Hos 5.1-15 tells us about the charges against Israel and Judah and how Yehovah’s judgment is going to fall on both of them.
v 1…Hear this , O priests (the spiritual leaders)! Give heed (listen), O house of Israel (the ten tribes)! Listen, O house of the king (civil leader in Israel)! For the judgment applies to you (the priests and kings were to enforce the Torah, now they are summoned before the true judge). For you have been a snare at Mizpah, and a net spread out on Tabor (in the north-they placed idols there).
v 2…And the revolters have gone deep into depravity (deeply corrupted themselves), but I will chastise all of them (he will openly reprove them for departing from the Torah).
v 3…I know Ephraim, and Israel (a parallelism) is not hidden from me (he knew their works); for now, O Ephraim, you have played the harlot, Israel has defiled itself (by idolatry and spiritual adultery).
v 4…Their deeds will not allow them to return to their God (their evil has closed them in and it took away their desire to do so). For a spirit (heart, desire) of harlotry is within them, and they do not know the Lord (Matt 7.15-23; 1 John 2.3-4).
v 5…Moreover, the pride of Israel (that in which she is proud; the glory) testifies (bear witness) against him (to his face), and Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity (will fall and perish-Hos 4.5); Judah also has stumbled with them (because it has participated in the same sins and this predicts their fall).
v 6…They will go with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, but they will not find him (in their sacrifices they will find no help-Hos 6.6; Isa 1.11; Jer 7.21; Psa 50.7-8; he has withdrawn from them).
v 7…They have dealt treacherously (a term for spiritual adultery-Mal 2.10-17) against the Lord, for they have borne strange sons (being idolaters, they did not teach their children the truth and they fell away, strangers to God). Now the new moon will devour them with their land (a month is coming when an enemy would come and take them away and they will fall quickly, shortly; their hypocritical offerings won’t save them).
v 8…Blow the horn (shofar) in Gibeah (north border of Benjamin); the trumpet (tzitzirah) in Ramah (north border of Benjamin); sound an alarm (cry aloud) at Beth-aven (another name for Bethel), “Behind you Benjamin (the enemy is coming after Judah after they are done with Israel).
v 9…Ephraim will become a desolation in the day of rebuke (when Yehovah brings judgment); among the tribes of Israel I declare what is sure (and there is no doubt it is going to come).
v 10…The princes of Judah have become like those who move a boundary (another name for the Torah; they chnaged the laws; but literally this was forbidden in the Torah in Deut 27.17 and it means “a deceiver”); on them I will pour out my wrath like water (in great abundance and can’t be stopped and will totally destroy everything).
v 11…Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment (about to fall), because he was determined to follow the command (Hebrew “tzav” and means a command of men; statutes concerning idolatry which brought about their destruction).
v 12…Therefore, I am like a moth to Ephraim (which has destructive powers)), and like decay to the house of Judah (wood corroding and eating away the flesh).
v 13…When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his wound, then Ephraim went to Assyria (looking for help from a foreign nation instead of Yehovah), and sent to King Jaareb (meaning “hostile” and a term for the king of Assyria-Hos 1.6); but he is unable to heal you, or to cure you from your wound (no help because their sickness and wounds were the result of their idolatry and Yehovah was punishing this).
v 14…For I will be like a lion to Ephraim (who has been provoked, and he sent Assyria in judgment), and like a young lion strong, ferocious and the symbol for Babylon) to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear to pieces and go away (leaving Israel and Judah torn), I will carry away, and there will be none to deliver (as a lion carries away its prey to its den, there will be none to rescue them).
v 15…I will go away (withdraw his presence; Midrash says this is alluding to the Messiah-Matt 23.37-39; John 14.1-3) and return to my place (as a lion does- the Hebrew for place is “makom” and is an idiom for heaven) until (this word shows there is hope-Jer 31.13-22) they acknowledge their guilt (he will wait for their repentance) and seek my face (turn to Yehovah-Matt 23.39); in their affliction (trouble) they will seek me early (Isa 26.26-19, 30.7,26, 63.9; Zeph 1.17-18, 2.2-3 Jer 30.7, 50.4; Deut 4.30; Mic 5.3-these passages also allude to Israel returning to Yehovah and Yeshua during the birth-pains).