The Word of the Lord to Hosea

Chapter 9

The distress and captivity of Israel for their sins, 1-17.

Do not rejoice, O Israel, for joy, as other people,/
for you have apostatized from your God./
You have loved a reward upon every grain-floor.

The floor and the wine-press shall not feed them,/
and the new wine shall fail in her.

They shall not dwell in the LORD'S land,/
but Ephraim shall return to Egypt/
and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.

They shall not offer wine-offerings to the LORD,/
neither shall they be pleasing to him./
Their sacrifices shall be to them as the bread of mourners./
All who eat of it shall be polluted,/
for their bread for their soul/
shall not come into the house of the LORD.

What will you do in the solemn day/
and in the day of the feast of the LORD?

For behold, they have gone away 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.

The days of visitation have come,/
the days of recompense have come./
Israel shall know it./
The prophet is a fool and the spiritual man is mad/
because of the multitude of your iniquity and the great hatred.

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.

They have deeply corrupted themselves,/
as in the days of Gibeah;/
therefore, he will remember their iniquity./
He will visit their sins.

10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness./
I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig-tree at her first time./
But they went to Baal-peor/
and separated themselves to that shame,/
and their abominations were according as they loved.

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

12 Though they bring up their children,/
yet I will bereave them, so that there shall not be a man left./
Indeed, woe also to them when I depart from them!

13 Ephraim, as I saw Tyre, is planted in a pleasant place./
But Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.

14 Give them, O LORD—what will you give?/
Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

15 "All their wickedness is in Gilgal,/
for there I hated them./
For the wickedness of their doings/
I will drive them out of my house./
I will love them no more./
All their princes are revolters.

16 Ephraim is smitten./
Their root is dried up./
They shall bear no fruit./
Even though they bring forth,/
yet I will slay even the beloved fruit of their womb."

17 My God will cast them away/
because they did not listen to him./
And they shall be wanderers among the nations.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Hosea, Chapter 9[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

This chapter is an address to Israel or the ten tribes, and contains either a new sermon, or is a very considerable part of the former upon the same subject, the sins and punishment of that people. It begins with an instruction to them, not to rejoice in their prosperity, as others did; since it would soon be at an end, because of their idolatry, which was everywhere committed, and for which they expected a reward of temporal good things (Hosea 9:1); but, on the contrary, they are threatened with famine, with lack both of corn and wine (Hosea 9:2); and with an ejection out of their land into foreign countries; where they should be obliged to eat things unclean by their law (Hosea 9:3); and where their sacrifices and solemnities should be no more attended to (Hosea 9:4-5); and where their carcasses should fall and be buried, while their own country and houses lay waste and desolate (Hosea 9:6); for, whatever their foolish and mad prophets said to the contrary, who pretended to be with God, and know his will, and were a snare to them who gave heed to them, and brought hatred on them, the time of their punishment would certainly come (Hosea 9:7-8); and their iniquities would be remembered and visited; seeing their corruptions were deep, like those who appeared in Gibeah, in the days of old (Hosea 9:9); they acting the same ungrateful part their fathers had done, of whom they were a degenerate offspring (Hosea 9:10); therefore for these, and other offenses mentioned, they are threatened with being bereaved of their children, and drove out of their land, to wander among the nations (Hosea 9:11-17).

[v.6] - "The pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them" - In other words, "The nettle shall possess the desirable place of their silver."

[v.7] - "mad" - That is, foolish, insane, lunatic, senseless, absurd, etc.

[v.8] - False prophets are a snare to humanity. They preach peace when there is no peace (Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11; see also Jeremiah 14:13). They preach to man his salvation without the need of repentance, faith, and holiness of life. This is, after all, an easy message to hear. Why acknowledge and repent of sin when peace and salvation can be so easily attained? "My people love to have it so" (Jeremiah 5:31). "For the time will come, when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts they will multiply for themselves [false] teachers, having itching ears, and they will turn away their ears from the truth, and will be turned to fables." (2nd Timothy 4:3-4). "Satan hunts his prey, when he soothes the people by his false teachers, and keeps them, as it were, asleep, that they may not regard the hand of God." —John Calvin

[v.11] - "their glory shall fly away like a bird" - That is, their glory shall depart from them suddenly, swiftly, and irrecoverably, never to return. This glory can refer to a few things: 1) God their glory, and His departure; 2) their wealth and riches, and their loss of it going into captivity; 3) their posterity (Proverbs 17:6), and the hopes of their families cut off.