Hosea – Chapter 11

Like a Lion

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

When Israel was young, G-d loved them and He called them from Egypt. But the more He called them, the more they went after idols. He sent Moshe (Moses) to train them in the proper way, but they refused to recognize G-d. He gently drew them close to Him and provided all their needs. They are going to be exiled to Assyria because they have refused to give up their evil ways.

The invading Assyrian army is coming to destroy them and the people still can’t decide whether or not they should return to G-d. It pains G-d (metaphorically speaking) to do this to Israel, which is why they will not be completely destroyed like Sodom and Gemorrah, rather a remnant will remain from them. Because He is G-d, He will not go back on His word not to destroy them (see Leviticus 26:44, cited by Rashi).

G-d has caused His Presence to rest in Jerusalem and he will not relocate it to another city. Even though G-d has removed His Presence, the people will turn to Him in their exile. He will roar like a lion that it is time to return and they will follow Him. They will fly swiftly from their places of exile and G-d will place them securely in their land.

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