Yahweh will exile Israel, eradicate its monarchy, destroy its cities, and banish its idols.
Israel’s end approaches: “Israel is a ravaged vine and its fruit is like it.” (v. 1a)
III. Important Verses
5-7: The inhabitants of Samaria fear For the calf of [Beth-]aven; Indeed, its people and priestlings, Whose joy it once was, Mourn over it for the glory That is departed from it. It too shall be brought to Assyria As tribute to a patron king; Ephraim shall be chagrined, Israel shall be dismayed Because of his plans. Samaria’s monarchy is vanishing Like foam upon water,
10-15: As peoples gather against them? When I chose [them], I broke them in, Harnessing them for two furrows. Ephraim became a trained heifer, But preferred to thresh; I placed a yoke Upon her sleek neck. I will make Ephraim do advance plowing; Judah shall do [main] plowing! Jacob shall do final plowing! “Sow righteousness for yourselves; Reap the fruits of goodness; Break for yourselves betimes fresh ground Of seeking the LORD, So that you may obtain a teacher of righteousness.” You have plowed wickedness, You have reaped iniquity — [And] you shall eat the fruits of treachery — Because you relied on your way, On your host of warriors. But the din of war shall arise in your own people, And all your fortresses shall be ravaged As Beth-arbel was ravaged by Shalman On a day of battle, When mothers and babes were dashed to death together. This is what Bethel has done to you For your horrible wickedness: At dawn shall Israel’s monarchy Utterly perish.
1-5. Ephraim still turns to its gods after its destruction
6-8. Ephraim’s gods will be destroyed
10-13. Plowing metaphor: Ephraim has plowed wickedness, not righteousness
14-15. Israel’s cities and monarchy will fall
No comment today. Stay tuned.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Photo – A personal photograph by David Moster (9/2010)