The false alliance with Assyria (Hos 5:13-5:14)

“Ephraim saw

His sickness.

Judah saw

His wound.

Then Ephraim

Went to Assyria.

He sent

To the great king.

But he is not able

To cure you.

He was not able

To heal your wound.

I will be

Like a lion

To Ephraim.

I will be

Like a young lion

To the house of Judah.

I myself

Will tear.

I will go away.

I will carry off.

None shall rescue.”

Ephraim and Judah saw that they were not in a good place, since they were sick and wounded. King Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria had taken over the northern half of Israel. Then the king of Israel, King Pekah (737-732 BCE) made an alliance with the king of Aram, the area around Damascus, or southern Syria. However, this did not help. Therefore, Yahweh was going to be a lion against Ephraim, and a young lion against Judah. Meanwhile, Yahweh was going to tear himself away. He was not going to rescue them.

The prophet Elisha warns the king of Israel (2 Kings 6:8-6:10)

“Once when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he took counsel with his officers. He said. ‘At such and such a place shall be my camp.’ But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel. ‘Take care not to pass this place, because the Arameans are going down there.’ The king of Israel sent word to the place of which the man of God spoke. More than once or twice he warned such a place so that it was on alert.”

Elisha, the man of God, was able to know the plans of the king of Aram, probably King Ben-hadad II. Elisha then sent word to the king of Israel, also unnamed but probably King Jehoram. He told the king of Israel, where the king of the Arameans was sending his troops. The king of Israel would then warn that place to be on alert for the Arameans. This happened more than once or twice. I am not sure why more prophets did not help the king this way.