Hosea – Article #13

Chapter 11 (A form of Godliness)


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

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).


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.


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

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

Hosea Article #10

Chapter 8


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.