The Profound Secret of an Ancient Prophecy
Gali Tibbon-Pool/Getty Images
Hosea 5:13 is one of the most revealing prophecies in the Bible. The whole book of Hosea is for the end time, and this verse contains a prophecy for today—a stunning secret that even most religious people do not understand.
This secret is about three nations: America, Britain and Israel. These are the modern descendants of three ancient Israelite tribes: Manasseh, Ephraim and Judah. If you want to understand the foreign policy of these three countries, you have to understand this verse. It shows us why our policy is failing.
What is happening today in the Middle East reveals a lot about this verse and this prophecy. The Palestinians are out to conquer the entire Jewish nation. They have stated their goal officially and repeatedly: Eliminate the Jews. But modern-day Judah keeps trying to negotiate some kind of peace pact with them and with its other enemy nations in the Middle East.
Why is this important to the rest of us? Because soon, the whole world will be dragged into the crisis in Jerusalem. This amazing verse gives us an incredible insight, and it includes more than just modern-day Judah.
What Is ‘Judah’s Wound’?
“When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound” (Hosea 5:13). Judah is the modern Jewish nation: Israel.
This is a serious wound—like an open, running sore. In fact, it is deadly; it will kill if some kind of correction isn’t made. Yet men simply try to put a Band-Aid on it. Strong’s Concordance says the word wound has the sense of binding up, a bandage or a remedy. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon defines it as the pressing together or the binding up of a wound, used figuratively of a remedy applied to the wound of the state.
What is the wound of the Jewish state?
Seven years ago, the Jews pulled out of Gaza—every settlement, every soldier, every Jew—about 8,000 of them. The world incessantly demands that Israel give land for peace. So Israel made a peace pact. It gave up Gaza—and it got no peace. Palestinians in Gaza voted in Hamas terrorists, and soon they began shooting rockets at Israeli citizens by the hundreds. The Israelis gave up the land, and they have had war ever since!
The Palestinians in Gaza have broken every peace pact. They have no intention of having peace with the Jews—that is obvious by now. You’d think the world would be praising Israel for its peace efforts, including giving up chunks of its own country! But it is not. Turkey’s prime minister labeled Israel a “terrorist” nation in this most recent conflict when the Jews tried to defend themselves from terrorists in Gaza. And on November 29, the United Nations voted 138 to 9 to elevate the Palestinians’ status within that body.
Israel is under attack by terrorists. Other nations are putting pressure on it. The Jewish state sacrifices parts of itself—yet terrorists continue to attack, and other nations hate Israel all the more.
The “peace” process is Israel’s wound!
Although they don’t see its connection to the prophecy in Hosea 5, some people are beginning to see what a wound the land-for-peace process is. Here is what journalist Caroline Glick wrote on Nov. 23, 2012 (emphasis mine throughout):
All commentators who warned of the strategic calamity that would befall Israel in the aftermath of a withdrawal from Gaza were marginalized and demonized as extremists. In a noble gesture, [the Wall Street Journal’s Bret] Stephens along with Commentary’s Max Boot acknowledged their error in supporting the withdrawal from Gaza. Their recantations are noteworthy because most of their colleagues who joined them in pushing Israel down the garden path and cheered Sharon’s “democracy” as 8,500 Israelis were thrown out of their homes and off their land in order to free it up for a terrorist takeover, continue to deny that they were wrong to do so. But Stephens’s and Boot’s belated intellectual integrity on Gaza is not enough to make a difference for Israel today. …
Israel is in a strategic trap. And it is one of its own making. Starting with the Rabin-Peres government’s decision to embrace the plo terrorist organization as a peace partner in 1993, Israel has been in strategic retreat. Each incremental retreat by Israel has empowered its worst enemies both militarily and diplomatically, and weakened the Jewish state militarily and diplomatically.
Though she probably doesn’t realize it, Glick is talking about what the Bible calls Judah’s “wound.”
Eight years ago I warned that the Gaza withdrawal would lead to greater trouble—more war, not less. I said it was a deadly mistake for the Jews to give up Gaza. For some Israeli civilians and soldiers, it already has been. But this situation is far from over.
Obadiah 1:7 contains a prophecy that helps us better understand Hosea 5:13: “All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.” This “wound” is similar to the one in Hosea; both are from the same root word. Gesenius’ Lexicon defines it as “falsehood, hence fraud, insidious dealing.”
This scripture is talking about a falsehood or fraud involving a peace pact. Caroline Glick calls it a “fake peace process.” God calls it “a wound under thee.” Glick calls it a “strategic trap.” God calls it a snare. It looks good, yet it is a deception.
The Israelis have given territory and cities to the Palestinians: Gaza, Jericho, Bethlehem. They gave the Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt. The agreement was that they would get something in return: The Palestinians and Egyptians would not try to kill them. All that land given for peace—and now those areas are being used to attack them! Peace doesn’t work that way. It’s a wound when you try to give land in return for peace to people who hate you.
The United States, Britain and the Jews—the West, overall—cherish the delusion that everything can be solved by negotiation and compromise. It simply is not true. The Palestinian terrorists don’t want peace. They have never wanted peace! They want all of Palestine, as they call it. They have blatantly stated that they want to annihilate the Jews! The Muslim Brotherhood, which now controls Egypt, has also said that. Iran has said it repeatedly. Both of these countries are stirring up trouble by using the Palestinians. Yet astonishingly, Israel keeps making peace pacts with these people! IT’S A TRAP!
Do you recognize how precisely this prophecy is being fulfilled? Glick’s words are almost biblical! She is saying the same thing that the Bible prophesied in precise detail and that is now coming to pass.
That should build our faith in the inspired prophecies of the Bible! The greatest single proof that God exists is fulfilled prophecy! God lives! And He tells us precisely what is coming upon us because of our sins.
Why do so many people ignore God’s Word when it is so plain to anybody who is willing to look into it? Human nature is just that way. People usually refuse to accept the truth until they are in deep trouble. Only then will people cry out to God.
How are the U.S. and Britain involved in this? Shamefully, in many cases America and Britain have used their strength to push the Jews into these negotiations.
Britain and America have quite a history with the Jewish state. Britain, supported by the U.S., gave Israel its freedom in 1947. The United States has given billions and billions of dollars to Israel since its inception as a nation. As a result, Washington has a lot of leverage over the Jews, and it oftentimes forces them into certain peace pacts. Both political parties in the U.S. have done that.
Caroline Glick observed, “Obama and [Hillary] Clinton compelled Israel to accept wording in the ceasefire that arguably makes Egypt the arbiter of Israeli and Palestinian compliance with the agreement.” That is a disaster! U.S. leaders gave power in this process to Egypt, which is now ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood, the mother of Hamas terrorists!
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi boldly said that his government stands with the Hamas terrorists. This is a major change from what the previous president, Hosni Mubarak, said for decades. The Muslim Brotherhood threatened to get involved, and it has the support of many Egyptians. And Morsi recently declared himself essentially a pharaoh—with far more power than Mubarak had before him! (article, page 12). America called Mubarak a dictator and helped remove him from power. But Mubarak was nothing compared to President Morsi. Just look at what this man is saying.
Yet this is whom America just made the arbiter of Israeli compliance with this latest agreement!
If the Middle East peace process is a terminal wound, that means that American foreign policy is also a wound!
The link between these nations points directly to a profound secret in this prophecy.
Who Is Israel?
A number of people understand that the modern descendants of biblical Judah are the Jews. Far fewer would recognize that the Bible’s end-time prophecies concerning Judah apply to the Jewish state of Israel!
And what about the other nations listed in this passage, and in other biblical prophecies? Most people in Christianity don’t even know who Ephraim, Manasseh and Assyria are in prophecy—what their modern identities are. Do you know? You can’t understand these prophecies unless you do! We can’t guess about something that God says “shall surely be” (Hosea 5:9).
Notice this in verse 5: “And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.”
Three nations are mentioned here—and all will fall together! Both “Israel” and “Ephraim” will “fall in their iniquity”—or their lawlessness—right along with Judah, the Jewish state.
As Herbert W. Armstrong proved in The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Ephraim is modern-day Britain. And Israel in this case is specifically talking about Manasseh, which is the United States. You can see that because Britain is also part of Israel but is listed separately as Ephraim, along with “Israel.” God put the name “Israel” on Ephraim and Manasseh in particular (Genesis 48:14-16), and the prophecies about end-time Israel apply most specifically to the modern descendants of these two. Many scriptures show that Ephraim and Manasseh, the two birthright nations, are going to be corrected by God together. I believe God refers to America as Israel here, and “the pride of Israel,” because the U.S. is the superpower of modern Israel, though it is now failing to fulfill that role.
Verse 3 also refers to Ephraim and Manasseh—Britain and the United States—as “Ephraim, and Israel.” Ephraim is also mentioned right alongside Judah in verse 13. Again, all three of these nations are prophesied to fall together.
When you prove the modern identity of these three nations and realize that Hosea is giving you a detailed end-time picture—and describing exactly what we see happening to them right before our eyes—it just about knocks you over!
“Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Bethaven, after thee, O Benjamin. Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be” (Hosea 5:8-9).
Notice: There are “tribes of Israel”—not just Judah, but 12 tribes, three of which are mentioned in particular in these prophecies. And God says, I made known what shall surely be! God says He is going to trumpet this message in this end time about these prophecies! So where is that message today? God uses men, but it is His doing! And nobody is going to stop what God has prophesied!
The key to understanding this prophecy is to realize that it is fulfilled at the same time that people are blowing the trumpet and warning these nations.
That warning is going out! It has been going out for 70 years. Herbert W. Armstrong and now the Trumpet have been telling America, Britain and the Jewish nation exactly what is going to come to pass. Many of these prophecies have already been fulfilled. These world events are detailed in Bible prophecy, and anybody can see that if they will quit trusting their enemies and heed God’s message!
This is a profound secret that we all should know and understand! Still, no one is talking about this crucial prophecy. That is because God has to reveal this secret. He reveals it only to people who earnestly seek Him.
“Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness” (Hosea 5:12). The word rottenness should read “like a worm” or “like maggots infesting open wounds.” There’s something very rotten spiritually about these three nations that they need to see, and it goes right to the bones—it’s that deep. Americans, Britons and Jews have rejected God and His law and lived their own way. Our nations are sick!
In the Jewish nation of Israel, that rottenness shows up in its determination to try to make peace with men who seek to destroy it. Hamas terrorists have been bombarding Israel with rockets for years, yet Israel has done nothing to permanently end the terrorism. As a result, the rocket attacks have only increased! Israel’s inaction shows that it is faint and fearful!
Do you think King David would have allowed Israel’s enemies to do that? He never would have stood for such terrible attacks! And he wouldn’t have looked to any other nation or any people or coalition—but to God. He destroyed Goliath in the name of the living God.
Where are our Davids today? Where are they in Israel? Where are they in America and in Britain?
What we are seeing on the news is a faint heart and a lack of faith. That attitude is going to cause far more problems. The Jews finally did react, but before they did, they let a million of their people live in fear of those rockets.
The Jews have lost their will to fight, and the terrorists know it. A U.S. intelligence document states that the Arabs now believe the Jews have lost their will to fight. They’re right! They’ve lost their will to win and their will to survive! That is an absolutely deadly mistake. You cannot survive in this dangerous world with a faint heart.
Modern-day Judah has a deadly wound—and frankly, America and Britain have it as well. The foreign policy of all three nations has gone askew because of their spiritual and moral problems. Overall, our foreign policy is a failure, and we are in a desperate situation.
In America and Britain, deep spiritual rottenness appears in news headlines every day. Yet these peoples don’t see the problems, or won’t admit them!
The United States is fatigued with all of its conflicts. Supposedly, the United States supports Israel. Yet it was the U.S. that helped push Mubarak out of office after 30 years of peace with Israel and ushered in the Muslim Brotherhood. Look at Benghazi, Libya. America was attacked there on Sept. 11, 2012—almost a sacred day, the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil. Yet how much do Americans care?
God said in Leviticus 26:19 that “I will break the pride of your power.” All three of these nations have nuclear bombs and awesome power, but they are afraid to use it! They are afraid because God has broken their will because of their sins. “I will set my face against you,” He said in verse 17.
In Hosea 5:12, God compares Himself as a “moth” to them. If you have a nice suit in the closet and you leave it there for a long time and don’t check it, sometimes moths will eat away its lining and fabric. The suit will still look good—until you take it out of the closet and put it on—then it falls apart.
God is saying that we had better look beyond the surface or else we won’t see our deadly serious problems for what they are!
For example: America has $16 trillion in debt that it cannot pay back. Our leaders won’t even really discuss what a serious problem it is, much less deal with it. No one has a solution for that erosive dilemma.
But even if America were debt-free, the even more important threads of our society are already eaten away—perhaps worse than our economy. Our minds are hollowed out by drugs and pornography. Our character is disintegrating because of our foul entertainment and debased music. Our families have been destroyed.
Verse 4 says that these nations do not know God. They are going to be corrected very severely because they have turned away from the God who gave them their nations in the first place! Their problem isn’t ineffective foreign policy; the problem is that they don’t know God! That is what God is upset about and what He is going to correct.
Hosea 7:7 says about the British people, “[T]here is none among them that calleth unto me.” None! God says “Ephraim is a cake not turned” (verse 8). This is another good metaphor for what is wrong with Britain—and all three of these nations. If you put a cake in the oven for too long, the heat burns it out inside. It looks great from the outside, but when you slice it with a knife, it crumbles.
American, British and Israeli societies still look good on the surface, but they are burned out inside.
We are entering a dangerous and deadly time. What we need is not shrewd foreign policy or ever greater technology. What we need is to be honest to see our sickness and our rottenness. We must see it now! It is clear in God’s Word. But most people don’t want to see it, so they won’t see it until they suffer horrendously as these prophecies come to pass.
But you can choose to prove it for yourself, personally. If you believe your Bible, you know that Hosea’s prophecy for modern-day Manasseh, Ephraim and Judah is beginning to come to pass. That is the terrible truth that we have brought on ourselves. We are not going to negotiate or fight our way out of it this time. Our rottenness and sickness will finally destroy our three nations.
Do you believe your Bible? Do you believe these end-time prophecies?
Let’s return to Hosea 5:13 to see where this explosive situation is leading.
“When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.” Who is “the Assyrian”? This too is proven in The United States and Britain in Prophecy, and in our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire, to be Germany. And King Jareb means “King Contentious” or “warlike monarch.”
Modern Ephraim and Judah are prophesied to go to a nation known for its history of starting wars—including wars against Britons and Jews!
Recently, an Israeli official said the Jews have started making overtures toward Berlin in case America fails to help them when they really need it. So this process of going to King Jareb has already begun.
The Jews are under life-threatening pressure. They are being threatened by Iran, Egypt and other Arab nations. Jews are being killed by rockets launched from Gaza, supplied by Iran, abetted by Egypt. Their position is deteriorating rapidly. Since the Arab Spring debacle, it has only gotten worse. We said from the beginning that it would be anything but a “spring,” and proved that from the Bible—yet who believes God and His prophecies?
Meanwhile, the United States has started backing away from helping Israel. The Jews are running out of options and beginning to look elsewhere for help. It seems they will trust almost anybody—the U.S., Britain, India, Turkey—even their worst enemies from World War ii who slaughtered 6 million of them—rather than trust God!
The Jews looked to God in 1948 and beyond—and God worked miracles for them! Even Israel’s recent history has seen this little nation trust God much more than it is doing today. It has since turned away from that kind of faith and trust, just like America and Britain.
Judah’s wound was caused by trusting in men. Yet when it sees its wound, when it sees that this process is rotten, what does it do? It turns to men again! The Jews go to Germany for peace! They see the effect, but they still don’t see the cause of the problem. If they did, they wouldn’t attempt to make a pact with Germany—they would cry out to God!
The people of Judah simply will not trust in God. That’s the problem with all three of these nations! We would rather make peace pacts with our enemies and put our national lives in peril than submit to God.
These nations want the Germans to protect them from their enemies. What can they give Germany in return? Israel and Britain both have nuclear weapons. Do you think they might make a pact with Germany where Berlin gets access to and control over their nuclear bombs? The United States already has about 20 nuclear bombs deployed in the Rhineland, presumably to protect the Germans from Russia and China. Do you suppose Germany might get control of those?
Daniel 11:40-41 show that Assyria is going to lead Europe to the “glorious land”—Jerusalem—and will “enter into” it. Nothing indicates that it will have to fight its way in. It will be invited in, apparently to protect Judah. Certainly it is going to get control of Israel’s nuclear bombs, regardless of what happens with the British and American nukes.
We look to men—but men can’t help us! King Jareb can’t help us! That’s what this prophecy says—kings and presidents can’t help us because this is a spiritual problem.
The only healing of our national sickness, the only cure for our national wounds, is to seek God. God wants us to heed His Word and be healed! His saying that King Jareb can’t heal you implies, I can heal you of that wound if you will look to me! Those who heed that warning will receive God’s protection! But most people don’t listen to God’s words—they will have to go through a terrifying experience to learn this lesson.
‘They Will Seek Me Early’
But there is hope! Think about it: Why is God allowing and even bringing about such terrible suffering for America, Britain and Israel? Because it is the one and only way that we can be cured of our spiritual sickness! After we are crushed and see what our sin produces, we will finally—finally—seek God!
It is going to be painful. The destruction and death will be unimaginable. But for those who survive, it will cause them to finally seek God and know Him! And those who do not survive, God will resurrect and teach, and they too will come to know Him!
Look where Hosea’s prophecy leads: “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face,” God says: “in their affliction they will seek me early” (Hosea 5:15). These nations have committed an offense against God. He doesn’t want to see people suffer—He wants the opposite! But they won’t listen to Him today. God says, however, that when He starts correcting them, then in that intense affliction and suffering, the Jews and the people of the U.S. and Britain are going to seek Him—and they are going to find Him.
Here is a powerful lesson from God: If we will seek Him, we will find Him, and everything will be fine. If we don’t repent and turn to God, we cannot escape the affliction coming on these nations. It is already too late for these nations to repent, but you can individually. Throughout these troubling times we’re entering into more deeply every week, you can have God’s protection.
The wound of Hosea 5:13 is directly tied to the coming of the Messiah! He is coming immediately after the wound is experienced in its fullness. That is inspiring beyond words to describe. Immediately after these problems in the Middle East, the Messiah returns. Those problems will get a lot worse first, but He is coming so soon—within just a few years!
At that time, the end-time nations of Israel will say, “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:1-2). A “day for a year” in fulfilled prophecy means that there will be 2½ years of tribulation, then God will punish the Gentiles who punished the nations of Israel. As He tore us apart, God will heal us.
Here is a prophecy of these three nations seeking God! What a beautiful, repentant attitude! That is good news that we have never seen in our nations, but it is about to come to pass. All of these events are leading directly to that point. This is better than a Hollywood ending!
Just as God’s prophecies have already happened, are happening and will happen, you can take infinite hope in where these dark days are leading. Our nations are going to suffer, but then they will repent! Along with the whole world, they will know the great God! And their loving Father is about to bring them and this whole world peace for all eternity!