Hosea 13

Listen to Hosea 13

The Lord's Relentless Judgment on Israel

1 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling; 1he was exalted in Israel, but he incurred guilt 2through Baal and died.
2 And now they sin more and more, and 3make for themselves metal images, idols skillfully made of their silver, 4all of them the work of craftsmen. It is said of them, "Those who offer human sacrifice 5kiss calves!"
3 Therefore they shall be 6like the morning mist or 7like the dew that goes early away, 8like the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor or 9like smoke from a window.
4 But 10I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt; 11you know no God but me, and 12besides me there is no savior.
5 13It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought;
6 14but when they had grazed,[a] they became full, 15they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; 16therefore they forgot me.
7 So 17I am to them like a lion; 18like a leopard I will lurk beside the way.
8 I will fall upon them 19like a bear robbed of her cubs; I will tear open their breast, and there I will devour them like a lion, 20as a wild beast would rip them open.
9 He destroys[b] you, O Israel, for you are against me, against 21your helper.
10 22Where now is your king, to save you in all your cities? Where are all your rulers-- those of whom 23you said, "Give me a king and princes"?
11 24I gave you a king in my anger, and 25I took him away in my wrath.
12 The iniquity of Ephraim is 26bound up; his sin is 27kept in store.
13 28The pangs of childbirth come for him, but he is an unwise son, for at the right time he does not present himself 29at the opening of the womb.
14 30Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? 31Shall I redeem them from Death? 32O 33Death, where are your plagues? 34O 35Sheol, where is your sting? 36Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
15 Though 37he may flourish among his brothers, 38the east wind, the wind of the LORD, shall come, rising from the wilderness, 39and his fountain shall dry up; his spring shall be parched; it shall strip 40his treasury of every precious thing.
16 [c] Samaria 41shall bear her guilt, because 42she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword; 43their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their 44pregnant women ripped open.

Hosea 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

The abuse of God's favour leads to punishment. (1-8) A promise of God's mercy. (9-16)

Verses 1-8 While Ephraim kept up a holy fear of God, and worshipped Him in that fear, so long he was very considerable. When Ephraim forsook God, and followed idolatry, he sunk. Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves, in token of their adoration of them, affection for them, and obedience to them; but the Lord will not give his glory to another, and therefore all that worship images shall be confounded. No solid, lasting comfort, is to be expected any where but in God. God not only took care of the Israelites in the wilderness, he put them in possession of Canaan, a good land; but worldly prosperity, when it feeds men's pride, makes them forgetful of God. Therefore the Lord would meet them in just vengeance, as the most terrible beast that inhabited their forests. Abused goodness calls for greater severity.

Verses 9-16 Israel had destroyed himself by his rebellion; but he could not save himself, his help was from the Lord only. This may well be applied to the case of spiritual redemption, from that lost state into which all have fallen by wilful sins. God often gives in displeasure what we sinfully desire. It is the happiness of the saints, that, whether God gives or takes away, all is in love. But it is the misery of the wicked, that, whether God gives or takes away, it is all in wrath, nothing is comfortable. Except sinners repent and believe the gospel, anguish will soon come upon them. The prophecy of the ruin of Israel as a nation, also showed there would be a merciful and powerful interposition of God, to save a remnant of them. Yet this was but a shadow of the ransom of the true Israel, by the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. He will destroy death and the grave. The Lord would not repent of his purpose and promise. Yet, in the mean time, Israel would be desolated for her sins. Without fruitfulness in good works, springing from the Holy Spirit, all other fruitfulness will be found as empty as the uncertain riches of the world. The wrath of God will wither its branches, its sprigs shall be dried up, it shall come to nothing. Woes, more terrible than any from the most cruel warfare, shall fall on those who rebel against God. From such miseries, and from sin, the cause of them, may the Lord deliver us.

Cross References 44

  • 1. [Amos 6:13]
  • 2. See Hosea 11:2
  • 3. Hosea 2:8
  • 4. [Psalms 115:4; Isaiah 40:19, 20]
  • 5. [1 Kings 19:18; Job 31:26, 27]
  • 6. Hosea 6:4
  • 7. Hosea 6:4
  • 8. See Psalms 1:4
  • 9. See Psalms 68:2
  • 10. Hosea 12:9
  • 11. See Exodus 20:3
  • 12. Isaiah 43:11; Isaiah 45:21
  • 13. Deuteronomy 2:7; Amos 3:2
  • 14. [Hosea 4:7]
  • 15. Deuteronomy 8:12, 14; [Deuteronomy 32:15]
  • 16. Deuteronomy 8:12, 14; [Deuteronomy 32:15]
  • 17. Hosea 5:14
  • 18. Jeremiah 5:6
  • 19. 2 Samuel 17:8; Proverbs 17:12
  • 20. [Hosea 2:12]
  • 21. [Deuteronomy 33:26]
  • 22. [Hosea 8:4; Hosea 10:3]
  • 23. 1 Samuel 8:5, 19
  • 24. [1 Samuel 8:22]
  • 25. [1 Samuel 15:23]
  • 26. Job 14:17
  • 27. Job 14:17
  • 28. Isaiah 13:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:3
  • 29. [2 Kings 19:3]
  • 30. Isaiah 25:8; Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:12
  • 31. Isaiah 25:8; Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:12
  • 32. [1 Corinthians 15:55]
  • 33. [Ezekiel 14:21]
  • 34. [1 Corinthians 15:55]
  • 35. [Ezekiel 14:21]
  • 36. [Ezekiel 9:10]
  • 37. [Genesis 41:52]
  • 38. [Ezekiel 19:12; Jonah 4:8; Habakkuk 1:9]
  • 39. [Ezekiel 17:10]
  • 40. [Hosea 12:8]
  • 41. [Habakkuk 1:11]
  • 42. 2 Kings 18:12
  • 43. [Hosea 9:12; Hosea 10:14]
  • 44. [2 Kings 8:12; 2 Kings 15:16; Amos 1:13]

Footnotes 3

Chapter Summary


This chapter begins with observing the different state and condition of Ephraim before and after his idolatry, Ho 13:1; his increase in it, Ho 13:2; and therefore his prosperity was very short lived, which is signified by various metaphors, Ho 13:3; and his sins are aggravated by the former goodness of God unto him his great ingratitude unto God, and forgetfulness him, Ho 13:4-6; hence he is threatened with his wrath and vengeance in a very severe manner, Ho 13:7,8; for which he had none to blame but himself; yea, such was the grace and goodness of God to him, that though he had destroyed himself, yet there were help and salvation for him in him, Ho 13:9; though not in his king he had desired, and was given, and was took away in wrath, Ho 13:10,11; but his sin being bound up and hid, and he foolish and unwise, sharp corrections would be given him, Ho 13:12,13; and yet a gracious promise is made of redemption from death and the grave by the Messiah, Ho 13:14; but, notwithstanding this, and all his present prosperity, he would be blasted in his wealth and riches; and Samaria the metropolis of his country would he desolate; and the inhabitants of it be used in the most cruel manner, because of their rebellion against God, Ho 13:15,16.

Hosea 13 Commentaries