Bible passage: Hosea 5:1-9
Written: About 750 BC
In Hosea 5, the prophet speaks out against the sins of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel. In verse 9, he speaks of the northern kingdom, which also was called Ephraim or Samaria, as being destroyed, laid to waste.
Hosea lived about 2,700 years ago, during the time that the Assyrian empire was expanding its territory. In 722 BC, King Tiglath-Pileser III of the Assyrians invaded and conquered the northern kingdom.
Later, Assyria relocated some of the people of the northern kingdom to other parts of the Assryian empire and replaced them with foreigners who had no ties to the land of Israel. Some examples of this are referenced in Ezra 4:2 and 2 Kings 17:24.
During the time of Hosea, the Israel had been divided up into two kingdoms, Judah, which included Jerusalem, and was in the southern part of the Biblical land of Israel, and the northern kingdom of Israel, which also was known as Ephraim or Samaria.
After the Assyrian conquest of Ephraim, the northern kingdom ceased to exist and the tribes of Israelites who had resided there eventually lost their identity as members of Israel. They become known as the "lost tribes of Israel."
- Research and commentary is based on the book 100 Prophecies. © Ray Konig and AboutBibleProphecy.com.
Here is Hosea 5:1-9 (NIV):
"Hear this, you priests! Pay attention, you Israelites! Listen, royal house! This judgment is against you: You have been a snare at Mizpah, a net spread out on Tabor.
2 The rebels are knee-deep in slaughter. I will discipline all of them.
3 I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from me. Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt.
4 "Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God.
A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord.
5 Israel's arrogance testifies against them; the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble in their sin; Judah also stumbles with them.
6 When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them.
7 They are unfaithful to the Lord; they give birth to illegitimate children. When they celebrate their New Moon feasts, he will devour[a] their fields.
8 "Sound the trumpet in Gibeah, the horn in Ramah. Raise the battle cry in Beth Aven[b]; lead on, Benjamin.
9 Ephraim will be laid waste on the day of reckoning.
a. Hosea 5:7 Or Now their New Moon feasts / will devour them and
b. Hosea 5:8 Beth Aven means house of wickedness (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means house of God).