Hosea 9: 11-As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception. (KJV) The set of verses from 9: 10 to 17 is a direct statement from God and is a very intense promise of what will happen to Ephraim/Jacob.
From the beginning of the background study of Hosea, I have wondered why “Ephraim”. I have offered some thoughts in the first post and then I dug a little deeper.
Ephraim’s land was south of Mount Gerizim, which was on the border with Manasseh’s land. Shiloh, the place where the Ark was kept, was here (1 Samuel 1). Manasseh still had the most land allotted to him. Shechem and, more importantly, the city of Samaria was here.
Jeroboam (1 Kings 12 and 14), the first king of the northern kingdom, was an Ephrathite. To maintain his control of the people, he made idols and picked priests who were not the descendants of Aaron. This idolatry would consume Israel.
Verse 9: 10 talks about Baal Peor (Numbers 22 to 25). This was the first time Israel worshiped other gods after receiving the Law and the Tabernacle. The sin of Jeroboam was that bad. 10a tells how excited God was to find Israel; Baal Peor changed that. The rest of the section is NOT a blessing.
Hosea 9: 11 has two things in it: Ephraim’s glory and children. Ephraim was not a small, poor tribe. They were leaders and had many fighting men. That was some of their glory. Part b of the verse is a statement against the offspring. (Children and what happens to them is a theme that runs throughout Hosea.) The three parts, because of children, each had a “glory” that was going to fly away – birth, pregnancy or womb, and conception. It would change those three stages for the women, from a happy, glorious time to one of trouble and grief.
God is love, and He took Ephraim back after they were punished and returned to His ways. The last chapter of the book proclaims this and, like the last chapter of Amos, especially Amos 9:11, there is a happy ending in Hosea after its 9:11.