The following commentary covers Chapters 9, 10, and 11.
and devoted judgment: unfaithfulness of heart
In chapter 9
we have here that touching mixture of affection and
judgment which we find again and again in this prophet.
Ephraim should not remain in the land which was
Jehovah's, for God would not abandon His rights; whatever
might be the iniquity of the people. They should go into
captivity, and come no more into the house of Jehovah.
The prophet and the spiritual man should no longer be a
link between them and Jehovah. God would confound them by
means of that which should have enlightened and guided
them. The prophet should even be a snare to their soul,
although formerly a watchman from God. The corruption of
Ephraim was as deep as in the days of Gibeah, the history
of which is related at the end of the book of Judges; and
they should be visited. God had chosen Israel from among
the nations to be His delight, and they had gone after
Baal-peor, even before they came into the land. If God is
longsuffering, He yet takes knowledge of everything.
Ephraim should now be a wanderer among the nations.
Captivity and its
At the end of chapter 9
and in chapter 10 the Spirit reproaches
Israel with their altars and their golden calves. They
should be carried into captivity. Judah should also bear
the yoke. The Assyrian should carry away these calves
in which Israel had trusted. After all (chapter
11) God still remembers His early love for
Jacob; He puts them in mind of all His lovingkindness,
His goodness, His care for them. They should not return
to their former condition in Egypt; Assyria should be the
place of their captivity. But, however great the sin of
Israel, the heart of their God cannot forsake His people:
He will not destroy them; He is God, and not man; and,
finally, He will place the people, trembling now and
submissive, once more in their dwellings.