Hosea 10: Israel’s sin and captivity

The idolatry of Israel. (1-8):
V.1…Israel…increased altars…increase sacred pillars… Israel started off good but they went wrong later. Their fruit increased and the nation improved. But the fruit and prosperity were used for wrong. The more Israel’s fruit increased, the more they built the altar. The more they prospered, the more they built sacred pillars. God warned through Moses in Deut.8:11-14), Proverb 30:7-9 written by a man called Agur, whose background or history is unknown, but he wanted to balance between things so that the end will be right.
V.2…their hearts are divided…
Their hearts were divided. God is the Sovereign of the heart; he will have all, or none. Were the stream of the heart wholly after God, it would run strongly, and bear down all before it. – Matthew Henry.
Their hearts are divided between God and Baal. Joshua 24:15. Mark 3:25; Matt. 6:24. Revelation 3:16….
V.3…no king… A day is coming when Israel will have no king. When they don’t fear God, the king can’t do anything when God comes against us.
V.4…hemlock… when the system of justice is wrong, it is like hemlock, a deadly poison which destroys the possibility of life and fruitfulness in the land.
V.5…inhabitants of Samaria fear because of the calf… The calf in Bethel will be removed from Samaria which will make the people and priests to mourn. …Glory… In the real and holy temple of God, Glory is the special presence of God (Ex. 40:34). Here, the glory is the presumed presence of God at the illegitimate sanctuary.
V.6…as a present for King… The idol that Israelite has carved was so great to the extent that it was consider as a gift of tribute to the King of Assyria.

They are exhorted to repentance. (9-15)
Because God does not desire the death and ruin of sinners, therefore in mercy he desires their chastisement. The children of iniquity still remained in Israel. The enemies would be gathered against them. It is just with God to make those know what hardships mean, who indulge themselves in ease and pleasure. Let them cleanse their hearts from all corrupt affections and lusts, and be a broken and contrite spirit. Let them abound in works of piety towards God, and of justice and charity towards one another: herein let them sow to the Spirit. Seeking the Lord is to be every day’s work, but there are special occasions when to seek him. – Matthew Henry Concise Commentary.
V.9…days of Gibeah… If the judgement came upon Benjaminites at Gibeah, how much more would come upon Israel for their sin (May refer Judges 19-21). Yet, in verse 10, we see God is patient in executing judgement on them. He was awaiting their repentance.
V.11…trained heifer… This talks about Israel’s beginnings. Israel was brought up with a purpose to thresh in the field. Deut.
25:4…The ox usually enjoys threshing because it can eat the straw with the grain while threshing. But the freedom was abused. How? God gives explanation for v.11 in verse 13.
V.12…sow yourself righteousness; reap mercy…for it is time to seek the Lord… God is repeating the sowing and reaping law. A deaf ear will reap the consequences.
V.13…you have ploughed wickedness… Since Israel did not sow righteousness, they will reap iniquity only. God also gives the reason for this sin, that Israel trusted in it’s own way and multitude of it warriors.
V.14…Shalman plundered Beth Arbel… Shalman is the Assyrian king also called as Shalmaneser who was Assyrian emperor fro 727-722 B.C.) besieged 12 tribes of Samaria from (725-723).

Chapter 11: God’s continuing Love for Israel.
God’s regard for Israel; their ingratitude. (1-7) When Israel were weak and helpless as children, foolish and Stubbornly disobedient as children, then God loved them; he bore them as the nurse does the sucking child, nourished them, and suffered their manners. All who are grown up, ought often to reflect upon the goodness of God to them in their childhood. He took care of them, took pains with them, not only as a father, or a tutor, but as a mother, or nurse. When they were in the wilderness, God showed them the way in which they should go, and bore them up, taking them by the arms. He taught them the way of his commandments by the ceremonial law given by Moses. He took them by the arms, to guide them, that they might not stray, and to hold them up, that they might not stumble and fall. God’s spiritual Israel are all thus supported.