Bible Commentaries
Hosea 9

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-17

Chapter 9

Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for you have gone a whoring from your God, you have loved a reward upon every cornfloor. The floor in the winepress 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 ( Hsa Hosea 9:1-3 ).

And so he prophesies and predicts the captivity, being carried away to Assyria, others fleeing to Egypt.

They shall not offer the wine offerings to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners: all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread and 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, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them [they'll be buried in Memphis]: the pleasant places for their silver [that is, their places were once so beautiful where their treasures were kept], will be covered with nettles: and thorns will fill their houses [their tents]. The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred. The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all of his ways, and hatred in the house of his God. They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore I will remember their iniquity, and will visit their sins ( Hsa Hosea 9:4-9 ).

So God is pronouncing His judgment and His indictments against these people. He said,

I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at her first time ( Hsa Hosea 9:10 ):

Now here the nation of Israel is liken unto a fig tree. This also is true in Joel, chapter 1, verse Hosea 9:7 , and in Jeremiah 23:0 I believe it is, or twenty-six... twenty-four, in between them. "Your fathers were as the first ripe fig trees at her first time." I do believe that Jesus, in Matthew 24 , here is a reference to Israel as a fig tree as in Joel and as in Jeremiah. Now you say, "But if Israel is the fig tree and it began to bud forth in 1948 and the generation that saw it bud forth wasn't to pass until all of things be fulfilled, how come they were getting up close to the end of that generation, 1988, forty years, and we the church are still here if we're gonna be gone seven years before?" A lot of suppositions in that.

Number one, the supposition is that the rebirth of the nation in May of '48 constitutes the beginning of that generation. Second, supposition of the generation is exactly forty years. And the third supposition, of course, is that the church will be taken away seven years before the second coming of Jesus Christ. But don't write it off yet. We still have a ways to go until May fourteenth and that the Lord didn't come in the year 1981 doesn't yet totally wipe out that whole premise. If He hasn't come by May fourteenth, then those who hold to that can go back to their calculations and begin to work again.

I personally cannot see how this earth can continue much longer. There are some remarkable things that are happening in the world today. The Schmidt from Germany has called for a summit conference between Brezhnev and President Reagan. And the purpose of his calling for this summit is that Brezhnev will know that those people in the West aren't kidding, they're really serious in their endeavor to stop the Soviet Union from its further aggression. I'm afraid that we've gotten serious a little bit too late. General Jones, General Keegan, General Walt, and you can go right on down and name a lot of generals who feel that 1982 is definitely the crisis year with Russia; that this is the last year that Russia will have a decided military advantage over us, that beginning with 1983 it will be declining as we are in crash programs to begin to catch up. As we start the deployment of the MX missile systems, as we start, or as we're speeding up the development of our cruise missiles, as we are starting the development of the B-1 and so forth. In 1985, 1986, hopefully we will be again in a position of some kind of strength against Russia. But what Helmet Schmidt is saying to Brezhnev is, "Hey, those guys are crazy. They are serious and you better take them seriously."

There's little we can do right now. There was really nothing we could do to stop Russia's move into Afghanistan. There was really nothing that we could do with that hostage fiasco in Iran; we're too close to Russia. We had that aborted attempt to rescue, but it was too little too late. The United States is operating at the present time from a base of weakness. But that's no position to be in, in this world in which we live. Weakness is not respected. Russia definitely has the cards and she can play them anytime she wants, and there's really nothing we could do about it. And I don't see how things can go on much longer.

As I said this morning, if I didn't really believe in the Lord and in trusting in Him, I would be looking for some place to just crawl into a cave and wait until it was all over. I'd be looking for some little atoll or island out in the Pacific and I'd just get me a pile of coconuts and a fish net and hope to tough it out until it all went up in a puff of smoke. But my trust is not in man nor in the parliament, nor in the powers of man, nor in the leagues of men, but my trust is in the Lord and in God's Word. And I do not see the whole thing going up in God's Word as long as the church is here. So I'm just committing my ways to the Lord as far as that goes. But we are getting close to the end of that generation that saw the fig tree bud forth, and I do think there is a correlation between verse Hosea 9:10 where God said, "I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree," and the parable of the fig tree in Matthew 24:0 in that the identity of the fig tree is indeed Israel.

God saw them as the grapes of the wilderness. When they first came into the wilderness, found grapes that were there. Oh thirsty people, how great juicy grapes taste to a guy who is dying of thirst. And though God found them very refreshing, exciting,

yet they went after Baal-peor ( Hsa Hosea 9:10 ),

One of the most licentious of all the pagan gods as far as the worship is concerned.

they separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved. As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception. Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also unto them when I depart from them! ( Hsa Hosea 9:10-12 )

Woe unto any man when God has departed from his life.

Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer. Give them, O LORD: what you will give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. 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. Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, they shall bring forth, yet I will slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations ( Hsa Hosea 9:13-17 ).

And that prophecy has been fulfilled and is being fulfilled at the present time, for they still remain wanderers among the nations.

A testimony of God's Word confirmed by history and confirmed by the world around us. Surely we would be wise to give heed to the Word of God.

Shall we pray?

God, help us that we might hearken unto You. Help us, Lord, that we would not follow after the sin of Ephraim and of Judah, and turning away after idols, of misplacing priority. Help us, O Lord, that we would not allow the cares of this world or the deceitfulness of riches or the desire of other things to choke out our fruitfulness. But, O Lord, may we truly bring forth fruit for Thy praise. In Jesus' name. Amen. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Hosea 9". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.