And the pride of Israel does testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity: Judah also shall fall with them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The pride of Israel may be either the true object of pride and boasting, viz., Jehovah Himself (comp. Amos 8:7), or the false object of pride to which they had yielded. The latter interpretation is to be preferred, and is supported by Amos 6:8. Arrogance led Ephraim, on numerous occasions in earlier sacred history, to resent the supremacy of Judah. This jealousy culminated in the rebellion of Jeroboam I., and characterised their history till the reign of Ahab. Arrogance will be their ruin now; and in this Judah is represented as likewise involved. This last feature is a new note in prophetic utterance. (Comp Hosea 4:15.) We are therefore justified in regarding Hosea 5 as delivered at a later time than the oracle standing immediately before it.Joshua 16:4; Joshua 17:14), they were nearly equal in number to Judah. When numbered in the wilderness, Judah had 74,600 fighting men, Ephraim and Manasseh together 72,700. They speak of themselves as a "great people, forasmuch as the Lord has blessed me hitherto" Joshua 17:14. God having chosen, out of them, the leader under whom He brought Israel into the land of promise, they resented, in the following time of the Judges, any deliverance of the land, in which they were not called to take a part. They rebuked Gideon (Judges 8:1 ff), and suffered very severely for insolence (Judges 12:1 ff) to Jephthah and the Gileadites. When Gideon, who had refused to be king, was dead, Abimelech, his son by a concubine out of Ephraim, induced the Ephraimites to make Him king over Israel, as being their "bone and their flesh" Judges 8:31; Judges 9:1-3, Judges 9:22.
Lying in the midst of the tribes to the North of Judah, they appear, in antagonism to Judah, to have gathered round them the other tribes, and to have taken, with them, the name of Israel, in contrast with Judah 2 Samuel 2:9-10; 2 Samuel 3:17. Shiloh, where the ark was, until taken by the Philistines, belonged to them. Samuel, the last judge, was raised up out of them 1 Samuel 1:1. Their political dignity was not aggrieved, when God gave Saul, out of "little Benjamin," as king over His people. They could afford to own a king out of the least tribe. Their present political eminence was endangered, when God chose David out of their great rival, the tribe of Judah; their hope for the future was cut off by His promise to the posterity of David. They accordingly upheld, for seven years 2 Samuel 5:5, the house of Saul, knowing that they were acting against the will of God 2 Samuel 3:9. Their religious importance was aggrieved by the removal of the ark to Zion, instead of its being restored to Shiloh Psalm 78:60, Psalm 78:67-69.
Absalom won them by flattery 2 Samuel 15:2, 2 Samuel 15:5, 2 Samuel 15:10, 2 Samuel 15:12-13; and the rebellion against David was a struggle of Israel against Judah 2 Samuel 16:15; 2 Samuel 17:15; 2 Samuel 18:6. When Absalom was dead, they had scarcely aided in bringing David back, when they fell away again, because their advice had not been first had in bringing him back 2 Samuel 19:41-43; 2 Samuel 20:1-2. Rehoboam was already king over Judah 1 Kings 11:43, when he came to Shechem to be made king over Israel 1 Kings 12:1. Then the ten tribes sent for Jeroboam of Ephraim 1 Kings 11:26, to make him their spokesman, and, in the end, their king. The rival worship of Bethel provided, not only for the indolence, but for the pride of his tribe. He made a state-worship at Bethel, over-against the worship ordained by God at Jerusalem. Just before the time of Hosea, the political strength of Ephraim was so much superior to that of Judah, that Jehoash, in his pride, compared himself to the cedar of Lebanon, Amaziah king of Judah to the thistle 2 Kings 14:9. Isaiah speaks of "jealousy" Isaiah 11:13 or "envy," as the characteristic sin of Israel, which perpetuated that division, which, he foretold, should be healed in Christ. Yet although such was the power and pride of Israel, God foretold that he should first go into captivity, and so it was.
This pride, as it was the origin of the schism of the ten tribes, so it was the means of its continuance. In whatever degree any one of the kings of Israel was better than the rest, still "he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin." The giving up of any other sin only showed, how deeply rooted this sin was, which even then they would not give up. As is the way of unregenerate man, they would not give themselves up without reserve to God, to do all His will. They could not give up this sin of Jeroboam, without endangering their separate existence as Israel, and owning the superiority of Judah. From this complete self-surrender to God, their pride shrank and held them back.
The pride, which Israel thus showed in refusing to turn to God, and in preferring their sin to "their God," itself, he says, witnessed against them, and condemned them. In the presence of God, there needeth no other witness against the sinner than his own conscience. "it shall witness to his face," "openly, publicly, themselves and all others seeing, acknowledging, and approving the just judgment of God and the recompense of their sin." Pride and carnal sin are here remarkably united.
: "The prophet having said, the spirit of fornication is in the midst of them, assigns as its ground, the pride of Israel will testify to his face, i. e., the sin which, through pride of mind, lurked in secret, bore open witness through sin of the flesh. Wherefore the cleanness of chastity is to be preserved by guarding humility. For if the spirit is piously humbled before God, the flesh is not raised unlawfully above the spirit. For the spirit holds the dominion over the flesh, committed to it, if it acknowledges the claims of lawful servitude to the Lord. For if, through pride, it despises its Author, it justly incurs a contest with its subject, the flesh."
Therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in - (or by) their iniquity Ephraim, the chief of the ten tribes, is distinguished from the whole, of which it was a part, because it was the rival of Judah, the royal tribe, out of which Jeroboam had sprung, who had formed the kingdom of Israel by the schism from Judah. All Israel, even its royal tribe, where was Samaria, its capital and strength, should fall, their iniquity being the stumbling-block, on which they should fall.
Judah also shall fall with them - "Judah also, being partaker with them in their idolatry and their wickedness, shall partake with them in the like punishment. Sin shall have the like effect in both." Literally, he saith, "Judah hath fallen," denoting, as do other prophets, the certainty of the future event, by speaking of it, as having taken place already; as it had, in the Mind of God.
testify to his face—openly to his face he shall be convicted of the pride which is so palpable in him. Or, "in his face," as in Isa 3:9.
Judah … shall fall with them—This prophecy is later than Ho 4:15, when Judah had not gone so far in idolatry; now her imitation of Israel's bad example provokes the threat of her being doomed to share in Israel's punishment.The pride of Israel: it might have been rendered, the excellency or glory of Israel; and so, referred to God, it would be a prediction that God himself would witness against Israel. God is said to swear by the excellency of Jacob, Amos 8:7, i.e. by himself. Thus interpreted, it would very well accord with what follows in this and the following verse. But as it is here rendered, it is the haughtiness, carnal confidence of Israel, grown great under the long and prosperous reign of Jeroboam the Second, that they thought it impossible such calamities as foretold by the prophet should overtake them, or that God should think so ill of that worship they thought so well of; they neither confess their sins, nor fear God’s judgments.
Doth testify; is so full and evident witness against Israel, that no other testimony need be produced.
To his face; to convince and silence the most impudent and shameless among them.
Therefore shall Israel and Ephraim, the nine tribes, and the head of them, Ephraim,
fall in their iniquity; be ruined for their sins of which they are guilty, but repent not.
Judah, the two tribes under Ahaz, now lapsed to idolatry, also shall fall with them; be captivated too ere long, soon after sin will undo them.
"the glory of Israel shall be humbled, and they seeing it:''
instead of greatness, glory, and honour, they formerly had, they shall be in a mean low condition, even in their own land, before they go into captivity; and which their eyes shall behold, as Kimchi explains the paraphrase; and to this sense Jarchi and Aben Ezra incline; and so read the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions. Some understand this of God himself, who, formerly, at least, was the pride, glory, and excellency of Israel; of whom they were proud, and boasted, and gloried in; even he shall be a swift witness against them: and
therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; that is, the ten tribes shall fall by and for their iniquities, such as before mentioned, into ruin and misery; it has respect to their final destruction and captivity by the Assyrians; they first fell into sin, and then by it into ruin: see Hosea 14:1;
Judah also shall fall with them; the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, as they fell into idolatry, and were guilty of the same crimes, so should be involved in the same or like punishment, though not at the same time; for the Babylonish captivity, in which Judah was carried captive, was many years after Israel was carried captive by the Assyrians: unless this is to be understood of the low, afflicted, and distressed condition of Judah, in the times of Ahaz, by Tiglathpileser, king of Assyria, who had a little before carried captive part of Israel, and by others; and in which times Judah fell into idolatrous practices, and fell by them; see 2 Kings 15:29.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face] Rather, But … shall testify to his face. ‘The pride of Israel’ is capable of two interpretations. It may mean Israel’s vainglorious self-confidence, which is so hateful to Jehovah, and as it were testifies against Israel on the day of Jehovah’s assize (Isaiah 2:12). But it is more natural to take the phrase as a title of Jehovah (see on Hosea 4:18 ‘her rulers’, &c.), borrowed probably from Amos 8:7. How does Jehovah ‘testify against’ any one? The answer is furnished by Ruth 1:21, ‘Jehovah hath testified against me, and Shaddai hath afflicted me.’ An objection of small weight has been raised, viz. that Jehovah, in the prophetic figure, is the complainant and the judge, but not the witness. The answer is that the Hebrew ‘ânâh is not exactly ‘to witness’ but ‘to meet with words or a declaration’; hence it can be used of a judicial sentence. Hosea means that Jehovah has spoken one of those words which kill (comp. Hosea 6:5)—has delivered a judgment by which Israel shall ‘fall.’ The rendering ‘Israel’s pride shall be humbled’ adopted in the ‘Speaker’s Commentary’ from the Sept., the Targum, and the Peshito, scarcely suits the following words ‘to (lit. in) his face.’ Still less suitable is it in Hosea 7:10, where the phrase is repeated.
Israel and Ephraim] i.e., Israel and especially Ephraim; like ‘Judah and Jerusalem’ (Isaiah 2:1).
shall fall] Rather, shall stumble. A figure for calamity (as Isaiah 8:15; Isaiah 31:3, and often). In Hosea 4:15 the prophet uses less distinct language with regard to Judah’s punishment; she is warned not to offend rather than threatened with punishment. Perhaps this chapter represents the utterances of a later period than the preceding chapter.Verse 5. - And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face. This may be understood
(1) of Jehovah, who was Israel's glory, as we read in Amos 7:7 of "the excellency of Israel." This explanation suits at once the sense and the context. They knew not God, notwithstanding the special advantages they enjoyed for that knowledge; they had no liking to the knowledge of' Go,], they did not concern themselves about it; and now Jehovah, who should have been their excellency and glory, but who had been thus slighted by them, will testify against them and bear witness to their face by judgments. But
(2) another interpretation recommends itself as equally or more suitable. This interpretation understands "pride" more simply to mean the prosperous state and flourishing condition of which Israel was proud, or rather, perhaps, the haughtiness of Israel, owing to those very circumstances of worldly wealth and greatness. This vain pride and self-exaltation was the great obstacle in the way of their turning to the Lord. If this sense of the word be accepted, the verb had better be rendered" humbled," a meaning which it often has; thus, "humbled shall be the pride of Israel to his face" (that is, in his own sight). Such is the translation of the LXX.: Ταπεινωθήσεται ἡ ὕβρις του Ἰσραήλ εἰς πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ, "The pride of Israel shall be brought low before his face;" while the Chaldee translates similarly, "The glory of Israel shall be humbled while they see it;" the Syriac has, "The pride of Israel shall be humbled in his presence," or before his eyes. Aben Ezra also takes the idea of the verb to be humiliation or depression; while Kimchi takes gaon not so much in the sense of the inward feeling, as of those outward circumstances that promoted it - their greatness and grandeur and glory; and, alluding to the words of the Chaldee rendering, "in their sight," he says, "While they are still in their land before their captivity, they shall perceive their humiliation and degradation, instead of the glory which they had at the beginning." Kimchi, however, as well as most other commentators, seems to have understood the verb in the sense of "testify;" thus, "Israel's pride will testify to his face, when he shall take upon him its punishment." Therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them. Pride usually goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. The consequence of Israel's pride was the fall here mentioned. The ten tribes composing the northern kingdom fell into gross and grievous sin, and therefore also into long-suffering and sore sorrow. Even Ephraim, that tribe pre-eminent for power as for pride, and the perpetual rival of Judah, shall fall as well as and with the rest. Judah also, that is, Judah proper, and Benjamin, participating in the same evil course, fell like Israel into sin, and, though more than a century later, into ruin. In vers. 6-10 the prophet details the unavailing and ineffectual efforts of Israel to avert, or at least escape from, the threatened judgments. Daniel 9:16), an answer was already communicated to him; for the angel Gabriel came to him, and brought to him an explanation of the seventy years of Jeremiah, i.e., not as to their expiry, but what would happen after their completion for the city and the people of God. האישׁ , the man Gabriel, refers, by the use of the definite article, back to Daniel 8:15, where Gabriel appeared to him in the form of a man. This is expressly observed in the relative clause, "whom I saw," etc. Regarding בּתּחלּה (at the first, Daniel 9:21) see under Daniel 8:1. The differently interpreted words, מעף בּיעף, belong, from their position, to the relative clause, or specially to ראיתי (I had seen), not to נגע, since no ground can be perceived for the placing of the adverbial idea before the verb. The translation of מעף בּיעף by τάχει φερόμενος (lxx), πετόμενος (Theodot.), cito volans (Vulg.), from which the church fathers concluded that the angels were winged, notwithstanding the fact that rabbis, as e.g., Jos. Jacchiades, and modern interpreters (Hv., v. Leng., Hitz.) maintain it, is without any foundation in the words, and was probably derived by the old translators from a confounding of יעף with עוּף. יעף means only wearied, to become tired, to weary oneself by exertion, in certain places, as e.g., Jeremiah 2:24, by a long journey or course, but nowhere to run or to flee. יעף, weariness - wearied in weariness, i.e., very wearied or tired. According to this interpretation, which the words alone admit of, the expression is applicable, not to the angel, whom as an unearthly being, we cannot speak of as being wearied, although, with Kranichfeld, one may think of the way from the dwelling-place of God, removed far from His sinful people, to this earth as very long. On the contrary, the words perfectly agree with the condition of Daniel described in Daniel 8:17., 27, and Daniel mentions this circumstance, because Gabriel, at his former coming to him, not only helped to strengthen him, but also gave him understanding of the vision, which was to him hidden in darkness, so that his appearing again at once awakened joyful hope. אלי נגע, not he touched me, but he reached me, came forward to me. For this meaning of נגע cf. 2 Samuel 5:8; Jonah 3:6. "About the time of the evening sacrifice." מנחה, properly meat-offering, here comprehending the sacrifice, as is often its meaning in the later Scriptures; cf. Malachi 1:13; Malachi 2:13; Malachi 3:4. The time of the evening oblation was the time of evening prayer for the congregation.
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