In chapter 1 another aspect of God’s dealings with Israel breaks into view-his persistent love. Judgment there must be (11:5-8), but God will not make a final end of his sinning people.
- How was God’s love manifested in Israel’s beginnings? See 11:1-4; cf. Deut. 7:6-8.
How was this still manifested, in spite of all his people’s backsliding?
- In chapter 11 God has spoken of his attitude to Israel; now in 11:12-12:2, he speaks of Israel’s attitude to himself.
Then the prophet reminds the people of the very different history of their ancestor Jacob (12:3, 4).
What is the attitude to himself that God desires (12:6; cf. 6:6; 10:12)?
What, however, was Israel’s response to all God’s pleadings (12:7-14)?
These chapters are prophecies of coming judgment, and show how the people’s sin will bring upon them:
(a) exile (9:1-8);
(b) a diminished population (9:9-17); and
(c) the destruction of both the sanctuaries and the throne, and reducing of the nation to servitude (10:1-15).
- 9:1-8. This passage was perhaps spoken at a religious festival, when people were making merry after the manner of the heathen at their festivals (9:1). How does Hosea describe the changes that exile will bring?
- 9:9-17. God himself speaks. He sees list prevalent in the nation, as in the most shameful days of Israel’s history. To what results would it lead?
- What different kinds of sin are spoken of in chapter 10? What counsel does the prophet give as to the one way of escape from the coming judgment?
- 10:1. ‘Stones’: a common feature of a Canaanite shrine, initiated by the Israelites in their worship.
- 10:5, 6. Cf. 1 Kgs.12:28, 29.
- 10:10. ‘Their double iniquity’: perhaps meaning the sins of the throne and of worship.
- 10:11. The position of Israel is to be changed from that of a heifer treading the threshing floor and easting freely (Deut. 25:4) to the heavy labour of the yoke.
- 10:14. ‘As Shalman devastated Beth Arbel’: the reference is uncertain. Shalman is probably the same as Shalmaneser, 2 kgs. 17:3.