17th of Tamuz, 5784 | י״ז בְּתַמּוּז תשפ״ד

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Lesson 17 Ch10


THE BOOK OF HOSEA

Lesson 17, Chapter 10

Douglas Stewart aptly characterizes the opening verses of Hosea chapter 10 as “Rejection of cult and kingship” (cult meaning Ephraim/Israel’s religious establishment and practices). Yehoveh is firmly distancing Himself from Israel’s monarchy as much as from their worship. But even more, Yehoveh is aggressively destroying the monarchy and the entire religious system that Israel insisted was for the sake of worshipping Him, God of Israel.

As I studied this chapter it occurred to me that it has a direct relationship with the Book of Revelation, and especially to chapter 17 where we read about the Whore of Babylon. It is generally the Christian mindset to picture only pagans, bent on wickedness, for which this derogatory term is used; I think otherwise. We have observed throughout Hosea that God uses the terms harlot, prostitute, and whore to describe those who pervert their otherwise proper worship of Him; He isn’t speaking of pagans. Therefore, because of Hosea, it is common among Christian New Testament commentators to say that the Whore of Babylon must be Israel. While I think they are on the right track in that even though actual anti-God pagans are included in the mix by the time we get the words of the Book of Revelation, this term must also include those who claim allegiance to the God of Israel, but who have corrupted the true orthodox biblical faith. To be clear: while in Hosea the reference to whoredom is indeed aimed squarely at Ephraim/Israel, its scope becomes expanded in the Book of Revelation to include all who create and/or practice some sort of hybridized manmade religion that pleases them, and attempts to attach it to the God of the Bible as proper worship. This is the essence of idolatry.

There is no doubt that the term whore (that is included in a small group of terms revolving around illicit sexual practices including adultery) is a metaphor for idolatry when such unfaithfulness to a marriage partner or to one’s Lord and Master, enters the spiritual realm. My point is this: institutional Christianity as we know it… a faith that is largely based on doctrines that originated from the Roman Church (do not confuse that with the Catholic Church), as decided upon by gentiles in the 4th century… must seek God and do a serious examination of itself. Our faith in Christ as Savior and Lord need not be part of this examination because that might be the one and only part of it that remains pure and true. However, it is undeniable that Christianity, as a gentiles-only religion, has embraced many pagan and Roman holidays and practices…often renaming and repurposing them… assuming Yehoveh will be well pleased with such an effort. Manmade doctrines dominate; Bible study has devolved into ways to find divine approval to validate our questionable societal trends; and those biblical commands that do not suit us are deemed no longer relevant for a Believer or they taught as applying only to another people (the Jews). Roman Christianity certainly did not set out to be wicked. There was a measure of sincerity to follow God…however sincerely wrong the direction taken might have been. But God doesn’t accept sincere or intense worship if it is not the worship of Him as He has prescribed it. God doesn’t accept manmade doctrines that alter characteristics and attributes of who He actually is or what He actually commands. Here in Hosea, it is not that God merely gets upset with Israel and turns His back on their polluted religious practices and the people who practice them. Rather, after much unheeded warning, He eventually loses patience and goes on a destructive rampage to stamp out what He sees as offensive and abominable to Him.

Yet, no matter what catastrophes happened to them, Israel still didn’t get it. They looked around at all they were doing in their rituals and sacrifices…all the effort and cost they put into them… and deemed it all to be good. Good…but on what basis? Did they go back to the Holy Scriptures to see if what they were believing and doing was proper? No; there’s isn’t the slightest hint that they did and God condemns them for not doing so. Why wouldn’t they go to the Scriptures (the Torah) that were in their possession to see if what they believed and did was in line with God’s commands to them? I feel confident to say that because they were as human as the rest of us, they didn’t want to know the things that they didn’t want to know. They were comfortable and satisfied in their beliefs and traditions. They didn’t want to hold their standards up against God’s written standards, because of what they inherently knew they’d discover. So, all sorts of rationalizations were devised, and any who protested too loudly (such as God’s Prophets) were marginalized and deemed heretics. And heretics they were…not to the biblical faith but rather to this perverted manmade system of religion of Ephraim/Israel. Fellow Believers, I saw the enemy and he is us. Only when we are ready to be taken to the woodshed by God, and ready to accept His Holy Word as our one and only truth and standard…a standard that Jesus said He did not come to abolish… and that would not change in the slightest way until the heavens and earth passed away… and we are ready in our spirits to admit our error and folly and make changes, will there be any correction in our journey and to God’s displeasure of us. If we do not undertake this effort, and if we do not humble ourselves before the Lord, and if we refuse to obey and to accept His correction, then at Judgment Day, you, I, all of us may well be counted in the group that God calls collectively the Whore of Babylon.

Let’s read Hosea chapter 10.

READ HOSEA CHAPTER 10 all

Before we delve into this chapter, something needs to be said. This is a very challenging series of verses to interpret. If you hold up several good Bible versions together and compare Hosea chapter 10 among them, you can get significant variation. Even though the ancient Hosea manuscripts for this chapter are in reasonably good shape, the style of writing and the use of metaphors and the poetic license taken (and so much more) makes meaning harder to extract. Clearly this chapter is written very artfully, but it was done in the context of the world as it was in the 8th century B.C. Whomever Hosea was employing as a scribe was highly skilled in his word smithing. At the same time, it seems that there are some subtle references to events that were happening at the time this chapter was written, and that precisely what those things were are both critical to fullest understanding of the point that the author is making and unfortunately some of this is also lost to history. This means our points of reference can be obscure if not covered over altogether. And just to make matters more complicated, there are several arcane Hebrew words used that can have not only double meanings, but the same words can have even opposite meanings. So, our work is cut out for us. The very first verse is an example of this.

In verse 1 Israel is metaphorically compared to a spreading or abundant vine, or on the other hand it could be a barren or ravaged vine. And since the fruit of the vine is compared to the vine itself, then depending on how we characterize the vine the fruit is either abundant or it is lacking. The issue is less what the literal words mean when taken individually and more about what the overall thought is that is being expressed. Either God begins with the premise that He has given to Israel (the vine) a good beginning and solid foundation, and they had indeed been a healthy growing community, and thus what they produced… their fruit (good deeds and proper worship)… had been good and healthy, or the thought is that at one time this had been so but no longer. Rashi, for instance, translates the first words of this verse as “A luxuriant vine is Israel”. So, to help us decide the original intent of this verse, we have to read further to try to establish the contextual thought.

The verse continues with: “the more the fruit, the more altars he made. The finer his land, the finer sacred stones were made”. Or, it can be translated, “when the fruit was plentiful, he made many altars. When his land was fertile, they multiplied cultic pillars”. So now the issue is, was the fruit being described to open the verse good fruit, or was it bad fruit? Was it good fruit that allowed Israel to have the motivation and means to build more pagan altars? Or was it that bad fruit led to a perversion of mind, and so Israel foolishly built more pagan altars? I think you’re beginning to get a taste of what we’re in for in Hosea chapter 10.

What we can say, then, about verse 1 on a thought-for-thought approach is this: Israel used all that God had graciously given them not to His glory, but instead they glorified Baal through their worship and sacrificing. They multiplied the number of pagan altars they built in proportion to the abundance they had been given. This proved to have been historically true as archeologists have found pagan altars on hill tops all over the hill country of what was formerly the land of the Northern Kingdom. This is a classic case of God’s people misusing God’s gifts to them…to us. This is also setting up the dynamic of, what then does a farmer (God) do with a vine (Israel) that doesn’t produce good fruit for Him? That vine is fit only to be cut down and burned up.

Because the Israelites saw Yehoveh primarily as their national god, and the Baal gods as those who controlled certain important functions in nature such as fertility and the weather, then Israel assumed that the good crops they were growing and harvesting did not come from Yehoveh but rather from Baal. Thus, they thanked and sacrificed to Baal and not to Yehoveh who was their true provider. And, they built even more altars to Baal as a kind of quid pro quo believing that they had invented the perpetual motion machine. More altars bring more fertility, and with more fertility they could afford more altars, and now by adding more altars they get even more fertility… and so on. But in adding more altars the Israelites showed that they had been deceived because of their perverted thinking and religious beliefs. There was going to be a high price to pay for such wrongdoing against Yehoveh; the curse of the Covenant would be imposed.

CJB Deuteronomy 29:17-20 17 So let there not be among you a man, woman, family or tribe whose heart turns away today from ADONAI our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Let there not be among you a root bearing such bitter poison and wormwood. 18 If there is such a person, when he hears the words of this curse, he will bless himself secretly, saying to himself, 'I will be all right, even though I will stubbornly keep doing whatever I feel like doing; so that I, although "dry," [sinful,] will be added to the "watered" [righteous].' 19 But ADONAI will not forgive him. Rather, the anger and jealousy of ADONAI will blaze up against that person. Every curse written in this book will be upon him. ADONAI will blot out his name from under heaven. 20 ADONAI will single him out from all the tribes of Isra'el to experience what is bad in all the curses of the covenant written in this book of the Torah.

While we won’t do this at every opportunity, I want to once again show you an interesting issue with the literal meaning of some of these words, so let’s move to verse 2. Most Bible translations begin: “Their heart is divided; now they will bear their guilt”. However, Ginsberg points out that the Hebrew word for heart (lev), also is infrequently used to designate the branches of a tree or of a vine. For instance, in 2Samuel 18 we read this:

CJB 2 Samuel 18:14-15 14 Yo'av said, "I can't waste time arguing with you!" He took three darts in his hand and rammed them through Avshalom's heart while he was still alive, hanging from the terebinth. 15 Then Yo'av's ten young armor-bearers surrounded Avshalom, struck him and killed him.

In this verse about the killing of David’s son Absalom, Absalom was left hanging from a tree. The Hebrew word lev is used twice in this passage. First to speak of the darts thrust into Absalom’s chest, but second also used to speak of hanging from the branches of a tree. So, Ginsberg’s thought is that since the metaphor in current use in Hosea is a vine, then might it not be more than likely that it is not that Israel’s “heart” is divided, but rather a branch of their vine is divided… or better, broken up (which is another way to translate the Hebrew word chalaq)? This is the sort of dilemma we are dealing with as concerns Hosea chapter 10. The better news is that we actually can still extract meaning, either way. It is that Israel, once a unified nation, has become divided into two kingdoms, and the one kingdom (Ephraim/Israel) is also being broken-up by invaders and internal chaos, and now that all of this is happening they are beginning to realize their guilt.

The remainder of verse 2 says that He (Yehoveh) will break down their altars and their standing stones. In other words, the major icons and symbols of Israel’s religion… unauthorized symbols and images that the Israelites thought were so good and righteous… will be destructively attacked by God. Like every religion that employs icons…no matter what they might be… if they are NOT biblically ordained, then they are NOT authorized by God. God hated Israel’s adopted icons and symbols. Religions just love their icons. These are public displays of their identity with whatever faith movement a person might be part of. The Catholics poke fun at the icons of Evangelicals (and vice versa), and both make fun of Orthodox Christian icons (and vice versa). On and on it goes within the many branches of Christianity and, folks, this ought to tell us something. These icons serve no useful purpose before our Lord. They are simply our guilty pleasures; they make us feel good about our choices and our affiliations. We use them to tell others that we are at least as godly… if not more properly godly… than they are. We use them to tell others that we are different from them. And, of course, we all have very good reasons to offer as to why our particular favored icons are OK with God, but the other guy’s icons aren’t. I truly can’t tell you for sure if there exists any non-biblically designated icons that are actually accepted by God…or if any are, which ones they might be. Thus, from the first time I ever taught the Torah I suggested that we may be playing a dangerous game whenever we choose to create or use icons beyond those that can be found as specifically God-ordained in the Bible (such as the Menorah). Religious symbols and icons are problematic things, although we usually don’t see them that way if we happen to personally approve of them. They can cause offense among humans, and they can cause God to act severely against the users of some icons and symbols, just as we are witnessing here in Hosea, because more often than not they are falsely said to represent God or some attribute or characteristic of Him. My advice: tread lightly. You will never get into trouble with God for using no religious icons at all; but you might for using any at all.

Verse 3 is about the judgment of God against Israel’s monarchy. It is that soon they will have no Israelite king. Probably this oracle was delivered at the time of Israel’s final king: Hoshea. We always need to keep in mind that the Book of Hosea is a series of narrative prophecies that were given and written over about a 35-year period of time. So, Hosea’s several prophecies each tend to line up with historical events that were more imminent than distant.

When we read the words “for now”, it is speaking of when Israel has realized their folly and are (collectively) in a mode of repentance (but, a much too late repentance). So, their lament of repentance is that they no longer have a monarch… no Israelite king… for the reason that they did not fear Yehoveh. I won’t go into the actual Hebrew words here, but when translated as “fear God” it means to display an obedient loyalty. This obedient loyalty is to manifest itself in behaving according to God’s written moral law code, the Law of the Moses. It carries a very close sense to that of another Hebrew phrase that is usually translated into English as “knowledge of God”. These two expressions are nearly synonymous in meaning. There is another thought that we also need to explore. Israel was never intended to depend on the existence of an earthly Israelite king because to demand a human king was to reject their divine king (God’s) rightful place as Israel’s one and only sovereign.

CJB 1 Samuel 8:4-9 4 All the leaders of Isra'el gathered themselves together, approached Sh'mu'el in Ramah 5 and said to him, "Look, you have grown old, and your sons are not following your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations." 6 Sh'mu'el was not pleased to hear them say, "Give us a king to judge us"; so he prayed to ADONAI. 7 ADONAI said to Sh'mu'el, "Listen to the people, to everything they say to you; for it is not you they are rejecting; they are rejecting me; they don't want me to be king over them. 8 They are doing to you exactly what they have been doing to me, from the day I brought them out of Egypt until today, by abandoning me and serving other gods. 9 So do what they say, but give them a sober warning, telling them what kinds of rulings their king will make."

We must also realize that in a government system whereby the head of the government is a king, the king represents the nation itself. When a nation loses their king, the nation loses its identity and its nationhood. So now Israel finds itself with neither heavenly nor earthly king. God has departed from them, and their earthly king has been deposed by a conquering army. Israel is now completely rudderless.

The final part of the verse that more or less says: “What could a king do for us, anyway” is rather cryptic. Since what this statement is (it is a kind of rhetorical comment that represents the mindset of the people of Israel when this prophesied event of loss of their own monarchy happens) then I think the idea is that because the enemy is so powerful, it really doesn’t matter who the king of Israel might be (after all, during these last few years there has been an incredible turnover of people sitting on the royal throne) because resistance to Assyria is futile. It is a statement of capitulation.

Verse 4 is speaking of Israel’s kings. So, the “they” that begins this verse is referring to the series of short-lived Israelite kings of Hosea’s era. The kings are supposed to rule over God’s people in justice, wisdom, courage, and selflessness. In God’s system the government and the priesthood are supposed to operate closely and with single mindedness to lead the people in righteousness. But together, the priesthood and the monarchy were a fraud. Like all politicians, the king talked a lot; yet, what came out of his mouth wasn’t always the truth. Instead, says this verse, they make vows falsely and they make covenants they don’t intend to keep. This mostly refers to the treaties that these corrupt and self-serving kings had tried to make with Egypt, then Assyria. It’s important to remember that among Israel, vows and covenants are supposed to be sealed by invoking Yehoveh’s name as the overseer and guarantor of that vow or covenant. So, to use God’s name falsely in that regard is to break the commandment to not use God’s name in vain and in fact was without doubt the primary aim of that commandment (as opposed to using God’s name as a swear-word like we hear it today).

The continuation of elements of agriculture for metaphors of Israel’s condition is found in the mention of poisonous weeds found in the furrows (of the field). The furrows are referring to the ploughing process that prepares for seed to be planted. I think a good way to understand this is to see it as the opposite of what was supposed to be, and we find the ideal plan for Israel and their government in Psalm 92.

CJB Psalm 92:13-16 13 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar in the L'vanon. 14 Planted in the house of ADONAI, they will flourish in the courtyards of our God. 15 Even in old age they will be vigorous, still full of sap, still bearing fruit, 16 proclaiming that ADONAI is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no wrong.

So, what is created is a stark contrast between the ideal Israel of Psalm 92 (palm trees and cedars flourishing in the land) and the Israel of Hosea’s era in Hosea 10:4 (poisonous weeds growing in Israel’s fields). These weeds have (metaphorically) choked out whatever justice and abundance was to be Israel’s present and future, replaced by injustice, disloyalty to covenants, societal malaise and immorality, idolatry and then destruction.

Verse 5 revisits the subject of the symbols and icons that Israel adopted and has come to count on for their prosperity and their security. However, the way it is stated in the CJB (which is very much like most English Bible versions), is not too good and it gives us the wrong idea. The sense of it would have been immediately recognizable to the 8th century B.C. Israelites, but modern English mishandles it. Mayer Gruber does a much better job of translating this verse’s original intent and sense.

“For the calves of Beth-Aven the inhabitants of Samaria fear. Indeed, its people and its priests mourn over it for its glory, that calf will have departed from it”.

Remember that “to fear” in this context meant to have loyal obedience; it didn’t include the idea of being scared of something. So, to best get the sense of it across to 21st century Westerners I would amend Gruber’s translation to “For the golden calves of Beth-Aven have the loyal obedience of the inhabitants of Ephraim/Israel”. Samaria was the capital city of Ephraim/Israel and just like for all nations, the capital is representative of the nation as a whole because the government leadership rules from there. No doubt Beth-Aven is a sarcastic insertion of a name for the city of Beth-El. Beth-Aven means “house of troubles or wrong-doing” while Beth-El means “house of the God El” (El was an even more ancient name for Israel’s God… and as I’ll explain in a future lesson, it also could point to something else). This verse is saying that while Israel claimed to give its loyal obedience to Yehoveh, in fact they were giving it to these calf-gods.

Once again, Israel’s idolatry is best revealed by its choice of icons and symbols. The golden calves originally fashioned by King Jeroboam have become the centerpiece of Israel’s false hybridized religion. How is it that the people of Ephraim/Israel could possibly have adopted a golden calf, of all things, as a symbol for Yehoveh? The reality is that it was no doubt a bull and not a calf. A bull was a common symbol used to denote strength, dominance and honor. So, clearly the bull was chosen to symbolize the God of Israel because for the people it represented something good and admirable. Why would they think to build this image, knowing that the Torah says that no images of Yehoveh are to be fashioned? First, because they no longer knew the Torah, and second because custom and tradition had come to override God’s commands as seems to inevitably happen among God’s people… Israelite or Christian. Because the people saw no wrong in it in their own minds, then surely it must have been right in God’s mind. I mean, every culture had their god-images, and no harm or evil was meant from it. A culture that had no god-images (or too few of them) was actually seen as poor and primitive; and Israel certainly didn’t want to be put in that category by its neighbors.

It seems to me that the use of the term “glory” in this verse is not being taken either by Gruber or by most English translators as what was meant. “The Glory” was a name for a certain manifestation of God just as was “Wisdom”, and we found this used earlier in Hosea. Thus, the golden calves were inherently symbolizing ALL the manifestations of God that would include the manifestation of “The Glory”. God is saying that the loss of His presence to Israel as “The Glory” will be sensed and felt, but the people will visualize it and assign it as a loss of The Glory that was present within the golden calf god-images. So, the people and the priesthood will mourn over the idolatrous sense of the absence of The Glory.

Verse 6 gives a little more context to why the false Glory Israel worshipped won’t be there any longer. The calf-gods will be carried away to the King of Assyria as war booty. In the minds of the ancients, defeating a nation and its king automatically carried with it the defeat of that nation’s god. So, the image of the god of the vanquished was presented to the victorious king as a symbol of that defeat. Again; the Israelites were so certain that some essence of Yehoveh was present in those calf-god images that for them God was very tangibly taken away from them. For them, God’s departure wasn’t as much a matter of Him electing to leave His people as it was an enemy seizing Israel’s God, removing him from the nation He was god over, and thus depriving them of Him. To highlight this, the verse does NOT say that it (the calf-god) will be carried off to the nation of Assyria, but rather that it will be presented to Ashur, the god of the Assyrians. While the ultimate effect is the same, the understanding is of the defeated god being put to the feet of the victorious god.

In the second half of verse 6, Ephraim and Israel are once again used in a synonymous parallelism merely as a rather standard ancient Hebrew literary construction. We are told that Ephraim will be shamed, and that Israel will be ashamed of his own council. This can be a bit confusing to understand but here is what I feel pretty certain is the idea. First, shamed and ashamed are two different words that while somewhat related come with two different meanings. The first Hebrew word is boshnah, and it means shame in the sense of a social status. Israel was, as were most ancient societies, based largely on a shame and honor system. That is, a person lived his life in one of two possible social statuses: shame or honor. No one wanted to be in a status of shame and actions, even up to murder, were employed to regain one’s lost honor. So, this verse says that “Ephraim” (meaning the Northern Kingdom) would find themselves living in a societal status of shame. The second Hebrew word is boosh, and it means to be ashamed. It is an emotion, not a status. Perhaps a better word for modern English speakers is embarrassed or humiliated. But what about the reason for the embarrassment; that it is because of having taken its own council? There are really only two possibilities; first, that the king and his court have made a policy decision that was foolish and costly to the nation and has resulted in disaster, or second, that the king made a treaty with Assyria and listened to what Assyria wanted them to do. I think it is far more likely that it means the latter than the former.

In verse 7 the organic connection between king and capital city and nation are highlighted. Samaria’s king is going to vanish, like…. most versions will complete the sentence with “foam on water”. However, the Hebrew word qetseph most literally means splinter or twig. The Greek translation of the Tanakh chooses a Greek word that means foam, and likely because seafoam floats atop sea water and is pushed around by natural forces and then in time it dissipates and disappears. So, splinter or foam, the idea is the same. Israel’s kings have no power on their own, they just float aimlessly, helplessly, upon the waters of history with no control or direction. And, as of now, that history is about to be determined by the leaders of gentile nations.

Verse 8 continues with the divine retribution that is coming Israel’s way. Israel’s countless shrines and altars and high places and standing stones will be destroyed. But not only that, the people who used those shrines (the people of the Northern Kingdom) will also be destroyed. Getting the best sense of this very powerful verse means that perhaps on a thought-for-thought basis, the following might be a more robust way to understand it.

“The shrines of Beit-Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed. Thorn and thistle will grow upon their altars. They will call to the mountains “bury us, and to the hills “fall upon us””

Remember that Beit-Aven is a nasty sarcasm that says that what was formerly a holy place to Yehoveh (Beth-El) is better referred to now as Aven, “wrong doing”. But to make an even better point, it is that these various shrines represent the sin of Israel. This sin of Israel IS those shrines that they have erected that were for some kind of a mixed worship of Yehoveh along with the various gods of Baal. We don’t need to go in depth back to what we covered earlier, but Israel’s symbols and icons were Israel’s sin, in God’s eyes. They placed so much value and trust in those meaningless things and it was an enormous insult to the Lord, no matter how much Israel claimed that their intent was good. Believers, Messianic or Christian, take heed. Just how badly do you need those icons and symbols of yours? Are they so necessary in your lives to identify yourself as a Believer that you are willing to risk God’s anger towards you over them? Israel was willing to take the risk, because they refused to hear from their Prophets telling them that there was risk. Things didn’t turn out so well for them.

All these altars and shrines they built over the many hilltops of Israel would come to nothing. They will soon be abandoned and overgrown with thorns and thistles…weeds. This has a built-in contrast that was understood by the ancient Hebrew reader. It was usual that these altars and shrines would be erected under a small grove of trees, or that the worshipper and establisher of the shrine would plant a tree there. The trees were often used as symbols for Ashtoreth, the goddess of fertility. But now these sites of Israel’s systematic betrayal of God would become ruins.

Interestingly, the final words of Hosea that were “they” would call to the mountains “bury us”, and to the hills “fall upon us” were actually quoted by Yeshua on the way to the cross. He was telling people near Him that a similar time as to what happened with Ephraim/Israel over 7 centuries earlier was in their future.

CJB Luke 23:28-30 28 Yeshua turned to them and said, "Daughters of Yerushalayim, don't cry for me; cry for yourselves and your children! 29 For the time is coming when people will say, 'The childless women are the lucky ones- those whose wombs have never borne a child, whose breasts have never nursed a baby! 30 Then They will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!'

There is some disagreement among Bible scholars as to whether the person saying this rhetorical lament about asking the mountains and hills to fall upon them is the people of Israel, or it is figurative of the shrines themselves speaking. I think it is the former. While one might say it as a hyperbolic expression of grief and sorrow or terror (like, I wish I was never born), it is with the idea that maybe it would be better to die than to fall into enemy hands or to be ejected from the land only to have to reside in a foreign place and live out their days as aliens. So, death might, for a time, seem preferable to life for the exiled citizens of Israel. Speaking of the End Times we find the same thought just expressed differently in the Book of Revelation.

CJB Revelation 9:6 6 In those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

This ends the first section of Hosea chapter 10, so we’ll stop here for today and begin with verse 9 the next time we meet.