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FRAMEWORKS: Hosea 7: Israel's folly, failure and fall


[Preliminary Comment: The big complaint from heaven in this prophecy, is that having turned from God, Israel find themselves in need and instead of crying out to Him they turn to their godless neighbours who are no help. In fact it is they who will bring them down and then mock them. Because it is so straight forward, the ‘sub-headings' will suffice to clarify and so we will not provide additional notes.]



v.1a Whenever the Lord comes to heal the land, He sees more and more their sins

v.1  whenever I would heal Israel,
the sins of Ephraim are exposed
    and the crimes of Samaria revealed.

v.1b Deception & dishonesty prevails


They practise deceit,
    thieves break into houses,
    bandits rob in the streets;

v.2 But this foolish people, immersed in their sin, fail to realise God sees


v.2  but they do not realise
    that I remember all their evil deeds.
Their sins engulf them;
    they are always before me.


v.3 Even the rulers relish this unrighteousness


v.3  ‘They delight the king with their wickedness,
    the princes with their lies.

v.4 They idolatry grows of itself, like bread in an oven


v.4  They are all adulterers,
    burning like an oven
whose fire the baker need not stir
    from the kneading of the dough till it rises.

v.5 At festivities the rulers get drunk and mock God


v.5  On the day of the festival of our king
    the princes become inflamed with wine,
    and he joins hands with the mockers.

v.6 Their hearts expand with sin, like dough rises in an oven


v.6  Their hearts are like an oven;
    they approach him with intrigue.
Their passion smoulders all night;
    in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.

v.7 Every one's pride rises up, rejecting authority and pulling down rulers


v.7  All of them are hot as an oven;
    they devour their rulers.
All their kings fall,
    and none of them calls on me.


v.8,9 Mixing with foreign gods they fail to realise they grow weak


v.8  ‘Ephraim mixes with the nations;
    Ephraim is a flat loaf not turned over.
v.9  Foreigners sap his strength,
    but he does not realise it.
His hair is sprinkled with grey,
    but he does not notice.

v.10 Their pride is obvious and they fail to see their need to return to the Lord


v.10  Israel's arrogance testifies against him,
    but despite all this
he does not return to the Lord his God
    or search for him.


v.11 Gullible and foolish they turn to one nation after another


v.11  ‘Ephraim is like a dove,
    easily deceived and senseless –
now calling to Egypt,
    now turning to Assyria.

v.12 But it doesn't matter where they go, God can bring them down


v.12  When they go, I will throw my net over them;
    I will pull them down like the birds in the sky.
When I hear them flocking together,
    I will catch them.

v.13 Having turned from God they become prey to destruction


v.13  Woe to them,
    because they have strayed from me!
Destruction to them,
    because they have rebelled against me!
I long to redeem them
    but they speak about me falsely.

v.14 In need they cry out – but not to God


v.14  They do not cry out to me from their hearts
    but wail on their beds.
They slash themselves, appealing to their gods
    for grain and new wine,
    but they turn away from me.

v.15 God had raised them but now they rebel against Him


v.15  I trained them and strengthened their arms,
    but they plot evil against me.

v.16 Not turning to God they will fall by the sword of neighbours


v.16  They do not turn to the Most High;
    they are like a faulty bow.
Their leaders will fall by the sword
    because of their insolent words.
For this they will be ridiculed
    in the land of Egypt.



Continue to Chapter 8