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the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Hosea 1

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-11

Hosea 1:1 . Hosea, the son of Beeri. The prophets named their parents, not only to distinguish themselves from others of that name, but to mark that they were sons of prophets, or that their fathers were men of note and worth in the estimation of the church.

Hosea 1:2 . Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms. Some would suggest, that as idolatry is called whoredom, the prophet married a woman who worshipped idols.

Hosea 1:4 . Call his name Jezreel, meaning that God would disperse them in the Assyrian empire, as the husbandman disperses seed in all parts of the field. His arm should very soon be made bare to avenge the blood of all the good men which had been shed in Jezreel from the day when Naboth was stoned. But Ahab’s palace being in Jezreel, the word may be understood of all the ten tribes, and of the punishment of all their sins. 2 Kings 9:10; 2 Kings 9:10. This word has other acceptations in the next chapter.

Hosea 1:5 . I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. When Salmanezer took Samaria, no doubt he vanquished them in or near this city, which lay in his road to Samaria, that the blood of Naboth might be purged with the blood of those who falsely accused and slew him.

Hosea 1:6 . Call her name Lo-ruhamah. Not beloved, as St. Paul expounds this passage, when speaking of the call of the gentiles. Romans 9:25.

Hosea 1:7 . I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and will save them by Jehovah their God. Here we have Jehovah the speaker, as in Psalms 32:6, Isaiah 49:3-8; Isaiah 63:7-8, and Jehovah the Christ who saved Judah, not by bow nor by spear, but by sending his angel to destroy a hundred and eighty five thousand Assyrians. This is a declaration of the Godhead, or adorable Trinity. The Chaldaic favours this gloss by saying that Jehovah would save them by his Word, as in a hundred other places of that paraphrase.

Hosea 1:9 . Call his name Lo-ammi, not my people. Thus the ten tribes forfeited their covenant, and God gave them up to captivity.

Hosea 1:10 . Ye are the sons of the living God. Here is a promise of the conversion of the gentiles, as in Romans 9:26.

Hosea 1:11 . One head. Zerubbabel was the head when the jews returned from Babylon. But the next words, great shall be the day of Jezreel, have a special reference to the glory of the church in the latter day.


The extraordinary marriage of Hosea with a polluted woman, and the singular names of his three children would make him a subject of general conversation and notice. In his marriage the apostate tribes might see their crimes of defilement with idols; and in the names of his children they might see the vengeance which awaited them for the blood of prophets and righteous men, also their alienation from the divine favour, and their utter rejection. Thus, as the crimes of men and nations are progressive, so there is a gradation of punishment strikingly proportioned to their sins. Jehu inflicted the first of these punishments; Tiglath-Pilezer the second; and final impenitence completed the third, and caused their utter ruin by Salmanezer.

As the heavens are more serene after storms and tempests, so it is usual with the Holy Spirit to comfort the church under visitations on the wicked world, by the hope of better times. A sentence of reprobation is here passed on the obstinately apostate jews; yet the seed of Israel should be numerous as the sands of the sea by the conversion of the gentiles. Thus Israel, according to the flesh, was a type, and only a type, of Israel according to the spirit. St. Paul thus applies the words of Hosea, in Romans 9:25-26. He also represents the church in Jerusalem, which consisted very much of believing proselytes, as being come to mount Zion, to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem. These were called the children of the living God, while the unbelieving jews were a proverb, and a bye word, as Moses had said, among all nations. St. John remarks also, that to as many as received Christ by faith, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. This is evidently the true sense of the text, because when Israel returned from Babylon they were few in number; and of the ten tribes there were only scattered families. The others either pined away among the heathen, or lost their origin, as the Samaritans, by intermarrying with the heathen.

Like a gracious and majestic cloud that scatters its drops on the plain, and discharges its fulness against the mountains; so these and all the promises of like nature, water every age, but reserve the fulness for the latter-day glory of the church. Then the fulness of the gentiles shall be brought in, and all Israel shall be saved in the day of the Lord. After the return from Babylon, carnal Israel, as Pascal calls the jews, were never all gathered under any one prince; but the christian Israel have ever been gathered under Messiah the Prince, who is head over all things for the church, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Hosea 1". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/hosea-1.html. 1835.
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