Hosea 10:11-15

Hosea 10:11 (KJB)

And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break his clods.


The heifer here is a young heifer which is not used to being yoked together and doing some treading.  The principle in view is that Ephraim was a free people under God but because of their idolatrous nature, they will now be under the yoke of the Assyrians.  Never before had they become a conquered people with no chance of returning to their land.  The fair neck was what God did in the past and that was to send light burdens and chastisements upon Ephraim to guide them back into obedience but that did not work since they had become fully idolatrous forgetting the LORD.  God will now make Ephraim to ride meaning that the chastisements will now become more rigorous to attempt to bring them back.  Plowing was a harder task and Judah was used to the harsher things but Ephraim had benefited from the hard work which Judah did.  To break the clods meant that a person and the oxen who were harrowing the field were breaking up the clods of dirt so they could be used for planting.  The soil would be made much easier to plant the seeds.  This is a metaphor that Judah did the hard work and yet was persecuted by Ephraim even though they benefited from the works of Judah.  2 Kings 14:12 (KJV) And Judah was put to the worse before Israel; and they fled every man to their tents.


Hosea 10:12 (KJB)

Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.


Using the plowed field as an example Hosea is admonishing Ephraim to sow the seeds of righteousness and in planting righteousness they may reap mercy.  The ground has been overgrown with weeds and needs to be broken up and the weeds removed.  This would be speaking about them forsaking the idolatry and to return unto the LORD before it is too late.  Isaiah 55:6 (KJV) Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  Once they go into captivity, they will be on their own as we previously saw in another verse.  They are to seek the LORD and they are to forsake their evil ways and God will rain on them the fruits of repentance and a return to obedience under the law.  If they do not repent, then their fate will be sealed forever with the Assyrians.


Hosea 10:13 (KJB)

Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.


Instead of them plowing their fields with righteousness they sowed into their lives the seeds of wickedness and when you plant something you will receive a crop from what you planted.  Galatians 6:7 (KJV) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  The principle of sowing and reaping is a living principle in our day.  Churches and Christians who have sown disobedience will reap the benefits of their disobedience and there will be no crop failure.  Instead of Ephraim basking in the truth of the LORD, they instead ate the fruit of the lies from which they had sown.  When one swallows lies steadily, their lives will only degenerate to the point of death.  Why did they trust in lies?  They trusted them because it was the way they adopted and not the way of the LORD.  Instead of them trusting in the LORD, they trusted in the wisdom and valor of men who are only flesh and blood.  Psalm 118:8-9 (KJV)   It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.  {9} It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. 


Hosea 10:14 (KJB)

Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Beth-arbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children.


A tumult is a great commotion or confusion which will rise among the people because when the Assyrians are at the gates, they will not know how to respond to the situation. The strength of men and fortresses they put their trust in will fail.  Shalman points to Shalmaneser who spoiled Beth-arbel which is another name for Irbid in Gilead which Shalmaneser conquered in 841 B.C.  Beth-arbel means “house of ambush” and that is exactly what will be waiting for Ephraim.  Shalmaneser was known for his atrocities in battle and the reference to the mother and babies meant that he showed no mercy even to little babies and their mothers.  They killed the babies because they feared the babies would grow up and seek revenge.


Hosea 10:15 (KJB)

So shall Beth-el do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.


Ephraim worshipped their calf-God at Beth-el and now because of that God himself shall draw the Assyrians against Ephraim.  Their wickedness had reached a point in their lives where they were beyond redemption and only slated for judgment.  The morning does not mean a specific time of day but points to the fact that their lives are going to be in bondage very soon to the Assyrians.  Just as morning brings in a new day, their new day will be one of a captive people who will be paying for their sins against God.  The king in view here is Hoshea.  2 Kings 18:10-11 (KJV)   And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.  {11} And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes: