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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Hosea 1

Verses 1-11


1:1-3:5 HOSEA’S FAMILY LIFE AND ITS LESSONS

Hosea, Gomer and their children (1:1-2:1)

The prophet begins his book by outlining his experiences with his unfaithful wife, Gomer. Gomer was probably not a prostitute when Hosea was told to marry her. In recording the story, Hosea is looking back over the events that happened, recalling that the woman whom he married and who bore him children became a prostitute. Gomer’s unfaithfulness in leaving him for other men pictured Israel’s unfaithfulness in leaving Yahweh for the gods of neighbouring peoples (1:1-3).

Hosea had three children, all of whom were given names with symbolic meaning. The first foretold judgment on the dynasty of Jehu, to which Jeroboam II belonged. God’s appointment of Jehu as king was for the purpose of destroying the wicked family of Ahab and Jezebel, but Jehu used it as an opportunity to satisfy his ambition for absolute power. He treacherously destroyed all opponents in a series of brutal massacres, but now the dynasty he established will come to an end (4-5; cf. 2 Kings 9:6-10; 2 Kings 10:1-27).

The name of the second child foretold that God will no longer have pity on the northern kingdom, but will allow it to suffer the full penalty of its sins. However, he will not yet withdraw his mercy from Judah, but will protect it by his miraculous power (6-7; cf. 2 Kings 19:21-37). By the time the third child was born, God no longer recognized Israel as his people. The nation (and, later, Judah as well) will be cut off from him and taken into captivity (8-9).

Despite these judgments, God will have pity on Israel and Judah; they will once more become his people. In Jezreel, where God’s judgment fell, they will rejoice again. Israel and Judah will be brought back to their homeland and reunited as one people (10-2:1).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Hosea 1". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/hosea-1.html. 2005.