10 I found Yisrael [as pleasing] As grapes in the wilderness; Your fathers seemed to Me Like the first fig to ripen on a fig tree. But when they came to Baal-peor, They turned aside to shamefulness; Then they became as detested As they had been loved.
ka-a-na-VEEM ba-mid-BAR ma-TZA-tee yis-ra-AYL k’-vi-ku-RAH vit-ay-NAH b’-ray-shee-TAH ra-EE-tee a-vo-tay-KHEM HAY-mah BA-u va-al p’-OR va-yi-na-z’-RU la-BO-shet va-yih-YU shi-ku-TZEEM k’-a-ho-VAM
9:10 Then they became as detested as they had been loved
Hoshea’s rebukes increasingly draw upon the history of Israel to emphasize their message. The prophet mentions the tragedy of Giva (verse 9), when the licentiousness of members of the tribe of Binyamin led to a deadly civil war (Judges 20), and their behavior in the desert at Baal Pe’or (Numbers 25), where the people succumbed to the charms of the Moabite and Midianite women and brought a plague upon themselves. Though they are God’s first fruits, the tastiest on the vine, Israel forgot the clear warning of Sefer Vayikra 18, that sexual immorality and inappropriate behavior will inevitably lead to their expulsion from the Land of Israel.