The role of the prophet (Hos 9:8-9:9)

“The prophet is

A sentinel

For my God

Over Ephraim.

Yet a fowler’s snare

Is on all his ways.

Hostility is

In the house

Of his God.

They have deeply

Corrupted themselves,

As in the days of Gibeah.

He will remember

Their iniquity.

He will punish

Their sins.’”

Hosea said that the prophet should be a sentinel or watchman for God over the territory of Ephraim. However, the bird hunter or fowler had set snares for them. There was so much hostility in the house of God. They simply corrupted themselves too much. It was like in the days of Gibeah, as found in the situation over the concubine at Gibeah, in Judges, chapters 19-21. Then Hosea repeated what he had said in the preceding chapter that Yahweh would remember their iniquity, so that he would punish them for their sins.

The territory of Ephraim (1 Chr 7:28-7:29)

“The possessions and settlements of Ephraim were Bethel and its towns, eastward to Naaran, and westward to Gezer and its towns, Shechem and its towns, and Ayyah and its towns. They also lived along the borders of the Manassites, Beth-shean and its towns, Taanach and its towns, Megiddo and its towns, Dor and its towns. In these towns lived the sons of Joseph the son of Israel.”

According to Joshua, chapter 16, the allotment for the Ephraimites went from the Jordan River by Jericho, into the hill country to Bethel. Then it went from Bethel to Luz, then to the territory of Lower Beth-horon, to Gezer, Shechem, and Ayyah and ended at the sea. Bethel and Shechem played a major role in the kingdom of Israel as each was mentioned over 60 times. The tribe of Ephraim had the southern part of the allotment for the tribe of Joseph. The Ephraimites had the towns of Beth-shean, Taanach, Megiddo, and Dor, mentioned around 10 times each. Naaran and Ayyah were towns that only appear here. Benjamin and Dan were squeezed into the territory between Ephraim and Judah.   Somehow some of the towns of Manasseh were to be given to the Ephraimites. There were Canaanites living in Gezer, but they were slaves.