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Saturday, July 13th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 1

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

Verse 1

Book Comments

Walking Thru The Bible


Hosea, from the northern Kingdom, was given a message for Israel to whom he characteristically referred by the name of its leading tribe, Ephraim (Hosea 4:17; Hosea 5:3, Hosea 5:5, etc). He preached to his own people for half a century or more about 760-710 BC (Hosea 1:1).

Hosea’s ministry is set against the background of a terrible tragic family life which God used as a lesson for the people (ch. 1-3). His wife Gomer forsook him and committed adultery with many lovers. Hosea continued to love her and eventually bought her back out of slavery. His experiences with Gomer illustrated God’s relationship with Israel. He is remember as the Prophet who demonstrates God’s love.

Hosea accused the whole nation of Israel of spiritual adultery (4:1-19), and emphasized God’s willingness to forgive them.

Overview of the Book of Hosea

The book begins with an account of Gomer’s unfaithfulness (Hosea 1:1-11) which symbolized Israel’s unfaithfulness. The names Hosea gave to Gomer’s three children expressed God’s judgment of the nation: Jezreel = scattered by God; Loruhamah = not pitted; and Loammi = not my people.

Details of Gomer’s adultery are given in 2:1-14, and her relationship to Hosea is described in 2:14 - 3:5.

The remainder of the book is a direct application of the Word of God to Israel. The nation is indicted for its many sins (4:1 - 7:16) and told of the punishment which was to come (8:1 - 10:15). There was still hope, however, for God’s love for the nation was still real (11:1 - 14:9).

Spiritual Adultery

God’s relationship to Old Testament Israel was frequently symbolized as a husband-wife relationship (Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 3:14). Thus it was appropriate to represent the nation’s sins-- especially idolatry-- as adultery (Hosea 4:13-19).

The New Testament warns us about sinning against God’s love (James 4:4; cf. Ephesians 5:22-33).



What Is Wrong With The Church?

Hosea 1:1 - 14:9

In about 933 BC the kingdom of Israel was divided into two kingdoms. The northern kingdom was usually called Israel but often it was designated by "Ephraim" bit most influential tribe.

In about 760 BC God sent His word by Hosea. Very vividly the prophet describes God’s people. The picture is not beautiful; it looks too much like the church today for us to find enjoyment in looking at it!

I. Three Figures Describing Ephraim

1. A silly dove -- without understanding (Hosea 7:11)

a. They had forgotten the law of the Lord.

b. They could not remember their own history.

2. A cake not turned -- (Hosea 7:8)

a. Tragedy strikes when no one is watching.

3. A taught heifer that loved to tread out the corn (Hosea 10:11)

II. Three Things These Conditions Had Done To Them

1. It made their love like a morning mist (Hosea 6:4).

a. Not lasting, easily burned away.

2. It caused them to hire lovers (Hosea 8:9).

a. They courted the favor of their enemies.

3. It put them beyond help (Hosea 4:17)

a. Ephraim is joined to idols, wedded to them.

b. Would not give them up.

III. The Causes Which Brought About and Kept Alive These Conditions with Ephraim

1. Ephraim feedeth on the winds (Hosea 12:1)

a. Speaking of their spiritual weakness.

2. Ephraim followeth the east wind.

a. Their goals and aims were useless.

3. Bound up his iniquity and his sin (Hosea 13:12).

a. Tried to conceal it from self and God.

b. Repentance and prayer called for.


Let us read the last verse of the book of Hosea, "Who is wise, that he may understand these thoughts? prudent, that he may know them? for the ways of the LORD are right and the just shall walk in them; but transgressors shall fall therein."

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Verse Comments

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Hosea 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/hosea-1.html. 2021.
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