Hosea 6:7-11

Hosea 6:7 (KJB)

But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.


The word “men” in this verse is from the Hebrew word for “Adam.”  God is likening Israel to the fact that Adam and Eve had broken the covenant in the Garden of Eden.  They were to refrain from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and instead of obeying God, they disobeyed and ate from the tree.  Just like Adam Israel had transgressed the covenant of Sinai by disobeying God and seeking to follow false religions and idolatry.  When God speaks of “there” it was the land of Israel which God gave them when they came out of Egyptian slavery.  The word “treacherously” carries with it the meaning of “faithless or deceitful.”  They showed no faith in God and exchanged the true worship of God for the worship of false religions.


Hosea 6:8 (KJB)

Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood.


Gilead was a section in the Transjordan region of Israel.  It extended from the northern tip of the Dead Sea to just southeast of the Sea of Galilee.  The whole area was looked at as if it were one city and the city was completely permeated with sinful lifestyles of the people.  The pollution of blood would refer to the many murders which took place in the region as blood was shed for almost any reason.  Gilead means “the mass of testimony” and their testimony was one of unity but that unity was in evil doings.


Hosea 6:9 (KJB)

And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness.


Highwaymen were very common as they would hide in the rocks in certain places along the roads and then when an unsuspecting person or people would approach, they would rob them of all the belongings they had.  They were especially glad when merchants came by since their haul would be of more value.  The priests were to teach the people the law of God and they were to be examples to the people instead they became so corrupt that they had turned to lives of crime to increase their wealth.  They would even go so far as to murder someone and sometimes they would do this to take their estates, especially if the people left their worldly goods to the temple.  That practice was still done in the day of Jesus. Matthew 23:14 (KJV) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.  The word “lewdness” carries with it the meaning of “a heinous crime or a wicked device.”  Murder is definitely a heinous crime.


Hosea 6:10 (KJB)

I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled.


The one who has seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel can either be God speaking or the prophet Hosea speaking since he too had seen the sinfulness of Israel.  He saw that Ephraim had played the harlot with the false religions and the pagan nations they tried to be like and because of that fact the nation of Israel, the entire ten tribes, had become defiled.  False religion always defiles a person because with false religion comes a life of debauchery and that causes defilement of the person in both body and spirit.


Hosea 6:11 (KJB)

Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.


A harvest can be either a good thing when something sound is in view or a bad thing when there is sin involved.  In this case God is telling Judah that they too have fallen prey to the false religions and as a result they will be harvested.  This means they will be cut down like a field of wheat and taken into the place of winnowing.  They will be sifted like wheat and if they are found to be all tares, then God is stating that they too will experience his judgment when they are taken into captivity with Babylon.  After they are returned from captivity in Babylon, they will be the people through whom the Messiah would come and would represent a temporary restoration of the people which would end in 70 A.D. when Judah would be destroyed by the Romans.