilderness


v.5  I cared for you in the wilderness,
    in the land of burning heat.

v.6 Remember how He had provided – then and later – for them


v.6  When I fed them, they were satisfied;
    when they were satisfied, they became proud;
    then they forgot me.

v.7,8 So He'll have to come like a wild animal to discipline them by destruction


v.7  So I will be like a lion to them,
    like a leopard I will lurk by the path.

v.8  Like a bear robbed of her cubs,
    I will attack them and rip them open;
like a lion I will devour them –
    a wild animal will tear them apart.


v.9 So you think you can survive against me – you won't!


v.9  ‘You are destroyed, Israel,
    because you are against me, against your helper.

v.10 You think your king will save you – he won't


v.10  Where is your king, that he may save you?
    Where are your rulers in all your towns,
of whom you said,
    “Give me a king and princes”?

v.11 I gave you your king and now I'll take him away


v.11  So in my anger I gave you a king,
    and in my wrath I took him away.

v.12 All your wrongs have been stockpiled, your guilt recorded

v.12  The guilt of Ephraim is stored up,
    his sins are kept on record.

v.13 You'll suffer as at childbirth but fail to realise what is happening


v.13  Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him,
    but he is a child without wisdom;
when the time arrives,
    he doesn't have the sense to come out of the womb.


v.14 But even in all this, God will yet deliver you from total destruction


v.14  ‘I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;
    I will redeem them from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
    Where, O grave, is your destruction?

‘I will have no compassion,

v.15 You may think you're secure, but the invader will plunder you


v.15  even though he thrives among his brothers.
An east wind from the Lord will come,
    blowing in from the desert;
his spring will fail
    and his well dry up.
His storehouse will be plundered
    of all its treasures.

v.16 Simply recognise your guilt when the destruction comes


v.16  The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
    because they have rebelled against their God.
They will fall by the sword;
    their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
    their pregnant women ripped open.'



Continue to Chapter 14