Hosea 4:15 NASB
Though you, Israel, play the harlot (commit adultery),
Don’t let Judah become guilty;
Also do not go to Gilgal,
Or go up to Beth-aven
And take the oath: “As the Lord lives!”
○ Gilgal (גִּלְגָּל Gilgāl) is the name of one or more places in the Bible.
The Hebrew name Gilgal most likely means “circle of stones”.
○ Beth-aven is the name of a place in the mountains of Benjamin, east of Bethel (Joshua 7:2; Joshua 18:2; and 1 Samuel 13:5). It means “house of nothingness”; i.e., “of idols”.
In Hosea 4:15; Hosea 5:8; and Hosea 10:5 it stands for “Bethel” (meaning “house of God”).
Bethel is called Beth-aven because it was no longer the “house of God,” but “the house of idols,” referring to the calves there worshiped.
The prophet primarily addresses Israel, the realm of the ten tribes.
Israel, also called Ephraim, has wandered far, sunk deep.
Hosea keeps calling it fornication. Unfaithful to the Legal Spouse.
○ The Hebrew name אֶפְרָיִם (‘Efrayim) means “fruitful”.
Ephraim is a son of Joseph and Asenath and the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
But Judah is still there too.
Judah, where the temple still stands, where the service of God is still honored.
But that is not to say that there is no danger to Judah.
On the contrary, it is that it goes in the same direction as the brother people of Israel.
The bad example could be contagious.
○ The Hebrew name יְהוּדָה (Yehudah) is probably derived from יָדָה (yadah) meaning “praise”.
Judah is the fourth of the twelve sons of Jacob, by Leah, and the ancestor of the tribe of Judah. An explanation for his name is given in Genesis 29:35.
Hence this warning: Judah, watch out, know what you are doing!
That God is no longer recognized and served in the world around us – that is bad.
But don’t let it be among people who live by the Word! You are completely different!
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