The Book of Hosea

The Book of Hosea

The Book of Hosea
By Richard St.James
Bible 1611.Com / Old Paths Baptist Mission © 2023

Hosea, chapter five:

Verse one: “Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you, because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.”

Mizpah [is near Mt. Gilead] and it is where Laban had overtaken Jacob as he fled from Ur of the Chaldees. 

Genesis 31:21: “So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.”  

Tabor is a mountain located in northern Israel and is just east of the Sea of Galilee. Tabor is also commonly called the Mount of the Transfiguration.  Which is where Jesus Christ was transfigured before Peter, James, and John.  Open your King James Bible to the Gospel of Mark, chapter nine, and see verse two:

“And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.” [Mark 9:2]

It is the leadership of any nation that establishes the direction of any nation.   The people will follow, like sheep.

·         The priests and kings that are unfaithful to God will bring a snare upon a people.

·         The priests and kings that are unfaithful to God will bring a net upon a people.


Now for this thing called apostasy.  Apostasy begins with the leadership, and then it spreads outward, and then it seeps downward, till it permeates the whole of all the people. 

What is apostasy?  Good question: Are you ready for this? 

Apostasy is an abandonment of purity and of faithfulness to God and to the word of God.    Now, how does apostasy happen?  It begins with a degree-by-degree distancing from the one you love until the total desertion is complete.  Desertion ends the marriage.

The Hireling

.    Now, turn to your Bible’s to the Gospel of John, chapter ten.  This is the true shepherd chapter which shows the relationship of the TRUE Shepherd to the sheep within the sheepfold.  When we come down to verse twelve, we will see another shepherd.   This shepherd is not a true shepherd:

Verse twelve: “But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

Verse thirteen: “The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.”  

Now go back to our text in Hosea, chapter five.   The priests and kings here have degree by degree ceased to serve as shepherds over the flock.  These priests and kings have been transformed into hirelings.

Now, a hireling is one who is hired, or who serves for wages.  Follow the money!  He is a mercenary, a prostitute.

Hirelings bring a snareHirelings bring a net.  The sheep are undone.

Judgment is toward you.

Whenever a people leave God, it is called desertion.   If you desert God, then what?   Judgment comes!

Verse two: “And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all.”

A revolter is nothing more but a deserter, plain and simple.  The revolter [like Gomer] renounces any loyalty to God or to the laws of God [or to her husband, Hosea].   Notice here the word profound in the phrase profound to make slaughter.  And when the revolter revolts they go whole hog [with vim and vinegar], even though every effort had been made in pleading with them to be faithful and true in their commitment to God.  The nation of Israel had deserted God, and this is shown to Israel by Gomer deserting Hosea.

Verse three: “I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled.”

It is all out in the open now.  It is dirty linen for all to see.  We see the infidelity to the one you loved.

Your whoredom defiles you.  Thus, you are dirty.  

Lesson: It is futile to hide a thing from God.   For God sees it all.  It is like when Adam sinned in the garden and hid himself from God.  The sin is seen by God.  It is in the Scripture:

Genesis 3:9: “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”

So, where art thou O Israel?

Verse four: “They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD.”

Framing your doings:

·         They would not regulate their doings according to the rules of God!

·         They would not adjust their doings according to the ordinances of God!

·         They would not shape their doings according to the precepts of God!

·         They would not conform their doings according to the commandments of God!

·         They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God!

Why wouldn’t they?   Answer: P-R-I-D-E Pride.

Verse five: “And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.”

It is this way: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” [Proverbs 16:18]

In the third book of Moses called Leviticus, in chapter twenty-six, God gives to people of Israel a list of the blessings to accrue to them, and then next, a list of the curses, which would fall upon them.   Which list was to apply, was to be conditioned by their response:

“But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;” [Leviticus 26:14], then God would [in verse sixteen] appoint over them terror, consumption, the burning ague, and sorrow of heart.  They would further [in verse seventeen] be slain, or end up fleeing when nobody was pursuing them.

But now, notice next the word pride shows up [in verse nineteen] as in “the pride of your power.”

Verse nineteen: “And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:”

The LORD said: I will break that pride that you have.
Further, I will make you fruitless [in verse twenty-one], and I will make the wild beasts destroy you, [in verse twenty-two] I will send the sword and the pestilence among you [in verse twenty-five].

Furthermore, I will break the staff of your bread, [in verse twenty-six], you will end up eating the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters [in verse twenty-nine].

You must be wondering, when will these curses come to an end?  But it does not.  These curses just keep on piling up on them.

The LORD says [in verse thirty], I will cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols, I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you [in verse thirty-one].  You shall [in verse thirty-six], have nothing but faintness, and [in verse thirty-seven], fall one upon another with no power to stand, and [in verse thirty-eight], you will perish among the heathen.  And lastly, [in verse thirty-nine], you will pine away.

It all centers on breaking that stubborn pride of the children of pride.  The children of pride have a king over them.

See for this, Job 41:34: “He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.”

Satan – the Devil is this king.

Verse six: “They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.”

There comes a point in time where the LORD God will not be found.  That is a very scary situation!   Turn to the Song of Solomon [which forms a type of the bride of Christ], chapter five, verse six:

“I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.”

I called him, but he gave me no answer. [Your sin puts distance between you and God.]  This is sad, but true.

Let me read this from the prophet Jeremiah, chapter twenty-three, verse thirty-nine:

“Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:” [Jeremiah 23:39].

Men often revert to an autopilot mode whenever they realize they are in trouble with God.  They revert by a learned ritual, thinking this sacrifice to the LORD will take the heat off from them.  But sacrifice is not what God is looking for in a man.  God wants his heart.  God wants the heart!

Verse seven: “They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.”

Hosea had begotten strange children: Jezreel, Loruhamah, and Loammi.

Israel had begotten strange children with their going up upon every high mountain and under every green tree worshipping their idols.

They treacherously betrayed the LORD.  The evidence: Their strange children: IDOLS.

Leviticus 19:4: “Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.”

Verse eight: “Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Bethaven, after thee, O Benjamin.”

It is in Gibeah where the corruption of a whole tribe began.  We will comment on this when we get to Hosea chapter nine, verse nine.

Verse nine: “Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be.”

Ephraim shall not be a people because Ephraim is Samaria.  The head of Samaria is Remaliah's son.  The treachery centers here.

Isaiah 7:8-9: “For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.

And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.”

Now, if we go to the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ in chapter seven, we will find that Ephraim is missing in the list of the tribes of Israel that were sealed in the day of rebuke, even though his brother, Manasses makes the list in verse six.  Note: Joseph has replaced Ephraim in the day of rebuke, which is in the future Great Tribulation.

Revelation 7:8: “Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.”

Verse ten: “The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.”

Judah also, deserts God [and the law of God] to their own hurt. They got a little bit too close to the treachery against God in Samaria.  Treachery spreads like a disease.

1 Corinthians 15:33: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” 

We ought to take heed to what has happened to others.

Verse eleven: “Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.”

Freewill exercised leads to one of two ways.  Man is not a robot!  He makes choices.  He either chooses to do right or to do wrong.  If he ignores the commandments that the LORD has given to him to obey then he will suffer the consequences, which includes all four walls simultaneously moving in towards him in a compressive squeeze.

Help yourself it is your choice.  But as for me, I want the LORD God’s will.  I will stick with Joshua!  Joshua 24:15b: “but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Verse twelve: “Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.”

The moth and the worm both work together to eat you out of house and home.  The judgment was for their destruction.  In other words: God is against you!  Everyone and everything that appertains to Ephraim [Israel] and to Judah were marked for destruction.  It is, as the prophet says it is, in the book of Isaiah, chapter fifty-one, verse eight:

“For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool:” [Isaiah 51:8a].  The whole process of sin works you over till there is nothing left of you.  Consider what it says in the book of Joel, chapter one, verse four:

“That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.” [Joel 1:4]

God never designed man to go it alone. Man needs God.  Without God, it all goes to the waste pile: It is rottenness!

Verse thirteen: “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.”

And when Ephraim [or the ten northern tribes of Israel] and Judah [the southern two tribes] finally realized that they were in deep trouble with the visitation of these maladies:

The terror, and faintness of heart, bodies suffering with consumption, the burning ague, with people sowing seed in vain, and suffering famine, and sorrow of heart, in near total exhaustion ever sensing the fruitlessness of life, and seeing pestilence in the land with all the attendant desolations, with the constant wars, and with the people being killed, or enslaved, or devoured by the wild beasts, or the cannibalism ending with the total nation in humiliation.

But instead of going back to the LORD God of Israel to get healed, what they did was, was seek the help from the nations and their gods surrounding them to get healed.  They asked help of the Assyrian.  Men seem never to learn.

Help cometh from high!

Psalm 121:2: “My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”

Verse fourteen: “For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him.”

Comment: This is rather clear: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” [Hebrews 10:31]

Verse fifteen: “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.”

Lesson: God told them: Ok, I will depart from you until you have learned your lesson. 

There are situations in life where we realize someone is opposing their own self.  What can we do? 

Well, be guided by this instruction: “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;” [2 Timothy 2:25].

We are commanded by the LORD to humble ourselves and pray, realizing it takes the grace of God to work things out in someone else’s heart, then pray.


We will finish here with Hosea, chapter five, with Psalm, one hundred-twenty-two, verse six:

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”

Next - Hosea Chapter Six


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