v1. Luxuriant or empty vine. Prosperous, but no good fruit.
v2. Faithless or divided. Self-sufficiency was enough. A lot like America today. We don’t need faith when we can take care of ourselves.
v3. In captivity they would have no king. Then they would say, “we have no use for a king, since he could do nothing for us now”.
v4. God is greatly offended by false witness. They made a covenant with Him, but didn’t keep it.
v6. The Assyrians captured the calf at Bethel to proclaim that they captured Israel’s god. Yet, Jehovah could not be captured and should have set them apart as a nation whose God could not be overthrown.
v8. The sin of Israel = Idols. (1 Kings 12:30) Jeroboam made two golden calves so the people wouldn’t go to Jerusalem to worship God.
v9. The tribe of Benjamin was almost eliminated after the incident of the Levite’s concubine. Israel would also come close to extinction in captivity.
v11. Approx. 133 years between Israel’s and Judah’s captivity.
v12. Seeking God requires effort. If we first do our part, God will do His.
v13. You reap what you sow. What you seek you find.
v15. Bethel refers to the cause of this – Idolatry, not Assyria. Hoshea was the last king of Israel, which signified the nation ceasing to exist. It is sin that ruins all. Their own wickedness is to blame.