The people of Israel committed two sins. They attributed their prosperity to false gods. Meanwhile, they pretended to be devoted to the LORD.
VERSE 1. Israel is a luxuriant vine that produces his fruit. According to the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars. As their land has prospered, they have adorned their sacred stones.
fruit. That is, “prosperity.”
their sacred stones. That is, their sacred pillars. Hosea had talked about them back in Hosea chapter 3.
VERSE 2. Their heart is divided. Now they will be found guilty. He will demolish their altars. He will destroy their sacred stones.
is divided. The Hebrew word is khalaq. It means “is slippery, smooth.” The term is often used of deceitful, unreliable speech.
VERSE 3. Surely now they will say, “We have no king; for we don’t fear the LORD; and the king, what can he do for us?”
we don’t fear the LORD. They had lost their reverential respect for th LORD God. That was the end of their spiritual life.
VERSE 4. They make promises, swearing falsely in making covenants. Therefore judgment springs up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field.
judgment springs up like poisonous weeds. They selected leaders who were corrupt. Therefore justice itself was corrupted. It became a tool of oppression.
VERSE 5. The inhabitants of Samaria will be in terror for the calves of Beth Aven; for its people will mourn over it, Along with its priests who rejoiced over it, for its glory, because it has departed from it.
the calves of Beth Aven. They were idols.
priests. This translates a rare term kk’mareem. It is only used for priests of Baal.
VERSE 6. It also will be carried to Assyria for a present to a great king. Ephraim will receive shame, and Israel will be ashamed of his own counsel.
VERSE 7. Samaria and her king float away, like a twig on the water.
VERSE 8. The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed. The thorn and the thistle will come up on their altars. They will tell the mountains, “Cover us!” and the hills, “Fall on us!”
They will tell the mountains. The Lord Jesus Christ cited this phrase:
Luke 23:30. Then they will begin to tell the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and tell the hills, ‘Cover us.’
VERSE 9. “Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah. There they remained. The battle against the children of iniquity doesn’t overtake them in Gibeah.
the days of Gibeah. Since those days Israel had persisted in sin.
VERSE 10. When it is my desire, I will chastise them; and the nations will be gathered against them, when they are bound to their two transgressions.
VERSE 11. Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh; so I will put a yoke on her beautiful neck. I will set a rider on Ephraim. Judah will plow. Jacob will break his clods.
VERSE 12. Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to kindness. Break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and rains righteousness on you.
NAB translation. Sow for yourselves justice, reap the fruit of piety; break up for yourselves a new field, for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain down justice upon you.
it is time to seek the LORD. Now is the time to seek the LORD!
VERSE 13. You have plowed wickedness. You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, for you trusted in your way, in the multitude of your mighty men.
VERSE 14. Therefore a battle roar will arise among your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth Arbel in the day of battle. The mother was dashed in pieces with her children.
VERSE 15. So Bethel will do to you because of your great wickedness. At daybreak the king of Israel will be destroyed.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.