Hosea 9

DateVersionReading Plan
@October 31, 2023ESV (2016)ESV Prophets Plan 2023


  • The Lord Will Punish Israel


The chapter opens with Hosea telling Israel not to rejoice. It was not a time of celebration because they had “played the whore” in forsaking their God. They will not yield the rich harvests they expected and their “Threshing floor and wine vat shall not feed them” (Hos. 9:2). The material provision they had attributed to their idols would be lost.

In Hos. 9:4, God tells the people that they shall not “pour drink drink offerings of wine to the LORD”. He will not be pleased by their sacrifices and offerings. They bread they would have offered was instead to be like “mourner’s bread”, food that could not be offered to God because it was defiled by its association with death.

In Hos. 9:5-6, God asks what the people will “do on the day of the appointed festival” (Hos. 9:5). They would be taken into captivity and thus not be in their native land to observe the appointed feasts. Israel would seek refuge from the devastation in Egypt, but they would die outside their land.

Hos. 9:7-9 describes how the days of punishment had come and that “Israel shall know it. God had sent prophets to warn the people, but their iniquity and hostility were such that they considered God’s inspired messengers to be insane fools. The people rejected their guidance and admonition and there was “hatred in the house of his God” (Hos. 9:8). They had “deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah” (Hos. 9:9) (referring to the events of Judge 19-21). In His knowledge of their iniquity, God would “punish their sins”.

In Hos. 9:10-14, God speaks of how He found Israel “Like grapes in the wilderness”; good at first, but then becoming corrupted with idolatry. The “came to Baal-peor and consecrated themselves to the thing of shame” (Hos. 9:10). In their idolatrous devotion, they “became detestable like the thing they loved”. The Lord was Ephraim’s glory who would “fly away like a bird” and, in His absence, would leave them infertile and cause them woe. They were once a “young palm planted in a meadow” (Hos. 9:13), but God would now depart from them, forcing them to lead His children “out to slaughter” in Assyrian exile.

In the remaining verses (Hos. 9:15-17), God through the prophet declares that every evil of the people “is in Gilgal”, a town so evil that God had rejected them. God had driven them out of His house “Because of the wickedness of their deeds” (Hos. 9:15). More reference to barrenness and infertility continue and that those who are born, their “beloved children”, will be put to death. Their unwillingness to listen to God caused His rejection of them and they were now to be as “wanderers among the nations” (Hos. 9:17).


The prophet continues his account of Israel’s spiritual history and religious unfaithfulness. They were experiencing the most prosperous period since King Solomon but had shifted their allegiance from God to Baal and other pagan gods. In their spiritually contaminated state, they considered the true prophets of God to be fools and became like the detestable idols.

As with the prophets of old, we can expect a level of retaliation and reprisal when we speak of God’s truth to unbelievers. When someone is sitting in dark room and you turn the light on, the reaction is often visceral. “Ugh! Turn it off!”, they say. They may look at you in squinty anger, but they need the light all the same. We have been commissioned to be the ones who flip the switch, to be children of the light, sharing with others the Light of truth who brings awareness and healing to every dark corner of our hearts.

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