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

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verses 1-9

Hos 1:1-9

Gomer Bearing Three Children Illustrates

Jehovah’s Disposition toward Sinful Israel (Hosea 1:1-9)

The word of Jehovah that came unto Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel” (Hosea 1:1).

There is not much written about Hosea other than his father’s name was Beeri. Hosea and Amos prophesied to the Northern tribe of Israel. The date of Hosea’s work is given by the kings that are associated with his work. Jereboam II began his reign as king over Israel (the northern kingdom) around the year 788 BC and he ruled until ~ 747 BC. The kings of Judah (i.e., Uzziah to Hezekiah) span a period of approximately 90 years (i.e., 785 to 695 BC). The dates given by Hosea, Amos (Amos 1:1), Isaiah (Isaiah 1:1), and Micah (Micah 1:1) are all overlapping. These four prophets worked as God’s mouth piece to warn both Israel and Judah of the consequence of their continued disobedience.

The beginning and ending of Hosea’s work could have spanned from the 27th year of Jereboam which was the 1st year of Uzziah (i.e., 761 BC to the last year of Hezekiah (i.e., ~ 695 BC). These dates illustrate that Babylonian supremacy was not many years in the future. During these days, Assyria was the World ruling power; however, Babylon was on their heels and they felt the pressure as the two struggled for dominance.

The word of God reveals Israel’s wickedness under Jeroboam II at 2 Kings 14:24, And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam (I) the son of Nebat, wherewith he made Israel to sin.” Due to Israel’s sin and rejection of God’s pleas, through the prophets, for their repentance the Lord would bring them down. Assyria would be the rod of God’s correction for Israel (cf. Isaiah 10:5-6). Latter, Jehovah would use the Babylonians as a battleaxe in His hand to punish sinful Judah (cf. Jeremiah 51:20).

When Jehovah spake at the first by Hosea, Jehovah said unto Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom; for the land doth commit great whoredom, departing from Jehovah” (Hosea 1:2).

The Lord was to use Hosea as a living illustration to Israel to indicate to them their great offences. Gomer was not a harlot at the beginning of their relationship, however, she was a woman of the world and would soon commit adultery against Hosea. Note the process of inspiration. The Lord “spoke by Hosea.” The prophets were simply mouthpieces for God to get His message across to the people. What whoredom (i.e., departure from Jehovah) was Israel guilty of? Israel did not follow God’s commandments and they participated in idolatry (2 Kings 17:16). Relied on other nations for help when they should have prayed to God as did Hezekiah (cf. 2 Kings 16:5-6; 2 Kings 17:4 ff).

So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bare him a son. And Jehovah said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease. And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel” (Hosea 1:3-5).

The first of three children born to Hosea and Gomer was Jezreel (i.e., ‘God will scatter’). Israel was to cease as a kingdom partly because of Jehu’s sins. Jehu was the 10th king of Israel. God had anointed him king and commanded him to smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of Jehovah, at the hand of Jezebel (2 Kings 9:6-8). Jehu did so as God commanded (cf. 2 Kings 10:1 ff) and the Lord commended him (cf. 2 Kings 10:30). Jehu had the opportunity to change the way the kings of Israel had sinfully operated; however, he chose to participate in the same sinful activity as did his forefathers (cf. 2 Kings 10:29-31). Those who reject God will also be rejected.

Israel as a nation was to cease by divine decree for her whoredom.

And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And Jehovah said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah; for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, that I should in any wise pardon them” (Hosea 1:6).

Gomer bore a second child and the Lord commanded Hosea to name the girl Loruhamah which means ‘no pity.’ The child’s name symbolized God’s disposition toward Israel. Israel, the Northern kingdom, had been destined by God to be destroyed. Nothing would change the Lord’s heart that he may pardon and save them as a nation. Two hundred years were spent in wickedness (the length of time that Israel remained as a nation separate from Judah).

But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by Jehovah their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen” (Hosea 1:7).

No mercy for Israel but mercy for Judah. Hosea will go on to expose the sins of Judah as well in this book; however, it was God’s intention to save a remnant of people to bring forth His eternal promise of the forgiveness of sins.

The Lord saved Judah without sword when during the days of Hezekiah He struck 185,000 Assyrians dead (cf. Isaiah 37:36). The returning captives of Babylon under Zerubbabel and Esther rebuilt the city of Jerusalem and restored the people’s faith without sword or battle (Ezra and Nehemiah). Lastly, Jehovah will save all of humanity from the consequences of their sins without sword or battle fields. The Lord’s people shall use His word as their sword (cf. Ephesians 6:17) and the battlefield will be life itself as Satan attempts to destroy each person’s soul (1 Peter 5:8).

Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. And Jehovah said, Call his name Loammi; for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God” (Hosea 1:8-9).

At this point, we see the whoredoms of Gomer. While we may think it possible that the first two children belonged to Hosea it is certain that this third one (i.e., Loammi) is not his. Gomer has committed adultery against Hosea and has born a child out of wedlock. The child’s name, Loammi, means not my people.” Hosea could feel the pain of Jehovah God as his beloved wife Gomer had cheated on him and bore a son from someone else.

Israel had come to be so far removed from following God’s commandments that the Lord did not recognize them as His people. When Christians today remove themselves from the Lord’s commandments they are as lost as those of the world. Such a state will cause one to be alienated from the Lord so that He will not be their God any longer (cf. 1 John 1:5 ff).

Verses 10-11

Hos 1:10-11

Hope for Both Israel and Judah (Hosea 1:10-11)

Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass that, in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God” (Hosea 1:10).

Though Israel, the Northern kingdom, would be cast off by God it was not to be permanent. At an unspecified time in the future God would take those who were not my people and recognize them as the sons of the living God.”

The apostle Paul quotes from this verse at Romans 9:25-26 and the apostle Peter at 1 Peter 2:10. The indication is that both Jew and Gentile are on equal ground when it comes to salvation from past sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. Those whom the Lord rejected (i.e., the disobedient Jews and Gentiles) will He accept through their faith in Jesus Christ (cf. Romans 9:30-33). There is always hope for any man or woman who seeks diligently after it. Those who by faith live obediently to the Lord shall be sons of the living God (cf. Galatians 3:26; 1 John 3:9-10).

And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint themselves one head, and shall go up from the land; for great shall be the day of Jezreel (Hosea 1:11).

The day of Jezreel is a reference to Hosea 1:4 where God would put an end to the kingdom of Israel (the Northern kingdom) because of her sins. All those of the spirit of Jehu (i.e., those who reject the commandments of Jehovah God) will have their end likened unto sinful Israel’s kingdom. At that time (i.e., when the kingdom of sin falls), the Lord shall establish an everlasting kingdom that has one head being Jesus Christ. All peoples; i.e., those of Israel, Judah, and even Gentiles, shall come together in this one kingdom (Acts 2:38 ff; Acts 10:1 ff).

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Hosea 1". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/hosea-1.html.
 
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