V D 1-. Ephraim's eminence. E -1,2. Ephraim's fall. Idolatry. F 3. Threatening, and Comparisons. D 4,5. Yahaveh the source of Ephraim's eminence. E 6. Ephraim's fall. Forgetting Yahaveh. F 7,8. Threatening, and Comparisons.
1 When Ephraim spoke (authoritatively) [there was] panic (as in Joshua's day [Josh. 4:14]. Cp. Job 29:21-25), he exalted himself (carried weight, or was exalted) in Israel;
but when he offended with Baal (i.e. the idolatrous worship of Baal, in Ahab's day), he died.
2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own notion, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say to them (i.e. to the People), "Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves." (Kissing was fundamental in all heathen idolatry. It is the root of the Latin ad-orare = to [bring something to] the mouth. "A pure lip" [Zeph. 3:9] implies more than language.)
3 Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early night mist that passes away (see Ps. 133:3), as the chaff it is driven with a whirlwind out of the threshing-floor, and as the smoke out of the window (or, opening. No word for chimney.).
4 [You worship the calves], Yet I, even I, am the LORD your God [Who brought you out] from the land of Egypt (Ex. 20:2,3), and you shall know no god but Me: for there is no savior beside Me.
5 I did know you in the wilderness (Deut. 2:7; 8:15; 32;10. Cp. Amos 3:2), in the land of great drought. (Deut. 8:15.)
6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten Me. (I.e. the more I fed them, the more they kicked against Me. See Deut. 8:12-14; 32:15.)
7 Therefore I will be to them as a lion (cp. 5:14): as a leopard (cp. Jer. 5:6) by the way shall I watch them:
8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the enclosure (i.e. the pericardium) of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them. (See Lev. 26:22.)
N G1 13:9-16. Revolt. G2 14:1-8. Return.
G1 s1 9-. Incrimination. t1 -9-11. Promise. s2 12,13. Incrimination. t2 14. Promise. s3 15,16. Incrimination.
9 O Israel, the destruction [which you are suffering] is all your own; (Cp. Deut. 32:5.)
for I am your [true] help.
10 Where now is your king [Hoshea]? (the answer being in prison [2 Kings 17:4) to save you, or that he may save you in all your cities? and your judges of whom you said, "Give me a king and princes?" (1 Sam. 8:5,19.)
11 I gave you a king in My anger, and took him away in My wrath. (1 Sam. 8:7; 10:19; 15:22,23; 16:1. Cp. 10:3. A continual act, the violent deaths of Israel's then recent kings: Zachariah murdered by Shallum; Shallum by Menahem; Pekahiah by Pekah; and Pekah by Hoshea, who was now a prisoner in Assyria.)
12 The perversity of Ephraim is tied up up (as in a bag. See Deut. 32:32,35); his sin is reserved.
13 The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him (Isa. 13:8. Jer. 30:6. Matt. 24:8.): he is an unwise son (a most foolish son); for he should not linger in the place of the breaking forth of sons. (i.e. in the act of being born. Cp. 2 Kings 19:3.)
14 I will redeem (by power in virtue of the legal right. See Ex. 13:15) them out of the hand of the grave (i.e. Sheol's power [[to keep in its grasp]); I will redeem them from death (to redeem by purchase by assertion of the kinsman right. Hence the other meaning of avenging. See Ex. 6:6): O death, were are your pestilence; O grave, I will be your destruction: (quoted in 1 Cor. 15:54,55) compassion [on them] shall be hid from My eyes.
15 Though he (i.e. Ephraim) be fruitful (his name being used in irony, Ephraim = fruitful. See Ge. 41:52; 48:19) among his brethren, an east wind (not a scorching wind. Gen. 41:6; Jer. 18:17. Ezek. 17:10; 19:12) shall come, the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry (cp. Deut. 33:28), and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall plunder the treasure of all pleasant vessels. (Fulfilled in Shalmaneser shortly after, and since that day this prophecy stands fulfilled. The book ends with hope, in the final section below.)
16 Samaria (see 2 Kings 17:6) shall become desolate; for she has rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.