The title is from Hosea 8:7 and is speaking of those who rule over and mislead God’s people into serving idols. It tells of the inevitable conclusion if they refuse to return from their strange ways and ideas, and continue to reject the word God sends by His Angel, as now with this message.
1 Set the trumpet to your mouth. He [the Angel of LORD as the messenger] shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.
2 Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know you.
3 Israel has cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.
4 They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.
5 Your calf [idols set in place of God], O Samaria [Israel as idol worshippers], has cast you off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocence [how long will they refuse to remove their idols – corrupted ideas they have created and say are God]?
6 For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.
7 For they [those who have led My people into this condition] have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind [the destruction resulting from what they have sown]: it has no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.
8 Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles [God’s people are exactly as those who know not God or His ways] as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.
9 For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim [God’s people in this latter time] has hired lovers.
10 Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them [the feast of ingathering], and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes [the troubles caused by the misleaders and what they have sown among us].
11 Because Ephraim has made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.
12 I have written to him [morning after morning] the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing [as a language and ways he refused to receive or accept].
13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepts them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.
14 For Israel has forgotten his Maker, and builds temples; and Judah has multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.
Hosea 12 speaks in further detail of Ephraim’s condition as Jacob’s rebellion and its punishment by the consequences of his ways. These consequences are the whirlwind he reaps, the cause of which is spoken of in verse 11 as the heaps on the altars of Gilead and Gilgal. It is speaking of the idols placed there, the same as calves in Hosea 8:5 above, and the bullocks in Hosea 12:11. The word “heap” and the name Gilead and Gilgal all use either or both the Hebrew words giyl or gal. Giyl means a revolution of time or age, from an identical word meaning to spin (under the influence of any violent emotion). Gal means to roll, to heap up stones or dung, or a spring or water as waves heaped up (by the wind – by a spirit, as in the emotion of the giyl). These meanings are those implied in the deep of the text.
1 Ephraim feeds on wind, and follows after the east wind: he daily increases lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians [led by foreign (apostasy) ways and ideas, which destroy the nations of the world], and oil [wisdom and understanding] is carried into Egypt [captivity].
2 The LORD has also a controversy with Judah [leadership – kings and princes], and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.
3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:
4 Yea, he had power over the Angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: He found him [the rebels] in Bethel [the house of God], and there He [the Angel (messenger) of the LORD] spoke with us;
5 Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is his memorial [the LORD is a man of war, and His weapon is the Word of God and it restoring our memory].
6 Therefore turn [shuwb – turn back] you to your God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on your God continually.
7 [But] He [Ephraim] is a merchant [his merchandise is altered judgment], the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loves to oppress.
8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labors they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin.
9 And I that am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt will yet make you to dwell in tabernacles [speaking of Bethel in verse 5 above, where he finds us and causes us to remember – by the prophets and the patterns], as in the days of the solemn feast.
10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields.
12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep.
13 And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.
14 Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his LORD return unto him.
In Hosea 11:5 & 6 the LORD describes why He leaves Ephraim in his blood (his chosen ways and ideas that drain life from men and societies). He says it is because they refuse to return (shuwb) and instead remain in following their own counsel which is destroying them.
1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim [the idols, ways and ideas, of foreign nations, from where they have many times been delivered], and burned incense to graven images.
3 I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed [rapha’] them.
4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
5 He shall not return into the land of Egypt, and the Assyrian shall be his king [foreign ways and ideas shall rule over him], because they refused to return.
6 And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.
7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.
8 How shall I give you up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver you, Israel? how shall I make you as Admah? how shall I set you as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.
9 I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One [qadowsh – speaking of the first of the first-fruits – the Angel of the LORD] in the midst of you: and I will not enter into the city.
10 They shall walk after [follow] the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.
11 They shall tremble as a bird [coming] out of Egypt, and as a dove [coming] out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses [bayith – beth], says the LORD.
12 Ephraim compasses me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet rules with God, and is faithful with the saints [qadowsh – His holy ones – His elect remnant – the first-fruits].
When the LORD says in Hosea 12:2 He has a “controversy” with Juda it is defined as He speaks of Jacob’s wrestling with the Angel of the LORD. Jacob was still in rebellion against the LORD, not knowing it was the LORD he was wrestling.
We are told in Genesis 32:22 the place where they crossed over was the Jabbok, meaning the pouring out, as in to empty himself of himself. This was the objective of the Angel wrestling with Jacob, so he would see the LORD face to face in himself, and would become Israel, he who would reign with God as God wills. We know this is the meaning of the name Israel, from the word sarah, meaning to prevail, and El which is the name of God. The prevailing is over self, understanding it is God being formed in us by a new mind, as we pour out (remove) our self and the LORD God pours out Himself into us.
After this Jacob calls the place Penuel and Peniel, from the word panah, meaning to turn, and by implication it means (to) face, appear or look; and the word El. It is the cover removed when we turn (epistrepho or peniymiy) inwardly to the LORD and see Him as if in a mirror, face to face.
22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two women-servants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaks. And he said, I will not let you go, except you bless me.
27 And he said unto him, What is your name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince have you power with God and with men, and have prevailed.
29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray you, your name. And he said, Wherefore is it that you do ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.
2 Corinthians 3
12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the LORD, the vail shall be taken away.
17 Now the LORD is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty.
18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the LORD, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD.
2 Corinthians 4
1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the LORD; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
This “controversy” is from the Hebrew word riyb, meaning to grapple with, which is used one other time in Hosea (4:1) as the LORD defines the reason His people are destroyed. He says it is because there is no knowledge of God because those calling themselves priest have forgotten the law of the LORD. Even more descriptively, the word riyb is used in Exodus 17:7 where it is rendered “chiding” to tell of when the people of God wrestled with the words of God from Moses. We know this is the temptation even the LORD faced; overcoming it by believing the LORD does indeed speak and show His presence in man. It is the temptation even the elect face, and overcoming it is the perfecting.
We know it is what Peter is speaking of when in 2 Peter 3 he first tells of him bringing these things again to our remembrance (the memorial), and then speaks of the longsuffering of the LORD. He tells of the LORD doing this because it is not His will that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. He ends describing the reality that some will continue to wrestle with the words of God, and do so to their destruction, never seeing it as it is, the LORD speaking and appearing in the son (sons) of man.
18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwells in mount Zion.
19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? [Should they look] for the living to the dead?
20 [Or] To the law and to the testimony[?]: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication..
1 Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel: for the LORD has a controversy [riyb] with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood touches blood.
3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwells therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.
4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for your people are as they that strive with the priest.
5 Therefore shall you fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with you in the night, and I will destroy your mother.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.
1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide you with me? wherefore do you tempt the LORD?
3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with you of the elders of Israel; and your rod, wherewith you smote the river, take in your hand, and go.
6 Behold, I will stand before you there upon the rock in Horeb; and you shall smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding [riyb] of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
2 Peter 3
10 But the day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our LORD is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.