Their Heart Is Divided


he ongoing prophetic research into the concept of the two-fold nature of Spiritual evil continues to find support within the inspired writings of the prophets. In multiple works (including the present issue of The Apocalypse Chronicles which features an excerpt from Book II of the Triuniverse series), I've demonstrated how the Scriptures show the instability found in the concept of division.

The Israelite prophet Hosea, who anticipated the Assyrian captivity, articulates several prime examples of this concept. In his 10th chapter, a work noted for its rebuke of Israel's backsliding, the prophet writes

"Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased his altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images. Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images." (Hosea 10:1.2)

These verses are positively loaded with metaphor, and they illustrate the duality of iniquity. First, the "empty vine" is unquestionably a reference to the often used imagery of a fig tree, for Hosea himself has previously used the same analogy, when the LORD says:

"I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the figtree at her first time: but they went to Baal-peor, and separated themselves unto that shame…" (Hosea 9:10).

This verse flatly states Israel's loyalty is divided between the LORD, and Baal. Incidentally, Habbakuk confirms the connection between vines and a fig tree in a horticultural sense, for the prophet tells us

"...the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines." (Habbakuk 3:17)

Thus, the identity of the "empty vine" of Israel was never in doubt; however, Hosea provides us with a precise diagnosis concerning the mechanism of how Israel fell away from the LORD, when the prophet writes

"their heart is divided...." (Hosea 10:2)

If you'll pardon the pun, this goes to the heart of the matter. The fact is, the concept of what the Apostle James calls a "double minded man" is directly related to this subject, and in verse after verse, we're learning that a divided house cannot stand:

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." (James 1:8)

Far from a simple platitude, the split personality of a double minded man is directly addressed by Hosea, and applied to Israel. This two-fold aspect of Hosea's statement concerning the nation's "divided heart" resonates throughout the prophets. For instance, in the verse already cited, through Hosea, the LORD also informs us that

"Israel....bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased his altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images….now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images." (Hosea 10:1.2)

This is a two-part sin, for God cites two specific transgressions when He says that the more fruit that is born by Israel's allegorical fig tree, the more Israel has "increased his altars." Then the LORD notes how Israel has "made goodly images," which are directly proportionate to the abundance of the land ("goodness" in the KJV).

These two sins, more altars and more images, will both be judged harshly:

"....he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images." (Hosea 10:2)

This same 10th chapter has a deeply veiled reference which articulates the same profound truth, but it requires a bit of explanation. Rich in agricultural and horticultural allusions, the word pictures in Hosea speak of livestock and animal husbandry, the plowing of fields, and trees and vines that produce the two fold curse of "thorns" and "thistles." (Hosea 10:8)

In verse 10, the LORD says that He will chastise Israel

"...when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows." (Hosea 10:10)

A "furrow" is a plowed path or track, in which a farmer would plant seed. The verse tells us the construction of two furrows, instead of the usual one, will "bind" Israel. Thus, their divided loyalty between the LORD and their own idolatrous pursuits brings about bondage. Furthermore, God says they did this to themselves:

"...when they shall bind themselves...." (Hosea 10:10)

This verse tells us the wicked have constructed a system, which functions as a prison of their own device, and they have locked themselves inside it. There is even more to learn from this amazing passage. The word "furrow" is used earlier in the chapter when the LORD says that Israel's double minded nature will cause

"...judgment to spring up as hemlock [poison] in the furrows of the field." (Hosea 10:4)

Intriguingly, in verse 10, a different (and rarely used) Hebrew word is used for "furrow," when Israel binds themselves into bondage through their double minded nature. Certain apostate translations, such as the NIV (the Never Inspired Version, using corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts) have claimed this verse says that God's judgment will bring outside nations against Israel to "put them in bonds for their double sin."

Although this rendering clarifies the "two furrows" of Israel's ongoing apostasy as a "double sin," it robs the passage of two of its most important truths. First, using the metaphor of plowing a path, the use of "furrows" shows us that Israel has constructed a system, or a self perpetuating path in which they must now walk. Second, and even more important, is the profound statement that it is her volitional development of this double minded nature that has placed Israel (or anyone else for that matter) into bondage.

This is a crucial distinction, for it's practically impossible to receive the cure if we refuse to recognize the true nature of the sin. Once again, it is not the invasion of Gentile nations that will "bind"Israel as punishment for her sin, it is actually the "divided heart" itself that will enslave her,

"...when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows." (Hosea 10:10)

The two-fold nature of sin, and how the LORD has repeatedly declared its ability to entangle and corrupt the believer, is the precise opposite of the singular path to salvation – and that solitary door is only found in the person of Jesus Christ.

Concerning unrepentant Israel, the LORD consistently utilizes the similitude of a divided heart:

"They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak." (Psalms 12:2)

"Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double." (Revelation 18:6)

But concerning redeemed Israel, the LORD says

"...I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them." (Jeremiah 32:39)

– James Lloyd



See Also


The Triuniverse

The Triuniverse: Book II