shall not return

Hosea 11:5

11:5 shall not return. In the context of this chapter, Israel had been once-for-all called “out of Egypt” (Hosea 11:1). Because of their long-continued rebellion against God, however, they were to be cast out of their land—this time into Assyria, rather than Egypt. However, Hosea had said shortly before this (Hosea 8:13) that “they shall return to Egypt.” By this he meant the pagan ways and practices of Egypt, not the actual land of Egypt. See also Hosea 9:3, where it says that “Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.” The one is metaphorical, the other literal. In Revelation 11:8, once again “the great city” (that is, Jerusalem) is “spiritually…called Sodom and Egypt.”

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