Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
StudyLight.org has pledged to help build churches in Uganda. Help us with that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
Hosea 2

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-13


Verses 1-13:

Adulterous Israel Chastized

Israel was Jehovah God’s earthly wife, v 23; Jeremiah 3:6-14; Jeremiah 3:20. But she betrayed His trust, became a moral, ethical, and spiritual adulteress, committing whoredom in consorting with idolatrous worshipping with the Gentiles about her. And God was abandoning her to the suffering of the Assyrian and Babylonian captivity.

Verses 1, 2 Jehovah God appeals to individual Israelites, to protest their national conduct, their mother’s behavior. Individual Israelites were charged to protest the evil that their nation had embraced, and say to Ammi, "my people", and to Ruhamah, "those having obtained pity" or compassion, their racial brethren and sisters, as orphans in Israel, that their peoples idolatrous behavior was an offense to God. For God had made known to Hosea that Israel, their mother, had forfeited her right to His protection, feeding, clothing, and sheltering her in the land of Israel. And as His wife she was being abandoned to punishment, Isaiah 54:5.

Israel was to put her shameful conduct away in penitence, turn from it, abandon it or go into captivity; For God would no longer tolerate her conduct, Jeremiah 3:8; Jeremiah 6:15-16.

Verse 3 warns that Israel will be stripped naked (made nude), an ancient form of public punishment for an adulteress, and set as a gazing stock in misery and shame, if she did not turn to God in repentance; See Ezekiel 16:37-41; Jeremiah 13:22; Jeremiah 13:26. To be set in a "dry land" and a "wilderness" indicates a state of outward want and inward distress, Jeremiah 2:6.

Verses 4, 5 declare God’s withheld blessing on all Israel, all her orphan children, because of their mother’s adulterous conduct. As children often suffer from diseases, contracted by immoral behavior of their mother or father, so do individuals suffer from the persistent evil course of a nation. Verse 5 indicates that Israel, in worship, had conceived her children in a "state of shame," having gone after "other gods." Idols and idolatrous nations whom she had courted, and to whom she had ascribed gifts of life, bread, and water, had brought a reproach on her sons and daughters and certain coming judgment upon her as a nation, Jeremiah 44:17-23. False gods could not give flax, wool, oil, bread, and water to Israel; God’s abandoned wife, typified by Hosea’s unfaithful, flirtatious, adulterous wife, as forewarned by David, Psalms 115:1-9.

Verses 6, 7 describe God’s placing a hedge between Israel, His adulteress, abandoned wife, to separate her from her whoremonger lovers, with whom she had consorted for imagined temporary favors. For she was still His wife, and He loved and cared for her, even in her exile from Him; even as He loved Job in his afflictions,

Job 3:23; Job 19:8-21; Lamentations 3:7-9. Thorn hedges were used as fences in Bible lands to protect their fields from destruction by cattle. Even so God purposed to fence Israel off and separate her from her adulterous tempters for her good and His eventual glory. Verse 7 describes the lonely and forlorn efforts of Israel, God’s abandoned wife, to pursue her former adulterous lovers in vain, where they could not be found. She then, fenced or shut away in exile from her prostituting adulterous lovers, like the prodigal son, resolved to return to her first lover, to the true God, where she would find forgiveness and acceptance, Luke 15:17; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 John 1:8-9.

Divine Judgment Announced

Verses 8-13 describe
pending captivity upon Gomer, Hosea’s abandoned wife, typifying Israel in her moral, ethical, and spiritual rebellion against her God. Verse 8 affirms that God had fed Israel corn, oil, and wine and provided her silver and gold in her wilderness experience, though she turned at Sinai and built a golden calf, in prostitution of His goodness and glory, manifesting ingratitude to Him, as her deliverer and provider, Ex 32:1-14.

Verse 9 by withholding his bounties toward sinning, adulterous Israel, God resolved to send unfruitful seasons, death, vermin, etc., so that she would go hungry, naked, and in shame until she came to repentance.

Verse 10 affirms that Jehovah God would uncover her shame to her enemy nations. Sin’s arrays of glory-colors and showy-masks are to be stripped away in judgment and the prostituting religious character of Israel revealed in shame. For sins do "find one out", as an individual, and as a nation: and none can escape it, Ecclesiastes 12:14; Galatians 6:7-8; Numbers 32:23.

Verse 11 describes
four areas of joy, gladness, and festivity that were to cease in Israel’s captivity-abandonment: 1) Her feast days, 2) Her new moons, 3) Her sabbaths, and 4) Her solemn feasts. They were to cease because they had been abused, perverted, and misused.

Verse 12 announces
divine judgment upon the fields of vines and figs because Israel had attributed their productivity to her false­god-lovers. She had considered them as rewards of her prostitution rather than divine favors. They were to become as a wilderness, destroyed by beasts of the field, Deuteronomy 28:1-33.

Verse 13 recounts
Israel’s days of flagrant disobedience to God’s "no gods before me" commandment, Exodus 20:3-5, and His coming visitation of Assyrian captivity-judgment because of her conduct as an whore, a prostitute, or a profligate wife, while He had loved and cared for her for so long.

Verses 14-17

Verses 14-17:

God’s Courting Call For Her Return To Him

Verses 14-17 promise a conversion for this abandoned, unfaithful wife. Verse 14 affirms that God Himself will take the initiative to allure her, in a sense of friendly love, to persuade her to return to His Divine fellowship and companionship, for He loves her still, Jeremiah 3:14; Jeremiah 3:22.

Verse 15 pledges three things to the penitent, returning wife: 1) Restoration of her vineyards, 2) The valley of Achor, as a door or entrance of hope, and 3) Songs of joy which she could not sing with her harps on the willow-of-weeping in a foreign land of captivity; What a pledge! to a returning, backsliding, profligate lover! Psalms 137:2. Achor, once a place of trouble, was now offered as a place of hope, as in Romans 5:5; Hebrews 6:19-20; Joshua 7:26; Isaiah 65:10. When sins are confessed, put away, put behind, God’s children can sing songs of joy, as in days of old, at Israel’s deliverance from Egypt’s bondage, Exodus 15; and as David when set free from personal sins, Psalms 40:1-3.

Verse 16 announces the future restoration of Israel when she shall affectionately call God Ishi meaning "my husband", and no more call him Baali meaning "my ruler".

Verse 17 God vows that Israel shall no more praise Baalim or idol gods with her lips, Exodus 23:13.

Verses 18-23

God’s Covenant Reward, Assured

Verses 18-23 describe how God sends mercy to Israel in the midst of her misery of chastened judgment.

Verse 18 relates three covenants God will make for Israel with 1) The beasts of the field, 2) The fowls of the air, and 3) The creeping things on the ground, followed by a pledge that he will also put down all warring enemies to make them dwell safely with millennial peace; The idea is that Israel’s animal-life-enemies and human enemies will be subdued by her lover who once put her away, until she penitently turned from her idolatrous promiscuity, Job 5:23; Psalms 46:9; Ezekiel 34:25.

Verse 19 discloses God’s betrothal, restoration of marital companionship with Israel, forever, on the basis of four Divine attributes:

1. In righteousness, a righteous way.

2. In judgment that is just.

3. In loving kindness, and

4. In mercy.

In righteous judgment God had brought His adulterous wife to purification with loving kindness and mercy, to repentance, without compromise of His holy nature, Isaiah 1:27.

Verse 20 asserts that God’s betrothal of Israel anew shall be on the basis of His fidelity and faithfulness, not that of Israel, His once disowned, unfaithful wife to whom He gave a temporary "bill of divorcement", Jeremiah 3:8; Psalms 111:9; John 13:1. They shall then know Him experimentally and be saved.

Verse 21 declares that the heavens, creatures of heaven, will plead for God to restore fertility to the blighted and polluted earth; and the earth and all her creatures are described as desiring to please God, their creator and sustainer, and God promises to hear and respond to their cries, Romans 8:21-23.

Verse 22 indicates that the earth shall hear or heed (the need of) the corn, the wine, and the oil in Jezreel, the former place of God’s scattering. Chastening accepted brings mercy and restoration and prosperity and joy to the person or nation who accepts the chastening according to God’s Divine purpose, Hebrews 12:11.

Verse 23 vows two things: 1) First, after sowing or scattering His unfaithful adulterous wife over the earth, He pledges to restore her to himself in mercy, and 2) Second, He pledges to graft in the Gentiles, "who were not His people," from among whom He called the church, for His name’s sake, in the Gentile dispensation and church age, as a bride for His Son, Acts 15:13-14; John 3:28-29; John 15:16; John 15:27; Revelation 19:5-9; Romans 9:25-26; 1 Peter 2:9-10. And now Lo-ruhamah.

The daughters of Gomer, once unpitied, become pitied Ruhamah, an object of Divine mercy, and Lo-ammi, the "not my people", son of Hosea and Gomer, became Ammi, "my people", an heir restored and claimed of the Lord.

This chapter is an expansion of chapter one.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Hosea 2". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/hosea-2.html. 1985.
Ads FreeProfile