Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.
2 The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.
3 They shall not dwell in the Lord's land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.
4 They shall not offer wine offerings to the Lord, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the Lord.
5 What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the Lord?
6 For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles.
7 The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.
8 The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.
9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.
10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
11 As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.
12 Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!
13 Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.
14 Give them, O Lord: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.
16 Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.
17 My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.
The Israelites departed from the true God, and followed the Canaanite religion expecting good harvests by including temple prostitution during their worship services (Hosea 9:1). Since God decided to make the land of Canaan to be “the land of the Lord” (9:3), unbelieving people had to be taken away, because Jerusalem and Israel was to be a city and a land of saints.
So the Lord allowed the Israelites to be taken to Assyria as captives where they would have to live in a state similar to their former bondage in Egypt, having to eat unclean animals and live like the other people (9:3). In captivity in Assyria, they would not be allowed to worship the true God (9:4) nor celebrate the Lord’s feasts (9:5). And their houses back home would be empty and covered with weeds (9:6).
They still would not acknowledge God as their Creator and Sustainer, but did recognize that the day of recompense and judgment had come. However, they still loved the deceptive teachings of false prophets (9:7).
Help us, Lord, that we may learn from the history of Israel and recognize that You are our Creator and Sustainer all the time.