Ephraim going to Mitsraim (Egypt or Russia) and Assyria (Germany, the EU?) for alliance is a mistake. It will end in disaster. Ephraim was meant to be alone and subdue all adversaries. The Divine Protection that was given him and the special talents he was imbued with to fulfill his destined role are misdirected when Ephraim strays from God. Ephraim quarrels with Judah concerning the nature of the Almighty and the validity of the Law. Ephraim is a devious merchant, a "nation of shopkeepers". When Ephraim returns he will dwell in tents just as many of the Jews did after 1948. Ephraim links to "Aram" meaning the Scythians.
They will be keepers of sheep and cattle. Prophecy will be restored and a Prophet will arise to lead Ephraim back.
The Book of Hosea
[Hosea 12:1] EPHRAIM FEEDETH ON WIND, AND FOLLOWETH AFTER THE EAST
WIND: HE DAILY INCREASETH LIES AND DESOLATION; AND THEY DO MAKE A COVENANT WITH
THE ASSYRIANS, AND OIL IS CARRIED INTO EGYPT.
The "Assyrians" are generally assumed to
represent Germany or some later version of the Holy Roman Empire, perhaps the EU?
usually means the present-day Egypt. We have suggested that in some cases it
could also mean Russia. Reasonable suggestions with some evidence exist that the ancient
civilizations of both India and China were founded by peoples from
[Hosea 12:2] THE LORD HATH ALSO A CONTROVERSY WITH JUDAH, AND WILL PUNISH JACOB
ACCORDING TO HIS WAYS; ACCORDING TO HIS DOINGS WILL HE RECOMPENSE HIM.
According to the simple meaning God begins by upbraiding Ephraim and then turns say something against Judah. This is a recurring pattern in Prophecy.
Nevertheless, the Malbim has an alternate explanation which fits the Hebrew and is worth considering.
THE LORD HATH ALSO A CONTROVERSY WITH JUDAH: The Hebrew as the Malbim notes is also understandeable as saying, "And quarrels about the Almighty with Judah!".
The Malbim renders this verse as saying:
"And quarrels about the Almighty with Judah",
meaning by this that Ephraim quarrels with Judah which in effect is a quarrel
about God because in those days there existed a dispute between Ephraim and Judah.
The disagreement came about since Judah worshipped the Almighty and
maintained the Temple Service with its sacrifices. Ephraim on the other hand
cleaved to the sin of Jeroboam and debated the nature of God.
This dispute was conducted with Judah and was the cause of the fall of Ephraim...
AND WILL PUNISH JACOB ACCORDING TO HIS WAYS. WE see that the Ten Tribes related
to themselves by the name of Jacob. Every place where in this work it says
"House of Jacob" on its own it is referring to the Ten Tribes.
Similarly every place where it has Israel and Judah together the Ten Tribes are being referred to
by the name "Israel".
[Hosea 12:3] HE TOOK HIS BROTHER BY THE HEEL IN THE WOMB, AND BY HIS STRENGTH HE
HAD POWER WITH GOD:
The struggle with Esau earned Jacob the
birthright but Esau takes vengeance.
This and the following verses is pertinent to Ephraim. There are several principles involved in these verses.
Looking to Mitsraim and Assyria for alliance is a mistake. It will bring disaster.
Ephraim was given the inbuilt quality to dwell alone and overcome all who should go against him. The Almighty chose Jacob from birth. Jacob was imbued with the quality of dissumulation that he needed to outwit his brother and also with an ability to fight
for what he wanted. These qualities were God-given in order that Jacob should receive the
blessings destined for him. Nevertheless, when Jacob-Ephraim departed from the right
track these qualities remain and their continued application then becomes questionable.
[Hosea 12:4] YEA, HE HAD POWER OVER THE ANGEL, AND PREVAILED: HE WEPT, AND MADE
SUPPLICATION UNTO HIM: HE FOUND HIM IN BETHEL, AND THERE HE SPAKE WITH
The Malbim refers to the two calves
that Jeroboam erected, one in Beth-el and the other in Dan. The main one was in Beth-el.
Through an analysis of various verses the Malbim comes to the conclusion that
this cult was based on the figure of Jacob (who was renamed Israel) with whom Ephraim identified.
It was an attempt to connect somehow with the figure of Jacob and with the "religion" of
Israel from before the Time of Moses.
POWER OVER...IN BETHEL. The word used here for "Power" is "ON". We discussed this word root in our Commentary to Hosea 10:5.
We also saw this same root in the place name "Beth-Aven" which was another name for "Beth-el". "El" in Biblical Hebrew can mean either "God" (or "god") or "power",
e.g. THE POWER [Hebrew, "el"] OF MY HAND[Genesis 31:29]. It follows that "el" and "on" both can connote "power". Since the
name "Aven" derives from "on" we may now understand why "Beth[House of-]-el" was also known as "Beth-Aven". The word "aven" on its own also connotes "injustice, oppression, transgression, the misuse of power" so
"Beth-Aven" when used as an alternative form of Beth-el may also have deliberate denigratory connotations.
The following two quotations from leading Biblical Commentators are worth noting:
Radak: HE HAD POWER OVER THE ANGEL. This was meant to set a precedent for his descendants after him. I gave him the power to struggle with the angel and to be a ruler over him. It was as if they were part of
the one force. By this sign I showed him that his descendants would belong to the portion of the Almighty alone. No constellation or angel would rule over them as long as they do MY will.
Yehudah Kiel ("Daat Mikra"): HE HAD POWER OVER THE ANGEL. The Patrirach Jacob exhibited heroic strength when he struggled with with the angel, as it says, [Genesis 32:24] AND JACOB WAS LEFT ALONE; AND THERE WRESTLED A MAN WITH HIM UNTIL THE BREAKING OF THE DAY.
[Hosea 12:5] EVEN THE LORD GOD OF HOSTS; THE LORD IS HIS
[Genesis 32:25] AND WHEN HE SAW THAT HE PREVAILED NOT AGAINST HIM, HE TOUCHED THE HOLLOW OF HIS THIGH; AND THE HOLLOW OF JACOB'S THIGH WAS OUT OF JOINT, AS HE WRESTLED WITH HIM.
[Genesis 32:26] AND HE SAID, LET ME GO, FOR THE DAY BREAKETH. AND HE SAID, I WILL NOT LET THEE GO, EXCEPT THOU BLESS ME.
[Genesis 32:27] AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, WHAT IS THY NAME? AND HE SAID, JACOB.
[Genesis 32:28] AND HE SAID, THY NAME SHALL BE CALLED NO MORE JACOB, BUT ISRAEL: FOR AS A PRINCE HAST THOU POWER WITH GOD AND WITH MEN, AND HAST PREVAILED.
This is a sign to his offspring that God shall be with them...They therefore have no need to form alliances with other nations, like peoples of other countries do. Israel is a nation
of whom it was said, LO, THE PEOPLE SHALL DWELL ALONE, AND SHALL NOT BE RECKONED AMONG THE NATIONS [Numbers 23:9].
[Deuteronomy 32:12] SO THE LORD ALONE DID LEAD HIM, AND THERE WAS NO STRANGE GOD WITH HIM.
[Hosea 12:6] THEREFORE TURN THOU TO THY GOD: KEEP MERCY AND JUDGMENT AND WAIT
ON THY GOD CONTINUALLY.
[Hosea 12:7] HE IS A MERCHANT, THE BALANCES OF DECEIT ARE IN HIS HAND: HE
LOVETH TO OPPRESS.
This according to the following verse
(12:8) below appears to refer to Ephraim.
A MERCHANT translated from the Hebrew "Canaan" which can mean "merchant" or "Canaanite". Here the word means "Merchant"
and perhaps also connotes "Phoenecian". The Phoenicians were descendants of Canaan and also great merchants who traveled
from place to place so that in Hebrew the name "Canaan" in some cases was used
synonymously with "merchant".
e.g. SHE MAKETH FINE LINEN, AND SELLETH IT; AND DELIVERETH GIRDLES UNTO THE MERCHANT (Hebrew: "Canaani" i.e. Canaanite meaning "Merchant")[Proverbs 31:24].
See "Ephraim" chapter seven:
Nineteenth-century Britons tended to identify themselves with the
"The people who of all antiquity had the
most in common with England and the English"
"Black Athena," p.350 quotes from
were regarded (by British historians) as allies of King Solomon and as Semites:
There was a perception, on the Continent, of a close relationship between
England and the Semites in general - and the
"Consciously or unconsciously, all
European thinkers saw the
Phoenecians as the Jews of
Antiquity - as clever `Semitic' traders" Bernal p.33.
"Despite the association between the
English and the Semites, no one compared the English to the Arabs or the
Ethiopians, the Semites they had in mind were Jews and/or
Napoleon called the English, "A nation
[Hosea 12:8] AND EPHRAIM SAID, YET I AM BECOME RICH, I HAVE FOUND ME OUT
SUBSTANCE: IN ALL MY LABOURS THEY SHALL FIND NONE INIQUITY IN ME THAT WERE
[Hosea 12:9] AND I THAT AM THE LORD THY GOD FROM THE LAND OF EGYPT WILL YET MAKE
THEE TO DWELL IN TABERNACLES, AS IN THE DAYS OF THE SOLEMN
TABERNACLES. Hebrew "ohalim" literally "tents".
AS IN THE DAYS OF THE SOLEMN FEAST. Hebrew "CeYiMI Moed" literally "as in the Days of Festival-Assembly". The Israelites were commanded to go up to Jerusalem
three times a year. The primary obligated fell on the males but in practice the whole family often participated. In jerusalem they would lodge in peoples houses, in makeshift dwelling provided for the occasion, and apparently also in tents.
When the Israelites return to the Land of Israel similar conditions will prevail. Similar conditions indeed did prevail after the Establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. New immigrants, very many of them refugees from Arab countries, had to be provided for
in makeshift dwellings and army tents.
[Hosea 12:10] I HAVE ALSO SPOKEN BY THE PROPHETS, AND I HAVE MULTIPLIED
VISIONS, AND USED SIMILITUDES, BY THE MINISTRY OF THE
[Hosea 12:11] IS THERE INIQUITY IN GILEAD? SURELY THEY ARE VANITY: THEY
SACRIFICE BULLOCKS IN GILGAL; YEA, THEIR ALTARS ARE AS HEAPS IN THE FURROWS OF
Gilead refers to the west
[Hosea 12:12] AND JACOB FLED INTO THE COUNTRY OF SYRIA, AND ISRAEL SERVED FOR A
WIFE, AND FOR A WIFE HE KEPT [sheep].
"Syria" in Hebrew is "Aram".
This name is connected with that of Germany and Central Europe who are also
known as Edom. Aram
was also an ancestral god amongst the Celts. The Israelites too considered
meaning "Syrians" and "Arami"
says Pliny was the original name of the Scythians. The Scythians were great
sheepherders. Perhaps this serving for a wife is related to the message about
the wife of Hosea whose children represented the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel?
:"and for a wife he kept [sheep]".
The Hebrew does not say "sheep". The translator has added the word "sheep" to
make the sentence more understandable. Jacob did keep "sheep", and goats.
Sheep and wool were very important throughout much of the history of England,
not insignificant in North America and the major stay of the Australian economy
for many years. The keeping and herding of cattle were also
[Hosea 12:13] AND BY A PROPHET THE LORD BROUGHT ISRAEL OUT OF EGYPT, AND BY A
PROPHET WAS HE PRESERVED.
A recurring theme in the Book of Hosea concerns Propjhets, Prophecy, and the future appearance of a Prophet to Ephraim?
[Hosea 12:14] EPHRAIM PROVOKED HIM TO ANGER MOST BITTERLY: THEREFORE SHALL HE
LEAVE HIS BLOOD UPON HIM, AND HIS REPROACH SHALL HIS LORD RETURN UNTO HIM.