In chapter 13, Hosea continues to warn the northern kingdom of their impending judgment and exile. Chapter 14 calls them to return to God in repentance, and promises that they will be restored to the land of Israel and experience great prosperity.
Chapter 13 warns Ephraim (the northern kingdom of Israel) of her impending judgment, which was fulfilled in the Assyrian invasion and exodus of 722 BC. These exiled northern tribes assimilated among the nations of their diaspora and are now referred to as the lost tribes of Israel. The people of the southern kingdom of Judah (the Jews), comprising the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, resisted Assyrian conquest, but were exiled by the Babylonian conquests and deportations of 605, 597 and 586 BC. These southern tribes were restored to the land of Judah after a 70 year exile, and are the ancestors of today's Jews. The Jews were exiled a second time by the Romans in 70 AD, but God has been restoring them to the land since the late 19th century, and as a State since 1948.

Chapter 14 calls Israel to return to the Lord and repent. This is still primarily addressing the northern tribes, given the mention of Ephraim in verse 8, although sometimes Israel can be understood inclusively to refer to the entire nation of all twelve tribes. God promises that he will heal Israel's waywardness (their apostasy) and love them freely again (v4). He will restore them like a great cedar of Lebanon (v6), and they will once again experience great prosperity in the land (v7).

Only God knows who are the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, but many scriptures indicate that they too will be restored and reunited with the Jews in the end-times (Search by Tags: Restoration of Israel and Judah).
Places: Israel, Ephraim
Symbols: Labour pains, Israel in labour
Tags: Restoration of Israel and Judah, Lost tribes of Israel
Baal Worshipers and Calf Worshipers to be Destroyed
13 When Ephraim spoke, there was terror; he was exalted in Israel, but he became guilty by worshiping Baal and died.
2 Even now they persist in sin! They make metal images for themselves, idols that they skillfully fashion from their own silver; all of them are nothing but the work of craftsmen! There is a saying about them: “Those who sacrifice to the calf idol are calf kissers!”
3 Therefore they will disappear like the morning mist, like early morning dew that evaporates, like chaff that is blown away from a threshing floor, like smoke that disappears through an open window.

Well-Fed Israel Will Be Fed to Wild Animals

4 But I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt. Therefore, you must not acknowledge any God but me; except me there is no Savior.
5 I cared for you in the wilderness, in the dry desert where no water was.
6 When they were fed, they became satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; as a result, they forgot me!
7 So I will pounce on them like a lion; like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
8 I will attack them like a bear robbed of her cubs – I will rip open their chests. I will devour them there like a lion – like a wild animal would tear them apart.

Israel’s King Unable to Deliver the Nation

9 I will destroy you, O Israel! Who is there to help you?
10 Where then is your king, that he may save you in all your cities? Where are your rulers for whom you asked, saying, “Give me a king and princes”?
11 I granted you a king in my anger, and I will take him away in my wrath!

Israel’s Punishment Will Not Be Withheld Much Longer

12 The punishment of Ephraim has been decreed; his punishment is being stored up for the future.
13 The labor pains of a woman will overtake him, but the baby will lack wisdom; when the time arrives, he will not come out of the womb!

The Lord Will Not Relent from the Threatened Judgment

14 Will I deliver them from the power of Sheol? No, I will not! Will I redeem them from death? No, I will not! O Death, bring on your plagues! O Sheol, bring on your destruction! My eyes will not show any compassion!

The Capital of the Northern Empire Will Be Destroyed

15 Even though he flourishes like a reed plant, a scorching east wind will come, a wind from the Lord rising up from the desert. As a result, his spring will dry up; his well will become dry. That wind will spoil all his delightful foods in the containers in his storehouse.
16 Samaria will be held guilty, because she rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword, their infants will be dashed to the ground – their pregnant women will be ripped open.
Prophetic Call to Genuine Repentance
14 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for your sin has been your downfall!
2 Return to the Lord and repent! Say to him: “Completely forgive our iniquity; accept our penitential prayer, that we may offer the praise of our lips as sacrificial bulls.
3 Assyria cannot save us; we will not ride warhorses. We will never again say, ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made. For only you will show compassion to Orphan Israel!”

Divine Promise to Relent from Judgment and to Restore Blessings

4 “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger will turn away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily, he will send down his roots like a cedar of Lebanon.
6 His young shoots will grow; his splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will reside again in his shade; they will plant and harvest grain in abundance. They will blossom like a vine, and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.
8 O Ephraim, I do not want to have anything to do with idols anymore! I will answer him and care for him. I am like a luxuriant cypress tree; your fruitfulness comes from me!

Concluding Exhortation

9 Who is wise? Let him discern these things! Who is discerning? Let him understand them! For the ways of the Lord are right; the godly walk in them, but in them the rebellious stumble.