Baal Worshipers and Calf Worshipers to be Destroyed

13:1 When Ephraim spoke, there was terror;
he was exalted in Israel,
but he became guilty by worshiping Baal and died.
13:2 Even now they persist in sin!
They make metal images for themselves,
idols that they skillfully fashion from their own silver;
all of them are nothing but the work of craftsmen!
There is a saying about them:
“Those who sacrifice to the calf idol are calf kissers!”
13:3 Therefore they will disappear like the morning mist,
like early morning dew that evaporates,
like chaff that is blown away from a threshing floor,
like smoke that disappears through an open window.

Well-Fed Israel Will Be Fed to Wild Animals

13:4 But I am the LORD your God,
who brought you out of Egypt.
Therefore, you must not acknowledge any God but me;
except me there is no Savior.
13:5 I cared for you in the wilderness,
in the dry desert where no water was.
13:6 When they were fed, they became satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud;
as a result, they forgot me!
13:7 So I will pounce on them like a lion;
like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
13:8 I will attack them like a bear robbed of her cubs—
I will rip open their chests.
I will devour them there like a lion—
like a wild animal would tear them apart.

Israel’s King Unable to Deliver the Nation

13:9 I will destroy you, O Israel!
Who is there to help you?
13:10 Where then is your king,
that he may save you in all your cities?
Where are your rulers for whom you asked, saying,
“Give me a king and princes”?
13:11 I granted you a king in my anger,
and I will take him away in my wrath!

Israel’s King Unable to Deliver the Nation

13:9 I will destroy you, O Israel!
Who is there to help you?
13:10 Where then is your king,
that he may save you in all your cities?
Where are your rulers for whom you asked, saying,
“Give me a king and princes”?
13:11 I granted you a king in my anger,
and I will take him away in my wrath!

The Lord Will Not Relent from the Threatened Judgment

13:14 Will I deliver them from the power of Sheol? No, I will not!
Will I redeem them from death? No, I will not!
O Death, bring on your plagues!
O Sheol, bring on your destruction!
My eyes will not show any compassion!

‘The Apostle Paul uses Hos. 13:14 in his great chapter on the resurrection, in 1 Cor. 15:55, but he turns the saying on its head. Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, death and Sheol have no more power. God is sovereign still, and Christ has won the victory over them. But human sin has not been passed over any more in that victory than in Hosea. No, the wages of sin is still death, and God has paid the penalty by giving up his Son to die on the cross. Perhaps Hosea’s words can help us realize the enormity of the punishment that might have been ours except for the sacrifice of our Lord, and the immensity of the love that has saved us.’ (Achtemeier)

The Capital of the Northern Empire Will Be Destroyed

13:15 Even though he flourishes like a reed plant,
a scorching east wind will come,
a wind from the LORD rising up from the desert.
As a result, his spring will dry up;
his well will become dry.
That wind will spoil all his delightful foods
in the containers in his storehouse.
13:16 (14:1) Samaria will be held guilty,
because she rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword,
their infants will be dashed to the ground—
their pregnant women will be ripped open.

Their infants will be dashed to the ground— their pregnant women will be ripped open – This verse gives ‘a final picture of the horrifying effects of war: what happens when a nation deliberately removes itself from God’s protection and refuses to return.’ (NBC)