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Hosea Ten

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Hosea 10:1 Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.

Hosea 10:2 Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.

Hosea 10:3 For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us?

Hosea 10:4 They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.

hemlock. A poisonous plant.

Hosea 10:5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it.

Hosea 10:6 It shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.

Jareb. Jareb (“the contentious one”) is probably an epithet applied by Hosea to the Assyrian king Shalmanezer, who resented King Hoshea of Israel because he “brought no present to the king of Assyria” (2 Kings 17:4). Therefore, Shalmanezer carried Israel into captivity “for a present” to the contentious king.

Hosea 10:7 As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water.

Hosea 10:8 The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.

Hosea 10:9 O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.

battle in Gibeah. The reference is apparently to the gruesome events described in Judges 20 and 21, with the battle in Gibeah almost resulting in the extinction of the tribe of Benjamin.

Hosea 10:10 It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows.

Hosea 10:11 And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break his clods.

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

reap in mercy. Compare Hosea 8:7. Sowing the wind is about to reap a whirlwind of judgment in Israel, whereas sowing in righteousness would have reaped mercy. This is apparently a last call to repent and seek the Lord before final judgment.

Hosea 10:13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.

Hosea 10:14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Beth-arbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children.

Hosea 10:15 So shall Beth-el do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.