Question:

About the "from Egypt I called my son" prophecy: Was God applying the same thing to Jesus and to Ephraim?

Answer:

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son” (Hosea 11:1).

Egypt was a nation given over to idolatry. Hence, when Israel left Egypt they also left a land of sin and sinful practices. Israel was also serving as slaves to the Egyptians, so leaving Egypt was also freedom from slavery (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). When Israel heeded God’s call, they became His children (Exodus 4:22-23). Yet, they did not remain faithful as Hosea 11:2 points out: "But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images" (Hosea 11:2). So in a real sense, they never really left Egypt. Physically they walked out, but spiritually they were still involved in the sins of Egypt.

Matthew points out that this particular statement has dual meaning. That is not unusual in prophecy. For example, Psalms 22 can be seen as David's cry of despair and faith over his persecutions, but we also know it had a double meaning that more significantly was a discussion of the death of the Messiah. "Out of Egypt I called My son" had a hidden but more literal meaning that might be realized at first. This type of prophecy is called a type and antitype (tupos and antitupos in the Greek) (Romans 5:14; Hebrews 8:5; 9:24; I Peter 3:21). In modern literature it is called "foreshadowing." The same love that God showed for Israel to lead them out of sin was shown to Jesus when God saved him from an early death but did not leave him in a foreign land.