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