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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Hosea 1

Verse 1


Hosea’s Marriage and its Lessons

1. A general heading. Hosea 1:2-9. The prophet’s marriage with Gomer, the birth of her three children, and the symbolical meaning attached to them.

Hosea 1:1 to Hosea 2:1. The future material and religious prosperity of the people.

1. A general heading, perhaps the work of a late Judæan editor. Hosea 1-3 probably belong to the time of Jeroboam II; but it is extremely improbable that any of the prophecies belong to so late a date as the days of Hezekiah, when the punishment foretold at the hands of Tiglath-pileser (Pul) had already been partially fulfilled on Israel (2 Kings 15:29). That Hosea wrote the book is clear from Hosea 3:1.

2. The beginning.. Lord] RV ’When the Lord spake at the first by Hosea.’ A wife of whoredoms] Hosea is probably speaking in the light of his later experiences. His wife was probably innocent of this evil when he married her—or if not the prophet was ignorant of her true character.

4. For the giving of names for a prophetic purpose cp. Isaiah 7:8-14; Isaiah 8:1-4. The name Jezreel (’God will sow’) signified, (1) the town which was the capital of Israel during Jehu’s dynasty, and the scene of the murders by which he established his rule (2 Kings 9); (2) the resowing of the restored Israel (Hosea 1:11). The name was given to the child as a reminder of the punishment due for the massacre. I will avenge the blood] This prophecy was fulfilled by the overthrow of the ruling dynasty when Jeroboam’s son, Zechariah, had reigned six months: see 2 Kings 15:10, and cp. Amos 7:9. Hosea looks at Jehu’s murders from a different point of view from that of Elisha and the editors of the book of Kings: see especially 2 Kings 10:30. They regarded chiefly his outward religious policy and his probably genuine detestation of Baal-worship. Hosea sees mainly the motives of personal ambition and lust of cruelty which underlay his actions. Time had shown that neither Jehu nor his descendants had justified his zeal by any high religious principle. Will cause to cease] This and Hosea 1:5 extend the prophecy to the final destruction of the kingdom at the hands of the Assyrians: see 2 Kings 17:6. The valley of Jezreel was the battlefield of Palestine, and nothing would seem more probable to the prophet than that the final overthrow would take place there.

6. Lo-ruhamah] i.e. ’not pitied.’ But.. away] RV ’that I should in any wise pardon them.’

7. The verdict on the kingdom of Judah is in the earlier portions of the book more favourable than in the later; cp. Hosea 5:10, Hosea 5:14, etc. This prophecy was fulfilled by the destruction of Sennacherib’s army (2 Kings 19:35).

9. Lo-ammi] i.e. ’not my people.’ By their sin and perfidy Israel had ceased to act as God’s people. They had refused the responsibilities of their calling, and could not expect its privileges.

10. Here, as elsewhere, Hosea cannot bear to dwell upon God’s punishments without looking beyond them to His greater mercies. Here he evidently contemplates a restored people, fulfilling the promise of earthly greatness made to Abraham (Genesis 32:12), and brought into even closer relation to God, that of sonship: cp. Romans 9:26. Living God] i.e. God manifesting His power in action.

11. As with many other prophecies, the vision of the future includes the union once more of Israel and Judah in one people (cp. Isaiah 11:13; Ezekiel 37:19), a prophecy unfulfilled except so far as the church is symbolised by the whole of Israel, The day of Jezreel] The union of Israel and Judah is to be marked by a prosperity which shall take away the reproach from Jezreel (see on Hosea 1:4). This is more fully explained in Hosea 2:23.

Hosea 2:1. Ammi.. Ruhamah] This v. is closely connected with Hosea 1:10-11, and must be read along with them. As Jezreel is to become a name of honour in the predicted future, so also the old names of the other two children will have become quite inappropriate. The not will have to be omitted, and they will become ’My people,’ ’Pitied.’

Verses 1-11

Hosea's Marriage and its Lessons

1. A general heading. Hosea 1:2-9. The prophet's marriage with Gomer, the birth of her three children, and the symbolical meaning attached to them.

Hos 1:1 to Hosea 2:1. The future material and religious prosperity of the people.

1. A general heading, perhaps the work of a late Judæan editor. Hosea 1-3 probably belong to the time of Jeroboam II; but it is extremely improbable that any of the prophecies belong to so late a date as the days of Hezekiah, when the punishment foretold at the hands of Tiglath-pileser (Pul) had already been partially fulfilled on Israel (2Ki 15:29). That Hosea wrote the book is clear from Hosea 3:1.

2. The beginning.. Lord] RV 'When the Lord spake at the first by Hosea.' A wife of whoredoms] Hosea is probably speaking in the light of his later experiences. His wife was probably innocent of this evil when he married her—or if not the prophet was ignorant of her true character.

4. For the giving of names for a prophetic purpose cp. Isaiah 7:8-14; Isaiah 8:1-4. The name Jezreel ('God will sow') signified, (1) the town which was the capital of Israel during Jehu's dynasty, and the scene of the murders by which he established his rule (2 Kings 9:0); (2) the resowing of the restored Israel (Hos 1:11). The name was given to the child as a reminder of the punishment due for the massacre. I will avenge the blood] This prophecy was fulfilled by the overthrow of the ruling dynasty when Jeroboam's son, Zechariah, had reigned six months: see 2 Kings 15:10, and cp. Amos 7:9. Hosea looks at Jehu's murders from a different point of view from that of Elisha and the editors of the book of Kings: see especially 2 Kings 10:30. They regarded chiefly his outward religious policy and his probably genuine detestation of Baal-worship. Hosea sees mainly the motives of personal ambition and lust of cruelty which underlay his actions. Time had shown that neither Jehu nor his descendants had justified his zeal by any high religious principle. Will cause to cease] This and Hos 1:5 extend the prophecy to the final destruction of the kingdom at the hands of the Assyrians: see 2 Kings 17:6. The valley of Jezreel was the battlefield of Palestine, and nothing would seem more probable to the prophet than that the final overthrow would take place there.

6. Lo-ruhamah] i.e. 'not pitied.' But.. away] RV 'that I should in any wise pardon them.'

7. The verdict on the kingdom of Judah is in the earlier portions of the book more favourable than in the later; cp. Hosea 5:10, Hosea 5:14, etc. This prophecy was fulfilled by the destruction of Sennacherib's army (2Ki 19:35).

9. Lo-ammi] i.e. 'not my people.' By their sin and perfidy Israel had ceased to act as God's people. They had refused the responsibilities of their calling, and could not expect its privileges.

10. Here, as elsewhere, Hosea cannot bear to dwell upon God's punishments without looking beyond them to His greater mercies. Here he evidently contemplates a restored people, fulfilling the promise of earthly greatness made to Abraham (Gen 32:12), and brought into even closer relation to God, that of sonship: cp. Romans 9:26. Living God] i.e. God manifesting His power in action.

11. As with many other prophecies, the vision of the future includes the union once more of Israel and Judah in one people (cp. Isaiah 11:13; Eze 37:19), a prophecy unfulfilled except so far as the church is symbolised by the whole of Israel, The day of Jezreel] The union of Israel and Judah is to be marked by a prosperity which shall take away the reproach from Jezreel (see on Hos 1:4). This is more fully explained in Hosea 2:23.

Hosea 2:1. Ammi.. Ruhamah] This v. is closely connected with Hosea 1:10-11, and must be read along with them. As Jezreel is to become a name of honour in the predicted future, so also the old names of the other two children will have become quite inappropriate. The not will have to be omitted, and they will become 'My people,' 'Pitied.'

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Hosea 1". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/hosea-1.html. 1909.