Return to Yahweh (Hos 14:1-14:2)

“O Israel!

Return

To Yahweh!

Your God!

You have stumbled

Because of your iniquity.

Take words with you!

Return

To Yahweh!

Say to him!

‘Take away all guilt!

Accept that which is good!

We will offer

The fruit of our lips.’”

Hosea remined them that there was still hope. If they returned to Yahweh, their God, there might be a chance. They had stumbled because of their iniquity. They had to take back their own words. They had to return to Yahweh. They should ask God to take away all their guilt. They should have a change of heart. They should change the words that they say. They should be more careful in how they talk.

Advertisements

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.

Against the false exterior cult (Hos 8:11-8:13)

“When Ephraim

Multiplied altars

To expiate sin,

They became to him

Altars for sinning.

Although I write

For him

The multitude

Of my instructions,

They are regarded

As a strange thing.

Although they offer

Choice sacrifices,

Yahweh does not accept them.

Although they eat

Sacrificed offerings,

Yahweh does not accept them.

Now he will remember

Their iniquity.

He will punish

Their sins.

They shall return

To Egypt.”

The territory of Ephraim, in the northern Israelite kingdom, multiplied the number of altars to ask for forgiveness of sins. In the eyes of Yahweh, they were actually altars of sinning. Yahweh had given them plenty of instructions, but they regarded them as strange sayings, ignoring them. They tried to offer choice sacrifice offerings and eat them. However, Yahweh would not accept them. Instead, he remembered their iniquity. He wanted to punish them for their sins. One of the punishments was to send them back to Egypt.

Yahweh and his people (Ezek 39:22-39:24)

“The house of Israel

Shall know

That I am Yahweh,

Their God,

From that day forward.

The nations

Shall know

That the house of Israel

Went into captivity

For their iniquity.

They dealt

Treacherously

With me.

So,

I hid

My face

From them.

I gave them

Into the hand

Of their adversaries.

They all fell

By the sword.

I dealt with them

According to their uncleanness.

I dealt with them

According to their transgressions.

I hid my face

From them.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that the house of Israel would finally know that he was their God, from that day forward. The various countries knew that the house of Israel went into captivity, because of their iniquity in dealing treacherously with Yahweh. Thus, he hid his face from them. He gave them over to their adversaries, where they all died by the sword. Yahweh had dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions. He hid his face, until finally the Israelites recognized Yahweh as their God.

 

The restoration of a smaller Egypt (Ezek 29:13-29:16)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘At the end of forty years,

I will gather

The Egyptians

From the people

Among whom

They were scattered.

I will restore

The fortunes of Egypt.

I will bring them back

To the land of Pathros,

The land of their origin.

There they shall be

A lowly kingdom.

It shall be the lowliest

Of the kingdoms.

It shall never again

Exalt itself

Above the nations.

I will make them

So small

That they will never again

Rule over the nations.

The Egyptians shall never again

Be the reliance

Of the house of Israel.

They will recall

Their iniquity,

When they turned

To them

For aid.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh God!’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel that at end of forty years, he would gather the Egyptians from wherever they were scattered. He was going to restore the fortunes of Egypt. He was going to bring them back to Pathros, the southern part of Egypt near Thebes, where they originally came from. However, this would be a low kingdom that would not exalt itself among the various nations. They would be so small that they would never again rule over other countries. Israel would not rely on Egypt again. They would recall their iniquity when they turned to them for aid. They would all know that Yahweh was God.

Certain elders of Israel come to Ezekiel (Ezek 14:1-14:3)

“Certain elders of Israel

Came to me.

They sat down

Before me.

The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

These men have taken

Their idols

Into their hearts.

They placed their iniquity

As a stumbling block

Before them.

Shall I let myself

Be consulted

By them?’”

Apparently, certain elders of Israel came to Ezekiel to sit in front of him. While they were there, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel. Yahweh told him, the son of man, that these men had taken idols to heart. They had placed their iniquity as a stumbling block. Why would Yahweh or Ezekiel consult with them?

Useless silver and gold (Ezek 7:19-7:19)

“They shall fling

Their silver

Into the streets.

Their gold

Shall be treated

As unclean.

Their silver

With their gold

Cannot save them

On the day

Of the wrath

Of Yahweh.

They shall not satisfy

Their hunger.

They shall not

Fill their stomachs

With it.

It was the stumbling block

Of their iniquity.”

Anyone left standing in Israel would fling their silver into the streets. Their gold would be treated as if it were unclean, not to be touched. Their silver and gold could not save them on the day of the wrath of Yahweh. This gold and silver would not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs. In fact, their gold and silver would be a stumbling block that indicated their iniquity.