Wesley's Notes on the Bible
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.
5:1 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.
And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all.
5:2 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.
I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled.
They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD.
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.
5:5 Doth testify - Is an evident witness against him.
They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.
5:6 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 Hath withdrawn himself - For their impenitency.
They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.
5:7 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.
Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Bethaven, after thee, O Benjamin.
5:8 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.
Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be.
5:9 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.
The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.
5:10 The bound - The ancient bounds which limited every one, and prevented the encroaching of covetous men. Like water - Like an overflowing flood.
Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.
5:11 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.
Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.
5:12 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.
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.
5:13 His sickness - Weakness, like a consumption, threatening death. Then went - Made application. The Assyrian - Particularly to Israel or Pul.
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.
5:14 Will tear - Divine vengeance by the Assyrians, shall be as a lion tearing his prey.
I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.