Hosea 5:3
I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, you commit prostitution, and Israel is defiled.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Hosea 5:3-5. I know Ephraim — I am perfectly well acquainted with the actions of Ephraim, the head of the ten tribes; and Israel is not hid from me — And the actions of the other nine tribes are no less known to me. Now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom — Even now, at this time, thou goest on in thy idolatry, notwithstanding all my rebukes and exhortations. They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God — They are so wholly inclined to idolatry, and it has got so fixed a root in their affections, that they cannot think of turning to the pure worship of the true God. And it even extinguishes all true knowledge and sense of him among them. Bishop Horsley renders the verse, Their perverse habits will not permit them to return unto their God; for a spirit of wantonness is within them, and the Jehovah they have not known. The pride of Israel doth testify to his face — The insolent behaviour of Israel toward God, whose worship they despise, both discovers itself in all their conduct, and testifies that their guilt is great, and deserves severe punishment. Archbishop Newcome renders this clause, The pride of Israel shall be humbled to his face; and Waterland, Shall be brought down in his sight. Therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall, &c. — Be brought to utter ruin; Judah also shall fall with them — And the other two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, having followed their bad example, shall also be severely punished as well as they.5:1-7 The piercing eye of God saw secret liking and disposition to sin, the love the house of Israel had to their sins, and the dominion their sins had over them. Pride makes men obstinate in other sins. And as Judah was treading in the same steps, they would fall with Israel. By dealing treacherously with the Lord, men only deceive themselves. Those that go to seek the Lord with their flocks and their herds only, and not with their hearts and souls, cannot expect to find him; nor shall any speed who do not seek the Lord while he may be found. See how much it is our concern to seek God early, now, while it is the accepted time, and the day of salvation.I know Ephraim - There is much emphasis on the "I." It is like our, "I have known," or "I, I, have known." God had known him all along, if we may so speak. However deep they may have laid their plans of blood, however they would or do hide them from man, and think that no eye seeth them, and say, "Who seeth me? and who knoweth me? I, to whose eyes all things are naked and opened Hebrews 4:13, have all along known them, and nothing of them has been hid from Me. For, He adds, even now, now when, under a fair outward show, they are veiling the depth of their sin, now, when they think that their way is hid in darkness, I know their doings, that they are defiling themselves. Sin never wanted specious excuse. Now too unbelievers are mostly fond of precisely those characters in Holy Scripture, whom God condemns. Jeroboam doubtless was accounted a patriot, vindicating his country from oppressive taxation, which Rehoboam insolently threatened. Jerusalem, as lying in the Southernmost tribe, was represented, as ill-selected for the place of the assemblage of the tribes. Bethel, on the contrary, was hallowed by visions; it had been the abode, for a time, of the ark.

It lay in the tribe of Ephraim, which they might think to have been unjustly deprived of its privilege. Dan was a provision for the Northern tribes. Such was the exterior. God says in answer, "I know Ephraim." "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" Acts 15:18. Although (in some way unknown to us) not interfering with our free-will, known unto God are our thoughts and words and deeds, before they are framed, while they are framed, while they are being spoken and done; known to Him is all which we do, and all which, under any circumstances, we should do. This he knows with a knowledge, before the things were. : "All His creatures, corporeal or spiritual, He doth not therefore know, because they are; but they therefore are, because He knoweth them. For He was not ignorant, what He was about to create; nor did He know them, after He had created them, in any other way than before. For no accession to His knowledge came from them; but, they existing when and as was meet, that knowledge remained as it was." How strange then to think of hiding from God a secret sin, when He knew, before He created thee, that He created thee liable to this very temptation, and to be assisted amidst it with just that grace which thou art resisting! God had known Israel, but it was not with the knowledge of love, of which He says, "The Lord knoweth the way of the righteous" Psalm 1:6, and, "if any man love God, the same is known of Him, but with the knowledge of condemnation, whereby He, the Searcher of hearts, knows the sin which He judges" 1 Corinthians 8:3.

3. Ephraim—the tribe so called, as distinguished from "Israel" here, the other nine tribes. It was always foremost of the tribes of the northern kingdom. For four hundred years in early history, it, with Manasseh and Benjamin, its two dependent tribes, held the pre-eminence in the whole nation. Ephraim is here addressed as foremost in idolatry.

I how … not hid from me—notwithstanding their supposed profound cunning (Ho 5:2; Re 2:2, 9, 13, 19).

now—"though I have been a rebuker of all them" (Ho 5:2) who commit such spiritual whoredoms, thou art now continuing in them.

These revolters neither are nor can be so deep as to conceal themselves, their designs, contrivances, and practices, from me; I thoroughly know Ephraim. The revolters are also called

Israel in this verse, who is not hid from me. It is an elegant repetition of the same thing in different words.

Thou committest whoredom; all thy fair pretences thou canst put upon thy devised religion cannot better it, still it is downright idolatry or spiritual whoredom.

And Israel is defiled: Israel here is Ephraim; and when Israel is said to be polluted, it is to be understood both of spiritual and corporal pollution, which mostly are linked together, and draw on each other. I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me,.... Though they may cover their designs from men, and seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and make plausible pretences for what they do, and put on an appearance of religion; yet God, who knows all men, and their hearts, cannot be deceived; he judges not according to outward appearance; all things are naked and open to him; nor can any hide themselves from him; he knows their persons, intentions, and designs, as well as actions. Kimchi interprets Ephraim of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who was of that tribe; others, of the tribe itself, and Israel of the other nine tribes; others take Ephraim for the ten tribes, and Israel for the two tribes: but it is best to understand Ephraim and Israel of the same, even of the ten tribes; whose works, as the Targum paraphrases it, the Lord knew, particularly what follows:

for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom; both corporeal and spiritual adultery, which frequently went together, as observed in the preceding chapter: the Lord knew their corporeal whoredom, though ever so secretly committed, and their spiritual adultery or idolatry, under all the specious pretences of worshipping him; which was an abhorrence to him, as well as a pollution to them:

and Israel is defiled; with the same sins; for all sin is of a defiling nature, and especially those mentioned, which defile body and soul, and render men loathsome and abominable in the sight of God.

I know {d} Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled.

(d) They boasted themselves not only to be Israelites, but also Ephraimites, because their King Jeroboam came from that tribe.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. I know Israel] The pronoun is expressed for emphasis, I who punish Israel am well acquainted with its open and secret sins.Verse 3. - I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me. All attempts at concealment are vain, though sinners try ever so much to hide their sins from the Divine Majesty. However deep they dig downward, God will bring their evil doings up and out to the light of day and punish them. For now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled. Israel is the northern kingdom, and Ephraim, being the most powerful tribe, is often identified with Israel; here, however, they are distinguished - Israel is the kingdom as a whole, and Ephraim is its leading tribe. This powerful tribe, ever envious of Judah, was the ringleader in the calf worship of Jeroboam and other idolatries; and through Ephraim's evil influence the other tribes, and so all Israel, were defiled. The argument by which the prayer is urged, derived from a reference to the desolations, is strengthened by the words in apposition: and the city over which Thy name is named; i.e., not which is named after Thy name, by which the meaning of this form of expression is enfeebled. The name of God is the revelation of His being. It is named over Jerusalem in so far as Jehovah gloriously revealed Himself in it; He has raised it, by choosing it as the place of His throne in Israel, to the glory of a city of God; cf. Psalm 48:2., and regarding this form of expression, the remarks under Deuteronomy 28:10.

The expression: and laying down my supplication before God (cf. Daniel 9:20), is derived from the custom of falling down before God in prayer, and is often met with in Jeremiah; cf. Jeremiah 38:26; Jeremiah 42:9, and Jeremiah 36:7. The Kethiv פּקחה (Daniel 9:18, open) is to be preferred to the Keri פּקח, because it is conformed to the imperative forms in Daniel 9:19, and is in accordance with the energy of the prayer. This energy shows itself in the number of words used in Daniel 9:18 and Daniel 9:19. Chr. B. Mich., under Daniel 9:19, has well remarked: "Fervorem precantis cognoscere licet cum ex anaphora, seu terna et mysterii plena nominis Adonai repetitione, tum ex eo, quod singulis hisce imperativis He paragogicum ad intensiorem adfectum significandum superaddidit, tum ex congerie illa verborum: Audi, Condona, Attende, reliqua."

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