Temporary fickle love (Hos 6:4-6:5)

“What shall I do with you?

O Ephraim!

What shall I do with you?

O Judah!

Your love is

Like a morning cloud.

Your love is

Like the dew

That goes away early.

Therefore,

I have hewn them

By the prophets.

I have killed them

By the words

Of my mouth.

My judgment

Goes forth

As the light.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, wanted to know what he was going to do with Ephraim and Judah. Their love was like a morning cloud that dissipated or the morning dew that vanished with the sun. Yahweh had cut down the prophets and killed them with his words. His judgment was light in the day. They would suffer for their fickle love of Yahweh.

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Return to Yahweh (Hos 6:1-6:3)

“Come!

Let us return to Yahweh!

He has torn us.

He will heal us.

He has struck us down.

He will bind us up.

After two days,

He will revive us.

On the third day,

He will raise us up,

That we may live

Before him.

Let us know!

Let us press on

To know Yahweh!

His appearing is

As sure

As the dawn.

He will come to us

Like the showers,

Like the spring rains

That water the earth.”

Hosea asked his listeners to return to Yahweh. Although, Yahweh had torn them down, now he would heal them. He had struck them down. Now he would bind them up. After 2 days, he would revive them. On the 3rd day, he would raise them up, a theme of the early Christian writers. Thus, they might live in the sight of Yahweh. They would want to know Yahweh, since his appearance was as sure as the daily dawn of the sun. He would come to them, like a soft shower or spring rain that waters the earth and makes it grow. So, the same thing would happen to these Israelites.

The blessings of the heavenly bodies (Dan 3:40-3:41)

“Bless the Lord!

Sun!

Moon!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Stars of heaven!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!”

Just like the heavenly beings with God, so too the sun, the moon, and the stars of heaven were to sing praise to God and highly exalt him forever.

The darkening of the skies (Ezek 32:7-32:8)

“‘When I blot you out,

I will cover

The heavens.

I will make

Their stars dark.

I will cover

The sun

With a cloud.

The moon shall

Not give its light.

I will darken

Above you

All the bright lights

Of the heavens.

I will put darkness

On your land.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that he was going to blot out the Pharaoh. He was going to close off the heavens also. He was going to make the stars dark and cover the sun with a cloud. Meanwhile, the moon would not give any light. All the bright lights of the heavens would go dark over the land of Egypt.

The weak idols compared to the heavenly bodies (Bar 6:66-6:67)

“These weak idols

Can neither curse

Nor bless kings.

They cannot show signs

In the heavens

For the nations.

They cannot shine

Like the sun.

They cannot give light

Like the moon.”

Once again, this shows the weakness of these false idols, since they can neither curse nor bless kings. They cannot show signs in the heavens for the various nations. They cannot shine like the sun. They cannot give light like the moon. Instead of berating the nature gods of the sun or the moon, this author praises them. His emphasis was on those weak wooden man made false idols. Notice that this author believes that the moon gives light. In fact, we often still speak of moonlight. When in fact, the light from the moon is really a reflection of the sun.

The bad living conditions

“We get our bread

At the peril

Of our lives,

Because of the sword

In the wilderness.

Our skin is black

As an oven

From the scorching heat

Of famine.”

Once again in the first person plural, they complain about their living conditions. They have trouble getting bread. They are afraid of the wilderness, because they could die there. Their skin is turning black from the sun with famine all around them. Black skin was considered bad.

The moaning and mourning in Moab (Jer 48:36-48:37)

“Therefore my heart

Moans for Moab,

Like a flute.

My heart moans

Like a flute

For the people

Of Kir-heres.

The riches

That they had gained,

Has perished.

Every head

Is shaved.

Every beard

Is cut off.

On all the hands,

There are gashes.

On the loins,

There are sack cloths.”

Yahweh’s heart moans for Moab like a flute. The same is true of the people of Kir-heres, a major city in Moab, dedicated to the sun. All the richness that Moab had attained has now perished. Their heads are shaven and their beards are cut off. Their hands are all gashed, as they are also wearing sackcloth. These were all the signs of someone in mourning.