In the final years before the fall of Israel, the princes of Israel were utterly corrupt. They assassinated four kings.
VERSE 1. When I would heal Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim is uncovered, also the wickedness of Samaria; for they commit falsehood, and the thief enters in, and the gang of robbers ravages outside.
I would heal Israel. The LORD God wanted to heal Israel.
However, his efforts were met with new outbreaks of moral depravity. The people’s widespread deceit and robbery epitomized their lack of regard for the LORD God.
VERSE 2. They don’t consider in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness. Now their own deeds have engulfed them. They are before my face.
make the king glad with their wickedness. Their rulers delighted in moral depravity.
2 Thessalonians 2:11. Because of this, God sends them a working of error, that they should believe a lie;
VERSE 4. They are all adulterers. They are burning like an oven that the baker stops stirring, from the kneading of the dough, until it is leavened.
They are all adulterers. What does the Bible say about human sexuality and nakedness?
VERSE 5. On the day of our king, the princes made themselves sick with the heat of wine. He joined his hand with mockers.
the day of our king. This was probably a day when the king was honored more than usual.
the princes made themselves sick. The king caroused with his princes by drinking to excess.
He joined his hand with mockers. While the princes partied with the king, they plotted his overthrow.
VERSE 6. For they have prepared their heart like an oven, while they lie in wait. Their baker sleeps all the night. In the morning it burns as a flaming fire.
VERSE 7. They are all hot as an oven, and devour their judges. All their kings have fallen. There is no one among them who calls to me.
There is no one among them who calls to me. They did not seek the LORD God. Do you?
Ephraim is a pancake not turned over. They were as worthless as a half‐baked cake. Burnt on one side; half baked on the other. That is, worthless.
VERSE 9. Strangers have devoured his strength, and he doesn’t realize it. Indeed, gray hairs are here and there on him, and he doesn’t realize it.
VERSE 10. The pride of Israel testifies to his face; yet they haven’t returned to the LORD their God, nor sought him, for all this.
VERSE 11. “Ephraim is like an easily deceived dove, without understanding. They call to Egypt. They go to Assyria.
an easily deceived dove. In those days, people thought doves had no common sense.
Similarly, Israel’s efforts to arrange foreign alliances had no common sense.
VERSE 12. When they go, I will spread my net on them. I will bring them down like the birds of the sky. I will chastise them, as their congregation has heard.
VERSE 13. Woe to them! For they have wandered from me. Destruction to them! For they have trespassed against me. Though I would redeem them, yet they have spoken lies against me.
Woe to them! This suggests doom.
they have spoken lies against me. In this context, “lies” probably refers to their practical denial of the LORD God’s ability to protect them. Instead, they tried to find security through other nations.
VERSE 14. They haven’t cried to me with their heart, but they howl on their beds. They assemble themselves for grain and new wine. They turn away from me.
VERSE 15. Though I have taught and strengthened their arms, yet they plot evil against me.
VERSE 16. They return, but not to the Most High. They are like a faulty bow. Their princes will fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue. This will be their derision in the land of Egypt.
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.