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Hosea 9:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

My God will cast them away - Here the prophet seems to apologize for the severity of these denunciations; and to vindicate the Divine justice, from which they proceeded. It is: -

Because they did not hearken unto him - That "my God," the fountain of mercy and kindness, "will cast them away."

And they shall be wanderers among the nations - And where they have wandered to, who can tell? and in what nations to be found, no man knows. Wanderers they are; and perhaps even now unknown to themselves. Some have thought they have found them in one country; some, in another; and a very pious writer, in a book entitled, The Star in the West, thinks he has found their descendants in the American Indians; among whom he has discovered many customs, apparently the same with those of the ancient Jews, and commanded in the Law. He even thinks that the word Je-ho-vah is found in their solemn festal cry, Ye-ho-wa-he. If they be this long lost people, they are utterly unknown to themselves; their origin being lost in a very remote antiquity.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
God departs from a people, or from a person, when he withdraws his goodness and mercy from them; and when the Lord is departed, what can the creature do? Even though, for the present, good things seem to remain, yet the blessing is gone if God is gone. Even the children should perish with the parents. The Divine wrath dries up the root, and withers the fruit of all comforts; and the scattered Jews daily warn us to beware, lest we neglect or abuse the gospel. Yet every smiting is not a drying up of the root. It may be that God intends only to smite so that the sap may be turned to the root, that there may be more of root graces, more humility, patience, faith, and self-denial. It is very just that God should bring judgments on those who slight his offered mercy.
Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 280

Of Ephraim the prophet testified, “Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.” [The prophet Hosea often referred to Ephraim, a leader in apostasy among the tribes of Israel, as a symbol of the apostate nation.] “Israel hath cast off the thing that is good.” “Broken in judgment,” unable to discern the disastrous outcome of their evil course, the ten tribes were soon to be “wanderers among the nations.” Hosea 7:9; 8:3; Hosea 5:11; 9:17. PK 280.1

Some of the leaders in Israel felt keenly their loss of prestige and wished that this might be regained. But instead of turning away from those practices which had brought weakness to the kingdom, they continued in iniquity, flattering themselves that when occasion arose, they would attain to the political power they desired by allying themselves with the heathen. “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian.” “Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.” “They do make a covenant with the Assyrians.” Hosea 5:13; 7:11; Hosea 12:1. PK 280.2

Through the man of God that had appeared before the altar at Bethel, through Elijah and Elisha, through Amos and Hosea, the Lord had repeatedly set before the ten tribes the evils of disobedience. But notwithstanding reproof and entreaty, Israel had sunk lower and still lower in apostasy. “Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer,” the Lord declared; “My people are bent to backsliding from Me.” Hosea 4:16; 11:7. PK 281.1

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 298

The prophecies of judgment delivered by Amos and Hosea were accompanied by predictions of future glory. To the ten tribes, long rebellious and impenitent, was given no promise of complete restoration to their former power in Palestine. Until the end of time, they were to be “wanderers among the nations.” But through Hosea was given a prophecy that set before them the privilege of having a part in the final restoration that is to be made to the people of God at the close of earth's history, when Christ shall appear as King of kings and Lord of lords. “Many days,” the prophet declared, the ten tribes were to abide “without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim.” “Afterward,” the prophet continued, “shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.” Hosea 3:4, 5. PK 298.1

In symbolic language Hosea set before the ten tribes God's plan of restoring to every penitent soul who would unite with His church on earth, the blessings granted Israel in the days of their loyalty to Him in the Promised Land. Referring to Israel as one to whom He longed to show mercy, the Lord declared, “I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call Me Ishi [“My husband,” margin]; and shalt call Me no more Baali [“My lord,” margin]. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.” Hosea 2:14-17. PK 298.2

In the last days of this earth's history, God's covenant with His commandment-keeping people is to be renewed. “In that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto Me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord. PK 299.1

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