Hosea 5 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Hosea 5)

Verse 1

[1] 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.

For judgment — God's controversy is with you all.

A snare — You, O priests and princes, have ensnared the people by your examples.

Mizpah — By idolatries acted at Mizpah, a part of Libanus.

On Tabor — Here, as in Mizpah, idolatry catched men as birds are taken in a net.

Verse 2

[2] And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all.

The revolters — All those that have cast off the law of God.

Profound — Dig deep to hide their counsels, and to slay the innocent.

Though I — Hosea.

Verse 5

[5] 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.

Doth testify — Is an evident witness against him.

Verse 6

[6] They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.

To seek the Lord — The Jewish doctors tell us, that under Hosea, Israel had liberty of bringing their sacrifices to Jerusalem.

Shall not find him — God will not be found of them.

Hath withdrawn himself — For their impenitency.

Verse 7

[7] They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.

Have begotten — They have trained up their children in the same idolatry.

A month — Possibly it may refer to Shallum's short time of usurpation, which lasted but a month; the Assyrians shall make a speedy conquest over you.

With their portions — With all their substance.

Verse 8

[8] Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Bethaven, after thee, O Benjamin.

Blow ye — Ye watchmen, sound the alarm, the enemy cometh.

After thee, O Benjamin — After thy cries. After thee, O Beth-aven, let Benjamin also cry aloud: for they shall also fall for their sin.

Verse 9

[9] Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be.

Ephraim — The whole kingdom of the ten tribes.

Rebuke — When Salmaneser shall besiege, sack and captivate all thy cities, rebuked for their sins.

Of Israel — To the house of Israel openly.

Made known — By my prophets.

Verse 10

[10] The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.

The bound — The ancient bounds which limited every one, and prevented the encroaching of covetous men.

Like water — Like an overflowing flood.

Verse 11

[11] Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.

Ephraim — The ten tribes are by seditions, civil wars, unjust sentences, and bloody conspiracies eaten up already.

After the commandment — To forbear going to the temple, and to worship the calves at Dan and Bethel, as Jeroboam the son of Nebat commanded.

Verse 12

[12] Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.

A moth — Moths leisurely eat up our clothes; so God was then, and had been, from Jeroboam's death, weakening the ten tribes.

As rottenness — Secretly consuming them.

Verse 13

[13] 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.

His sickness — Weakness, like a consumption, threatening death.

Then went — Made application.

The Assyrian — Particularly to Israel or Pul.

Verse 14

[14] 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.

Will tear — Divine vengeance by the Assyrians, shall be as a lion tearing his prey.