Hosea Chapter 1
1 The LORD's word that came to 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.
2 When the LORD spoke at first by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, "Go, take for yourself a wife of prostitution and children of unfaithfulness; for the land commits great adultery, forsaking the LORD."
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bore him a son.
4 The LORD said to him, "Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and will cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease.
5 It will happen in that day that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel."
6 She conceived again, and bore a daughter. Then he said to him, "Call her name Lo-Ruhamah; for I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, that I should in any way pardon them.
7 But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen."
8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived, and bore a son.
9 He said, "Call his name Lo-Ammi; for you are not my people, and I will not be yours.
10 Yet the number of the children of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, which can't be measured or counted; and it will come to pass that, in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.'
11 The children of Judah and the children of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint themselves one head, and will go up from the land; for great will be the day of Jezreel.
- Verse 1 (LORD)
- When rendered in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, "LORD" or "GOD" is the translation of God's Proper Name.
- Verse 6 (Lo-Ruhamah)
- Lo-Ruhamah means "not loved".
- Verse 7 (God)
- The Hebrew word rendered "God" is Elohim.
- Verse 9 (Lo-Ammi)
- Lo-Ammi means "not my people".
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Chapter Guide (1:1-2:1) Guide
The statement with which this prophecy opens, "When the Lord spake at the first," is a declaration by Hosea long after the events. Looking back, he understood that the impulse which resulted in the heart agony was also part of the divine method of teaching him. There is no reason to believe that Gomer was outwardly impure in the days when Hosea married her. If impurity were in her heart, Hosea did not how it, and it was not apparent during the early days of their married life.
In the picture of their domestic life the important matter is its revelation of Hosea's national consciousness. Three children were born to him, and there is still no reason to believe that during this period Gomer was unfaithful In naming the children he revealed his conviction concerning the condition of his nation. Living in close fellowship with God, he saw his people in the light of the divine purpose, and as the children were born, named them in such a way as to indicate his profound convictions. Jezreel means the threatened judgment; Lo-ruhamah means mercy not obtained; Lo-ammi means cast out, not my people. While the outlook was dark, the section ends with words which show that, in spite of all contradictory appearances, the prophet's faith in the final fulfilment of the first divine purposes was unshaken.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.
Hosea Chapter 1 Commentary
- Under a figure, is represented the shameful idolatry of the ten tribes. -- (1-7)
- The calling of the Gentiles, and the uniting Israel and Judah under the Messiah. -- (8-11)
Israel was prosperous, yet then Hosea boldly tells them of their sins, and foretells their destruction. Men are not to be flattered in sinful ways because they prosper in the world; nor will it last long if they go on still in their trespasses. The prophet must show Israel their sin; show it to be exceedingly hateful. Their idolatry is the sin they are here charged with. Giving that glory to any creature which is due to God alone, is an injury and affront to God; such as for a wife to take a stranger, is to her husband. The Lord, doubtless, had good reasons for giving such a command to the prophet; it would form an affecting picture of the Lord's unmerited goodness and unwearied patience, and of the perverseness and ingratitude of Israel. We should be broken and wearied with half that perverseness from others, with which we try the patience and grieve the Spirit of our God. Let us also be ready to bear any cross the Lord appoints. The prophet must show the ruin of the people, in the names given to his children. He foretells the fall of the royal family in the name of his first child: call his name Jezreel, which signifies "dispersion." He foretells God's abandoning the nation in the name of the second child; Lo-ruhamah, "not beloved," or "not having obtained mercy." God showed great mercy, but Israel abused his favours. Sin turns away the mercy of God, even from Israel, his own professing people. If pardoning mercy is denied, no other mercy can be expected. Though some, through unbelief, are broken off, yet God will have a church in this world till the end of time. Our salvation is owing to God's mercy, not to any merit of our own. That salvation is sure, of which he is the Author; and if he will work, none shall hinder.
The rejection of Israel for a time, is signified by the name of another child: call him Lo-ammi, "not my people." The Lord disowns all relation to them. We love him, because he first loved us; but our being cast out of covenant, is owing to ourselves and our folly. Mercy is remembered in the midst of wrath; the rejection, as it shall not be total, so it shall not be final. The same hand that wounded, is stretched forth to heal. Very precious promises are here given concerning the Israel of God, and they may be of use to us now. Some think that these promises will not have accomplishment in full, till the general conversion of the Jews in the latter days. Also this promise is applied to the gospel, and the bringing in both the Jews and Gentiles to it, by St. Paul, Rom. 9:25,26, and by St. Peter, I Pet. 2:10. To believe in Christ, is to have him for our Head, and willingly to commit ourselves to his guidance and government. And let us pray for the coming of the glorious day, when there shall be one Lord through all the earth.
From the "Concise Commentary on the Bible" by Matthew Henry.