1 Hear you this, O priests; and hearken, you house of Israel (10 northern tribes); and give you ear, O house of the king; for judgment is denounced you, because you have been a snare on Mizpah (Mizpah was a symbol of keeping apart), and a net spread upon Tabor. (Tabor is on the west side of Jordan and not connected with Ephraim; but Tabor means a mound; so that idolatrous altar may have been called Mizpah, while Tabor was the 'mound' of Gen. 31, both belonging to the same district. Hosea is said to have been buried at Mizpah)
2 And the apostates have deeply designed a slaughter, and I [will denounce] chastisement to them all them all.
3 I know Ephraim (the largest of the 10 tribes, is put for the whole), and Israel is not hid from Me (He did not lose them, they lost their own identity): for now, O Ephraim, you commit idolatry (see 1:2), and Israel is defiled.
4 They will not fashion their doings to turn to their God: for the spirit of idolatry is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD Himself. (They listened to false teaching.)
5 And the pride of Israel (an appellation of Yehovah = the excellency, or the glory of Israel. He is Whom Israel should have gloried; so again in 7:10. Cp. Amos 8:7, where it is 'the Excellency of Jacob') does testify to his face (i.e. Ephraim's or Israel's. Open arrogance): 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 (cp. Ex. 10:9); but they shall not find Him; He has withdrawn Himself from them. (If your mind is not on Him, He doesn't want it.)
7 They have dealt treacherously (faithlessness through idolatry) against the LORD: for they have begotten apostate sons (who had become as foreigners. See Prov. 5:3): now shall a month (Its going to happen fast. A short time will complete their dispossession. Shallum reigned just a month [2 Kings 15:13]) devour them with their portions.
8 Blow you the horn in Gibeah (now Jeb'a, of Benjamin [Judg. 18-20]), and the trumpet in Ramah (now er-Ram. Cp. Isa. 10:29): cry aloud at Beth-aven (see 4:15), after you, O Benjamin. (Apparently a war cry = "Look behind you, O Benjamin!" Danger, enemy approaching. Cp. Judg. 5:14; 20:40)
9 Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. (Obvious. This day is coming.)
10 The princes of Judah were like them that remove the boundary (or landmark. Cp. Deut. 19:14; 27:17. Job 24:2. Prov. 22:28; 23:10. They are changing God's Word): therefore I will pour out My wrath upon them like water.
11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment (cp. Deut. 28:33), because he willfully followed [perseveringly] the [idolatrous] commandment [of Jeroboam]. (False commandments not of God. 1 Kings 12;28. 2 Kings 10:29-31. Cp. Mic. 6:16.)
12 For I [am] to Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness (or, a worm). (Eat holes in everything you have.)
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. (See Isa. 14. Satan = antichrist, the Adversary.)
14 For I will be to Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and none shall rescue. (Those that don't care about God's word don't have a chance of being successful in this world.)
15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense (cp. Lev. 26:40-42. National repentance is the condition of Israel's restoration.), and seek my face: in their affliction (tribulation) they will seek Me early. (He wants your love. The Elect want to know His Word. Even though you have salvation, their are duties and obligations and servant that God pulls forth with duties to do. Have you known since you were a child that there was more to God's Word than what was being taught?): [they shall say]