They will not live in Yahweh’s land,
but Ephraim will return to Egypt,
and they will eat unclean food in Assyria. Bible other translations

“They will not live in Yahweh’s land.” Although God gave the Promised Land for Israel to live in, he did not give them the land, God owned the land. Furthermore, He warned them that if they abandoned Him and His laws, that the blessing of the land would be removed and the land would not sustain its inhabitants (Lev. 18:28; 20:22), which we see in Hosea 9:2. In other places, God said that if Israel abandoned Him they would be scattered among foreign people (cp. Lev. 26:33; Deut. 4:27; 28:64).

“Ephraim will return to Egypt.” In this context, “Egypt” refers to exile and bondage, not the literal country of Egypt. The last sentence expresses how they will “return to Egypt”—they will be taken as captives to Assyria, which occurred in 722 BC (2 Kings 17:6, 18, 24).

Commentary for: Hosea 9:3