Hosea 9:8 MEANING

Hosea 9:8
(8) Prophet.--Many hold that here (as in the previous verse) this word is used in a bad sense (false prophet), and standing contrasted with "the watchman of Ephraim" (or true prophet, Hosea himself, Jeremiah 6:17; Ezekiel 3:17). They would render:--"The watchman of Ephraim is with my God." But the verse is capable of an altogether different, and, on the whole, more satisfactory interpretation: Ephraim is a lier-in-wait, in conflict with my God. As for the prophet, the fowler's snare is in all his ways. (Comp. Matthew 23:34-35.) There is persecution in the house of his God. The objection to this rendering lies in this use of the Hebrew 'im ("in conflict with"). But the word might be read 'am, "people" (comp. LXX. on 2 Samuel 1:2): "Ephraim, the people of my God, is a lier-in-wait"--a thought full of pathos, and in harmony with the main idea of this prophecy.

9:7-10 Time had been when the spiritual watchmen of Israel were with the Lord, but now they were like the snare of a fowler to entangle persons to their ruin. The people were become as corrupt as those of Gibeah, Jud 19; and their crimes should be visited in like manner. At first God had found Israel pleasing to Him, as grapes to the traveller in the wilderness. He saw them with pleasure as the first ripe figs. This shows the delight God took in them; yet they followed after idolatry.The watchman of Ephraim was with my God,.... Formerly the watchmen of Ephraim, or the prophets of Israel, were with the true God, whom the prophet calls his God; as Elijah and Elisha, who had communion and intimacy with him; had revelations and instructions from him; and were under the direction and inspiration of his Spirit, and prophesied in his name things according to his will, and for the good of his people: or "the watchman of Ephraim should be with my God"; on his side, and promote his worship and service, his honour and interest; and give the people warning from him, having heard the word at his mouth: but now they were not with him, nor for him, nor did as they should: or one that bore this character of a watchman in the ten tribes, pretended to be such a one, and would be thought to be with God, and to have his mind and will, and to be sincere for his glory:

but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways; the false prophet, the same with the watchman, instead of guiding and directing Ephraim in the right way in which he should go, lays snares for him in all the ways he takes, to lead him wrong, and draw him into sin, particularly into idolatry, both by his doctrine and example:

and hatred in the house of his God; and so became detestable and execrable it the house of his own god, the calf at Bethel, in the temple there: prophesying such things as in the event prove false, and drawing into such practices as brought on ruin and desolation. The Targum interprets it, of laying snares for their prophets, their true prophets; and Kimchi and Jarchi of slaying Zechariah the prophet in the temple.

Courtesy of Open Bible