Family of Hosea (1-9) and Restoration of Israel (10 & 11)
V. 2:…take yourself a wife of harlotry… There are 3 ways of interpretation.
1. It happened in a vision as an allegory showing God’s relationship with Israel,
2. Gomer fell into an immoral life after Hosea married her,
3. Hosea knew that Gomer was a prostitute when he married her.
Third is the simple direct understanding is in line with the 3rd interpretation.
…harlotry… The root meaning, which is a broad term, has been interpreted with various kinds of sexual misconduct words like whoredom, prostitution, unfaithful, and fornication. The closest terms are whoredom and unfaithful which are explained as “an offensive tem for somebody who is regarded as willing to set aside principles or personal integrity in order to obtain something, usually for selfish motives.” It is the generally agreed that Gomer is referred to a married woman being unfaithful to her husband, which fits as a metaphor for Israel’s unfaithfulness to the LORD, her Husband (Hosea 2:5). Some interprets it as Gomer seems to have been faithful to the Prophet in the birth of the first Child (v. 3), and she became unfaithful in begetting here 2nd and 3rd children, because they are not referred as ‘Hosea’s children,’ but as ‘her children.’ As we move into 2nd and 3rd chapters, we will be able understand it more.
V.3…she…bore him… This first Child is explicitly said to be the son of Hosea. Other two children’s paternity is conspicuously absent (vs. 6 & 8), and those chidren are called as “her children.”
v.4 …Jezreel… Jezreel means God scatters. Jezreel was the name of the place where Jehu had killed the 70 sons of Ahab (2 Kings 10:11). Likewise, God will bring an end to Israel.
V.5 …break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel… Valley of Jezreel was the place where Ahab promoted Baalism in Israel by permitting the killing of Naboth and seized his vineyard in Jezreel.
V.6 …Lo-ruhamma… Means “no mercy” is said to be the denial of Hosea’s fatherhood to the daughter, because we don’t have any reference for Hosea’s paternity in this child’s birth.
V. 7…mercy on …Judah… Judah still maintains the true worship of the LORD. They were saved by the LORD during the reign of Hezekiah, the angel of the Lord killed 185,000 Assyrians.
Vs. 8 & 9…Lo-Ammi…not my people… The naming of another child by Gomer. ‘Not my people’ indicates the end of the relationship. The phrase “My people” said to be mentioned 17 times in Exodus.
V. 10…the number of Israel’s children shall be as the sand… While God makes clear His detachment from the nation of Israel, He still quotes His covenant with Abraham to claim the reason for restoration of the remnant (Gen. 22:17, 32:12). Israel’s failure accord to the requirements of covenant at Mt.Sinai will not cancel the promise to Abraham (Gal. 3:17). God is having the eternal plan of salvation not by works but by the faith just as Abraham’s salvation was (Romans 4:1-3, & Gal 3:7). …You are sons of the Living God… The covenant keeping God is particular about having children through Abraham’s faith.
V. 11…One head… God is talking about the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together. This is a progressive and multi-phased unification.
1. Some unification happened after the return of Judah (southern Kingdom) from Babylon.
2. Also, in Christ the grand unification happened; Jews and Gentiles brought together not by the Law but according to the faith of Abraham (Rom 9:25, 26).
3. As yet to happen: Judah and Israel coming together is to happen in the end time as we are witnessing the return of not only Jews but other tribes also is taking place. Many believe that this promise will come to a fulfilment in a great amount of conversion of the Jews in the later days.
…Great will be the day of Jezreel… ‘Time of scattering’ will turn into ‘time of sowing and planting’ and rejoicing.
Hosea 2: Unfaithful punished
V. 1…My people….Mercy is shown… The first verse is supposed to be the concluding verse of Chapter 1. On the day of the LORD, there will be mercy shown to the people of Israel and they shall be called by God as “My people.”
Legal proceedings against the wayward wife (2:2-13): Hosea, in this passage uses the language of an offended husband against his wife as an image for God’s plans to deal with Israel.
V. 2…bring charges…She is not my wife… is a renouncing of marriage bond is paralleled to God’s right to renounce His covenant bond with Israel, His people.