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The Book of Hosea
Chapter 10

This chapter continues with the same argument as was in chapter 9, and others before that, setting forth the sins of the ten tribes, and threatening them with the wrath and judgments of God. The prophet urges them to repent, and to turn back to God. The Lord, through Hosea charges Israel with unfruitfulness and ingratitude. As they increased in idolatry, they increased in temporal good things with a divided heart, and with NO reverence for God. They continued with false swearing, covenant breaking and injustice, are threatened with the removal of their king, and with the destruction of their idols, and places of idolatry, which would cause fear in the common people, and mourning among the priests.

Their sin had continued a long time, even though the Lord had been gracious and good to them. He chastened them in love, gave them good laws, sent His prophets to encourage them to repentance, but all was in vain. So now, they are threatened with the spoiling of their fortresses, the destruction of the people, and the cutting off of their king.

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. (KJV)

Israel is an empty vine . . . Israel and Ephraim are terms Hosea normally uses, and they mean the same people, the ten tribes revolted from the house of David, and from the TRUE worship of God. The people of Israel are often compared to a vine that brings forth NO fruit, even though being planted in a good soil, and taken care of well (Ps.80:8).

Israel was not empty of the fruit of temporal good things, for a multitude of such fruit it is said to have; but this speaks of spiritual fruit: the fruit of grace and of good works. They were destitute of the Spirit of God and His grace. They were spoiled by their enemies, who robbed them of their wealth and riches, and trampled them under foot.

He bringeth forth fruit unto himself . . . whatever fruit Israel brought forth by its remaining strength was NOT brought forth to God, for His service and honor; but for themselves, for their own use, for service of a selfish interest, to make presents, and to pay tribute or to maintain the worship of their idols.

All the good works done by them were NOT to the praise and glory of God, as fruits of righteousness are, which come only by Christ Jesus, but were done to be seen of men (Mat.6:5), and to gain their praise and respect. So because of this, the fruit of their works was the cause, the reason, for their being carried away captive.

According to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars . . . as the Israelites increased in riches and wealth, with their land bringing forth great abundance, they erected the a multitude of altars to their idols, and multiplied their sacrifices to them. This was how they made use of the fruit they produced.

According to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images . . . He hath made a multitude of grand images; more stately and more richly adorned, for they accounted it a great devotion to have many, rich statues of their idols. Because of the goodness of God's land, an abundance of crops were produced . . . BUT . . . they abused this providential goodness of God by using the crops to the utterly vile purpose of sacrificing to their idols.

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

Their heart is divided . . . their heart is divided between God and His worship, and that of the idle Baal, such as in Zep.1:5. Their affections were alienated from one another by discord and hostility, their conspiracies against their kings, and the murders of them, and the civil wars among themselves. They were NOT of one mind, but disagreed in their passions about their idols; some wanted one, others another . . . anything EXCEPT God Himself. They did NOT fear God, they wanted NO part of His worship and service. And too, some pretended to worship God when they worshipped the calves, thus sharing the service between them, which God in NO way would honor!.

In their minds, it were as if they had done that which was right and good, and were NOT guilty of evil, so NO punishment would be inflicted on them. So foolish, like millions today! Divided hearts, double minded: (Hos.7:8; 1 Ki.18:21; Isa.44:18; Zep.1:5; Mat.6:24; Lk.16:13; 2 Thes.2:11-12; Jam.1:8; 4:4; 1 Jn.2:15; Rev.3:15-16).

Now shall they be found faulty . . . they shall be convicted of their sin and folly, and KNOW they were guilty. They shall be punished for their idolatry, and NONE of their idols shall NOT be able to save them. Their land shall be desolate, and they carried captive where they did not want to go! The king of Assyria stirred up by God, would invade and destroy Ephraim, break down their altars; utterly pulling down all those altars which they had multiplied to their idols. The Assyrians shall, as other conquering heathen nations, rage against the gods of the people they conquer, as well as against the people. Break down idols: (Hos.10:5-8; 8:5-6; 1 Sam.5:4; Jer.43:13; Mic.5:13; Zec.13:2).

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? (KJV)

For now they shall say, we have no king . . . these are the words of despair, NOT repentance. They were terrified by their guilt, but not enough to come out the darkness of their sin. They would NOT confess the iniquity which had brought God's wrath down upon them. Israel had asked for a king, when the LORD was their king! In sin, Ephraim had made Jeroboam king (1 Ki.12:20), and in sin, the following kings were made, WITHOUT the counsel and advice of God (Ps.1:1; 2:2; 5:10; Pro.12:5; Isa.30:1; Eze.11:2; Mic.6:16). They had a king, but it was as if they had no king, because God was angry with them, and He would give them NO strength to deliver them. So now, without love, and with the memory of their evil deeds, they shall be crushed beyond all hope of remedy. They groan for their losses, their sufferings, their fears, but they do NOT repent. Such is the remorse of the damned. All the good they had is lost, because they did not reverence (fear) God! What a lesson this should be for us today!

Because we feared not the LORD . . . they have no king, because they rejected "the King of kings" (Rev.19:16). Lack of reverence, or no reverence at all for God, comes from the devil! When someone does not "fear" the Lord, their eternal soul is in big trouble. When a person or a nation brings on the displeasure and wrath of God, then or now, He will be NO help to them whatsoever! It is easy for us to try to put the blame on our government for our problems today . . . but the basic problem is in our own hearts!

What then should a king do to us? . . . if they had a king, he could not help them; for they had offended God, the King of kings, and made Him their enemy. What could an earthly king, a weak mortal man, do for them, or to them? They could expect NO help and NO deliverance.

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. (KJV)

They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant . . . "they" are the nobles and great men in Israel, the heads of government, or the counselors of the kingdom. "Swearing falsely" . . . there was NO truth in their words, NO sanctity in their oaths, NO faithfulness in keeping covenants and NO justice in giving judgments. Their words were vain, empty and deceitful. Just like today's government!

Thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field . . . they turned judgment into gall or wormwood (Amos 5:7; 6:12). Judgment from them went forth perverted (Hab.1:4). "As hemlock in the furrows of the field" . . . this is proverbial speech, expressing the greatness of this deadly evil. Swearing falsely, lies, oppression, injustice and ALL sins spread as hemlock quickly overruns a field, over the entire kingdom.

God was angry and greatly displeased with Israel for their insincere promises. Because they did not keep their word, there were many lawsuits. People break their promises, but God always keeps His (Tit.1:2). Do you keep your promises, to other people and to God? If not, get your act together, ask God for forgiveness (1 Jn.1:9), and get back on that narrow road! Never make a promise unless you are sure you can keep it.

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. (KJV)

The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven . . . "Bethaven" is a term of ridicule for Bethel. One of the golden calves was located at Bethel and the other at Samaria. The inhabitants of these two cities were jealous of the other over, arguing who had the biggest calf or the most gold in it.

The citizens who still were safe in Samaria, knew that Assyria had invaded the kingdom. These idolatrous citizens were in great fear for their god, lest the Assyrians should destroy their idol.

For the people thereof shall mourn over it . . . either the people of Samaria, or the people of Bethaven where the idol was; now broken to pieces, or carried away. It is generally interpreted of the people who were worshippers of the calf, who would mourn over it, or from its being carried away from them, as in the next verse.
The people who lived at Bethaven, had gain and profit by the idol, to which many resorted; or they were simply addicted to this idol, worshipped it, and trusted in it, so they will mourn after their strange god.

And the priests thereof that rejoiced on it . . . meaning the priests attended and offer sacrifices to these calves, would lose their livelihood with their idol. These priests formerly were fed, clothed and enriched by these idols, now they will have to find a new way to make a living.
For the glory of it, because it is departed from it . . . either the glory of the calf, which was gone from it, the worship which was given to it, and the pricey gems and ornaments that were round about it . . . or the glory of all Israel, which was carried captive from them. The golden calf, which was their god, in which they gloried, and put their trust and confidence in. The glory of the calf, all its credits and reverence, is departed from them, is vanished. It was once their god, now turned into a captive, and with loss of liberty hath lost its deity also; the Assyrians have either broken it, or carried it away in contempt into Assyria.

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. (KJV)

It shall also be carried unto Assyria for a present to King Jareb . . . it, meaning the golden calf made by Jeroboam the First (1 Ki.2:28). King Jareb (Hos.5:13). "Shall be carried" . . . although it has feet, it cannot walk, it must be carried. and it is carried in triumph. For a present; according to the custom of conquering generals, the rich and rare things of the conquered people were reserved for gifts to their kings; and here is a rarity indeed, a captive god, and it is rich, for it is made of gold. Other Scriptures that ridicule idols. (1 Sam.5:3-4; Ps.115:5-8; 135:16-18; Isa.46:2,7; Jer.10:5; Hab.2:19).

Ephraim shall receive shame . . . for worshipping such an idol, when they shall see it broken to pieces, and the gold of it made a present to the Assyrian king. Then they shall see that it could NOT save them, or itself. The great confusion of these people is foretold here, also the certainty of it.

The Assyrians shall rebuke them for their foolishness, to think that a god which could not keep itself from becoming a prey to defiant soldiers when taunted. Israel cannot answer, but must be silent with shame.

And Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel . . . which is expressly mentioned in 1 Ki.12:28. It was strictly against the counsel of God; and as they began in their own counsel, so they persisted in that same ungodly counsel. They gave in to idolatry, completely opposed to the counsel, mind and will of God.

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

As for Samaria . . . this speaks of the ten tribes of Israel, the whole kingdom.

Her king is cut off . . . all the rest of the kingdom was lost, he that was once the confidence of the ten tribes, the king of a mighty people, is now spoiled of all but one only city, where he is a prisoner instead of a king. Some say this was Pekah, who was killed by Hoshea (2 Ki.15:30), while others think it could have been one of several of their kings cut off one after another, very suddenly and quickly. It also could have been Hoshea the last king that is meant here, who was cut off by the king of Assyria.

As the foam upon the water . . . as a contemptible, weak and light thing. This is a proverb that foretells how contemptibly the Assyrians would use them. "Her king is cut off as the foam" . . . just as a slight puff of wind blows off the foam that is formed below by a fall of water, so shall the kings of Israel be cut off. "All their kings are fallen" (Hos.7:7), for "there is none among them that calleth unto me."

Israel's kings assembled themselves as foam on water, they swell and look big for a while; but were simply empty bubbles, who are often suddenly, quickly and easily destroyed. So it was with Samaria and her king when they were attacked by the Assyrian army. Almighty God, the Lord of hosts, the King of kings, was against them.

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. (KJV)

The high places also of Aven . . . the high places were the temples and altars of Baal and other idols. "Aven" is Beth-aven. Aven stood for vanity and folly, here meaning all idol worship with its rituals and rites, which was the notorious sin of Israel. The high places were where idolatrous worship took place, and were usually set on hills and mountains.

The sin of Israel shall be destroyed . . . it was the high places that was the cause of the sin of Israel, these were where Israel committed the sin of idolatry, in the worship of the calves. These would be thrown down, demolished, and no longer used.

The thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars . . . shall be utterly overthrown and lie in waste with thorns and thistles springing up where their altars once stood within their stately idolic temples. When this happens, the idolatrous Israelites shall be in great confusion.

The people and priests were carried away captive that used to sacrifice upon the altars; so now they shall lie deserted by them, being destroyed by the enemy.

And they shall say to the mountains, cover us; and to the hills, fall on us . . . they shall pray that the mountains would fall on them, and bury them alive, that they might escape the troubles that they now did knew were coming upon them. This would be a rebuke for praying to lifeless stocks or statues. When their gods are gone, they would cry to deaf mountains to cover them. "And they shall say to the mountains, Cover us, And to the hills, Fall on us."
Isaiah 2:19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. (KJV)
Luke 23:30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. (KJV)
Rev.6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: (KJV) . . . This could be a reference to the caverns that abounded in the mountainous countries of Palestine.

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. (KJV)

O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah . . .this is probably a reference to the affair of the Levite and his concubine at Gibeah in the days of the judges, and what followed (Judg.19:1), suggesting that the sins of Israel were not new ones, but the same old ones that were done before. They were guilty of idolatry, inhumanity, immorality and impurity, gross sins because of unnatural lusts. Sound familiar? Sounds like today!

"O Israel, thou hast sinned" . . . all those of the ten tribes with such agreement and willingness, have sinned, that Israel as a whole seemed to sin as one man. "From the days of Gibeah" . . . ever since the days of Gibeah's wickedness (Judg.20:13; Hos.5:8-9; 9:9), Israel had sinned more than they. The ten tribes were greater sinners than the Gibeonites. The prophet compares the sins of the present age and that past.

There they stood . . . "there" in Gibeah, "they stood." Although smitten twice at Gibeah, and heavily chastened, there they ridiculed the sacredness of God's law. They stood, chastened but not killed. None of the ten tribes took God's side! There was NO zeal for God, there was NO feeling of guilt, there was NO fear of God's judgment and NO peril of utter ruin. They simply "kept on keeping on" in sin! Although the tribe of Benjamin was then reduced to 600 men (Judg.20:47), the tribe did survive and flourished again. Now the kingdom of the ten tribes, and the name of Ephraim, would be totally blotted out.

The battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them . . . the two first battles against the men of Gibeah and the Benjamites, who are "the children of iniquity," did not succeed against them, but the Israelites were overcome. But the third battle, overtook them, with just 600 persons making an escape. That fatal battle did not reach them, but now Israel shall be punished more severely. Those who would escape the sword shall be carried captives, and they shall be no more a people or kingdom.

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. (KJV)

It is in my desire that I should chastise them . . . God is resolved to punish them! They deserve to the utmost what He shall give them. He shall punish as He sees fit and right! God's chastisement would be to "bind them" and carry them away captive. By so doing, He would correct them for their sins they have continued for so long. It was His "desire," it was what was in His Heart, it was what He was determined to do. It would be for the glorifying of His justice and His Truth, because they had so long ridiculed His mercy, and they had so terribly abused His clemency and goodness.

And the people shall be gathered against them . . . the "people" were the Assyrians, who at the command of the Lord, would come and invade their land, besiege their city and take it, binding them and carrying them away captive (2 Ki.17:3; 18:9).

When they shall bind themselves in their two furrows . . . "they" are the Israelites, when God shall send the Assyrians to bind Israel for their two transgressions.
Jer.2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (KJV) . . . Israel shall be chastised for their two iniquities: I think this double iniquity may refer to what Jeremiah says: #1. They have forsaken me. #2. They have joined themselves to idols.

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. (KJV)

And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn . . . a young and willful heifer, unaccustomed to the yoke, not used to hard labor. A "heifer" (young cow), can be compared to a "colt" (young horse), that is not broke to ride or drive. "Is taught" . . . to get used to the yoke, and to work. "And loveth to tread out the corn" . . . what people do today by threshing, the Jews did with these heifers or oxen. The animals would tread out the corn. In doing this the law provided that the ox should not be muzzled, but be allowed to eat what it would.

The sense here is, that Ephraim or the ten tribes were taught to bear the yoke of the law, and yield obedience to it, and perform good works; but did not like that course of life. They had no more regard for religion than what they found their own worldly profit and advantage in it.

But I passed over upon her fair neck . . . this expresses the flourishing condition of the ten tribes, especially in the times of Jeroboam the second, which made them proud and haughty. The Lord was determined to humble them. Ephraim is like "an heifer" that loves to tread out the corn. They enjoyed the bountiful harvest that they got, but they sure did not like the idea of going out and plowing the ground to break up the clods. God is saying that He will force Ephraim to go back to doing the thing he does not want to do. Again . . . this is SO much like today! People want good things, but they sure do not like to work to get them. Today's young people want what their parents have, but they want it NOW! "Her fair neck" means those who sin and take pleasure in their sins.

I will make Ephraim to ride . . . I think this expresses that same vengeance as, "Ye are a stiffnecked people; I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee" (Ex.33:5). As long as the sinner is proud in his sins, as long as he stiffens his "fair neck," taking pleasure in the evils which he has done, God's love and mercy will turn away and His wrath will kick in. BEWARE!!!

Judah shall plough, and Jacob shall break his clods . . . Judah, although less sinful, has been used to harder work, and more rough treatment. He had ploughed when Ephraim had reaped. "Jacob shall break his clods" . . . proverbial speech; their work is hard at present, but a harvest will follow.

In the will of God, Judah and Israel were to unite in His service, Judah first, Jacob, after him, breaking the clods which would hinder the seed from shooting up. Judah being mentioned in the same incidental way, as elsewhere by Hosea, it may be, that he would speak of what should follow on Ephraim's chastisement.

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. (KJV)

Sow to yourselves in righteousness . . . Hosea continues in his loving care of Israel's welfare, by encouraging and warning them to repent. The Lord had formerly said by His prophets, "Sow in righteousness" (Job 4:8; Pro.11:18) . . . this same duty had been stressed to them before, and is again recommended to them; sow in righteousness, in universal righteousness, towards God in piety, towards man in equity, and always see that ye sow plentifully, exercising yourselves in these good works. Watch what you sow: (Job 4:8; Ps.126:5-6; Pro.6:14,19; 11:18-21; 16:28; 22:8; Ecc.10:8; 11:16; Isa.32:20; 55:6; Jer.4:3-4; 29:12-14; Hos.8:7; Amos 5:4-9,15; Zep.2:1-3; Lk.13:24; Gal.6:7-9; Jam.3:18).
Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (KJV)

Reap in mercy . . . this could refer both to Divine mercy, and too could amount to a promise of mercy we will receive if we show mercy to man. The Bible is clear, what we sow, we shall reap! Gal.6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (KJV)

Break up your fallow ground . . . this "ground" speaks of their hearts, which were like ground unbroken, unplanted, not ready for seed, but overrun with weeds and thistles. This is what their hearts were like, hard and impenitent, no mercy and full of sin and wickedness. They needed to have a renewal of their minds and hearts, so that good seed may be sowed in them, that they may bring forth fruit of righteousness (Eph.5:9; Heb.12:11; Jam.3:18) in a holy life, from a holy heart and obtain mercy of God.

For it is time to seek the Lord . . . for His amazing grace! Just as the farmer seeks, prays and waits for rain when he has tilled his ground, and sowed his seed . . . seeking to make it fruitful, that he may have a plentiful harvest.
Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (KJV)

Till he come and rain righteousness upon you . . . seek with patience and faith until He does come, for it is absolutely certain that He shall come! This is a tremendous Promise! God WILL come to them IF they seek Him! And He WILL bless, favor and love them when He comes! WHY can't more people today understand this FACT?

God would "rain righteousness" upon them, abundantly pouring out the fruits of His own Spirit (Gal.5:22-23), abundant goodness and mercy which He has promised . . . and having made a Promise, He shall fulfill that Promise Thus are the mercies of God to us . . . His righteousness is there for all who repent and obey His counsel. That is why the Old testament is so important to us today! His prophets clearly tell us what God expects of us, and what He will do IF we disobey Him.

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. (KJV)

Ye have ploughed wickedness . . . they took a great pains to commit their evils; sowing it everywhere, which then sprung up in a bountiful crop. This could mean their first sins, from which all the others arose, such as their lack of faith and infidelity, their apostasy from God, their idolatry and contempt of His Word and His prophets. Israel had "ploughed wickedness." Instead of repentance and a life of righteousness, they had lived in wickedness, broadcasting it everywhere. They had increased all manner of wickedness, thus abusing and perverting God's awesome love and goodness. All Hosea's warnings were vain and fruitless. Oh! that people today would take note of this!

Ye have reaped iniquity . . . the wickedness they had sown had sprung up, ripened into a great harvest of iniquity, they had received a recompense worthy of their labor. God had punished them for their wickedness.

Ye have eaten the fruit of lies . . . not a sweet morsel, but instead bread of deceit, which could not, nor would not profit them, nor give them the pleasure it promised them, and that they had hoped for from it. They fed themselves with vain hopes, and maintained themselves in a carnal, sinful confidence. They forsook "the fountain of living waters" (Jer.2:13; 17:13).

Because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men . . . they trusted in their idols, worshipping them, and seeking those ridiculous idols instead of seeking the Lord, the Almighty God. Their "way" was their idolatry committed with the calves . . . and in their alliances with neighboring nations, and promising themselves great prosperity and happiness from these things.

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

Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people . . . because of their wickedness and vain confidence, the Assyrian army would invade them at God's command. A "tumult" shall arise; discontentment, murmuring and an outcry as of men afraid, not knowing what road to take when the alarm is given, and the news comes that Shalmaneser comes with his army against the kingdom of Israel. "Among thy people" . . . the Israelites, among all kinds of people among all the ten tribes of the kingdom.

And all thy fortresses shall be spoiled . . . every one of their strong holds, those impregnable fortifications on which they had put their confidence for safety . . . everyone of these would be taken and demolished by the enemy, in every part of the kingdom; so that there would be no place left to flee unto, or retreat.

As Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle . . . Shalman seems to be Shalmaneser king of Assyria (2 Ki.17:3-6; 18:9-11), his name being abbreviated, as Bethaven is called Aven (Hos.10:8), although some say it was not Shalmaneser, but Shallum (2 Ki.15:10,13-15).

The city of Betharbel is mentioned only once in the Bible (Hos.10:14) as a city destroyed by Shalman. Opinions vary both as to the location of the place and as to the identification of Shalman. "In the day of battle" . . . it seems there was a battle here, although it is difficult to identify in history just which incident is being referred to in this verse. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3198-beth-arbel

The mother was dashed in pieces with her children . . . women big with child, or those having their children in their arms, had no mercy shown to them, but were utterly destroyed by torturous attacks. This horrendous method was used not only by Assyria, but also later by Babylon. This was mentioned by the Israelites as they wept in Babylon (Ps.137:8-9). Those people used brutal and uncivilized methods of destruction in war. Why were they so uncivilized? What about today? There are some horrendous things being done by those in the drug racket, by Mexicans, by Muslims, by homosexuals, by demon worshipers and by the so called "new morality" of our day. Was dashing the heads of babies against rocks any worse than the horrific and outrageous things that are done today? Absolutely not! 1 Maccabees 9:2 Who went forth by the way that leadeth to Galgala, and pitched their tents before Masaloth, which is in Arbela, and after they had won it, they slew much people. (KJV)

Hosea 10:15 So shall Bethel do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off. (KJV)

So shall Bethel do unto you, because of your great wickedness . . . Beth-el is one place put for every one, the place put for the idolatry there. "Because of your great wickedness" . . . their idolatry and other associated sins, are here summed up . . . their total sum, great wickedness, exceedingly great.

Bethel (house of God) was a town 12 miles north of Jerusalem. Beth-el is mentioned more in the Old Testament than any other city except Jerusalem. It is where Abraham built his second altar (Gen.12:8); where Jacob had his vision of angels ascending and descending on a heavenly ladder (Gen.28:11-22); and where after twenty years Jacob returned, according to his vow, to set up an altar. He called the place Beth-el "because there God had revealed Himself to him" (Gen.35:2-7). Jeroboam desecrated the place by setting up a golden calf. The Syrian general Baccides fortified the city (1 Maccabees 9:50) and it was captured by the Roman general Vespian in A.D. 69, according to Josephus. The city was destroyed during the Arab conquest in the seventh century.

In a morning shall the king of Israel be utterly cut off . . . meaning Hoshea the last king of Israel, and the kingdom entirely destroyed, so that afterwards there was no more king in Israel, nor has there been to this day. There was not only the utter destruction of that king, but of all his power and government, and ever since Israel has been without a king (Hos.3:4). "A morning" . . . suddenly, unexpectedly. One hour, one day: (Rev.18:8,10,17,19).


God is not willing that any should perish (2 Pet.3:9), that is why He chastises sinners (Heb.12:5-11; Rev.3:19), so that they can see their sin, turn away from it, repent and live as He desires. Many children of iniquity still remained in Israel. The enemies would be gathered against them. God is right and just when He makes those to know what hardships are, who indulge in ease and pleasure, so true of today's times.

Hearts MUST be cleansed of all corrupt and immoral affections and lusts, and become broken, along with a contrite spirit (Ps.34:18; 51:17; Isa.57:15; 66:2). We are to abound in works of piety towards God, and of kindness and mercy towards one another. We are to sow in righteousness so we may reap the same. Christ is "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jer.23:6; 33:16), and shall grant us of it abundantly, IF we obey Him! If we sow in righteousness, we shall reap accordingly, a Divine reward not of debt, but of grace.

When we seek the Lord, and hope and trust in in Him, He will NOT deceive you, ever! Whatever mischief is done, it is sin that does it, NOT the Lord! Seeking the Lord should be done every day, NOT only when grief, pain or trouble strikes. Seeking the Lord should become a habit, a ritual with us! Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (KJV)

Book of Hosea

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