Hosea 5:8 New International Version (NIV) 8 “Sound the trumpet in Gibeah, the horn in Ramah. Raise the battle cry in Beth Aven[a]; lead on, Benjamin. Footnotes: Hosea 5:8 Beth Aven means house of wickedness (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means house of God). Hosea 4:15 New International Version (NIV) 15 “Though you, Israel, commit adultery, do not let Judah become guilty. “Do not go to Gilgal; do not go up to Beth Aven.[a] And do not swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’ Hosea 10:5 New International Version (NIV) 5 The people who live in Samaria fear for the calf-idol of Beth Aven.[a] Its people will mourn over it, and so will its idolatrous priests, those who had rejoiced over its splendor, because it is taken from them into exile. Footnotes: Hosea 10:5 Beth Aven means house of wickedness (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means house of God).
ESV - 8 Blow the horn in Gibeah, the trumpet in Ramah. Sound the alarm at Beth-aven; we follow you, O Benjamin!
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Gibeah and Ramah were cities in the land allotment of the Israelite tribe of Benjamin, in the southern region of the land of Israel (the portion that became collectively known as Judah after the ten northern tribes of Israel broke away from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin following the death of King Solomon (from the tribe of Judah) as a judgment from God against the idolatry that characterized the later years of Solomon's reign (1 Kings 11:9-13). Gibeah was the hometown of Saul (from the tribe of Benjamin), who had been selected as the first king of Israel. Ramah is mentioned in the prophecy in Jeremiah 31:15 regarding the manner in which Herod the Great would later order the deaths of all the male children two years old or younger in the region of Bethlehem in the land belonging to the tribe of Judah (which had been the hometown of King David of the tribe of Judah, and the prophesied birthplace of the Messiah) in an attempt to kill Jesus following His birth because of perceiving Him as a rival to his throne (Matthew 2:1-18). Beth Aven (meaning "house of nothingness", implying the worship of idols there) had been formerly known as Bethel ("house of God") but had been renamed by God after Jeroboam (whom God had raised up as a rival to Solomon, and who had become the ruler of the northern ten tribes of Israel after Solomon's death) had erected two golden calf idols in Israel (one in Bethel, and the other in Dan) for his subjects to worship, in order to keep them from going down to Jerusalem (where Solomon had built the temple) to worship, and thus to lessen the chance that they would eventually seek to be reunited with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
These cities lay on a straight line due north of Jerusalem; GIBEAH was the most famous, King Saul’s birthplace and capital, a few miles north of Jerusalem. Though there are about 6 Ramahs, the most familiar RAMAH is about 5 miles (8 km) north of Jerusalem, now called er-Ram. Located in the tribe of Benjamin, RAMAH sat along the border between the northern Jewish nation of Israel and the southern nation of Judah, so it often got caught in a tug-of-war. BETH AVEN is another name for Bethel—and is probably derogatory (Hosea 4:15; 10:5). Beth-aven—that is, “house of vanity” or idols: a name substituted in contempt for Beth-el, “the house of God”; once sacred to Jehovah (Ge 28:17, 19; 35:7), but made by Jeroboam the seat of the worship of the calves as Mr. Maas mentioned (1 Ki 12:28-33; 13:1; Je 48:13; Amos 3:14; 7:13). “Go up” refers to the fact that Beth-el was on a hill (Jos 16:1). Ryrie says BETH AVEN, meaning ‘House of Wickedness’, was Hosea’s name for Bethel, which means ‘House of God.’
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