Hosea 5

1 “Listen to this, you priests! Listen, house of Israel, and give ear, house of the king! For the judgement is against you; for you have been a snare at Mizpah, and a net spread on Tabor. 2 The rebels are deep in slaughter; but I discipline all of them. 3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from me; for now, Ephraim, you have played the prostitute. Israel is defiled. 4 Their deeds won’t allow them to turn to their God; for the spirit of prostitution is within them, and they don’t know the LORD. 5 The pride of Israel testifies to his face. Therefore Israel and Ephraim will stumble in their iniquity. Judah also will stumble with them. 6 They will go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they won’t find him. He has withdrawn himself from them. 7 They are unfaithful to the LORD; for they have borne illegitimate children. Now the new moon will devour them with their fields. 8 “Blow the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah! Sound a battle cry at Beth Aven, behind you, Benjamin! 9 Ephraim will become a desolation in the day of rebuke. Amongst the tribes of Israel, I have made known that which will surely be. 10 The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark. I will pour out my wrath on them like water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed, he is crushed in judgement; because he is intent in his pursuit of idols. 12 Therefore I am to Ephraim like a moth, and to the house of Judah like rottenness. 13 “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his wound, then Ephraim went to Assyria, and sent to king Jareb: but he is not able to heal you, neither will he cure you of your wound. 14 For I will be to Ephraim like a lion, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I myself will tear in pieces and go away. I will carry off, and there will be no one to deliver. 15 I will go and return to my place, until they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face. In their affliction they will seek me earnestly.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-7

The piercing eye of God saw secret liking and disposition to sin, the love the house of Israel had to their sins, and the dominion their sins had over them. Pride makes men obstinate in other sins. And as Judah was treading in the same steps, they would fall with Israel. By dealing treacherously with the Lord, men only deceive themselves. Those that go to seek the Lord with their flocks and their herds only, and not with their hearts and souls, cannot expect to find him; nor shall any speed who do not seek the Lord while he may be found. See how much it is our concern to seek God early, now, while it is the accepted time, and the day of salvation.

Verses 8-15

The destruction of impenitent sinners is not mere talk, to frighten them, it is a sentence which will not be recalled. And it is a mercy that we have timely warning given us, that we may flee from the wrath to come. Compliance with the commandments of men, who thwart the commandments of God, ripens a people for ruin. The judgments of God are sometimes to a sinful people as a moth, and as rottenness, or as a worm; as these consume the clothes and the wood, so shall the judgments of God consume them. Silently, they shall think themselves safe and thriving, but when they look into their state, shall find themselves wasting and decaying. Slowly, for the Lord gives them space to repent. Many a nation; as well as many a person, dies of a consumption. Gradually, God comes upon sinners with lesser judgments, to prevent greater, if they will be wise, and take warning. When Israel and Judah found themselves in danger, they sought the protection of the Assyrians, but this only helped to make their wound the worse. They would be forced to apply to God. He will bring them home to himself, by afflictions. When men begin to complain more of their sins than of their afflictions, then there begins to be some hope of them; and when under the conviction of sin, and the corrections of the rod, we must seek the knowledge of God. Those who are led by severe trials to seek God earnestly and sincerely, will find him a present help and an effectual refuge; for with him is plenteous redemption for all who call upon him. There is solid peace, and there only, where God is.

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