February 7, 2011

Minor Prophets VII: Northern and Southern Unfaithfulness

Hosea 5...and just when you thought Judah (the Southern Kingdom) might have been innocent or would get away without indictment we see subtle reference to Israel's (Northern Kingdom) promiscuous and faithless sister Judah. At first the evidence can almost be overlooked but it is there in verses 4-15 for Hosea's words were addressed to both the southern and northern Hebrew kingdoms if one looks closely.

(v.5) straight away Hosea mentions Israel synonymously with Ephraim who shall stumble in his guilt and Judah also shall stumble with them. Interestingly, Hosea refers to the Northern Kingdom in the affectionate manner of Ephraim throughout the book. Hosea also does this with other people’s names that also represent geopolitical realities. In my mind He is drawing out an anthropomorphism to draw the connection between the whoredom of Gomer and the whoredom of Israel (and Judah).

(v.7) Because of their unfaithfulness we see the Lord withdrawn from them. Additionally,we Hosea seems as if he is trying to put a human face on a geographical reality by calling Israel: Ephraim. Even more interesting Hosea shifts gender here to male. It is also interesting to note that in the Old Testament Hebrew genders in these situations (such as anthropomorphism) were often interchangeable or gender neutral or neuter. Could it be that Hosea is alluding to the fact all are guilty regardless of gender, regardless of north or south? All have fallen short of the glory of God and His statutes?

(v8) We see the mention Gibeah later alluded to in the same verse within the land allotted to Benjamin…in the Southern Kingdom (Brisco 74).

(v10) Hosea explicitly mentions the “The princes of Judah” have become like those who move the landmark; upon them I will pour out my wrath like water.

(v.12 & 13) Judah (South) is again mentioned in conjunction with Ephraim (North)

(v.14) God’s judgment is illustrated as a lion to Ephraim and Judah.

Brisco, Thomas. "Sennacherib's Campaign Against Judah." Holman bible atlas: a complete guide to the expansive geography of biblical history. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman, 1999. 74. Print.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...