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“Bible History IS Secular History when given the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

You are about to enter the world of “I didn’t know that” moments from the Bible!

 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

Proverbs 9:9

Paul Harvey, during his daily radio broadcasts, made famous the statement “The Rest of the Story.” He would tell the unfamiliar stories behind the familiar stories of men, feats, events and situations. Did you know the same is true of many “bible stories” found in the Old and New Testament scriptures? The following may not be quite the same as Mr. Harvey’s reviews of history, events and people, but they can be just as stunning, revealing, informative, and mind opening.

This publication will look at dozens of these surprising “aha moments” from miniJimscripture. Some will startle, some readers will find them particularly satisfying, and some will realize that history and the Bible are the same thing; a review of what was and remains an actuality. The Bible stories in scripture are space-limited and cannot publish everything surrounding, coinciding, or consequential to these stories. Some Bible time events are well-known and others not quite as well known but none the less found in scripture with a correlating “aha moment”. NOTE: The Bible and history are contemporaneous.

Included in this website are messages from others who serve our God; i.e. studied individuals such as ministers and Bible teachers.

Let’s explore some of these aha moments in scripture and have a ton of fun while doing so!!

– Dr. J

Bible Devotions or Bible Study?

Bible Devotions are like paying the minimum amount due on ones credit card debt. One seldom gains ground. Bible study is like paying the monthly balance in full plus something extra. We gain ground quickly!

 

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Amos – Introduction

The prophecy of Amos should simplify the choices in our lives. Instead of choosing between prayer and service, the book of Amos teaches us that both are essential. God has called Christians not only to be in relationship with Him but also to be in relationships with others. For those Christians whose tendency has been to focus more on the invisible God than on His visible creation, Amos pulls us back toward the center, where both the physical and the spiritual needs of people matter in God’s scheme of justice – Chuck Swindoll

It is seldom that ahabiblemoments.com uses a quote from someone else to introduce a new series of chapter-by-chapter book studies, but Chuck Swindoll says is so well. Seldom does one seriously consider a balanced service and prayer life outside of church attendance, perhaps a mid-week bible study and prayer at church or for one’s dinner. Our prayer lives suffer intimacy with God. In ignorance we pray for God to “be with us” (or so-in-so) even though both the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 36:6 and the New Testament in Hebrews 13:5 state God IS with us and will not forsake his followers. That is rote (preconditioned) prayer, not intimacy with God. Amos points this out to the northern ten tribes of Israel. It certainly applies to too many of us here and now.

Amos, an older contemporary of Hosea (and Isaiah), took a different prophetic approach to the very same sins Hosea prophesied against, but included seven other neighboring kingdoms. Amos was from the southern kingdom of Judah while Hosea was a member of the northern kingdom of Israel. We will see in Amos chapter 7 that he determines he is neither a son of a prophet nor “graduate” from their School of Prophecy. One might legitimately say that he is a layman minister; i.e. not a son of a preacher nor a product of some denominational seminary. It is not unusual for a prophet to first identify himself as to who, what and the where of his very being. In a sense, they source themselves for the sake of legitimacy that can be verified. Amos is a bit odd in that he is not quoted in any other book of the Bible. Many other prophets are quoted, paraphrased, or identified within text of other scripture.

Over and over again many commentaries and articles mention that this is “two years BEFORE the famous Amos earthquake. What earthquake? We refer you to the earthquake most likely to be the one to which Amos refers [next page]. Amazingly, this is evidence of both Amos and of his ministry since this earthquake is a benchmark in history. Keep it in mind that this website does not distinguish between histories of scripture and secular. They are within each other; the same history content but under differing contexts. Bible history and secular history are HIS-story after creation in Genesis 1.

The picture to the left is of Israel. The Amos earthquake occurred in or around 750 B.C. Researchers and archeologist “diggers” place this earthquake at or around a mid-8 seismic event. Isaiah, Zechariah, and Joel mention the damage and reference this quake. Isaiah and Zechariah come shortly after Amos in His-story.

During this time, 780 B.C. to around 740 B.C. Jeroboam II of the northern kingdom of Israel had defeated and conquered portions of Syria, Moab and Ammon. An interesting historical fact is that these territories had been the possession of the “east of Jordan Tribes of Manasseh, Gad, and Rueben”. They did not want to cross the Jordan during the time of Joshua as the pasture lands were very good to the east of the Jordan River. However, as we will point out in a later Amos article, they did send their troops across the Jordan to help their “cousins” conquer the Canaanites.

JIV NOTE: National Geographic 2017 DNA samplings have discovered that by far most of Lebanon is where the Canaanites moved after warring with Joshua and the Israelites.

Amos did not travel throughout the Northern Kingdom with his message to the Kingdom of Israel. He spent most of his time in and around Bethel, just north of his own home town in Tekoa, Judah. Bethel was one of two worship centers for the northern Tribes of Israel. The other was in Dan. Dan was to the northern sector of Israel and Bethel to the southern. Both were established to deter the members of the ten northern tribes from going to Jerusalem and the Temple in Judah to worship; even on festival days.

 Chuck Swindoll puts it this way in defining the Book of Amos and the man himself.

“Amos was fed up. While most of the prophets interspersed redemption and restoration in their prophecies against Israel and Judah, Amos devoted only the final five verses of his prophecy for such consolation. Prior to that, God’s word through Amos was directed against the privileged people of Israel, a people who had no love for their neighbor, who took advantage of others, and who only looked out for their own concerns.”

As we will read in a later article, Amos was personally “invited” to leave the northern kingdom and return to his home in Tekoa of the southern kingdom. The elite did not wish him well and the fact that he was pointing out that there was a growing wealth gap between the haves and the have-nots in the kingdom of Israel. PLUS, he notes in his book several visions he has regarding this northern territory of Israelites. We will be able to see in this series on the Book of Amos and by using just a little insight, how the message Amos leaves with Israel and God’s frustration with what was once a nation under God parallels America today (2020).

For the sake of identifying bible persons, places and things, understand that Syria at that time was NOT Assyria. They were enemies of each other.  It was a physical buffer zone between northern Israel and Assyria. Syria is often referred to as Aram. They are one and the same. Damascus was once what is called a city-state; a government to itself; i.e. Aram/Syria/Damascus; one and the same.

For a great summary of Amos and his prophetic mission, click the link below.

https://www.biblewise.com/bible_study/characters/amos.php

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2020

Hosea – Article #16


Chapter 14

Spurgeon and Suffering - CultureWatch“This is a wonderful chapter to be at the end of such a book. I had never expected from such a prickly shrub to gather so fair a flower, so sweet a fruit; but so it is: where sin abounded, grace doth much more abound. No chapter in the Bible can be more rich in mercy than this last of Hosea; and yet no chapter in the Bible might, in the natural order of things, have been more terrible in judgment. Where we looked for the blackness of darkness, behold a noontide of light!” (Charles Spurgeon)

This insight from the great Bible student and preacher Chas. Spurgeon [1834-1892] is a great capsulizing of this last chapter in Hosea. However, Hosea 14 is conditional. This is another wonderful example of how God works yesterday, today, and future. It is of the mentioned statement or declaration in ahabiblemoments.com of the way God works

_you_, then I will ___” There is not one single covenant or promise made by God to man that is not contingent to this statement “if you ___ then I will ___.” Go ahead and search the Bible and discover this for yourself. The societal church has made God to fit our desires instead of us fitting his. Here is what Hosea says about this in chapter 14.

  1. Repent
  2. Renouncing every species [or type] of idolatry and image-worship
  3. Then God will reward and bless abundantly

These three points are what Spurgeon is referencing. Go back to Article #4 and review the quote from Hosea 2:17.  It helps us to understand when this will occur with the Hosea conveyed condemnation of Israelites.

“For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more.”

Note in this verse the use of the word “Baal.” It is plural. We often read the name Baal as a single unholy idol-deity of times past. Not so! Baal represents any and all things that draw us away from God First. If these sins of life will be remembered no more, we are likely talking about a time called the Millennial Reign of Christ. This gives us a setting for the context of Hosea 14.

 Hosea 14:1 is a plea for Israel to return to their God. It does not read “the God Jehovah.” It does read “YOUR God Jehovah.” How much more specific can one get?

Bring words with you” [Hosea 14:2]. To explain this let’s glance at Isaiah 1:11 then Matthew 9:13.

Isaiah 1:11“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.” Examine this verse with personal honesty. In a sense we sacrifice some of our income when we tithe. If we think this plus our weekly attendance, a sacrifice of our time, does it for God to be accepting, read again and out loud Isaiah 1:11. Replace the “YOUR with “MY” and read it again.

Matthew 9:13 “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”  God desires mercy and not sacrifice? In short this is saying if one already thinks him or herself as righteous, we will see if that is good enough. God prefers a confessing TONGUE (words) above any type of sacrifice. A sacrifice is depending on one’s effort to offer the sacrifice and the sacrifice itself to be a redeeming plan of action. Very similar to attending church without fail, tossing in a weekly tithe, sitting on a church board, working the sound system, sweeping up after church, or things like helping during spring clean-up on weekends… all in an attempt to get us in the good graces and mercy of God.

Now back to Hosea 14:2…bring words and a heart of true confession then follow God’s plan for Christian living. One may ask ‘how am I to know the plan?’ Have you or someone you know tried to put something with many parts together without reading and following the step-by-step instructions? Our instructions come from the Bible. It is not the preacher’s job to read them for us. We must gain instruction and study the word of God ourselves. Proverbs 20:15 is but one great example…”Gold is there and rubies are abundant, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.” Without knowledge there can be no understanding. Without understanding there can be no desire. Without desire can be no plan of action!

Take words of confession and praise with us to God in the form of confession and worship. All else is but demonstration to him.

Hosea 14:3 uses a symbolic name, Assyria, to represent any help from outside. This is the state of the State of Israel in End Time. No help is coming from outside. They MUST depend on God and God alone.. Verse 4 “…for my anger has turned away from them.” Recall in a previous article that God has left the Northern Kingdom of Israel to their devices. He has turned his back on them. This passage in chapter 14 tells us that God will forgive and return to his children. They will know, understand, and desire HE be their one and only God. How many times is it written in scripture…”THEN THEY WILL KNOW THAT I AM THEIR GOD.”

Hosea 14:5-8 are all comparative symbolisms; i.e. metaphors. Ultimately each description puts bountiful beauty into the lives of those God left to their own back in 622 B.C., 2,600 years ago.

We finish this commentary of Hosea with the closing verse Hosea 14:9. It is seldom clearer to the eye that reads, and the mind that listens. “Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.”

Rev Dr Jstark
2020

PS; This remarkable book of Hosea is as if speaking directly to the true bible believing Christian and all those other places who use the name for a 401k or tax deductible institution while being socially good. Recall that the Old Testament is to a nation. The New Testament is to us as individuals, not as an institution called a church. We so often confuse the meaning of the church as a building, denomination, or group setting of good guys with memberships in the institution instead of names written down in glory.

Since Hosea’s contemporary was Amos, we plan to go there next. Keep a learning point in mind. Hosea and Amos speak to the sins and God-issues in the Northern Kingdom of Israel but to somewhat differing sins that God wanted pointed out.

Hosea – Article #15

Hosea Article #15
Chapter 13

Relentless? Has one experienced when another is simply untiring of task, faith, political association, mindset, or goal? Hosea 13 is a distinction of God’s relentlessness on his chosen people. God finally determines that they will not be a people of respect again until the Millennial Reign of Christ. Why? Dan Hubbard of Hubbard Ministries puts it this way regarding Hosea 13:1 & 2:

Viewed together, their sin is a total perversion of values. A craftsman’s work is elevated to divine status; human beings sacrifice their offspring to a metal object from whose lifeless form they also beg help; persons embrace with adulation the images of the very animals that they use for ploughing, threshing and hauling.”

There are consquences to sin.

Hosea 13 is brutal in how it describes the consequences of the sin of the Northern Tribes of Israel and as shepherded by the Tribe of Ephraim. If one’s realities of the actualities Hosea prophesies per Israel are too harsh to stomach, one may wish to skip this article. It is God speaking his judgement words through Hosea. If this chapter does not strike fear in the heart of the half-hearted and insincere Christian at home or in a worship service, it should. Half-hearted believers BEWARE!

Let’s begin with verse 12 then retreat to the beginning of this chapter. “The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is kept in store.” Bound up as in packaged and kept in store to later be retrieved. This is absolute reason for the Northern Kingdom of Israel to fall into great fear of God. No longer will they be appeased, shepherded, guided and protected by the God who made them his chosen through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Their sin will be packaged and stored evidence against them. It is wise to remember that Old Testament salvation was to a tribe or nation (ethnos) of people. The New Testament is to individuals. Several times in Old Testament scriptures the people of Israel suffered as a group for the sin of others within that group.

Hosea 13:2 is poignant. Israel sins more and more. It is akin to us today. When we get away with something over and over it becomes what is called our Modus-Operando with no obvious consequences. We got away with it before so why not continue getting away with it? It is as if our continual repetition of sin has become protected by some type of Teflon. “They sin more and more” but seemingly without consequences. How is this so? The Northern Kingdom of Israel has prospered greatly while walking away from God. They think there is to be no consequences.

Human sacrifice on manmade alters and to manmade gods. Recall but a few years earlier Elijah on Mt. Carmel challenged the prophets of Baal and King Ahab along with Queen Jezebel. Life is created by God. Even the life of animals and plants exist only because God spoke them into existence. How does man think he has a greater authority to take the life of an unborn or just born child? They are like the morning mist [13:3b]. They will be swept away. Their judgement is coming.

Hosea 13:4, “besides me [God] there is no savior” has the use of a lower case “s”. It means nothing will save Israel outside of God himself. This is a promise, not just a comment or conjecture. So the word savior (O.T.) and Savior (N.T.) are apparent parallels in this passage of Hosea but have differing context. It also means that the war and treaty pact Israel signed with Assyrian and the bribery of Egypt with shipments of Olive oils will not save them from God’s judgement.

The next verse (6) is what it is like to live for self. People promise anything if hungry but forget the promise once full. This is existential humanism at work. As the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard suggested: the best use of our capacity for making choices is to freely choose to live a fully human life, rooted in a personal search for [personal] values, rather than an external code. An external code refers to another who is attempting authority of you. Once satisfied or gratified, seek the next adventure. This is the Israel of Hosea. Within the next 120 years this will be the Israelites of Judah. F. B. Meyer puts it well…In the wilderness we are thankful enough for His help, but when we reach the land of the vine and olive, we follow the devices and desires of our own hearts. Might this be true of any insincere so-called Christian or many church/denominational perishers? Once satisfied for this week, we retreat to our real lives.

“I gave you a king in my anger and took him away in my wrath.” God did not want Israel to be anything but a theocracy. He allowed [king] Saul to go to the throne of Israel. Samuel made it clear that a demand for a king back in the time of the Judges of Israel was not wise, but God allowed it. Hosea 13:11 proves it. God did select King David and Solomon but the existence of a king put a buffer between them and him. For many years both Judah and Israel too often depended on their king to save them, not God. Judah had some good kings who tried to lead as God wanted but even Solomon fell short. The Kingdom of Israel went in the direction of idols and existentialism. Want additional evidence of why God wanted a theocracy, not kingdoms? It was the choice of kings that ultimately divided the United Kingdom (nation) of Israel into two smaller kingdoms…Rehoboam (Judah) and Jeroboam (northern Israel).

Now Hosea 13 gets blunt. I will fall upon them as does a mother bear robbed of her cubs. There is no mercy. To get between a mother bear and her cubs is usually one’s last fatal mistake. God will rip his people apart. This “rip them apart” means more that to separate them geographically. They have suffered traumatic times ever since 722 B.C. and 606 B.C. Even today they are the butt of global hate. There are no or very few logical reasons for this global hate but God ordained it in Hosea so it is as it is.

The golden calf as described in the book of Exodus

Was this the first time God was driven to great anger by Israelis? One great example of another is in Exodus 32. They made a golden calf after Moses seemed to go missing in Mt. Sinai. This is where he was given the Ten Commandments by God’s finger.

“‘I have seen these people,’ the LORD said to Moses, ‘and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you [Moses} into a great nation.'” (Exodus 32:9-10)

Hosea 13:13 has too many differing translations attempting to say the same thing but in so many different ways. Simply put, it means Israel will no longer tarry or remain in the place of the birth of their sons. This separation will be like the birth-pains of a woman. The Assyrians would be very brutal. In ONE example, the captive Israelis of the Northern Kingdom were stripped naked by Assyrian soldiers. They were made to travel without shelter or sandals suffering greatly due to the elements over many weeks of travel other locations. Many thousands were taken to barren lands where mankind had yet to settle, tame, and plow the lands for crops while being exposed to the wild animals of that day…lions, bear, and leopards.

Hosea 13:14 almost seems out of context. God promises to pay their ransom; redeem them from death (End Time); all followed by punishment of dry lands, the dangerous east wind, Samaria [Ephraim/Israel] bearing her guilt, falling by a future sword, infants being slain and women torn asunder. There is nothing here but a nasty future for them, that is, until the millennial reign of Christ.

JIV NOTE: The Apostle Paul quoted the Septuagint translation of Hos_13:14 in describing our triumph over death in our sharing in the resurrection of Jesus: O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? (1Co_15:55) . The Septuagint was ordered written during the time of Ptolemy of Egypt. He inherited a portion of the Alexandrian Empire in the mid-3rd century. The Apostle Paul used the phrasing of this Greek translation over 300 years after it was written.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2020

Hosea – Article #14


Chapter 12

With all respect for the multiplicity of commentaries and translations, it appears that Hosea 12:1 is misunderstood or at minimum, not well explained. In politics and to the life-long politicians who seek to keep favor with the majority of societal or cultural trends, one “sticks his finger to the wind to test from which direction it is coming.” THIS is Hosea 12:1…

(MKJV) “Ephraim feeds on wind and follows after the east wind. He daily multiplies lies and cruelty. And they make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.”

Feed on the wind: to consider which wind is the prevailing wind direction; i.e. from what neighbor is the better treaty option. None are good choices.

Follows after the east wind: Many commentaries point out the devastation of an easterly-wind. In this case, the Northern Kingdom of Israel is seeking the benefit of having Assyria (to the east) as a treaty (covenant) friend.

Oil (as in olive oils) carried to Egypt: As we studied in Daniel’s (11th chapter) view of prophecy, the King of the North and the King of the South are represented in what Israel is doing to appease both sides; Egypt and Assyria. They put their finger to the air to test from which direction the wind (strength) is blowing.

Hosea 12:2, 3 symbolically do remind us of the issues in the birth of twins Esau and Jacob. MKJV (Modern King James Version) states that from birth to this day the descendants of Jacob and the descendants of Esau were and remain to this day at life and death odds. Hosea continues recapping Jacob’s controversies in 12:4 by reminding the reader that Jacob wrestled with an angel of the Lord in Bethel. It was there Hosea reminds his Northern Kingdom cousins that “God spoke with/to us” through Jacob the father of Israel.

Aha Moment

JIV NOTE or AHAMOMENT: There is something that demands a better understanding as to what Hosea is symbolically referencing. Rather than call upon the Lord God for guidance, Israel has called upon its neighbors for strength and protection. 12:2 brings up the name of Jacob. Back in Geneses 32 he wrestled with an angel of the Lord God. This passage states that Jacob claims to have come came face-to-face with God. No man can look upon the face of God and live [Exodus 33:20; Moses]. No space or time to explain this in detail but here is the short of it.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/35/Descartes_mind_and_body.gif/220px-Descartes_mind_and_body.gifMoses was told he could not look upon the face of God yet God put him within the cleft of mountain rocks, passed by the small opening between the rocks, and showed him his continence, his glory as he passed by. One book earlier (Genesis 32) Abraham’s grandson Jacob claims to have seen the face of God when he wrestle with the angel in Bethel. In verse 30 of Genesis 32 we read…”And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel for I have seen God face-to-face…” (KJV). The ahamoment per scripture is not to what face-to-face actually means other than Jacob was confronted and faced up to his weaknesses. The ahamoment is that he named the place PENIEL because he saw the face of God. We as humans have a brain-gland doctors identify as the Pineal Gland. It means “in the mind’s eye where thoughts originate.” So the Hebrew pen-oo-ale’  “a mind’s eye” and the Hebrew for face, pânı̂ym are similar. However, there is doubt that Jacob had a doctors’ dictionary with him. We use the words “in one’s mind or mind’s eye” all of the time. Physicians did not discover this brain gland for hundreds of years after this moment with Jacob and the Angel of the Lord in Peniel (aha!)

Text Box: Mind's eyeIsrael trusted in making deals and payoffs to the surrounding superpowers. It was foolish for them to think that Assyria or Egypt was more powerful or dependable than was God. But, for this foolishness their days were then numbered. Never again until the return of Jesus will they be as a unified people.

Hosea 12:4 also states that Jacob had “prevailed” over the angel of the Lord as he did his brother Esau when he grasped Esau’s heel while being born. The only way we can prevail over God’s intent for our lives is to knowingly submit to his will. To grasp a heel requires one to “attack” from behind. Genesis 49:17 says this about the Tribe of Dan and heels… Dan will be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backward.

Hosea 12:7-9 remind me of the man who came forward in church. He was wrestling with personal family issues seeking guidance as to what to do. The ministered suggested that he and this man pray together right then and there. After a short time the man stopped the minister in the midst of his prayer. He said, (paraphrased) “never mind praying to God. I just figured out what to do on my own.” Oh did he? His solution came during his prayer regarding his family issue. This man gave no credit to the possibility the answer was sent to him because of the pastor’s prayer; in a sense intercession. Hosea points out that Ephraim, the dominant Tribe of the ten Tribes of Israel, sometime the generic name for the Northern Kingdom, was doing the same thing. They *prospered and gave no credit to God for his blessings. Go back and re-read Article 12; chapter 10 for greater details.

*Israel was at the pinnacle of their prosperity at this time.

This is very similar to Frank Sinatra once singing the song, I DID IT MY WAY. Let’s be honest. MY WAY could be to give honor and glory to God. However, that is or was not the intent of Ephraim’s heart. Hosea 12:8 summarizes it well.

(YLT) And Ephraim saith: `Surely I have become rich, I have found wealth for myself. All my labors–they find not against me iniquity that is sin.’  This does not need translating but here it is…I have become rich but I did it my way without the help of anyone or any god. This is blatant rejection of any help from God. Ephraim is correct in suggesting that he got no help from the gods of stone, wood, brick, all manmade but ignores the fact the God of Israel had blessed them in spite of these ten tribes rejecting or treating HIM insincerely.

God points out in verse 12:11 this religiousness of the northern tribes of Israel is nothingness to him…”your altars are as heaps in the open fields”; nothing more and nothing less. Nothing plus nothing is easy math. In the modern church the culture of religiousness is similar. Try going a week without a bulletin if one is used. Worse yet, keep the bulletin but change its formatting.  The congregant words that day and weeks to follow will not be of worship, praise and fellowship!

Whether it be in reference to the Tribe of Ephraim or the peoples of the entirety of the ten northern tribes, the last verse in Hosea 12 is pointed…(ESV) “Ephraim has given bitter provocation; so his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him and will repay him for his disgraceful deeds.”

Rev Dr Jstark
May 2020

Hosea – Article #13


Chapter 11 (A form of Godliness)

FAKE FAITH

We begin this article by looking back at Hosea 10:2a…”Their heart is false; they must bear their guilt. Might one say: “Lord please forgive your modern church (and me). There is so little evidence within these sanctuary walls to bear witness of much more than a face mask of goodness, love of you with equally and unequally yoked worship, fellowship, and study of your written Word. Our actual hearts are fake-faith.”

Hosea 11

V11:1 Identifies God’s special connection to the people of Israel. “When Israel was a child in Egypt…” It began with Abraham and a promise. Then it deferred to Isaac; then to Jacob (AKA: Israel). It took three generations to simply begin fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham; Father of many nations [Genesis 17:5]. This is where the descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob/Israel grew up to become a very large number of people; a nation without land; slaves to the Egyptian overlords. Exodus 9:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may worship me.’” We could just as easily say to the modern day church per our captivity of routine worship practices and status-quo attitudes. “CHURCH…Let the believers go.”

Peter Enns; Center for Bible Studies wrote and posted on the web: “… [Hosea] is making the case that Israel is breaking the covenant by allowing mere ritual to mask its breaking of the agreement (covenant). In the New Testament, Jesus makes a similar point in Matthew 9:13 and 12:7”. Peter Enns has it right; what Hosea writes regarding Israel (both the southern and northern kingdoms) parallels our lives today. BUT, one might claim, we don’t have or even consider a ritual practice of child sacrifice! If that is so, what does one call abortion?

Hosea 11:3 (& 4?) helps explain the use of the name Ephraim to occasionally identify the ten tribes in the northern kingdom. Look at how it is written. “Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them…. I took them; they did not know; I healed them.” Not only did God teach the Israelites in Egypt to walk and stand on their own feet, but he also directed their paths. This is possibly the same way a mother might feel about her children even in old age…”I see daily how you walk and how or even if you learned.” The Expositor’s Bible adds…”I called Israel My son.”

Hosea points out that these northern Tribes of Israel will not return to Egypt but will be under the thumb and rule of Assyria. Why mention Egypt? It was there that they were held on a short leash and were captives.  God saw them as his child (son). This is 700 to 800 years after leaving Egypt. They are adult and must be held responsible for their actions. They have departed their promised lands by dispersions of Assyrian kings…Tiglath-pileser III (744–727 B.C.), Shalmaneser V (726–722 B.C.), Sargon II (721–705 B.C.), *Sennacherib (704–681 B.C.), Esarhaddon (680–669 B.C.), and Ashurbanipal (668–627 B.C.). Why mention the Assyrian kings well after the almost total dispersion of the Ten Lost Tribes? Each of these kings is mentioned in the historical records of the Bible Old Testament and their influence over the creating the Lost Tribes of Israel.

*Sennacherib’s palace was discovered in 1847 by the shovel of Austin Layard in Nineveh. The Israelites, originally known to the Assyrians, as “Khumri” were placed in captivity near the river Habor, (Assyria) in the Gozan River area among the Medes in northern Iran, renamed “Gimira” [Saka named after Isaac] and “Cimmerians” [possibly implicating them to be Samarians]. Samaria was the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel.  Over time name changes evolved from their later migrations.

JIV NOTE: Do not be ill-informed or lacking in knowledge. The Assyrians were more than brutal. They were beyond butchers to their captives. See other historical records of the acts of King Ashurbanipal. It is not a pretty thing to read, but true. PLUS: Historical insight…Assyrian had three different capitals. The first capital city was Asshur named of their god Assur. This too is how Assyria got its name. Next was Calah. The final capital of Assyria we are familiar with. It was Nineveh; the city of Jonah’s history as a prophet. Oddly, Nineveh repented contrary to what Jonah wished. According to Zephaniah and Nahum, the great Nineveh met its demise in in 612 at the hands of Babylon, a former slave state of Assyria. Six years later so was Judah at the hands of the same Babylonians.

Hosea 11:7 is challenging to us. Why? My people are bent on turning away from me, and though they call out to the Most High, he shall not raise them up at all. Are we in the New Testament called Christian; i.e. “HIS PEOPLE?” When we pray do we not usually begin with “My Father” or Dear God almighty?” If as supposed believers do we continue to be bent on turning away from God? When we call on the Most High, is it just as possible God will not raise us up for us at all? He will not leave us but can we leave HIM? We can’t be definitive on this but to trust and obey requires our trust in him and abeyance. See the following quote from F.B. Meyers.

F. B. Meyer: What more pathetic words were ever uttered by broken-hearted parents than Hosea 11:8-9! That is the motive of our plea still. If we were dealing with man, we might despair. But we are dealing with One who forgives us according to the riches of His grace. If a back-slider should read these touching appeals, let him be encouraged to retrace His steps one by one, sure that the Father waits to welcome him where the by-path has broken off from the main road.

Hosea (ESV) 11:10 is one of those “where is America” questions per scripture. It is worth a few moments of serious thought if considering the Hebrew in this verse. The inference is to End Times.

“They shall go after the LORD; he will roar like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west;”

West in the Hebrew is yâm. It means from out of; a roar, great body of water. We do not claim that this is a reference to the Americas or even the USA, but it is worth consideration. After all, there are more of Israeli descent (misunderstood and lumped together as Jews) living in the Americas than in Israel today. The word “Jew” is first mentioned in II Kings. It is in reference to those from the Tribe of Judah. That nick name is found only a few times in the later books of the Bible: II Kings, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Nehemiah, Esther and Chronicles. All are in reference to those who descended from Babylonian captivity, resettled Jerusalem, and were from the Tribe of Judah or reside in Judah.

“I will return them to their homes, declares the Lord.”

Hosea 11:11 & 12 end with a promise that is exclusive to God’s chosen people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Israelites. “I will return them to their homes, declares the Lord.” Obviously this happened in part in 1948. But not the lands ruled by King David and Solomon. Also not inclusive of the lands defined in scripture that far exceeds the traditionally known borders as the lands Joshua parceled.

We close this with something found in Biblestudies.org; Part 5:

“Jeremiah emphasizes two things: one, that the delivery of Israel into their own Land will be of far greater magnitude than the delivery of Israel from Egypt, for God will bring up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them, and two, that He will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers – not to the ever-shrinking borders set aside for them by Britain, nor to the sliced and diced parcels allotted to them by the United Nations, nor to any of the shifting borders arrived at since then, or will be arrived at, by means of war or international pressure – but to their own land which I gave to their fathers – to the full allotment that God promised to the patriarchs.”

  You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers. ~ Ezekiel 36:28 ~

Rev Dr Jstark
2020

Hosea Article #12


Chapter 10

This is one of those chapters without a natural break with the previous one. Chapter 10 is essentially a continuation of chapter 9. The topic is the same; i.e. God’s by now had absolute distain for his chosen people. They gave little serious recognition to their creator, sustainer, provider, and protection. God’s judgment is finalized in chapter 10. Is there a difference between giving up on someone and/or leaving him or her to his or her own devises? If there is, this is what God was now doing with Israel.

Hosea 10: 1, 2 give great definition to the distain mentioned above. They have great economic success but express and give that success to their personal religions including self-accomplishments with thanklessness to God Jehovah. There is nothing in scripture against luxuries. But…”seek you first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” [Matthew 6:33].

JIV INSIGHT: Hosea is talking to his relatives, the Hebrew people called Israelis. Matthew 6:33 was written specifically to the Hebrew people. How do we know that? Matthew was written IN HEBREW. Who else would the focus of Matthew be if written in their specific language?

Aha Moment

PS: Just to keep our study thinking straight, the Book of Mark was the first New Testament book, not Matthew.

According to Bible.org:

Matthew wrote to a Jewish audience to prove to them that Jesus is indeed their Messiah. That’s why Matthew includes many of the teachings of Christ and makes numerous references to Old Testament prophecies.

Mark wrote to a Greek or Gentile audience to prove that Jesus is the Son of God. Therefore, he makes his case by focusing on the events of Christ’s life. His gospel moves very quickly from one event to another, demonstrating Christ’s lordship over all creation.

Luke wrote to give an accurate historical account of Jesus’ life. He spent a great deal of time traveling with and recording the activities and life of the Apostle Paul.

 John wrote after reflecting on his encounter with Christ for many years. With that insight, near the end of his life John sat down and wrote the most theological of all the Gospels.

The increase in alters mentioned in verse one is not alters to God but the golden calves. They added more calves which eventually in Hosea’s lifetime, the Assyrians carried off as bounty.

Hosea 10:2 demands clarification. It says the “their heart was divided.” To translate the Hebrew it can easily mean that Ephraim/Israel was “smooth, flattering, but insincere.” How many so-called Christians are insincere by proof of their daily spiritual lives? They are smooth in their talk and perhaps even their knowledge. They are flattering to others within their church circles. But……is there an occupied Prayer Closet in his or her life? This good-guy image was my father-in-law for decades. It all changed 6 weeks before he died. One could not walk into his bedroom to visit him without him asking about their sincerity with God and Jesus.

In 10:3 where it says “we have no king” it is a result of their captivity. No longer will the Northern Kingdom of Israel in contrast to 200 years later in Judah, will someone sit on their throne. This will not happen again until the Millennial Reign of the Messiah Jesus Christ is on the throne of David (Tribe of Judah).

Elijah

Few times has this following connection been made in Bible studies or from a pulpit. Only a few decades earlier in this very same Northern Kingdom of Israel was King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were humiliated by Elijah on the Mount of Carmel. Over 400 priests of Baal were involved. They called upon Baal to prove he existed by burning their sacrifice to it (him). Elijah then called upon God to burn his sacrifice and the fire from heaven not only consumed the bullock sacrifice but alter itself. Israel then returned to Jehovah God but the Book of Hosea is all about their short-term sincerity. They had returned in their abundance, prosperity and to the very same Baal that could not even utter a word on Mt Carmel (I Kings 18).

Hos 10:7 “Samaria is cut off; her king is as a bough on the face of the water.” Just as the branch on a tree alongside an abundant water supply, a branch that has dipped into the surface of the water, it is cut off. Such is Israel at this time. They had dipped into a lake of plenty but gave no credit to God for their prosperity. They were cut off.

Hosea 10:11 is an interesting passage. It refers to Ephraim (Israel) and Judah which is the southern kingdom at this time in Hosea. It basically refers to God wanting his people to break up the hardened soil of their heart; all of Israel. But it adds, “Ephraim will ride over the top of the soil but Judah will plow it” making it ready for seed. The territory of Judah was restored, in part, in 1948; not the lands of Ephraim. It is now prosperous and occupied. Ephraim is not.

Another way to look at this passage is that Israelis of the north will no longer have ground to plow but for the time being, Judah would remain intact.

WE REAP WHAT WE SOW!

In Hosea 10:13 one can easily say…we reap what we sow. Israel sowed iniquity and this is their harvest. We see this again in the new Testament passage of Galatians 6:7…we reap what we sow. God is not mocked. It was true then and is still true today. Where is the fear of the Lord God? Our lack of Bible knowledge outside the “stories” and ignorance blinds us. The bible is history, not a book of stories. To say it is full of stories gives a false impression of its truthfulness. It is full of actual his-stories.

We conclude this article by reminding us of the old and self-centered song sung by Frank Sinatra (perhaps Elvis Presley too) I Did It My Way. This is what the final two verses in Hosea 10 are saying. Are we guilty of this very self-delusional concept? We are so hung up on mixing our worship services with the non-believers, traditional routines, culture, and political correctness we no longer are capable of doing it God’s way. Yes this is blunt. It is unequally yoked
(2 Corinthians 6:14…be not equally yoked with unbelievers). [C.f. verse 14 -18]

Rev Dr Jstark
2020

Hosea – Article #11


Chapter 9

Taking a quote from the Internet:

Hosea 9 contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Hosea son of Beeri, about the distress and captivity of Israel for their sins, especially their idolatry.

There is a sincere caution issued by God through Hosea in chapter 9:1. Francis Shaeffer explains it well when he points this out regarding chapter 9 and in comparison to Israel in God’s eyes:

A woman is out harvesting, and there is a freedom in the midst of the harvest. She takes a gift of money from some man to sleep with him on the corn floor in the midst of the harvesting. That is what those who had been God’s people had become. The wife of the living God is this in her apostasy.

The Kingdom of Israel (northern kingdom) is at a point of great economic prosperity. They think nothing can hinder them that some type of alliance (Assyria) and bribery of Olive Oil (Egypt) cannot resolve. They give some credit to God and to their heathen gods for this pinnacle of economic prosperity. As mentioned in another article on Hosea, Israelis say we did it our way and with our own hands. Hosea 9:3 & 4 can be a bit confusing at a simple read through. It states that Israel will “return to Egypt but eat unclean food in Assyria.” The reference to Egypt is pointing to their 400 plus years as slaves and captives in Egypt. Now it will be likewise under the domination of the Assyrians. However, this time they will not be a group held together by their captives. They will be separated, divided, and dispersed to the four winds of the earth.

Hosea and historical records infer a great economic time in Israel. Then Hosea 9 points to their celebrating of ceremonial times to becoming desperate for simple shelter and food. Does this sound familiar to those of us during the CoVid 19 pandemic of 2020? Loss of joy (verses 1-2); exile (verses 3-6); loss of spiritual discernment (verses 7-9); declining birth rate (verses 10-16); and abandonment by God (verse 17). This chapter may quite well describe the United States and other nations in 2020 and beyond. We will get to Hosea 9:17 in this article but there is a moment of pause for the nations of this world in 2020. If we draw close to God he will in turn draw close to us. However, verse 17 points out that America’s previous prosperity may parallel the plight of Israel in 722/21 B.C.

Israel is paralleling as equals their worshipping of foreign gods, riches, and unicorn of plenty to their half-hearted worship with acknowledgement and thankful guidance of their one true God. Worship that is done out of obligation, culture, and routine is unacceptable to God. Even the thought of sacrificing will just bring sadness for anyone’ lost fellowship.

How is this so? Hosea 9:5 mentions traditional celebrations of Israel in nationality and Judaism. They continued to celebrate the traditional Jewish days of celebration as a Northern Kingdom but even this will be removed from them after their dispersion by Assyria. Bible-Studies.org writes:

What will you do in your (Israel’s) captivity, when any of your solemn or festival days come? When you shall find yourselves far from your own country, without temple, without prophets, without priests, without sacrifices, and without solemn assemblies; what will be your sentiments? You will doubtless be willing to abstain from labor on those days, as you were accustomed to do; but your masters will not permit that, but force you to your customary employments.

Speeding towards catastrophe?

Hosea 9:7”the days of punishment have come.”  Students of the Bible and even those with little exposure to Scripture understand the word “tribulation.” A time of punishment is coming but we don’t know when. To say this current pandemic is the beginning of this End Time tribulation is venturing out on a limb because we do not know God’s timing, but we know it is coming. If one would go back to WW II the Jews, Gypsies, Hungarians, Russian Slavs, Poles, Chinese and the Scandinavian countries would think THAT time was ripe for prophesied tribulation. It wasn’t.

The use of the word and Egyptian city of Memphis is a parallel to a place of many tombs. Even the ancient pyramids are in the area of Memphis. The Israelites will not be buried in Memphis but they will be buried before God finally redeems them.

In light of Hosea 9:7 we need to understand “spiritual Adultery.” This is when one’s heart gives preference to anything outside of God being number one in our lives, actions, and focus. It has NOTHING to do with church attendance or tithing. Those are symptoms of a good focus but not the essence. This is why this verse begins with: (ESV) “The Days of Punishment Have Come.” Not only did Israel have a “form of religiousness” but they had multiple Gods; a direct violation of their First Commandment.

For the rest of Hosea 9 we get a not so good picture of the severity of God upon the ten northern tribes of Israel. In short Hosea points out that they will diminish in size and populations. We say populations for the reason that they will have fewer and pure DNA offspring. They will mix with other nations and people. Their pureness as a DNA special people will deteriorate. Eventually most of them will even forget from where they originated; i.e. Israelites. Like so many of the Kurds, Igbo (corruption of Hebrew) of Nigeria, many Afghanistan’s, tribes in the mountains of Pakistan and India, including Spanish and Portuguese Israelites who were expelled in 1492 Spanish Inquisition nonetheless originated from the Middle East and Israel. The Bible tells us in more places than does Hosea that they were dispersed globally. So do secular histories when given the unparsed facts.

Hosea 9:17 supports this position or understanding very well.

(MKJV) ”My God shall cast them away because they did not listen to Him. And they shall be wanderers among the nations.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2020

Hosea Article #10


Chapter 8

GOD IS ALSO JUST.

We hear from pulpits, Bible studies, Sunday school classes, and read banners on church walls that GOD IS LOVE. Yes this is true but we forget that he is also “JUST” as in his final justice system.  In other words, we as individuals will get precisely what we deserve. Seldom do we hear a message with the emphasis on God getting angry. Hosea addresses this in chapter 8. He points out that the God of Israel (both kingdoms to the north and the south) will tolerate nothing to be putor come before him. This is also the First Commandment on he Stone Tablets Moses brought to the people of Israel while they were in their Wilderness wanderings.

Like many of us, we may have moments of spiritual up-lifting but then slide back to our sinful ways by putting other things in front of our respect, fear, and responsibilities to God and Jesus our Messiah-Savior. While the Prophet Amos is preaching this to the southern parts of Kingdom of Israel, Hosea is preaching it to the Kingdom of Israel to the north. When we draw close to him then and only then will he draw close to us (James 4:8). This is Israel’s problem during the time of Hosea. They have made God a religion; one of several religious practices they did in parallel to God. One major sin they practiced in Baal worship was child sacrifice. How can this be practiced in abortion clinics without eventually paying a steep personal price? Child sacrifice is murder no matter how one defines or tries to justify it.

ABORTION IS MURDER–modern child sacrifice

The trumpet is sounded to Assyria to attack the northern Kingdom of Israel. The setting as explained in earlier Hosea articles is warfare. Egypt and Assyria were arch enemies. The kingdom of Israel was known to the Assyrians as Bit-Humri, ‘House of Omri’. Together with the kingdoms of Hamat and Damascus (Syria), it dominated the political landscape of Syro-Palestine in the 9th and 8th centuries BC and, like them, it eventually fell victim to the Assyrian expansion to the Mediterranean (Karen Radner, ‘Israel, the ‘House of Omri”, Assyrian empire builders) It was King Jehu on the throne of Israel when the Assyrians began picking them off one or two tribal territories at a time. Hosea lived through this time in History. Some of this is history recorded in Assyrian records and on the archeologic discoveries such as the Black Obelisk.

Here is the setting according to scripture:

(King) Ahaz (of Juda) sent messengers to say to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, ‘I am your servant and vassal. Come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram (i.e. Damascus) and of the king of Israel, who are attacking me’. And Ahaz took silver and gold… and sent it as a gift to the king of Assyria. The king of Assyria complied” (2 Kings 16:7-9). It was King Ahaz of Judah who brought Assyria’s King Pul (aka: Tiglath-pileser) into the war(s). In short…it is ultimately Israelis against Israelis; Gods method of judgment upon Israel and the beginnings of great territorial expansion by Assyria.

In Assyrian secular records of Tiglath-pileser we also find: “The land Bit-Humri (meaning the Northern kingdom of Israel), all of whose cities I had utterly devastated in my former campaigns, whose [people] and livestock I had carried off and whose (capital) city Samaria alone had been spared: (now) they overthrew Peqah, their king.” (Tiglath-pileser III records)

“The land Bit-Humri (Israel; King Omri): I brought to Assyria […], its auxiliary army, and an assembly of its people. They (or: I) killed their king Peq(k)ah and I placed *Hoshea [as king] over them.” (Tiglath-pileser III records) This was 732 B.C.

*Do not confuse King Hoshea of Israel with Hosea the prophet.

After Tiglath-pileser died (727 B.C.), Hoshea [who probably only ruled over the territories of the Tribe of Ephraim] revolted against the new Assyrian king, Shalmaneser. Consequently he invaded Israel, took Hoshea prisoner, and besieged Samaria. When the city fell [by siege] three years later, many of Israel’s citizens were deported to {hinterland] Assyria, and the Assyrians ruled in Israel. (Encyclopedia Britannica) [emphasis mine]

JIV INSIGHT: When we read of Damascus in the bible and even early secular history, this evolved into what we know today as Syria. Damascus had a king that eventually ruled over the lands of Syria. Samaria was the capital of the Northern Kingdom. It was also situated within the territory of the Tribe of Ephraim.

Also…the names Hoshea and Hosea mean “Salvation.” Hmmmmm?

Now that we know the historical backdrop to Hosea 8 let’s look at what God was saying through the prophet Hosea.

Hosea 8

When trumpets sound it is to herald troops or populations. It is primarily a way to get people’s attention. Even the “Last Trumpet” sounding will herald the second coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:52), the raising of the dead, and the end of End Time; i.e. the 7 year Tribulation.

In Hosea 8:1 it is a call for the end of the Northern kingdom of Israel. The next trumpet Israelis will hear is 1 Corinthians 15:52. The cry of Israel in verse two is like being guilty of being caught, not repentance. They tried to shift the blame to God by claiming to be his people therefore qualifying for his elite protection. They may have also pleaded with their other gods of wood, stone and golden calf but scripture does not state this. (note Hosea 8:5 below)

The golden calf as described in the book of Exodus

Hosea 8:3 is specific. “Israel has cast off the thing (God’s protection) that is good.” Verse 4 goes even further…the kings of Israel were not kings by God’s choice. Similar to religions and the churches today we make our worship what we want it to be; not as God defines it in the Book of Acts and other places. We are unequally yoked in a common building with unbelievers. This is evangelical but not worship as God expects. Think on this! There is a significant difference to be in a worship center unequally yoked with unbelievers who are there for who-knows-what reason…religious habit perhaps?

Hosea 8:5 is very similar in context as was Elijah’s experience in the same territory of the Northern Kingdom of Israel years earlier (1 Kings 18:20-40). Hosea 8:5a…”Your calf is rejected” (ESV). Just as happened with Elijah and the priests of Baal at Mt Carmel when Ahab was king and Jezebel his queen, their god Baal failed them then and now. Hosea points out that this false god has failed them again. God’s anger, in part, is due to the fact that after a short time, Israel returned to their deaf and dumb gods including Baal. This reminds us of the “Pet Rock” rage of 1975. Pet rocks did absolutely nothing, did not need house training, stayed put, and ate nothing. This is also reflective of Baal. Neither pet rocks nor Baal could protect the household or the lands and possessions of Israel.

Hosea 8:6 is even more comparative to the Pet Rock era. It reads in the NKJV in the middle of that verse…Á workman made it, and it is not god” just as the Pet Rock was not a real pet.

David Guzik’s Commentary defines it well per Hosea 8:11…”When we give ourselves opportunity and occasion for sin, it is never surprising when we end up sinning.”

In a very real sense and often overlooked in a read-through-the-Bible scenario, this verse explicitly identifies God as its author…Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing” (ESV). Note the words “I & my laws” This reference is to the Ten Commandments God had already written for Moses and the wandering Israelites.

Hosea 8:13b (ESV) is a solid reminder of the future Bema Seat and the Great White Throne judgements. In the Bema seat it is the sins not yet *confessed that will be judged per the believer. The Great White Throne Judgement is the final judgement. Those in the earth and on earth without Christ will be finally and fatally judged…”Now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins…”

*Confession is not a laundry list of deeds or misdeeds. It is confession of being a sinner and needing to ask forgiveness (as in the Lord’s Prayer) “Just as we forgive those who have sinned against us.” God forgives in like manner according to the Lord’s Prayer.

Jstark
2020

Hosea Article #9


Chapter 7 –
Israel sees the problem but not the sin

Intro note: There is much history in and around the people to whom Hosea is prophesying. The Northern Kingdom had just made war with the Southern Kingdom. We will address these influencers during our review of this chapter in Hosea. Hosea is in the northern kingdom and Amos is also a prophet to the northern kingdom.

This first king of the divided kingdom of Israel to the north was from the Tribe of Ephraim. It should also be noted that at times the Tribe of Ephraim may have had its own supreme ruler (king) separate from the remaining nine Tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. In Hosea 5:5 both Israel (10 northern tribes) and Ephraim are mentioned in the same sentence. There is no practical reason to conclude this does not infer two entities within the same kingdom. The city of Samaria is within the tribal territory of Ephraim. At time the Bible calls these ten tribes Israel, Ephraim or Kingdom of Samaria. All three are one and the same peoples.

6th letter of Hebrew alphabet

For the serious Bible student and one who grasps for understanding of the Hebrew language implication in words, in Hosea 5:5 there is a vav (6th letter in the Hebrew alphabet/Aleph-bet) before the name Israel and the name Ephraim. Many other conclusions can be drawn or dramatized about this prefix (vav) in Hosea 5:5. The letter vav has a hooked form; often used to refer to the “hooks” used in the Temple to hold up the separation curtain. Here is the connection:

Numbers 25 records the history of Phineas (grandson of Aaron), death in the camp of the wandering Israelites, a Midianite woman, and an unnamed man of Israel. The Israelites, were still under the leadership of Moses, had fornicated with Midianite women while camped in Shittum; land of Midianites. One Israelite man was caught in the act when Phineas took matters into his own hands to stop the incest and punishment upon the twelve tribes in the Wilderness. Specifically the unnamed man of Israel as written in Numbers 25 and the Midianite woman were in his tent. Phineas grabbed a “HOOKED SPEAR” and impaled them together. Two individuals, of their own accord, VAV’d together; i.e. hooked.

This may mean in Hosea 5:5 that Israel and Ephraim at times were hooked (vav) together but two functional entities…both sinning by bowing to idols; joined together by agreement.

PS; It is tempting to go into greater educational and knowledge about the Hebrew letter VAV but this is not the point of this article.

Hosea 7:1…”the iniquity of Ephraim and the wickedness of Samaria…” Per the comments above and as to the distinction between Israel and Ephraim here in verse 1, the name Ephraim sometimes infers all of the northern Kingdom of Israel. Why? Samaria is mentioned in the same verse (7:1) as a separate entity. The capital of the northern kingdom is located in Samaria. That is the territory assigned to the Tribe of Ephraim by Joshua.

In chapter 7 we find that Hosea had now lived through times of four assassinated kings of the northern tribes (Israel), an invasion of Judah by the northern tribes, 200,000 from Judah being taken captive, stripped (customary for captured peoples), then being released due to the pleas of a few influential leaders in the northern kingdom. He witnessed Israel seeking the help of Egypt, Syria (Damascus) and Assyria that quickly resulted in the downfall and scattering of the population of Israel. God wanted them to seek HIM, not reliance upon mankind.

Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria, from whom military help had been requested by Israel, had already campaigned against Damascus, Syria. The writing on the proverbial wall should have been obvious to both Israel and Judah. They didn’t see it as they already shared in Baal worship. The Syrians (Damascus) agreed militarily to help invade Judah. Assyria was already at the doors of Damascus. What consequently happened is Judah and Syria became tributary to Assyria. Within 10 years Israel is a conquered and dispersed people.

Hosea 7:2 has New Testament implications. God through Hosea states that the people and leadership (particularly) had it in their heart that God forgets sin even if not forgiven by confessing it to HIM. Israel’s dirty laundry list was growing by leaps, no, heaps. One big sin was the fact they went to Syria for help instead of God. What may be the New Testament implications? For one, the so-called modern day Christian and church leadership are identifying right as being wrong, and wrong as being right. The reader can fill in these right and wrong blanks. This is identified as political, but not God correctness; seeking mankind agreements instead of seeking God.

Unconfessed sins will be judged at the Bema Seat Judgement. Many evangelicals want to slip past this but it does not pass inspection of the commandment to confess our sins…daily.

Half baked

Has the term “half-baked” ever crossed minds? This passage is from where birth was given to that statement via the bible. From Hosea 7:4–7 is about Israel acting like it is half-baked bread; cooked too long and burned on one side while remaining unbaked on the other side. Customarily back during this time of Hosea, bakers would turn the loaf while cooking to assure it to be thoroughly cooked. Baking was dome at ground level. Hosea is pointing out that Israel’s worship of God was more show than actuality. They would over do their supposed allegiance to the God of Abraham via sacrifices and customary religious ceremonies but the only reality was their attendance, not their commitment. They were half-baked followers of ONLY God almighty.

Hos 7:10 “And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this.” [KJV] Simply put, Israel demonstrated a form of religiousness but did not seek the guidance of their one and only true God. The word “all” (kole) in the Hebrew means…nothing excluded. This definition is the same as the word pas in Greek…nothing excluded. We read in the King James “the pride of Israel.” The translated Hebrew word for pride is gaw-ohn’. It means arrogance, pomp or majesty. Not to be read or misinterpreted as pride in their God Jehovah, but pride (gaw-ohn’) in themselves.

Verse 11 makes or supports an earlier comment in this article. We read that “Ephraim” (Israel) called out for their help to come from Egypt and Assyria. They did not seek God’s help. In short this was to God like his people saying “in your face, God.” Verse 14 backs this up. It reads in the ESV: “They did not cry out to me.” Instead they cried out to Egypt, Damascus, then fatally to Assyria.

Looking back to amplify verse 9, Hosea points out that the strength of their youthful days under God has depleted…strangers (other gods) devour their strength and GRAY HAIRS begin to show. Like so many in denial of their relationship with God imaging it to be genuine but a false relationship. Israel’s relationship to God had aged, grown gray, became a religion. Today we color our hair only to present a deception of not showing one’s age. This is similar to what Israel had done…deceptive as followers of God.

In concluding chapter 7 we get another parallel to modern day so-called Christians; those who believe in a god but do not believe and trust IN God. Hosea compares it to a bent bow; i.e. a less than straight arrow. The arrow is put to the bow, shot, but no one can tell where it will go. What one does know is that it destined to go off course right out of the bow.

Change but we go back t same old self rather than seek God change.

They change directions but do not come back to me (ERV). Someone confesses to get it off his or her chest then walks away determined to change but does not seek God, only change. (C.f. Jeremiah 7:19-26; Hebrews 6:4-6)

Rev. Dr. Jstark – 2020

Hosea Article #8

Chapter 6

until they acknowledge their offence…..

We concluded our preceding article [chapter 5] with…“…until they acknowledge their offence — The Hebrew is, ‘till they suffer the penalty of their guilt and repent.’” Sadly, this is still the status quo today. It will take the Tribulation to drive Israelis to finally acknowledge God and his son Jesus, the Messiah. The people of Israel have neither acknowledged their offence nor repented. This means Hosea 5:15.” I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me” is *still the consequence.

PS: *This may actually answer this article’s closing question per bible commentary debates.

This chapter has one of the most controversial statements or wishee-washee explanations found in commentaries and if they dare, from the pulpits if ministers will address the controversy. The best assurance that these first two verses have big meaning is to look at the final verse in chapter 6, then rest assured. It reads…

Hosea 6:11 [ERV] “Judah, there is also a time of harvest for you. It will happen when I bring back my people from captivity.” 

JIV INSIGHT: The Brenton’s English Septuagint adds a verse 12.  “Israel and Judah are defiled; (v12) begin together grapes for thyself, when I turn the captivity of my people. None of my other 18 translation has a verse 12.

What we do know is Hosea is a prophet to the ten Northern Tribes of Israel now includes Judah in his prophecies and prayer. He also begins to identify the northern kingdom of Israel as Ephraim [we discussed this a bit in our previous article on chapter 5]. Be mindful that Amos is alive during the same time as is Hosea. Amos comes from Judah but at times implicates Ephraim; i.e. The Kingdom of Israel to the north. Hosea targets Israel but often refers or includes Judah.

Hosea 6:1 is so reflective of the world, both God-believers and those who reject such. The ESV in 1a says (paraphrase is mine) We must return to the Lord (yeh-ho-vaw’) for it is us who left him, not him who left us. This is so close to James 4:8 in meaning and perhaps lesson learned. [NIV] Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Hosea was speaking to ears that would not listen at the same time as Amos from Judah was saying the same thing but with an emphasis on class discrimination in Sameria.

WHAT SHALL I DO UNTO THEE?

Hosea 6:4 might circumstantially be familiar with every parent. It reads: “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goes away”. Many parents today and in the past have said, “Oh __?__, what can I do with you to get you to obey?” THAT CHILD in his or her family who can only be obedient for a few moments then wanders off into more trouble. S/he never seems to learn the lesson being taught by his or her parent. God the Father and husband of Israel is saying the same thing. He tells them through prophets but they wander off to other gods and nations; i.e. this is the adultery to which Hosea exemplified in his marriage with Gomer. She would not remain home but short times before going out seeking other pleasures. Hosea identifies her actions of obedience like the morning clouds.

Hosea 6:6 is for critical Bible learning. “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. “ Remember that mercy is only for the guilty to be set free. Hang in here. Burnt offering or offerings of any type other than gaining God KNOWLEDGE (study) is preferred by God over our offerings. What might this verse mean to those who think that their tithe is a form of worship in and by itself? Does a person of this mindset know anything about God other than the Bible stories? They substitute bible reading (if at all) for bible study. To KNOW the Lord God is only the beginning of knowledge [C.f. Proverbs 1:7 & 9:10].

This takes a student of the Bible to the passage ending chapter 6. The BBC (Believers Bible Commentary) shows another conflict of commentary and pulpit interpretations. Note the final sentence…

6:7-11   “But they, like Adam (RV), had transgressed the covenant.” The wickedness of Israel is pictured in verses 7-10 as a city of evildoers, bands of robbers, and a murdering company of priests. Judah, too, is appointed to a harvest of suffering (v. 11) before God restores the fortunes of His people. (Some theologians think the harvest here is one of blessing, not judgment)” What about thinking of it as ‘we reap what we sow”? [Galatians 6:7]

So how is this resolved in the believer’s mind and heart: 2 Timothy 2:15…[ESV] “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

Bible History is secular history; secluar history Bible History.

This is the primary goal of this website; ahabiblemoments.com. It is to help believers around the world to better knowledge of the Word of God far beyond the Bible Stories that even nonbelievers can narrate.

Rev. Dr. Jstark – 2020