Have you ever considered that God’s love can be understood as a romantic love? Today you will understand it, thanks to Hosea 1 and the biblical commentary we are going to make in this article.
Hosea 1 in the Bible
At Hosea 1 of the Bible, you can find this time a metaphor of God’s love put in terms that everyone can understand: we humans are a wife who has been unfaithful to her husband, in this case, God.
We want to show you the power of this metaphor, especially in its time, and how much you can learn from it if you read it with the right eyes. In addition, we will put it in context and analyze all the details that make it a very special text.
We begin by listening to the Word of God with this video of Hosea 1 below, so relax and enjoy the teachings of our Lord.
Hosea 1 in English and large print
If you are one of those people who prefer to read a text first hand to retain more information, don’t worry, now you can do it at your own pace with Hosea 1 King James Version. You can start making your own reflections and then compare with ours!
Hosea’s unfaithful wife and her children
1 The word of the LORD which 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 The beginning of the word of Jehovah through Hosea. And the LORD said unto Hosea, Go, take thee a whorish woman, and children of whoredom: for the land commits whoredom by departing from the LORD.
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
4 And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel: for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and will cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease.
5 And in that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.
6 She conceived again, and bore a daughter. And God said unto him, Call his name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have compassion on the house of Israel, but will utterly take them away.
7 But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God; and I will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, nor by horses, nor by horsemen.
8 After she had weaned Lo-ruhama, she conceived and gave birth to a son.
9 And God said, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, neither will I be your God.
10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And 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.
11 And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and shall appoint one leader, and they shall go up out of the land: for the day of Jezreel shall be great.
Hosea 1 with explanation and meaning
We cannot go into understanding the meaning of Hosea 1 without first knowing who Hosea was when he lived and the content of the book he wrote. So now you will get to know this biblical character and his work better.
Hosea is a Hebrew name that is little known today, but in its original language it has a very powerful meaning. Specifically, Hosea means in Hebrew “salvation is God”..
This, as you will see, is completely linked to the life of Hosea and to his prophecy, for his mission in to restore faith in the Lord to the people of his land.
Who was Hosea according to the Bible?
Hosea is one of the 12 minor prophets of the Old Testament, specifically the first one you will find in the Bible after the Book of Daniel.
The minor prophets are so designated because they are smaller books than the major ones, but that does not mean that they are less important. Although not all of them are used in religious celebrations, all the books of the Bible are fundamental, and it is very necessary to know and study them to nourish our spirit.
The prophet Hosea lived in the kingdom of Israel when there was a distinction between the northern kingdom, Israel, and the southern kingdom, Judah, after breaking the unification that King David himself had achieved years before.
At that time, the kingdom of Israel was in decline while faith in God was disappearing from its inhabitants. Hosea was to recover their faith and prevent the life dedicated to the Lord from falling into the deepest oblivion.
Book of Hosea
The only known work created by the prophet is the book that bears his name, the Book of Hosea. It is a prophetic book that is difficult to interpret and at times may seem obscure, although this is all due to the time in which it was written.
The original text of the book was written in a very dense style and with a very developed vocabulary, enhancing this feeling of weirdness that can come to you while reading it.
The book can be divided into two parts, the first in which Hosea develops the metaphor in which he compares humanity’s relationship between mankind and God with that of a divorce between two human persons and the second in which this metaphor is applied to reality.
Thus, the whole work is intended to reflect on faithfulness and love between people and God and its aim is to show the people of Israel at that time how their actions were contrary to this and how they were turning away from the Lord.
We can adapt some of the excerpts from the text and think about how society in general is inclined towards the worship of materialism, and how to explain faith to those who have never experienced it.
Here is a short video that explains and summarizes the Book of Hosea in a very clear way, so if you want to know more about the content of the book do not hesitate to watch it, you will like it.
Historical context of Hosea 1
We end this preview of the chapter analysis by showing you briefly the historical context that led Hosea to write the book and how it greatly influenced him.
The narrative is set in the eighth century B.C.about two hundred years after David unified the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, all faithful servants of God and guaranteeing the covenant that had been sealed many years before with Moses.
This unification of the kingdoms did not last long after David’s death and soon the kingdoms of the north, or also known as Israel or Ephraim and the southern kingdom known as Judah.
Both kingdoms suffered a similar fate: the people began to forget God and to live surrounded by vices and worshiping false gods. This happened before, but in the kingdom of Israel and this decline in faith also translated into an economic and social decline of the kingdom.
This process culminated with the fall of the kingdom by the Assyrian empire, leading its inhabitants into a captivity that was to make them renew their faith in God. Hosea was the last of Israel’s prophets, and in his prophecy he already announced this disaster.
The kingdom of Judah was also destroyed, including Jerusalem, although this occurred some two hundred years later and at the hands of the Babylonian empire; all this narrated in prophetic books such as Daniel or Jeremiah among others.
Bible Study Hosea 1
Surely with all the information we have been teaching you so far the meaning of Hosea chapter 1 has been taking shape in your head. We will now finish analyzing the last nuances and conclude this article about the prophet Hosea.
In the first verse we already see how Hosea puts us in context: the kingdoms were divided and in the north, reigned Jeroboam II in a period in which the kings succeeded each other almost day after day by assassinations or revolts.
In all this turmoil, the Lord reveals Himself to Hosea and thus begins his prophecy with the metaphor we find in this chapter.
The people of Israel are presented to us as an adulterous woman, who has been unfaithful to her husband, as the people were unfaithful to God with false idols and turning away from the Word of God and His covenant that had brought them there.
However, as God does, Hosea forgives the woman and shows his fidelity to him. They have three sons who, as we will see, represent different things concerning God’s love.
The first son, in verse Hosea 1:4, is called Jezrael, which in Hebrew means “scattered”. This refers to the first step that God had in store for his people, for they would be invaded by Assyria and all the inhabitants exiled.
The second daughter is called Lo-ruhama, or in other words “without mercy”. At this point, the Lord tells how he will not save the kingdom of Israel, although he will save Judah. The punishment for infidelity was this and could not change.
Finally, they have a third child named Lo-ammi, or “not my people”.. The people of Israel were no longer God’s people, since they had gone too far.
However, after these harsh messages from God to his people, comes a message of hope. We now come to verses Hosea 1:10 and Hosea 1:11, where the Lord indicates that his two peoples will be unified again, and a savior will come to Earth.
Christians know that this savior was Jesus Christ and with him all God’s people were unified under his command. Jesus renewed the covenant of the people with God and gave us the New Testament so that we might live according to God’s grace.
For this has been our analysis of Hosea 1 and of the prophet Hosea in general. We hope that you know a little more about this biblical character and that your work has awakened an interest that you can feed by reading more passages from his book.
In Your Online Bible you will find many other articles about prophets and other fragments of the Bible, in case you want to continue learning.
See you soon!