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Hosea: Chapter 10

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Text view alone


Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased the more altars he built; as his country improved, he improved his pillars. 2 Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt. The LORD b Cn Compare Gk: Heb shall know will break down their altars, and destroy their pillars.


For now they will say: “We have no king, for we do not fear the LORD, and a king—what could he do for us?” 4 They utter mere words; with empty oaths they make covenants; so litigation springs up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field. 5 The inhabitants of Samaria tremble for the calf c Meaning of Heb uncertain of Beth‐aven. Its people shall mourn for it, and its idolatrous priests shall wail d Heb he over it, over its glory that has departed from it. 6 The thing itself shall be carried to Assyria as tribute to the great king. e Gk Syr: Heb calves Ephraim shall be put to shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol. a Cn: Heb exult


Samaria's king shall perish like a chip on the face of the waters. 8 The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed. Thorn and thistle shall grow up on their altars. They shall say to the mountains, Cover us, and to the hills, Fall on us.


Since the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel; there they have continued. Shall not war overtake them in Gibeah? 10 I will come b Cn: Heb to a king who will contend against the wayward people to punish them; and nations shall be gathered against them when they are punished c Cn: Heb counsel for their double iniquity.


Ephraim was a trained heifer that loved to thresh, and I spared her fair neck; but I will make Ephraim break the ground; Judah must plow; Jacob must harrow for himself. 12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.


You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your power and in the multitude of your warriors, 14 therefore the tumult of war shall rise against your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth‐arbel on the day of battle when mothers were dashed in pieces with their children. 15 Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel, because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel shall be utterly cut off.


c Cn Compare Gk: Heb shall know

a Meaning of Heb uncertain

b Heb he

c Gk Syr: Heb calves

d Cn: Heb exult

e Cn: Heb to a king who will contend

a Cn: Heb counsel

Text Commentary view alone

10.1–7 : Israel, a luxuriant vine (v. 1 ), is now weedy (v. 4 ) and overrun with thorns (v. 8 ).

1–2 :

In Canaan Israel increased in sin (here adopting illicit religious practices) as it increased in pro sperity; cf. Deut 6.10–15 .

2 :

Pillars, standing stones, condemned by Mosaic law (Ex 23.24 ); see 3.4 .

4 :

Empty oaths, Ex 20.7 .

5 :

Calf, 8.5n. Bethaven, see 4.15n.

8 :

Aven, 10.5n. Mountains, Cover us …, this phrase will be reused in New Testament depictions of divine judgment (Lk 23.30; Rev 6.16 ).

9 :

Gibeah, 9.9n.

10.11–15 : Heifer Israel now plows wickedness.

11 :

Trained heifer, compare with 4.16 . Spared herneck, i.e., she was unyoked.

12 :

Break up your fallow ground, Jer 4.3 . Rain is a frequent prophetic symbol of divine restoration and blessing (Isa 44.3; 45.8; 55.10 ).

13 :

Contrast Ps 20.7, 44.6, Isa 31.1 .

14 :

ShalmanBetharbel, the allusion is unknown.

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