Hos 6:7-10 But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me. Gilead is a city of evildoers, tracked with blood. As robbers lie in wait for a man, so the priests band together; they murder on the way to Shechem; they commit villainy. In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing; Ephraim’s whoredom is there; Israel is defiled.
Hosea has called for repentance (6:1-3), expressed divine frustration (6:4-5), and spelled out clearly God’s greatest desire from His people (6:6). Here Hosea returns to the subject of Israel’s unfaithfulness. God created perfect conditions for humanity in the Garden of Eden, yet Adam disobeyed. The lands given to the tribes of Israel were “flowing with milk and honey,” yet Israel did not remain faithful to YHWH, the giver of all good things. Priests behave like robbers and do all sorts of wicked things. YHWH testifies His divine witness of their evil. Samaria in Ephraim is the spiritual and political heart of Israel. This is why Hosea specifies Ephraim as the place of whoredom that defiles all of Israel.