Hosea 8:11
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning, they have become to him altars for sinning.

King James Bible
Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.

American Standard Version
Because Ephraim hath multiplied altars for sinning, altars have been unto him for sinning.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin: altars are become to him unto sin.

English Revised Version
Because Ephraim hath multiplied altars to sin, altars have been unto him to sin.

Webster's Bible Translation
Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be to him to sin.

Hosea 8:11 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Another stands up in his place, who causeth נוגשׂ to pass over, through his eagerness for riches. נוגשׂ most understand as a collector of tribute, referring for this to 2 Kings 23:35, and מלכוּת הדר מלכוּת as the Holy Land, and then think on Heliodorus, whom Seleucus Nicator sent to Jerusalem to seize the temple treasure. But this interpretation of the words is too limited. נגשׂ denotes, no doubt (2 Kings 23:35), to collect gold and silver; but it does not thence follow that נוגשׂ, when silver and gold are not spoken of, means to collect tribute. The word in general designates the taskmaster who urges on the people to severe labour, afflicts and oppresses them as cattle. מלכוּת הדר is not synonymous with הצּבי ארץ, Daniel 11:16, but stands much nearer to מלכוּת הוד, Daniel 11:21, and designates the glory of the kingdom. The glory of the kingdom was brought down by נוגשׂ, and העביר refers to the whole kingdom of the king spoken of, not merely to the Holy Land, which formed but a part of his kingdom. By these oppressions of his kingdom he prepared himself in a short time for destruction. אחדים ימים (days few), as in Genesis 27:44; Genesis 29:20, the designation of a very short time. The reference of these words, "in days few," to the time after the pillage of the temple of Jerusalem by Heliodorus is not only an arbitrary proceeding, but is also contrary to the import of the words, since ב in בּימים does not mean post. מאפּים ולא, in contradistinction and contrast to במלחמה ולא, can only denote private enmity or private revenge. "Neither by anger (i.e., private revenge) nor by war" points to an immediate divine judgment.

If we now, before proceeding further in our exposition, attentively consider the contents of the revelation of vv. 5-20, so as to have a clear view of its relation to the historical fulfilment, we shall find the following to be the course of the thoughts exhibited: - After the fall of the Javanic world-kingdom (Daniel 11:4) the king of the south shall attain to great power, and one of his princes shall found (Daniel 11:5) a yet greater dominion in the north. After the course of years they shall enter into an agreement, for the king of the south shall give his daughter in marriage to the king of the north so as to establish a right relationship between them; but this agreement shall bring about the destruction of the daughter, as well as of her father and all who co-operated for the effecting of this marriage (Daniel 11:6). Hereupon a descendant of that king of the south shall undertake a war against the king of the north, victoriously invade the country of the adversary, gather together great spoil and carry it away to Egypt, and for years hold the supremacy. The king of the north shall, it is true, penetrate into his kingdom, but he shall again return home without effecting anything (Daniel 11:7-9). His sons also shall pass over the kingdom of the south with a multitude of hosts, but the multitude shall be given into the hand of the king, who shall not come to power by casting down myriads. The king of the north shall return with a host yet more numerous; against the king of the south many, also faithless members of the Jewish nation, shall rise up, and the king of the north shall take the fortified cities, without the king of the south having the power to offer him resistance (Daniel 11:10-15). The conqueror shall now rule in the conquered lands after his own pleasure, and set his foot on the Holy Land with the intention of destroying it. Thereupon he shall come with the whole might of his kingdom against the king of the south, and by the marriage of his daughter seek to establish a right relationship with him, but he shall only thereby bring about the destruction of his daughter. Finally, he shall make an assault against the islands and the maritime countries of the west; but he shall be smitten by his chiefs, and be compelled to return to the fortresses of his own land, and shall fall (Daniel 11:16-19). But his successor, who shall send taskmasters through the most glorious regions of the kingdom, shall be destroyed in a short time (Daniel 11:20).

Thus the revelation depicts how, in the war of the kings of the south and of the north, first the king of the south subdued the north, but when at the summit of his conquest he sank under the power of his adversary through the insurrections and the revolt of an apostate party of the Jews; whereupon, by an assault upon the west in his endeavour, after a firmer establishment and a wider extension of his power, he brings about his own overthrow, and his successor, in consequence of the oppression of his kingdom, comes to his end in a few days.

Now, since the king who comes into his place (Daniel 11:21.) after he has become strong raises himself up against the holy covenant, takes away the daily worship in the temple of the Lord, etc., is, according to the historical evidence found in the books of the Maccabees, the Seleucidan Antiochus Epiphanes, so the prophetic announcement, vv. 5-20, stretches itself over the period from the division of the monarchy of Alexander among his generals to the commencement of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes in the year 175 b.c., during which there reigned seven Syrian and six Egyptian kings, viz. -

Syrian Kings (from b.c.) Egyptian Kings (from b.c.) Seleucus Nicator 310-280 Ptolemy Lagus 323-284 Antiochus Sidetes 280-260 Ptolemy Philadelphus 284 Antiochus Theus 260-245 Ptolemy Euergetes 246-221 Seleucus Callinicus 245-225 Ptolemy Philopator 221-204 Seleucis Ceraunus 225-223 Ptolemy Epiphanes 204-180 Antiochus the Great 223-186 Ptolemy Philometor 180

But in the prophetic revelation there is mention made of only four kings of the north (one in Daniel 11:5-9; his sons, Daniel 11:10-12; a third, Daniel 11:13-19; and the fourth, Daniel 11:20) and three kings of the south (the first, Daniel 11:5 and Daniel 11:6; the "branch," Daniel 11:7-9; and the king, Daniel 11:10-15), distinctly different, whereby of the former, the relation of the sons (Daniel 11:10) to the king indefinitely mentioned in Daniel 11:11, is admitted, and of the latter the kings of the south, it remains doubtful whether he who is spoken of in Daniel 11:9-15 is different from or is identical with "the branch of her roots" (Daniel 11:7). This circumstance shows that the prophecy does not treat of individual historical personages, but only places in view the king of the south and the king of the north as representatives of the power of these two kingdoms. Of these kings special deeds and undertakings are indeed mentioned, which point to definite persons; e.g., of the king of the north, that he was one of the princes of the king of the south, and founded a greater dominion than his (Daniel 11:5); the marriage of the daughter of the king of the south to the king of the north (Daniel 11:6); afterwards the marriage also of the daughter of the king of the north (Daniel 11:17), and other special circumstances in the wars between the two, which are to be regarded not merely as individualizing portraitures, but denote concrete facts which have verified themselves in history. But yet all these specialities do not establish the view that the prophecy consists of a series of predictions of historical facta, because even these features of the prophecy which find their actual fulfilments in history do not coincide with the historical reality.

Thus all interpreters regard the king of the south, Daniel 11:5, as Ptolemy Lagus, and that one of his princes (מן־שׂריו) who founded a greater dominion as Seleucus Nicator, or the "Conqueror," who, in the division of the countries which the conquerors made after the overthrow and death of Antiochus, obtained, according to Appian, Syr. c. 55, Syria from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean Sea and Phrygia; then by using every opportunity of enlarging his kingdom, he obtained also Mesopotamia, Armenia, and a part of Cappadocia, and besides subjugated the Persians, Parthians, Bactrains, Arabians, and other nations as far as the Indus, which Alexander had conquered; so that, after Alexander, no one had more nations of Asia under his sway than Seleucus, for from the borders of Phyrgia to the Indus all owned his sway. While this extension of his kingdom quite harmonizes with the prophecy of the greatness of his sovereignty, yet the designation "one of his princes" does not accord with the position of Ptolemy Lagus. Both of these were certainly at the beginning generals of Alexander. Seleucus, afterwards vicegerent of the Babylonians, found himself, however, from fear of Antigonus, who sought to put him to death, under the necessity of fleeing to Egypt to Ptolemy, by whom he was hospitably received, and with whom and other vicegerents he entered into a league against Antigonus, and when war arose, led an Egyptian fleet against Antigonus (Diod. Sic. xix. 55-62). He was accordingly not one of Ptolemy's generals.

Moreover, the marriage of the king's daughter, Daniel 11:6, is thus explained by Jerome, and all interpreters who follow him: - Ptolemy Philadelphus made peace with Antiochus Theus, after many years' war, on the condition that Antiochus should put away his own wife Laodice, who was at the same time his half-sister, and disinherit her son, and should marry Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy, and should appoint her first-born son as his successor on the throne of the kingdom (Appian, Syr. c. 65, and Jerome). This factum can be regarded as a fulfilling of the prophecy, Daniel 11:6; but the consequences which resulted from this political marriage do not correspond with the consequences prophesied of. According to the testimony of history, Ptolemy died two years after this marriage, whereupon Antiochus set aside Berenice, and took to himself again his former wife Laodice, along with her children. But she effected the death of her husband by poison, as she feared his fickleness, and then her son Seleucus Callinicus ascended the throne. Berenice fled with her son to the asylum of Daphne, but she was there murdered along with him. The prophecy, according to this, differs from the historical facts, not merely in regard to the consequences of the events, but also in regard to the matter itself; for it speaks not only of the daughter, but also of her father being given up to death, while the natural death of her father is in no respect connected with that marriage, and not till after his death did the consequences fatal to his daughter and her child develop themselves.

Further, as to the contents of Daniel 11:7-9, history furnishes the following confirmations: - In order to save his sister, who was put aside by Antiochus Theus, her brother, Ptolemy Euergetes, invaded the Syrian kingdom, in which Seleucus Callinicus had succeeded his father on the throne, in alliance with the armies of the Asiatic cities, and put to death his mother Laodice, since he had come too late to save his sister, in revenge for her murder, overthrew all the Syrian fortresses from Cilicia to the Tigris and Babylonia, and would have conquered the whole of the Syrian kingdom, if an insurrection which had broken out in Egypt had not caused him to return thither, carrying with him many images of the gods, and immense treasure, which he had taken from the vanquished cities. Then, while engaged in Egypt, Callinicus recovered the cities of Asia Minor, but failed to conquer the maritime countries, because his fleet was wrecked in a storm; and when he thereupon undertook a land expedition against Egypt, he was totally defeated, so that he returned to Antioch with only a few followers: cf. Justin, Hist. xxvii. 1, 2; Polyb. v. 58; and Appian, Syr. c. 65. On the other hand, the announcement of the war of his sons with many hosts overflowing the land, Daniel 11:10, is not confirmed by history. After the death of Callinicus in captivity, his son Seleucus Ceraunus succeeded to the government, a very incompetent man, who after tow years was poisoned by his generals in the war with Attalus, without having undertaken anything against Egypt. His brother Antiochus, surnamed the Great, succeeded him, who, in order to recover Coele-Syria and Phoenicia, renewed the war against the king of Egypt (not till about two years after he ascended the throne, however, did Ptolemy Philopator begin to reign), in which he penetrated twice to Dura, two (German) miles north from Caesarea (Polyb. x. 49), then concluded a four months' truce, and led his host back to the Orontes (Polyb. v. 66; Justin, xxx. 1). After the renewal of hostilities he drove the Egyptian army back to Sidon, conquered Gilead and Samaria, and took up his winter-quarters in Ptolemais (Polyb. v. 63-71). In the beginning of the following year, however, he was defeated by the Egyptians at Raphia, not far from Gaza, and was compelled, with great loss in dead and prisoners, to return as quickly as possible to Antioch, and to leave Coele-Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine to the Egyptians (Polyb. v. 79, 80, 82-86). Daniel 11:11 and Daniel 11:12 refer to this war. Thirteen our fourteen years after this, Antiochus, in league with Philip III of Macedon, renewed the war against the Egyptians, when, after Philopator's death, Ptolemy Epiphanes, being five years old, had ascended the throne, retook the three above-named countries (Coele-Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine), vanquished the Egyptian host led by Scopas near Paneas, and compelled the fortress of Sidon, into which the Egyptians had fled, to surrender after a lengthened siege, and then concluded a peace with Ptolemy on the condition that he took to wife the daughter of Antiochus, Cleopatra, who should bring with her, as her dowry, Coele-Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine (Polyb. xv. 20, xxviii. 17; App. Syr. c. i.; Liv. xxxiii. 19; and Joseph. Antt. xii. 4. 1). Since the time of Jerome, the prophecy Daniel 11:13-17 has been referred to this last war. But also here the historical events fall far behind the contents of the prophecy. The prophecy points to the complete subjugation of the king of the south, while this war was carried on only for the possession of the Asiatic provinces of the Egyptian kingdom. Also the rising up of many (רבּים, Daniel 11:14) against the king of the south is not historically verified; and even the relation spoken of by Josephus (Antt. xii. 3. 3) in which the Jews stood to Antiochus the Great was not of such a kind as to be capable of being regarded as a fulfilling of the "exalting themselves" of the פריצים בּני, Daniel 11:14. Still less does the statement of Daniel 11:16, that the king of the north would stand in the glorious land, agree with כּלה interpreted of conduct of Antiochus the Great toward the Jews; for according to Josephus, Antt. l.c., he treated the Jews round about Jerusalem favourably, because of their own accord they had submitted to him and had supported his army, and granted to them not only indulgence in regard to the observance of their religious ordinances, but also afforded them protection.

Moreover, Daniel 11:18, containing the prophecy of the undertaking of the king of the north against the islands, has not its historical fulfilment in the expedition of Antiochus the Great against the coasts and islands of Asia Minor and the Hellespont; but Daniel 11:19, that which is said regarding his return to the fortresses of his own land and his overthrow, does not so correspond with the historical issues of the reign of this king that one would be able to recognise therein a prediction of it. Finally, of his successor, Seleucus Philopator, to whom Daniel 11:20 must refer, if the foregoing verses treat of Antiochus the Great, nothing further is communicated, than that he quum paternis cladibus fractas admodum Syriae opes accepisset, post otiosum nullisque admodum rebus gestis nobilitatum annorum duodecim regnum, was put to death through the treachery of Heliodorus, unius ex purpuratis (Liv. xli. 19, cf. App. Syr. c. 45), and the mission of Heliodorus to Jerusalem to seize the treasures of the temple, which is fabulously described in 2 Macc. 3:4ff. The ישּׁבר (shall be destroyed) of this king אחדים בּימים (within few days) does not harmonize with the fact of his twelve years' reign.

From this comparison this much follows, that the prophecy does not furnish a prediction of the historical wars of the Seleucidae and the Ptolemies, but an ideal description of the war of the kings of the north and the south in its general outlines, whereby, it is true, diverse special elements of the prophetical announcement have historically been fulfilled, but the historical reality does not correspond with the contents of the prophecy in anything like an exhaustive manner. This ideal character of the prophecy comes yet more prominently forward to view in the following prophetic description.

Hosea 8:11 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Hosea 10:1,2,8 Israel is an empty vine, he brings forth fruit to himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he has increased the altars...

Hosea 12:11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yes...

Isaiah 10:10,11 As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria...


Deuteronomy 4:28 And there you shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.

Jeremiah 16:13 Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that you know not, neither you nor your fathers...

Cross References
Hosea 10:1
Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; as his country improved, he improved his pillars.

Hosea 12:11
If there is iniquity in Gilead, they shall surely come to nothing: in Gilgal they sacrifice bulls; their altars also are like stone heaps on the furrows of the field.

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Altars Built Cause Ephraim E'phraim Increasing Multiplied Multiply Offerings Sin Sinning
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