Hosea 9 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Hosea 9)

Verse 1

[1] Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.

As other people — With feastings, triumphs, and sacrifices of thanksgiving.

A reward — Such as is given by adulterers to lewd women; thou hast loved to see thy floor full, and hast said thy idols gave thee this plenty.

Verse 2

[2] The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.

The floor — The corn which is gathered into the floor.

The wine-press — The wine that is prest out in it.

Shall not feed — Shall not nourish and strengthen the idolaters.

Shall fail — Samaria and all Israel expect a full vintage, but they expect it from their idols, and therefore shall be disappointed.

Verse 3

[3] They shall not dwell in the LORD's land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.

Ephraim — Many of Ephraim shall fly into Egypt.

And they — The residue shall be carried captive into Assyria.

Verse 4

[4] They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the LORD.

Wine-offerings — These were appointed to be offered with the morning and evening sacrifice, the sacrifice representing Christ, and pardon by him; the wine-offering, the spirit of grace: the sacrifice repeated, daily continued their peace and pardon. All this shall be withheld from these captives.

Pleasing — If any should venture to offer.

As the bread of mourners — It shall as much pollute them and displease God as if one mourning for the dead, and forbidden to sacrifice, should venture to do it.

Their bread — Their bread which they were bound to offer with their sacrifices, they will now have no opportunity of bringing to the Lord's house.

Verse 5

[5] What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the LORD?

What will ye do — You will not then be suffered to observe any of them.

Verse 6

[6] For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles.

They are gone — Some are already withdrawn from the desolation that cometh.

Egypt — In Egypt they hope to be quiet and survive these desolations, but they shall die in Egypt.

The pleasant places — Their beautiful houses built for keeping their wealth in.

Nettles — Shall be ruined, and lie in rubbish, 'till nettles grow in them.

Verse 7

[7] The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.

The prophet — The false prophet.

The spiritual man — That pretends to be full of the spirit of prophecy.

For thine iniquity — God began his punishments in giving them over to believe their false prophets.

The great hatred — Which God had against your sins.

Verse 8

[8] The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.

The watchman — The old true prophets indeed were with God.

My God — The God of Hosea.

The prophet — The false prophets have, as well as the people, left God.

Is a snare — Their pretended predictions are but a snare, such as fowlers lay.

And hatred — Such prophets are full of hatred and malice: yea, they are hatred itself.

Verse 10

[10] I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.

I found Israel — The Lord speaks of himself in the person of a traveller, who unexpectedly in the wilderness finds a vine loaded with grapes; such love did God bear to Israel.

Your fathers — Whom I brought out of Egypt.

As the first-ripe — As the earliest ripe fruit of the fig-tree, which is most valued and desired.

Separated themselves — Consecrated themselves to that shameful idol.

Their abominations — Their idols, and way of worshipping them.

As they loved — As they fancied.

Verse 11

[11] As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.

Their glory — Their children or posterity, which was the glory of Israel.

Shall fly — It is proverbial, and speaks a sudden loss of children.

From the birth — As soon as born.

From the womb — Their mothers shall not bring their fruit alive into the world.

The conception — Their wives shall not conceive.

Verse 12

[12] Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!

Not a man left — There shall be a total extirpation of them.

When I depart — To compleat their misery, I will depart from them. It is sad to lose our children, but sadder to lose our God.

Verse 13

[13] Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.

To the murderer — He will send them forth in mighty armies; but it will be sending them out to the slaughter.

Verse 14

[14] Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

Give then — It is an abrupt but pathetic speech of one that shews his trouble for a sinking, undone nation.

A miscarrying womb — It is less misery to have none, than to have all our children murdered.

Verse 15

[15] All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.

All their wickedness — The chief or beginning.

There I hated them — As there they began to sin so notoriously, there I began to shew that I hated them.