Just the same, the idea of this one that I'm doing is to learn to read the Bible with as little extra help as possible. To not rely on commentaries or study notes or other people's words, but to read what it actually says within its context. She started with observation, and now she is moving to interpretation. To take verses and post questions that you have. The thing is, the questions will probably lead to me getting out a Bible dictionary or commentary. But here is the Hosea passage from 7:11-16 and questions I form for each verse.
11 Ephraim is like a dove, silly and without sense, calling to Egypt, going to Assyria. 12 As they go, I will spread over them my net; I will bring them down like birds of the heavens; I will discipline them according to the report made to their congregation. 13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against me. 14 They do not cry to me from the heart, but they wail upon their beds; for grain and wine they gash themselves; they rebel against me. 15 Although I trained and strengthened their arms, yet they devise evil against me. 16 They return, but not upward; they are like a treacherous bow; their princes shall fall by the sword because of the insolence of their tongue. This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
11. 1. Why compare Ephraim to a dove?
2. Why call northern Israel Ephraim?
3. What is so special about Egypt?
4. What is so special about Assyria?
12. Why does God use the word net?
2. Why does he still call them birds?
3. Why is the nation called a congregation?
4. Whose report is he talking about?
13. What does he mean by “woe”?
2. What lies to they speak?
3. How have they rebelled?
4. Why will God destroy them?
14. Why would they turn away from God?
2. Why would they gash themselves simply for grain and wine?
3. Why would they wail upon their beds?
15. What does he mean by “train” and “strengthen”?
2. What evil do they devise against God?
16. Where do they turn?
2. Describe “bow.”
3. Egypt again4. What rulers have been killed by the sword?
I do know that when the kingdom of Israel split into a northern and southern kingdom during the reign of Solomon's son Rehoboam, the northern kingdom began to be called Ephraim. Ephraim was one of Joseph's sons that Jacob adopted as his own. He was younger than his brother Manasseh, but Jacob blessed him more than the other. They became tribes of Israel along with Joe's 11 other brothers. The southern kingdom was Judah, David and Jesus's tribe. Egypt was the country that held Israel captive for 400 years that God rescued them from through Moses. Assyria was the frightening country that later took the Northern kingdom captive. It was the country that Jonah ran away from. Israel wanted to leave God and go back to the sinful people that made their lives miserable.
Usually doves symbolize peace. God calls them silly and senseless. I guess doves are birds that are sweet but naive. Only Israel isn't that innocent. They reject the God who loves them and will later send his Son to die for them but they go for the Egyptians and Assyrians and their false gods who have nothing to give.
In verse 14, I ask, why would they turn away from God. Then I remember, why do I lose faith in God? Because he is taking too long to give me what I want. But why do I think I know more what is good for me than God? God is God and I am not. If God doesn't answer my prayer the way I want, that's his right. He's God. I don't deserve anything good from him. But he does give me good things. Why should I want more? In my natural sinful state, I can only love myself and my own ways and not God. My free will needs to be changed before I can truly love God and be content with the situation that he has given me and know that he will do the right thing in his time.