HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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The Book of Hosea
Introduction to Hosea Chapter 11
Israel must be judged for her apostasy, idolatry and all her sin, just like any other nation or individual who turns their back on God.
Up to now, the emphasis has been on the disobedience of God's people, but now there is a new note sounding . . . that being the love and mercy of God, His amazing grace! How wonderful that is!
This chapter speaks of the wondrous love of God to ancient Israel, and of the multitude of benefits, blessings and goodness that He bestowed upon them . . . and of their ingratitude in not possessing them. They simply paid no attention to His prophets, but instead sacrificed and burned incense to idols. Because of this, they receive NO help or relief from Egypt, and are carried away captive into Assyria. They are threatened with the ravages of the sword because they are a people bent to apostasy, backsliding and being persistent and hopelessly involved in sin, just like people today. Even with all this, the Lord lovingly yearned after them, and He promises mercy to them . . . that not all would not be utterly destroyed, but a "remnant" shall be spared. Remnant of Israel: (Ezra 9:8,15; Neh.1:3; 9:31; Isa.1:9; 4:3; 10:20; 11:11,16; 17:6; 37:4,32; 45:20; 46:3; 65:8; Jer.5:18; 6:9; 23:3; 30:11; 31:7; 40:11; 41:16; 42:2,15,19; 43:5; 44:12,14; 46:28; 50:20; Eze. 6:8; 12:16; 14:22; Joel 2:32; Amos 3:12; 5:3,15; 9:8; Mic. 2:12; 4:7; 5:3,8; 7:18; Zep.2:7,9; 3:13; Zec.8:6; 8:12; 13:8; Rom.9:27,29; 11:5).
Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. (KJV)
When Israel was a child . . . a rebellious and disobedient child, therefore their king was cut off in a morning (Hos.10:15), and they shall be without a king a long time. This speaks of the infancy of Israel, which is here dated equal with their being in Egypt.
Then I loved him . . . the Lord clearly revealed His tender and paternal affection which He had for Israel, did cling to him, increased him in numbers, wealth, and honor.
And called my son out of Egypt . . . God adopted Israel to be His son, and as His son provided for him, and brought him out of servitude; I so loved him as to give Egypt for his ransom (Isa.43:3). "Out of Egypt" . . . where they had sojourned over 200 years, and in them suffered many indignations from the Egyptians, who were their enemies, and wanted to exterminate Israel. Amidst such enemies, God owned them and redeemed them out of bondage, a fruit of wonderful love that should never be forgotten.
This verse speaks mainly of the nation of Israel. It reveals the close relationship between God and the nation. God is actually saying, "Israel as a nation was my son, and I took him out of Egypt." God did NOT take them out of Egypt because they were wonderful, loyal servants to Him. They were not serving God, but were idolaters even then. And their ability or their superiority had nothing at all to do with why God took them out of Egypt either. It was because He loved them. And LOVE is the reason He saves you and me. Love is not the basis of salvation, but it surely is the motive of salvation. The redemption we have in Christ, the FACT that He was willing to die for us, all boils down to His LOVE for us, even though NONE of us are worthy of that kind of love! John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)
Matthew 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. (KJV) . . . Matthew applied this verse to the Lord Jesus Christ.
That Baby who was born in Bethlehem is identified with the nation Israel, because Jesus is an Israelite. The Samaritan woman at the well knew this. John 4:9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. (KJV)
As a Baby, Jesus was taken down to Egypt for safety (Mat.2:13-14). But . . . that safety lasted only a short while when He was brought out of Egypt. Danger lurked and hatred flared in the arena in which His Father placed Him. He would demonstrate the love of God by dying on that old rugged cross! His love would furnish a redemption that sinful man might have a righteous basis on which his sins could be forgiven (Rom.3:21-26; 5:1; 1 Cor.1:30; Gal.3:13; Eph.1:7; Tit.2:6; 1 Pet.1:18-19). That redemption identifies us as His people, for His coming as Man identified Him with humanity.
It seems that the nation of Israel was "a type of Christ," and for the sake of Him who was to be born of the seed of Israel, God called Israel, "My son." For His sake alone did He deliver Israel. He rescued Israel, "His son," in its baby and childish condition, at the very beginning of its being, as a people.
God's true Son by nature, Christ Jesus our Lord, He brought up in His Infancy, as He revealed His mercies to us in Him. Both Israel and Baby Jesus, by His appointment, were taken refuge in Egypt; and both were, by His miraculous call were recalled from Egypt. "Out of Egypt have I called My Son."
Hosea 11:2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. (KJV)
As they called them . . . "they" are Moses and Aaron, and other prophets, and also holy, zealous judges and priests such as Samuel. The prophets of the Lord, the TRUE prophets, called Israel to the worship and service of God . . . but Israel turned a deaf ear to them, and turned their backs to them. And the more the prophets "called" to them, the further the people fled from them, and from the way of their duty (Hos.11:7). God sent His prophets to teach them Truth, but they turned away from them. "Called" . . . advised, persuaded and urged by warnings. "Them" . . . the whole house of Israel, the ten tribes, or Ephraim.
So they went from them . . . stubbornly and dishonestly they apostatized more and more (Isa.1:5). Terrible ingratitude to God!
They sacrificed to Baalim, and burnt incense to graven images . . . they sacrificed to idols; they began this apostasy by joining themselves to Baal-peor (Num.25:3), and worship of the golden calf (Ex.32:4-6), persisting in it. "Graven images" . . . were images of their idols, before which they performed another rite of religious worship, the burning of incense before them, committing idolatry. In Christ's time, instead of the Jews hearkening to Jesus and His apostles, they followed the traditions of the elders, and the sayings of the Scribes and Pharisees.
Moses and Aaron were sent unto them, and called Israel out of Egypt, but the people hearkened NOT unto them (Ex.6:9). Later, God sent the prophets to them, to warn them of their duty, and get them to turn, to repent of their evil ways, but they despised and refused to listen to their advice and instructions. We today have the Holy Bible, God's Word to us, yet people refuse to pay heed to it and follow its instructions to us. BEWARE!!!
Hosea 11:3 I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. (KJV)
I taught Ephraim also to go . . . as a mother or nanny helps the child, guiding the little one with tender care as it forms its first steps, and by continued patience stands by it . . . such was the tenderness of God toward Israel in its childhood.
Taking them by their arms . . . or in His own arms, bearing and carrying them in His arms, as a father his son (Deut.1:31; Num.11:12). So the Lord deals with His spiritual child, Israel, either holding them by their arms while they walk, as a father their young child, to help that they may not fall . . . so too the Lord holds the "arms" of His people in their ways, that their footsteps may not slip, upholding them with the "right hand of his righteousness" (Isa.41:10). He takes them up in His own arms when they are weary, He carries them in His bosom, and when they fall, He takes them up again so they are not utterly cast down. Whether they fall is into sin, or into some calamity and affliction, He puts underneath them His everlasting arms (Deut.33:27), and bears them up, keeping them from sinking into a final and total falling away.
Some interpret this of Ephraim taking up and carrying in his arms the graven images and golden calves. I think they see this a circumstance of ingratitude, of which would be quite true, but I cannot go along with this interpretation.
But they knew not that I healed them . . . they were foolish, unthankful, ungrateful and heedless. They could not see or acknowledge God in their healing them of the diseases of Egypt, or preserving them from them, including the whole of their salvation and deliverance from Egypt, and all the benefits and favors that accompanied it . . . all of which they attributed to their idols, NOT to the Lord (Ex.15:26). "Healing" . . . in a spiritual sense, means the forgiveness of sin, which the Lord's people may have, because of Christ! This "healing" is owed only to the grace of God (Ps.84:10-11; Eph.1:6-7), and "precious Blood of Christ" (1 Pet.1:18-19). It was just within a few months, that they ascribe their deliverance to a golden calf (Ex.32:4); thus foolishly they turn their backs on the love of their God.
See our poem, "I'd Rather": http://www.hisservantsministry.org/mar_2012.htm
Hosea 11:4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them. (KJV)
I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love . . . God, in His pity laid His hand upon them, and like a father or friend, drew them gently to Himself. "With cords of a man" . . . backsliding heifers (Hos.4:16) such as was Israel, must be dragged with ropes. But although Ephraim struggled against the Lord, He would not drag him as a beast, God drew him as a man, as a son, with cords of love. He did not say, lead 'him,' but 'draw him.' This aggression is done to the heart, not to the body. This most loving kind of drawing, is what our dull and weak spirit needs, for who ever we are, without the grace of God, we wince and shrink away from Truths of God and grasp for vile and earthly things the devil offers.
And I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws . . . as a careful farmer in due season takes the yoke from his laboring oxen so they may rest, and takes off the muzzle with which they were kept from eating when at work, gives them time of rest and feeding . . . so God did with Israel.
This may refer to Israel's deliverance from their physical bondage in Egypt; but it can be spiritually applied to Christ, the essential "Word" of God (Jn.1:1), breaking and taking off the yoke of sin, Satan and the law from off His people, thus bringing liberty to the children of God.
And I laid meat unto them . . . God brought them provisions for all their needs, just as the caring farmer brings fodder for his wearied laboring oxen. By this plain symbol God does inform Israel in Hosea's time what ancient, tender, constant, and vigilant love He had shown to Israel, thus revealing their unheard-of ingratitude and wickedness, which began with their fathers, and had continued with increase to the days of their final ruin.
This could refer to the manna and quails he rained about their tents (Ex.16:4,13). Even when they were in the wilderness, God gave them things to eat.
In a spiritual sense the Lord gives meat to them that fear Him, while in the wilderness of this world. He brings it near, and sets it before them in the ministry of His Word. Jesus tells us: John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. (KJV) . . . The flesh of Christ, is meat indeed. The doctrines of the Gospel are milk for babes in Christ, and meat for more experienced saints.
Hosea 11:5 He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return. (KJV)
He shall not return into the land of Egypt . . . "he" is Ephraim. He should NOT have courted Egypt's friendship, or wanted their help . . . because God would have kept them safe and sufficiently provided for them.
But the Assyrian shall be his king . . . God tells Israel through His prophet, that Assyria's king would rule over the ten tribes. They had NO choice! They shall be forced to acknowledge him as their king, and be subject to him, for they were taken and carried away captive into his land. Assyria would be their home, and Assyria's king would be their king.
Because they refused to return . . . they had backslidden from the Lord, and they would NOT return to Him! They rejected God's pure worship, His Word and ordinances. They had departed from God, setting up the calves at Dan and Bethel, and they refused to stop worshipping idols instead of the TRUE God. This was extremely ungrateful behavior to the Lord for all the beneficial blessings and favors He had bestowed upon them. Because of this, they are righteously threatened with captivity and bondage in Assyria by the Lord.
Ephraim ran down to Egypt to get help but quickly found out that Egypt was his enemy. Then he ran up to Assyria to get help there, and their utter refusal to return to God by their persistence of worship of idols, God got fed up and said, "I'm going to make Assyria his king" . . . and Assyria is where He sent Israel into captivity.
Hosea 11:6 And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels. (KJV)
And the sword shall abide on the cities . . . "the sword" either at home or foreign wars, or both. "Shall abide" . . . be around a long time. It would not be as a sudden attack which causes much mischief to surprised and unfortified places. It would be a lasting war; three years Samaria was besieged (2 Ki.17:5; 18:9-10), the "sword" did abide. On all the cities of Ephraim, the enemy would have courage and leisure to attend the siege of every one of them.
And shall consume his branches, and devour them . . . could mean the smaller towns and villages adjoining the cities, which were like branches are to a tree, springing up from them, and supported by them. Another view is that this could be the great men and nobles of the land . . . and it shall slay his mighty men, and destroy his princes.
Because of their own counsels . . . which they took and pursued, opposing the counsel of God and the revelation of His mind and His will . . . especially in setting up idolatrous worship and persistently continuing in it . . . even with all the admonitions, exhortations, counsels and threatenings of God by His prophets.
Hosea 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him. (KJV)
And my people are bent to backsliding from me . . . Israel was determined to turn away from God. Although the Lord's faithful prophets had really tried to encourage the people to return by repentance, they would NOT. They persistently continued to adhere to their idol gods and to see about Egyptian help.
Though they called them to the most High . . . God's faithful prophets called them to turn away from their idols, and return to the most high God, the TRUE and the living God, from whom they had backslidden, and to return to His true worship, which they had neglected and forsaken.
None at all would exalt him . . . NONE would exalt the most high God, NONE would give Him the praise and glory due to His Holy Name. Instead, they simply praised and gave glory to stupid no-account, worthless, no-help images! This is quite clear! NONE at all . . . NOT even one out of many in those great numbers in Israel, would hearken and obey. NONE would exalt Him . . . the TRUE God in His holiness, justice, goodness and truth. NONE at all repented, but 'kept on keeping on' magnifying and retaining their idols, depending on Egypt. NONE at all would either believe or try God's goodness. Hosea 7:16 They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt. (KJV)
Hosea 11:8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. (KJV)
How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel . . . God does not want to give them up. He loves them, but because of their sin God must judge them. "How shall I deliver thee, Israel?" . . . God has prepared NO other way to save you except by the death of Christ. People think there are 'many ways to Heaven.' That is NOT true! My own mother said to me: "Your way is not the only way!" I gently corrected her: "It is NOT my way, it is God's way."
You may think there are different ways, but God has only ONE WAY! And that Way is JESUS! NO Jesus, NO friend of God, NO Heaven when you die (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8,15-18,36; 5:24; 8:24; 14:6; 1 Jn.5:1-12). There is NO saviour beside Jesus (Hos.13:4). And my friend, this means Jesus and Jesus ALONE! It does not include His mother!
No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace!
There was unparalleled abuse of the Lord's infinite love, mercy and patience. It is no wonder that God's unrelenting wrath and fierce indignation came down on Israel. But, do you see the wonder of it all? Ephraim deserved to be destroyed for ever for the way they treated God. That is what their sins called for, and His justice threatened. BUT . . . His mercy stepped in. God would rather rather spare in mercy, than destroy in justice.
How shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim . . . these two cities were utterly destroyed by fire from heaven, along with Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen.19:24; Deut.29:23). God would have been perfectly in His right, to destroy Ephraim, never to be restored again . . . because they were guilty of the same or similar heinous sins. He could have utterly destroyed them, and cut them off from the face of the Earth, and He would not exceed the bounds of justice. The greatness of Ephraim's sins, deserved the uttermost wrath and vengeance of God.
Mine heart is turned within me . . . not changed; for there is "no shadow of turning with the Lord" (Jam.1:17), neither in His mind and purposes, which He never turns away from, nor in His affections for them. His heart is NEVER turned from love to hatred, or from hatred to love, for if that were true, His love would NOT be "from everlasting to everlasting" (Ps.41:13; 90:2; 103:17; 106:48). This reveals the deep, strong activity of mercy in Him towards His people, which springs up from His sovereign will and pleasure. It is elsewhere implied by the troubling yearnings of His bowels towards them (Isa.63:15; Jer.31:20; Lam.1:20).
My repentings are kindled together . . . the Lord's strong compassions are kindled with the fervent heat of love and mercy. Consider the apostles: Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (KJV) Also Joseph: Gen.43:30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there. (KJV) Also Solomon's experience with the true mother: 1 Kings 3:26 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. (KJV)
God is a free and Sovereign Person with never ending variety and He is flexible in His Holy nature. He can act in love and compassion, OR in anger and righteous wrath depending on with whom He is dealing. IF men obey God, He is unchanging in His spirit of love and mercy toward them, but IF men disobey God, He is unchanging in His opposition to them. God is always and continually just, holy, righteous and pure. God's quality of being just NEVER changes. God will NEVER be unjust . . . ever! This being so, when He sees an individual or a nation who have reached a point in sin where they go completely against God's righteous qualities, He says that they MUST be judged, because He CANNOT overlook sin! His just and Holy nature demands that there be judgment. BUT, since His mercy is also unchangeable, He ALWAYS gives warning before His wrath falls so that person or nation, ALWAYS giving them a chance to repent. Any time there is TRUE repentance, God cannot and will not let His wrath fall, for it then would no longer be just, because they have responded to His mercy. IF God judged them anyway, after a person or nation repented, He would no longer be unchanging in His nature. He would be acting inconsistently, and without reason for His action.
God said He would destroy Nineveh (Jonah 3:4), but when they repented they were no longer enemies out of God’s will (Jonah 4:11). God is NOT locked in to judgment. He is a God of love, and does not wish "that any should perish" (2 Pet.3:9), and His heart goes out to any who turn back to Him and repent! Once God brings down a judgment, He is NOT forced to destroy someone when they willingly obey Him by repentance. God changes His response to them (repented) because He is unchanging in His nature. By nature He is merciful and just, and both mercy and justice demanded that He respond in grace to those who repented.
Warnings: (Gen.19:17; Ex.9:19; Deut.29:20; Josh.24:20; 1 Sam.12:15; 19:2; 2 Ki.17:13; 2 Chron.24:19; Isa.28:14; Jer.13:16; 37:9; 38:2; Eze.3:21; Jonah 3:4; Lk.17:31; Col.1:28; Heb.12:25; 2 Pet.3:17; Rev.2:22).
Take heed: (Deut.4:9,15,23; 12:30; 27:9; Josh.23:11; 1 Chron.28:10; Jer.17:21; Mal.2:16; Mat.6:1; 16:6; 18:10; 24:4; Mk.4:24; 8:15; 13:5,9,23,33; Lk.8:18; 11:35; 12:15; 17:3; 21:8; Acts 5:35; 1 Cor. 3:10; 10:12; Col.4:17; 1 Tim.4:16; Heb.3:12; 2 Pet.1:18-19; 2 Jn.1:8).
Repentance properly belongs to God, who is neither man, nor the Son of Man, that he should repent of anything (Num.23:19). God's seeming change is in agreement, in perfect harmony with His secret everlasting purpose of love to His people, and that is to magnify His grace after their desperate rebellion. He does NOT repent of His love to His people, nor of His choosing of them, nor of His covenant with them, nor of any of His special gifts and grace that He bestows upon them . . . BUT, He does sometimes repent of what men do, and it grieves His Heart (Gen.6:6).
Hosea 11:9 I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city. (KJV)
I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger . . . here mercy stands high over judgment, and God states His purpose to spare, promising that He will not execute judgment according to the severity their sins deserve. His people deserve His wrath and fury to the uttermost, for they are by nature children of wrath as all people are.
I will not return to destroy Ephraim . . . again or any more. Ephraim might be destroyed when carried captive into Assyria; but the remnant that shall spring from him in the latter day shall not be destroyed, but saved.
For I am God, and not man . . . a gracious and merciful God, longsuffering, slow to anger and pardoning sin. God is not like man, cold-hearted, cruel and revengeful who shows no mercy when it is in the power of his hands to avenge himself. God changes not in His purposes and counsels, and in His love and affections. Because of this, the "sons of Jacob are not consumed" (Mal.3:6). God is NOT like hypocritical man that repents, then is fickle, unpredictable and always changing. God is faithful to His Covenant and His Promises, whereas man lies and deceives, promises and never performs. God's compassions are infinite, His goodness unchangeable; He remembers ALL His Promises to every one, and fulfills them all! God will see who among Israel believe and obey, and hope for His grace and mercy. These are the ones that He shall spare, for He is the just Judge of the whole Earth, and what He does is always right!
The Holy One in the midst of thee . . . God is a Holy and pure God. Being in the midst of His people, He protects and defends them, keeping them safe. And being Holy, He sanctifies (sets them apart), and saves them, in a way consistent with His own holiness and justice. Therefore, they shalt not be destroyed for their sakes, as Sodom would not, had there been just ten righteous persons in it (Gen.18:32), to which some think is the reference here.
And I will not enter into the city . . . in a hostile way to destroy or plunder it; but this is not to be understood either of Samaria or Jerusalem, which were entered into in this manner. God would not enter into the city as an enemy, as He had done when He entered Admah, Zeboim and Sodom (Deut.29:23), whereas He utterly destroyed them. God would NOT utterly destroy their city. God would not come in wrath.
Hosea 11:10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. (KJV)
They shall walk after the Lord . . . meaning the "Messiah," who is "God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Pet.1:1); for only through Jesus can we have righteousness (1 Cor.1:30). It was this same Jesus that the Jews pierced (Acts 4:10), and now shall mourn at the sight of Him. Zec.12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (KJV)
Only those converted to Christ Jesus, are the chosen of God among the Jews, who in the latter day shall partake of the grace and favor of God the Father. They shall seek the Lord their God, and David their King (Jer.30:9; Hos.3:5) and, finding Him, they shall follow after Him, as sheep go after their shepherd, being led by Him into green pastures. They shall be as subjects who follow their Prince, obeying His commands; and as soldiers march after their leader and commander, so these after Christ, the great Captain of their salvation (Heb.2:10). They shall zealously go after the worship of the Lord.
He shall roar like a lion . . . the Lord Jesus Christ, whom they walk after; is the "Lion of the tribe of Judah" (Rev.5:5), the Israelites shall then follow after; receiving, embracing, and confessing Him as the One and Only TRUE Messiah. "He shall roar like a lion" . . . in awful judgments against their enemies (Isa.31:4; Jer.25:26-30; Joel 3:16), calling His dispersed "children" from the various lands of their dispersion. Dispersion of the Jews: (Lev.26:33; 26:41; Deut.4:27; 28:25,62,64; 30:1; 32:26; Neh.1:3,8-9; Esth.3:8; Ps.44:11; 106:27; Isa.11:12; Jer.8:3; 9:16; 15:4; 16:13; 17:4; 18:17; 24:9; 29:18; 32:37; 34:17; 44:1; Lam.1:3; Eze.5:10; 6:8; 11:16; 12:15; 17:21; 20:23; 22:15; 32:26; 34:6; 36:19; Dan.9:7; Hos.9:17; Joel 3:2; Zep.3:10; Zec.2:6; 7:14; 10:9; Jn.7:35; 11:52; Acts.2:6; Jam.1:1).
When he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west . . . the children of Israel, the children of God, His adopted ones, whom He has predestinated to the adoption of children. "Shall tremble in eager agitation of haste." When they hear Christ's Voice, they shall tremble, as Saul did when he was called and converted (Acts 9:6). Christ's Voice will not cause them to tremble so as to flee from Him, but shall cause them to flee TO Him. When He shall roar, the captives shall be gathered from the west. "From the west" (Zec.8:7) . . . literally, "the sea." Probably the Mediterranean, including its "isles of the sea," (Isa.24:15) and maritime coast. Hos.11:11 specifies regions of Africa and Asia, so here Europe. Isaiah 11:11-16 is parallel, referring to the same regions. For "children," see Ho 1:10.
Predestined: (Acts 4:28; Rom.8:29; 9:11; Eph.1:4; 3:11; 1 Pet.1:20)
Spiritual adoption: (Jn.1:12-13; 11:52; Acts 15:17; Rom.8:14-19,21,29; 9:8,26; 2 Cor.6:17; Gal.3:26,29; 4:5-7; Eph.1:5; 2:19; 3:6,15; Phil.2:15; Heb.1:5; 2:10,13; 12:6-7,9; 1 Jn.3:1-2,10; 4:4; Rev.21:7).
Hosea 11:11 They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD. (KJV)
They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt . . . tremble, to flutter away in haste; coming from Egypt with fear and trembling. Means the swiftness of the motion of the Jews to Christ, and to His church and His people, and back to their own land, under divine direction. They shall come with honor, and with joy and readiness, in the willing obedience of faith.
And as a dove out of the land of Assyria . . . dove, no longer "a silly dove" (Hos.7:11), but as "doves flying to their windows" (Isa.60:8). As a bird which comes openly, so shall they come who were carried captive into the land of Egypt; and as a dove that returns to its dove house, so shall they return who were carried into the land of Assyria. God shall return them in peace to their houses, and His Word shall be their protection.
And I will place them in their houses, saith the Lord . . . in their houses (Eze.28:26). Literally "upon," for the Orientals live almost as much on their flat-roofed houses as inside them. God says, that He will make them to dwell, never again to be removed, nor shaken in it, but in a secure dwelling-place. He shall place them in their houses, and they shall have their temple once more, and all their holy ordinances.
Hosea 11:12 Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints. (KJV)
Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit . . . this verse might be better beginning the next chapter. Some interpreters do place it there. But, since it is here, I will comment on it here. "Ephraim" . . . many or most of Ephraim were liars and hypocrites. They give God good words, call themselves His people, and say that He is their God, and say they worship Him and seek Him . . . BUT they just flatter Him with their mouths, and lie to Him with their tongues (Ps.78:36). So God rebukes them for this sin. Jesus said: "This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me" (Isa.29:13; Mat.15:8; Mk.7:6). "And the house of Israel with deceit" . . . Ephraim "compassed" Israel with deceit. This verse does not go with the previous verse. It speaks of another subject, and seems it should begin chapter 12.
But Judah yet ruleth with God . . . Judah is the people of the two tribes, under the rule of the house of David. "Ruleth with God" . . . idolaters are slaves to the devil and to their own superstitious fears while the true worshippers of God, rule with God. "Ruleth with God" . . . to serve God is to reign. Ephraim wanted to rule without God (1 Cor.4:8). In Judah was the legitimate succession of kings and priests.
And is faithful with the saints . . . Judah, the southern kingdom, retained purity and truth of worship and the holy things of God. They kept God's Word, and were faithful, while Ephraim, the northern kingdom, was hypocritical and false. Judah adhered to God's holy prophets.
Unlike Israel (Ephraim), Judah had some rather good kings: Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Amaziah, Azariah (Uzziah), Jotham and especially Hezekiah and Josiah. Some of these kings got back to God's law, and taught to the people as they should have been taught. The Levite priests served in God's appointed temple in Jerusalem, and the festivals were celebrated most of the time. But, sad to say, the political and religious leaders were not able to completely wipe out idol worship and pagan rites. Hezekiah (2 Ki.18:4; 2 Chron.31:1-21; 33:3) and Josiah (2 Ki.23:3-25; 2 Chron.35:1-19) came close, but idolatry continued to fester until it eventually erupted and infected the whole country. But, because of the good kings, Judah was able to survive more than 150 years longer than Israel, and that memory of their positive influence fortified a small group (remnant), of faithful people who would one day return and restore their land and temple (Jer.23:3,8; 24:6).
Return From Captivity: (Deut.30:3; 1 Ki.8:34; Ezra 2:1; 6:21; 7:9; 8:1,31,35; Neh.1:9; 7:6; 8:17; Ps.53:6; 85:1; 106:47; 107:3; 126:1; 147:2; Isa.11:11; 14:1; 27:13; 35:10; 43:5; 45:13; 52:8; 55:12; 56:8; 60:4; Jer.3:14; 12:14; 16:15; 23:3,8; 24:6; 27:22; 29:10; 30:3,18; 31:8,16; 32:37,44; 33:7,11,26; 40:12; 42:13; 46:27; 50:19; Eze.11:17; 20:34,38,42; 28:25; 34:13; 36:24,35; 37:14,21; 39:27; Joel 3:1; Amos 9:14; Ob.1:20; Mic.2:12; 4:10; 7:12; Zep.2:7; 3:20; Zec.6:15; 8:8; 10:10).
Restoration of Israel: (Deut.30:4; 2 Chron.30:9; Ezra 9:8; Ps.14:7; 14:7; 53:6; 80:3,7,19; 85:1; 102:16; 126:1; Isa.1:26; 11:12; 14:1; 27:13; 29:17; 32:16; 33:20; 35:1; 40:2; 41:27; 44:26; 49:6,8,22; 51:3; 54:3; 58:12; 60:10; 62:4; Jer.3:18; 12:14; 29:14; 30:10; 31:4,10,23,38; 32:15,41; 33:7,12; Eze.14:22; 20:40; 28:25; 29:21; 34:13; 36:8,35; 37:12; 38:12; 39:25; Dan.9:25; Hos.2:15; 11:11; 13:14; 14:7; Joel 3:1,7; Amos 9:11,14; Ob.1:17; Mic.2:12; 4:6; 7:11; Zep.2:7; 3:15,20; Zec.1:17; 2:4; 8:7; 10:6: 12:6; 14:11; Mal.3:4; Acts 3:21; 15:16; Rom.11:24,26)
Book of Hosea
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