Israel’s Rebellion

Why did God allow his people Israel to fall to the pagan Assyrians?


The Assyrian exile was a punishment from the Lord because of the sins of the people and because they had forsaken the Lord and the Lord’s laws. In the book of Hosea, we … see the prophet giving more explanation concerning the Assyrian exile. In 9:7 the prophet says: “The days of punishment have come; the days of recompense have come; Israel shall know it. The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad, because of your great iniquity and great hatred.” He asserts here that “the days of punishment” and “the days of recompense” had come, which refers to the Assyrian exile.

In the same chapter — 9:15 — we read these words: “Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal; there I began to hate them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels.” Because of rebellion, disobedience, and evil, the exile came, or would come, to the people of Israel.

Finally, in the same chapter — 9:17 — it says: “My God will reject them because they have not listened to him; they shall be wanderers among the nations.” The exile was preceded by several invitations from prophets — Hosea being one of them — who were sent by the Lord to the people to call them to return and repent. But the people did not obey, and as a result, the exile was a punishment from the Lord to the people, because they insisted on their willful rebellion against the Lord.

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