Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.CHAPTER 8:1-9:9
The Apostasy is Followed by Judgment
1. The judgment announced (Hosea 8:1-7)
2. The apostasy which resulted in judgment (Hosea 8:8-14)
3. Warning against self-security (Hosea 9:1-9)
Hosea 8:1-7. The prophet is commanded to sound the alarm of the impending judgment. The message is that the enemy will come swift as an eagle upon the house of the Lord, which here does not mean the temple (which was in connection with Judah), but Israel as the chosen people was the house, the dwelling-place of the Lord. All their spurious profession, their false claim, “My God, we know Thee, we, Israel”, will go for nothing, because they transgressed the covenant and the law. The obnoxious thing they did is stated in Hosea 9:4. They had separated themselves from Judah and chosen their own kings and princes in self will, thus putting themselves outside of the theocracy; idolatry speedily followed. In Bethel they had erected the worship of the calf, the great abomination in the sight of the Lord. He rejects their corrupt worship, and ere long the calf of Samaria will be broken to pieces, like the golden calf their fathers made in the wilderness. They sowed the wind and the whirlwind would be the harvest (Hosea 10:13; Hosea 12:2; Job 4:8; Proverbs 22:8). They sowed vanity and evil; the tempest of destruction would be their reaping. What they sowed would not yield fruit at all. The Hebrew contains a play of words, “Tsemach brings no Quernach,” which may be rendered, “shoot brings no fruit.”
Hosea 8:8-14. Israel had been swallowed up by the nations, that is, by mingling with them. By their doings they have become like a despised vessel. Their sin was going up to Assyria, like a wild ass, suing there for love and favor. They were like a stubborn brute going there by itself. Ephraim was even worse than the stubborn ass. They formed unnatural alliances with the Gentiles. There they gave presents, hiring lovers, literally rendered, “Ephraim gave presents of love” to practice her whoredoms. They forgot their Creator, God; their sacrifices Jehovah despised. Therefore the judgment.
Hosea 9:1-9. Under the reign of Jeroboam II Israel enjoyed great prosperity. It seems they had a bountiful harvest, corn and wine was in abundance. They gave themselves over to feasting and rejoicing. It was at such an occasion when the Lord sent this warning against their own security. Their captivity is announced where they would eat things unclean and feast days will no longer be possible. Then the prophet beholds them as already in the Assyrian captivity. They went away and turned towards the south to escape the sure destruction. But “Egypt will gather them, Memphis will bury them.” Their precious things of silver will give way to thistles and thorns. The day of visitation was at hand; their iniquities are remembered and their sins will be visited.