About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Verse 12 states that
Ephraim, the northern kingdom, surrounds God with lies and deceits.
Ephraim not only lies and deceives,
she has become a liar and a deceiver.
It's not only the northern kingdom that is fighting against God.
It's the southern kingdom
Chapter 12, verse 1, says
that "Ephraim feeds on the wind".
In my thinking, this shows the frivolousness, the shallowness of
the northern kingdom. They're
just a bunch of wind. The
east wind spoken of here is a direct reference to the easterly warm
winds that blow across this part of the world.
The second part of verse
one speaks of making a treaty with Assyria and sending olives to
Note the words Jacob in
verse 2. I believe the
context shows that Jacob in this instance is in reference to
There is a reason why
Jacob is mentioned in verse 2 and that is because from verse 3 through
verse 5, the prophet is going to speak about the man Jacob.
Jacob was a person who struggled.
Even in his mother's womb he struggled against his twin brother.
His biggest struggle came against God Himself as seen in this
passage. After Jacob fought
with the angel, God changed Jacob's name to Israel, which means, "struggle with God".
Jacob's descendents have struggled with their God all through
history, right to this very day. But,
this isn't something common only to Israel. All mankind struggles against God, and that includes Christians,
whether we want to admit it or not.
The New Testament speaks of the flesh warring against the Spirit
and the Spirit against the flesh. That's
just the way it is.
Note the word
In verse 5 we see the
words, "the Lord is His name'.
This is in reference to when God spoke to Moses and said "I
AM" is my name. The
Hebrew word "Yahweh" is translated as "LORD" here.
Note the word "LORD" is capitalized.
When you see "LORD" in the Old Testament, it means
"the covenant God – the I AM".
When "Lord" is spelled without the capitals it is
translated from the Hebrew word "Adonai", meaning,
"master", as it is in verse 14.
Verse 6 is a plea on
behalf of God. "Israel
must return to their God", both in "love and justice".
Love and justice must go together.
These two things must be in proper balance in individuals and in
society. We often get them
out of wack. We emphasize one over the other. Love without love, isn't
real love. Justice without
justice, isn't real justice. Love without justice is simply sloppy.
Justice without love is harsh.
Verse 7 says that the
"merchants use dishonest scales".
The Hebrew word here that is translated as "merchants"
is actually the Hebrew word that is translated as Canaanites.
There is a play on words here.
The merchants, the Canaanites, are cheats, and Israel
has become like the Canaanites. They
not only joined forces with the Canaanites, they became like the
Canaanites. That's the way it is. Join
forces with those who you are not to join forces with and you will
eventually become like them and they will eventually take you over.
In verse 8 we see that Israel
boasts in her wealth as if this wealth came strictly from her.
Note though the verse says it's God's wealth.
God was the one behind the wealth of
God says in the last part
of verse 8 that you will not find such iniquity or sin in Him.
In verse 9 God reminds
In more recent years, as
seen in verse 10, God spoke to
This simple point that
God is making in verse 11 is that
Verses 12 and 13 are yet
another short history lesson concerning when Jacob worked for his wife's
father and when God delivered
Note the word
"Lord" in verse 14. It's
not the word "LORD", with all capital letters, as we are used
of seeing. The word
"Lord" here is translated from the Hebrew word, "Adonai',
meaning "master". Israel's master is going to leave