Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you, because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.
2 And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all.
3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled.
4 They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the Lord.
5 And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity: Judah also shall fall with them.
6 They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the Lord; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.
7 They have dealt treacherously against the Lord: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.
8 Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Bethaven, after thee, O Benjamin.
9 Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be.
10 The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.
11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.
12 Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.
13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.
14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him.
15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
The prophetic message against the sins of the priests of northern Israel begins in Hosea 4:4. Because they offered sacrifices to God without repentance and total surrender to Him, God would not accept their offerings (5:6). The people did not serve God or have a faithful loving relationship with Him. They served the Sidonian god Baal and increased idol worshipers throughout Israel.
The end of verse 7 may be read, “A month shall devour them and their heritage.” A month was 30 days, and the 30 days could be prophetically interpreted as 30 years, each day for a year. Interestingly, from the end of the reign of Jeroboam II (753 BC) to the destruction of Samaria (722 BC) and the surrounding cities was about 30 years. Hosea 5:8-9 depicts the sure coming of Assyria to destroy the northern kingdom of Israel (5:13).
Until they acknowledge their sins and seek forgiveness from God, He could not bless them, nor could He restore a good relationship with them as their Creator and Redeemer (5:15). God is always willing to restore a good relationship with us. We need to recognize that holiness as a people is wholeness to God and total dedication to Him.