Paul Harvey, during his daily radio broadcasts, made famous the statement “The Rest of the Story.” He would tell the unfamiliar stories behind the familiar stories of men, feats, events and situations. Did you know the same is true of many “bible stories” found in the Old and New Testament scriptures? The following may not be quite the same as Mr. Harvey’s reviews of history, events and people, but they can be just as stunning, revealing, informative, and mind opening.
This publication will look at dozens of these surprising “aha moments” from scripture. Some will startle, some readers will find them particularly satisfying, and some will realize that history and the Bible are the same thing; a review of what was and remains an actuality. The Bible stories in scripture are space-limited and cannot publish everything surrounding, coinciding, or consequential to these stories. Some Bible time events are well-known and others not quite as well known but none the less found in scripture with a correlating “aha moment”. NOTE: The Bible and history are contemporaneous.
Included in this website are messages from others who serve our God; i.e. studied individuals such as ministers and Bible teachers.
Let’s explore some of these aha moments in scripture and have a ton of fun while doing so!!
– Dr. J
Bible Devotions or Bible Study?
Bible Devotions are like paying the minimum amount due on ones credit card debt. One seldom gains ground. Bible study is like paying the monthly balance in full plus something extra. We gain ground quickly!
“No truth, no mercy, no knowledge of God is in the land.”
This is Hosea 4:1b. No truth, no mercy and no knowledge of God in the lands of the ten northern Tribes of Israel. ‘Emeth (truth) in the Hebrew simply means that there is no stability in whatever someone teaches or advocates. This is probably a decent example of a rumor-mill.
Truth that changes like the Weather.
The so-called truth changes like the weather. It takes time for knowledge to fade from the learned. Hosea 4 states that at this time of Hosea there is NO *KNOWLEDGE. He is talking about possessing knowledge of the God who lead their ancestors out of Egypt some 600 plus years earlier, is no longer wide spread. Other gods (which means priorities) have replaced the One God of Israel.
One might use the Hebrew epignosis or da’ath for translating to the English word knowledge. Both mean can mean recognition of or discernment depending on its intended use or meaning.
There is significance here when one recalls Proverbs 9:10…”Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; knowledge of the Lord God is the beginning of understanding.” Without truth, how can there be knowledge? Without knowledge how can one have a basis of even simple understand? Simple reading of the Word of God does not always equal any depth of knowledge other than the fact that one read His Word. That comes with understanding. The Kingdom of Israel had lost all of this. Now the consequences….The Kingdome of Israel had lost the knowledge of serving God therefore they no longer rose to the level of of any understanding.
Hosea’s chapters 1, 2, & 3 are all about his family situations discussed in articles 1–5 on this website.
His family is a living examination of spiritual conditions within Israel all illustrated through his marriage with Gomer. This includes the specific meaning of the names Hosea gave to his three children born of Gomer. Hosea 4:3 is specific. The lands of the Kingdom of Israel will “languish” [v3, KJV]. This includes all being: the land itself, the beasts of the field and the fish in the waters. It will become barren. History proves this to be true. It happened as prophesied remaining that way for over 2,000 years. What we call Palestine today was a sandy deserted abandoned land before 1947.
Now he (Hosea) shifts to God’s direct issues with Israel. These issues can also be applied to modern times and those who call themselves members of the church; i.e. claiming Christianity; practicing religion. In this situation Hosea was NOT even preaching to the choir. If he was, it would sound like a choir that did not know what song to sing, all sang something in any key s/he wished, in a different timing, and all at the same time with different lyrics. What a concert Hosea must have felt he was attending.
Keep in mind that Gomer represented Israel and her children the civilians of Israel. In Hosea 4:5b it reads…”…and I will destroy your mother,” then in v6 God continues… “…and I will forget your children.” It all began with Israel losing the knowledge of God as their savior. No knowledge means that there is also no fear of God. An example in 2020 would be similar to someone ignoring or never knowing what it required to avoid the Coronavirus while continuing to walk in the midst of it. There was in Hosea’s time and will be in our modern time a thing called consequences…deadly consequences.
The Hebrew for “forgotten” is shâkêach meaning to put from one’s mind or to have never paid attentionor been instructed. Even as in the CoVid 19 pandemic, the solution needed to be shoved down individual throats in the form of a ventilator and even then, over time it still didn’t work.
Verse 7: [ESV] “The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame.” Just as in the 2020 pandemic, the more people increased in their violation of God’s laws, the more to their shame. Almost if not actually becoming social outcasts. The glory of an individual as part of society is replaced with something similar to wearing an old fashion leprosy sign stating…UNCLEAN!
Hosea 4:10-11 “They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the whore, but not multiply, because they have forsaken the LORD to cherish whoredom, wine, and new wine, which take away the understanding.”
JIV NOTE: Up to this point this northern kingdom’s lack of knowledge is akin to simply saying “I have all the knowledge I need.” I know this Bible story and that Bible story, but they are just STORIES! What else is expected? Oh my friends. This is so true today. Even in Bible believing churches many in the flock think church attendance and perhaps a couple of bucks in tithing are GOOD ENOUGH for a Christian life. Evidence? Count those who show up for the regular church service by comparison to those who show up for the mid-week bible study…IF there is even a mid-week prayer or Bible moment.
Always Seek Knowledge
In New Testament time Jesus was constantly challenging the religious traditions, customs, and personal power status of the religious leaders. They had knowledge but did not understand much if any of it. They lived in a status-quo. Paul was highly educated but did not understand; that is until the Road to Damascus.
“Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priests for Me” [Hosea 4:6] This would be a very scary situation if during the 2020 pandemic hospitals entered each patient on the basis of whether or not a person in need was actually ignorant of the personal threat of Covid 19 or rejected it. What confronts the leadership of the Kingdom of Israel is similar. If the medical society (doctors) rejected the insights of Covid 19 and warned no one, all would be a great risk. This is the situation as stated per rejected knowledge of God’s laws in Israel.
Dr. David Guzik puts it well in comparing the Kingdom of Israel in their “wife” relationship to their “husband” God.
The picture is striking when we consider how Israel wanted to add pagan gods to their worship of the LORD. It isn’t as if Israel officially said, “We want to leave the LORD, and now serve only pagan gods.” Instead, Israel wanted to add the worship of pagan gods to their worship of the LORD. God received this the same way a husband would if his wife said, “I want you to still be my husband, I just want to take on a few more lovers also.”
Gomer did the same thing to Hosea. It didn’t end there as agreed upon between Hosea and Gomer; i.e. God and Israel, but this is not the end of our Hosea study either.
Up to Hosea 4:14 we continue to read of God’s displeasure with Israel. At verse 15 [ESV] we see a situation and warning of something 120 years in the future of Hosea’s time. Though you play the whore, O Israel, let not Judah become guilty. Jeremiah 3:11writes [NASB] …”And the Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel (northern Kingdom of Israel) has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.” (Emphasis mine)
Hosea 4:15 to verse 19 (end of chapter) is a basic summary of the first 14 verses in Hosea 4. Let us add this thought then try in one’s own to insert it into what is going on in the Northern Kingdom of Israel long before and up to Hosea’s time.
To know of God is not the same as knowing God.
At times people wonder if there is a better way to help people understand scripture with its implications and applications. This author is one of them. I recall when standing in front of many college classes of mine that calling on another student to explain something using their own words gets the message through better than the way I put it. The attached link is just that. We defer to him to help others better understand what is going on that true believers need to know. If we don’t know or understand the signs of end time per the Bible, how can we recognize them when in front of us? – Dr. jStark
Hos 3:1Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the LORD for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.”
What a volume of content and multiple topics within one simple verse (Hosea 3:1)
“GO AGAIN”: Been there, done it, now do it again! God knows the beginning from the end but he also has given mankind the free will of choices. Hosea had already been instructed to prophecy and cry out against the deliberate sins of the 10 Northern Tribes of Israel. We will address it in greater detail when discussing Hosea 4. Prematurely extrapolating Hosea 4:2 helps explain the WHY Hosea is instructed to AGAIN go to his people and plead.
“There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed” (Hosea 4:2). [In the northern kingdom]
WOW! What accusations Hosea brings against the northern Tribes of Israel. …”they break all bounds,” the King James translation of this verse. The word “all” is not in the original. The YLT (Young’s Literal Translation) states it this way: “Swearing, and lying, and murdering, And stealing, and committing adultery–have increased, And blood against blood hath touched.”
SPREADING DEADLY INFECTIOUS DISEASES
This is similar to being treated for a deadly disease but it continues to get worse. The ultimate consequence will be death or a continuing effect of incapacitation.
This is what happened to the Kingdom of the North around 720 B.C. They died as a kingdom. But the rest of verse one actually gives hope.
“…just like the love of the LORD for the children of Israel…” God’s love for Israel continued even in their spiritual adultery and worst of times. It is questionable if Hosea ever states that he loves Gomer. It appears more that he loves God enough to take care of her. That might better be defined as taking total responsibility. No one can love as does God. Hosea loved Gomer as commanded. We are even commanded in the New Testament to LOVE our enemies. (Romans 12:14, 17–21)
There are two different meanings for the word “love” as found in the KJV, Hosea 1:1 using the Strong’s Lexicon; word translations; differing applications.
Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, 1love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the 2love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and 3love flagons of wine.
“love a woman” ‘âhêb (Strong’s Hebrew). “…to love (in a social or moral sense)”
“love of God” is ‘ahăbâh. The Hebrew means “to hold the love for someone as in a feminine sense… “to have affection for (sexually or otherwise).” This is an intimate love and meaning. It far exceeds a social or moral meaning of love.
“love flagons of wine.” This is ‘âhab (Hebrew); beloved like a friend. A preference over other choices. Similar to one who says…I love that music.
JIV NOTE: This is why reading through the Bible may be a good thing but when one comes upon words as we just examined, may read the same in English but have differing meanings. The reader interprets the word as s/he sees it. That mental and personal picture of a given word will sometimes NOT be its real meaning. Serious Bible students should have a lexicon [Strong’s or Thayer’s].
These words of Hosea convey a great lesson to people today. God has given us his words to be our guide in life. The Bible contains divine instructions to help us live a better life and avoid the errors that can bring pain and distress. Wise people will search the Scriptures because in them they will discover what is necessary for moral and spiritual guidance: “All Scriptures are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval” (2 Timothy 3:16). [Paraphrased]
Bear in mind and heart that Hosea is about Israel. Don’t read “the church” into it. We have our own God given covenants.
Hosea bought then brought her back home for a price. God bought us as, the church, at a price. Not to be trite but that bill is paid in full through Jesus. It is not an automatic and free pass into heaven but the gift of salvation is free as in the choice to accept it. A free pass without commitment is Satan’s message…fake bible doctrine or standard.
Hosea 3:3&4 explain the conditions of Israel’s redemption.
Though shalt abide for/with me for a time ( a type of seclusion by commitment)
You shall no longer whore yourself to other gods (or priorities)
You will belong to no one else but me…you will call me your God and I will be your God. [Hosea 2:16; Jeremiah 30:22; Exodus 6:7; 2 Corinthians 6:16]
As is true to this very day, verse 4 states that Israelis will be without a king, without their Promised Lands, without sacrifices in the Temple, without a Temple, without ephod of the high priest clothing, without a prince.
This is changing today, even as this article is being researched, studied and written. Israel has some of their Promised Land but it is still nowhere near the PROMISED LAND mass. The lands of the Tribe of Gad, Reuben, and areas of Manasseh today are called Jordan. [Numbers 34; Ezekiel 47] It will include the lands of those who brutalized Israel as a kingdom-nation; Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and parts of the northern Middle East lands once or within the Egyptian Empire.
Hosea 3 is a short chapter with volumes of facts yet to be played out in time; a future that will soon be called history including part of which is already history. We don’t have to agree or express different opinions. God didn’t ask us and HE won’t. It is what it will be as stated in scripture. My or your opinions do not rise to the level of God’s statement of facts that were, are, and soon will be.
We are in the 2nd chapter of Hosea. In the previous article we covered the naming of the three children of Gomer. Recall that Gomer is symbolic of the Northern Kingdom of Israel; her offspring the people of these ten Tribes of Israel. From the reading of chapter #1, it is probable that Hosea’s first born son was of his union with Gomer. There is debate per the next two children; Lo-Ruhamah, I will show no mercy. You are guilty as accused) and Lo-Ammi (You are not (no longer) my people because you have put a distance between me (God) and you.)
Chapter 3 [next article] ends the discussion of Hosea, Gomer and the three children as a family. Some of the language in these first three chapters applies to Hosea’s family literally. Some of it applies to the nation (all 12 tribes) figuratively. Some of the language applies to both but in different settings.
It is in Hosea 3:1-5 that Hosea is told to recover for a fee his wife from the slave market. She had fallen so far away and down that she was no longer just a prostitute of desire but a slave owned by a master. After re-purchasing her, she was quarantined by Hosea. This is about a future with which Hosea was not a part of…yet. Israel fell into bondage by totally mixing with those who were heathen; i.e. simply put non-believers but perhaps very religious. This is more than symbolism. It is prophecy; prophecy that has come true in part and some that remains in the timing of God the Father. Always remember that God identifies Israel as HIS bride. Jesus identifies the Church of believers as his bride.
The first born of Hosea, Jezreel, means two things per Israel as referenced in chapter three of Hosea. The ten tribes to the north plus the Kingdom of Judah to the south will be scattered to the four corners of the earth. This has been fulfilled. The Valley of Jezreel, also known as the Valley of Megiddo, is where Jesus will begin to regather the same Tribes of Israel. But a price had to be paid. That, my friends, is the Cross of Calvary. Now the price has been paid, but recall there is a hiatus between paying the price and full reunification of all Israelis. Hosea sequestered Gomer after buying her back from the slave market, but we cover this in our next article; chapter 3. [C.f. Read Hosea 1:11]
Back to Chapter Two
Back to Chapter Two
Note in the first verse of Hosea 2 that the “Lo” has been dropped from the names of LO-Ammi and Lo-Ruhamah. We can assume from this that we are no longer seeing God look at them as “LO”; i.e. NOT to any longer be HIS children scattered to the four corners of the Earth. This is a future tense as in prophetic. But then in the next two verses we see that Israel being stripped naked and made a wilderness was not fulfilled for another 120 years. This is when the Southern Kingdom of Judah was “stripped” of her people by Nebuchadnezzar. Now, all of the lands of David and Solomon were laid bare. Its occupants scattered abroad to the hinterlands.
Hosea 2:4-6 takes us back to prophecy and the path to it. “I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths. … Then she shall say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.’
This wall or barriers to Israel finding her way to or out of self-destruction will be a path bordered by thickets, briars, dangers, and wanderings. Amazingly we see this coming together almost daily and in recent history.
We have discussed possible bible codes per names in previous articles. If we read Hosea’s children’s names as one statement it would read…”Retribution, the hour of punishment has come. I will show no more mercy. You are guilty as accused; no longer my children.”
Hosea 2:9-12 spells out the lack of mercy and the retribution. Verse 13 explains the WHY…but, in verse 14 we find an incredible forgiveness. “I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” …and speak tenderly to her? This sounds more like affection than it does continued retributions. Hosea 2:14 gives us more insight.
“And there I will give her vineyards and make the *Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.”
*The Valley of Anchor takes us back to Joshua 7 and a man named Achan. Space does not permit but Achan had committed a sin for which all of Israel under Joshua was suffering. Here he paid the ultimate price as did his possessions and family. This released Israel from more retribution from God. This is why Hosea states that the Valley of Achor is a door of hope. It is where the wandering Tribes of Israel were released from additional consequences of Achan’s sin.
In Hosea 2:18, then through the end of chapter 2, we find the beginnings of rewards for being chosen by God. This passage is often quoted and pictures depict, but few today know the address of this NEW covenant mentioned in Hosea between God and Israel.
(ASV) And in that day will I make a covenant for them [Israel] with the beasts of the field, and with the birds of the heavens, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the land, and will make them to lie down safely.[Hosea 2:18]
This passage seems a bit of a stretch to parallel or juxtapose the world to this promise between Israel, God and nature itself. Hosea specifically points this covenant to Israel beginning in the Valley of Anchor.
It may be of particular value to understand this is END TIME Prophecy. V19 says in the NKJV…”I will betroth you to me FOREVER.” Forever means forever. It is the beginning of eternity; an eternal promise. The final verse in Hosea 2 is both exciting and promising.
Hosea 22:23b “Then I will say to those who were not my people, ‘You are my people!’ And they will say ‘You are my God.’” [C.f. Hosea 1:10]
Rev. Dr. Jstark
Written April 2020
PS: Gavin Finley, MD wrote the following in May of 2004. It is so pertinent to us today.
We want a revival. But we want it our way and on our terms. We forget that we serve a sovereign God. For many of us the very idea of God upsetting our carefully maintained command and control systems in the status quo is a real shock. Most of us are completely unaware of the end-time Revival and how it will happen in the trials and travails of the woman of Revelation 12. We have not been told about this before. But we must face the Holy Scriptures squarely and honestly here. We must search the scriptures and discover for ourselves what the Bible is telling us in true and faithful Berean fashion. Then we must believe what the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit is telling us.
Nothing feels worse than being separated from God. One doesn’t even know it
until s/he returns to Him. Only then does that void become evident.
This is the condition of Northern Kingdom of Israel at the time of Hosea. They have not yet returned as of this writing – 2020. The Southern Kingdom of Judah is not far behind but it is still a descendant of King David who sits on their throne (760-722 B.C.). Hosea tries to get his people in the north to realize their separation; that intimate separation from their God Jehovah. However, Israel (Northern Kingdom) has plenty of religion but little to no commitment to God.
JIV STUDY NOTE: Hosea is identified as one of the twelve Minor Prophets. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel are considered the Major Prophets. These are man-assigned identities because the minor prophet books are shorter in length but not lacking content or purpose. We say this so if intellectually challenged by a naysayer who claims that Daniel is a shorter book than is Hosea, they are correct. These are man-assigned identities not supported by scripture.
The Minor Prophets warned against godless alliances (adultery typified) with other nations. These prophets were extremely patriotic and denounced political and moral corruption by intermingling with others outside of Israel. They warned Israel against an isolationism from God and a integration with outsiders. This reminds us of Romans 12:1; be not conformed to this world, BUT be transformed by the renewing of one’s mind and soul. This union of Israel with outsiders gradually led them to conform to other than Godly standards. We do the same thing in our churches when we have come to think that a worship service includes anyone. This, just as Israel, makes us unequally yoked with nonbelievers. We don’t bring them to church to give them a religious experience but that too often is just what they get. We hope that they may find God even when they are not seeking God. They oblige your invite but usually for the religious experience. We as in the Book of Acts should witness to them on the streets, in our homes, in child bible clubs, or evangelistic meetings, lead them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and then bring them into the fold of believers as equally yoked to worship. Need evidence? Study the Book of the original church; i.e. the Book of Acts.
J. Vernon McGee puts it this way…
The accusation is often made that the present–day pulpit is weak and uncertain. Furthermore, it is charged that instead of being a “… voice … in the wilderness …” (John 1:23), the modern pulpit has settled down comfortably to become a sounding board for the whims and wishes of an indifferent people with itching ears (in attempts to fill the pews; i.e. megachurch status. If this charge is true (and in many cases it is), it is because the pulpit is reluctant to grapple with the great issues of life. This hesitancy is born of a desire to escape criticism and a dread of becoming offensive to the finer sensibilities. (Emphasis mine)
Hosea 1:1 identities our book’s content of who, when, and where of this setting. Hosea is commanded to break the Mosaic Law by marrying an adulterous woman. Mosaic Law said to have her stoned. God commanded Hosea to marry her. This in and of itself did not bring cessation of adulterous life. But then, Israel was doing the same thing with her spiritual Husband God.
In v3, we find that she conceived… (KJV) So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son. We do not know if her two sons and one daughter were actually offspring of Hosea. What we do know is he named them according to God’s command. Gomer had two sons and one daughter.
Jezreel: There is so much history connected to this name but we will keep our comments within the name meaning and its context of Hosea. Some translate the name as “God sows.” Others translate it as “May God gives seed.” Yet another translates identifies it as “God scatters.” It all adds up to a seed once together in a seed bin will be scattered and reproduce in a similar manner as we find in the New Testament…Matthew 13:20-22; Mark 4:5 Luke 8:6-23. The same seed scenario Hosea prophesied about the Northern Kingdom. Sadly Hosea lived to see this dispersion or scattering; completed around 721 B.C. The Assyrians finished scattering the ten Northern Tribes throughout the entire known lands, fields and plains of the Earth.
JIV STUDY NOTE: In a previous article I made comment and insight about my banker in my hometown, a full-blooded and native of Hawaii. In our conversations I observed that he struggled pronouncing the letters “sh” when used in a word. What has this to do with the “scattering of the northern Tribes of Israel’ and Hosea 1:4 & 6? Judges 12:5-6 tells us that the Tribe of Ephraim also had this same DNA difficulty. A remnant of Ephraim was scattered as far as the Pacific islands…2700 years after the Assyrian exile of this tribe. Hmmmmmm?
view of the Jezreel Valley from mount Precipice.
Hosea 1:5 tells us that there is also a Valley of Jezreel “…to break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.” Over 32 battles have been fought in this valley. It is also renown for another battle yet to be fought…Armageddon.
Hosea 1:5 indicates that this is where the Northern Kingdom lost its final war with Assyria before the entire kingdom was exiled them.
Hosea 1:6 gives us the birth and name of the second child of Gomer. Hosea was told by God to name her *Lo-ruhama. The name means “NO MERCY.” To better understand this No Mercy we must back up one verse. Hosea 1:4 states that “the blood of Jezreel(valley?) will cause the cessation of the King and kingdom of Jehu.” This means that the Assyrian defeat of King Jehu of Israel will be (was) the beginning of their exile as a kingdom of the same seed. The blood of his kingdom was shed in the Valley of Jezreel.
*Lo in Hebrew means Not or No just as in English to say “a”typical; not typical.
Hosea 1:7 tells us that God Jehovah determined to have mercy on the Israelites of the Southern Kingdom of Judah…for a little while. This verse seems out of context per the rest of this chapter, but the intended message is not. 2 Kings 19:35 tells the what happened. The same Assyrians that destroyed the ten Tribes to the north (Kingdom of the North) also attacked Judah. The Assyrians lost 185,000 troops in one night. The Angel of the Lord did the work. When the Judean Armies woke up one morning to do battle, the encamped Assyrian army was no more. All enemy troops had been destroyed during the night by the angel.
Also a small word is “mercy” in verse 7 needs explanation. Only the guilty can seek mercy. The innocent may be given leniency. This verse in Hosea 1:7 finds the word “MERCY.” This does not mean that the kingdom of Judah is or was somehow innocent. Hosea 1:7 states that God will have MERCY upon Judah. Yes, they too were guilty and will pay a severe price or prison term. Their punishment came about 120 years later when Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar marched on Jerusalem and took it captive. Three different groups of Judeans and those within the kingdom were removed from their Promised Land. We read this in greater detail in our articles on the Book of Daniel.
Verse 8 and 9 in Hosea 1 need to be understood as if one statement. “Now when she (Gomer) had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. And Jehovah said, Call his name Lo-ammi; for ye are notmy people, and I will not be your God.” God does not move (omnipresent) but we as his creation have a free-will. James 4:8 says if we draw close to God, he will draw close to us (paraphrased). The idea in Hosea 1:8 & 9 is that Israelites had fallen so far away from God that HE would no longer be in communication with them; even from a distance. They were no longer his with whom to communicate and bless as his chosen.
This is choice and FREE-WILL in full color. We can opt to walk away from God and not have him as the center of our lives. Judah to the south had a few more Godly kings so they were shown “mercy.” Guilty? YES! Kingdom of Israel had fallen so far back they were no longer God’s people. The word “people” in verse 1:9 is ‛am…collectively meaning a “troop or attendants.” It does not mean they were no longer his chosen. The next verse explains this.
Hosea 1:10-11 pulls these separated kingdoms back together as ONE; an inference to the millennial reign of Christ in Jerusalem when he calls his chosen from the four corners of the Earth. 1:10b states (KJV) “…that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” Where is the statement “in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people” actually mean per geography? This is Megiddo; Armageddon! That is…The Valley of Jezreel; Hosea’s name for his first son. Verse 11 needs no explanation…”Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel will be gathered together.”
There may be a bit of irony is Hosea’s second son’s name; Lo-Ammi. We already explained the name’s meaning…”You are no longer my children and I am not your God.” There is the possibility that even if the first two children born to Gomer and perhaps Hosea, this verse may also have a double implication. You are not my child and I am not your father. This may be a pregnancy born out of Gomer’s continued prostitution or adultery, thus the third child…Lo (not) Ammi (mine).
Here is a JIV summary of the names.
Jezreel:The seed of Israel is sown throughout the earth, but will return to the Valley of Jezreel
Lo-Ruhamah:I will show no mercy. You are guilty as accused
Lo-Ammi: You are not (no longer) my people because you have put a distance between me (God) and you.
Have you moved?
New Testament parallel…if one does not feel as close to God or his son Jesus as s/he once did, guess who one moved?
We gave a brief introduction to Hosea in article #1. In our research and studies it is startling to find other commentaries of such great length on such a short book in the Old Testament.
Douglas Stuart has a 220 page commentary on Hosea David A. Hubbard has a 237 page commentary on Hosea Francis I. Anderson has an unbelievably large commentary of 720 pages
In reading some of these commentaries per our research there are times one forgets it is about the Minor Prophet Hosea. Good writing and very informative none-the-less.
Hosea 1:2The *beginning of the speaking of Jehovah by Hosea. And Jehovah said to Hosea, Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and children of harlotry. For the land has utterly gone lusting away from Jehovah. [LITV]
*Here is one example of the verbiage distinctiveness of Greek and Hebrew. The word beginning in English is not as distinctive as in the Hebrew. In Genesis 1:1the word “beginning” is ray-sheeth’ meaning the origin of time itself [Genesis 1:5]. In Hosea 1:2 the same English word “beginning” is tekh-il-law’ [Hebrew] meaning to commence at a given point within time itself.
This website attempts to point out these word differences to give deeper perspective and better understanding. In Hosea the word “beginning” simply means at the point in time Jehovah-God spoke to Hosea.
To “take a wife of harlotry” is often debated; debated to a point of losing the point God is making. It means what it says. She has been unfaithful to a single man or husband. She may have even been a Temple Prostitute or unfaithful to Hosea AFTER they marry. Some theologians want to make this an allegory such as Jesus used parables. No matter, it is an example or living example of how Israel has played the role of a harlot nation. They have sold their allegiance to foreign gods (idols) or put other things in life ahead of or replacing communing with their husband-God.
The same is true of the phrase “children of harlotry.” Some want to make this to mean children begotten through harlotry; not from Hosea himself. Others want to make this to mean offspring of Hosea’s seed through one that has been unfaithful. What matters is the last sentence in this verse… [YLT] “..for utterly go a-whoring doth the land (10 Israeli Tribes of the Northern Kingdom) from after Jehovah.” In New Testament Church terms this would be the same thing as going to church because one seeks out the church or denomination of choice; a false god. Does s/he seek to have fellowship with other believers within a group setting with a focus of worship or political correctness? [Mark 7:13; Matthew 15:3]
If the latter is true, what does it mean to worship God the Father (husband of Israel) in a church setting that welcomes unbelievers and still call it worship? We have already put the church into a Hosea situation. This is called unequally yoked; worshiping with unbelievers or church goers of tradition. No wonder people give testimonies of things that happened years ago instead of yesterday or last week. They can’t because they are mixing and blending in with the world even in a worship service. [See below JIV NOTE]
JIV NOTE: Yes, I will receive flack on this from readers. However, get serious. How does one wear a Chicago Cubs T-shirt versus Cleveland Indians and sit on the side of the Cleveland Indians, cheering for the Cubs at the ball park…unequally yoked. Right? But the same stadium (church?).
Hosea is stating that Israel has sold out and is only pretending to be a fan of the God who brought them out of Egypt after 400 plus years of bondage in Egypt. Today’s church is all about filling the pews with bodies, not believers.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Here are two examples of New Testament scripture and one personal observation. By comparative context New Testament John and Matthew with Old Testament Hosea, we find a basic overview of or insight into the Book of Hosea:
John 15:7 “If you abide in me and my WORDS abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it will be done (or given) unto you.”
Matthew 6:33 “Seek [you] first the kingdom of God AND his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”
JIV (Jim’s Introspective View) Anything that is given priority over God in our entirety of life is an idol!
There is much more. This series of Hosea articles with chapter by chapter and comparative context explanations will include historical and future unfulfilled prophecy parallels. When one has a good grasp of John 15:7 and Matthew 6:33, s/he finds a summary of the major focal points of Hosea. We should also recognize and distinguish that Hosea, as do other Old Testament passages, explains that God is the husband of Israel [Jeremiah 31:32]; Jesus is the husband of the New Testament church [Ephesians 5:31-32]. We will have much more on this throughout this Hosea series.
The Orthodox Church of America puts it this way in introducing Hosea:
“Almost a thousand years before the coming of the Savior, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the prophet foretold the end of sacrificial offerings and of the priesthood of Aaron (Hos. 3:4-5), and that the knowledge of the True God would spread through all the earth (Hos. 2:20-23). Hosea spoke also about Christ, how He would return from out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1; compare to Mt. 2:15), that He would be resurrected on the third day (Hos. 6 and especially Hos.6:2; compare with 1 Cor.15:4), and that He would conquer death (Hos.13-14. Compare 1 Cor.15:54-55).”
Whatever the case, all 12 Tribes of Israel and Judah had adopted the mindset that if they can’t see it, it must not exist. A golden calf can be observed. The reality of the God of creation is by faith. The same is true today. So-called Christians too often see a denomination or church building as the basis of their being Christian. S/he serves the church functions but confuses their intent with serving God.
Let’s first establish some common sense knowledge and understanding of the ground work for our Hosea studies. In our previous Daniel studies we explained that the first half of the book of Daniel was originally written in the commoner’s language of the time; Aramaic. The latter half of the book was written in Hebrew. The first half of Daniel is targeted to the non-Israelite. The second half was/is intended for the particular audience of the Israelites. Hosea was a prophet-designate or appointed to the 10 Israeli tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. His contemporary Amos was who came from the southern Kingdom of Judah; same peoples (Israelites) but two distinctly different prophets. These are two of the twelve Minor Prophets… one to the Northern Kingdom and one to the Southern Kingdom of the former nation of Israel. Both had the same problem. The people to whom they were told to speak and warn had not kept God at the center of their lives and worship. [Go back to the top of this page and reread the passages from James 15 and Matthew 6].
The time: It was just prior to the end of the existence of the Northern Kingdom [760 B.C. to 722 B.C.]. Syria was peeling off one or two tribes of Israel at a time. The Reubenites, Gadites and half of the tribe of Manasseh were among the first to be exiled by Assyria. Hosea was either from the Tribe of Reuben or Issachar [see Adam Clarkes Commentary]. Bura [Beeri] was his father. We do not know for sure but what we do know is that he was born in the town of Belemoth inside the *territory of Issachar.
*The 2 ½ Tribes of Israel east of the Jordan River had already been exiled by Tiglath-pileser of Assyria. This dispersion caused many to flee their tribal lands. Some went to other territories in Samaria (Northern Kingdom of Israel). Most were dispersed and exiled by the Assyrians into the hinterlands of faraway places; lands that were sparsely populated. Some fled to the lands of the Tribe of Issachar.
PS: Issachar settled Finland and Estonia after years of dispersion and scattered exile from their Promised home lands. How do we know this? During World War II General Mannerheim led the Finnish army in two separate conflicts against the Soviet Union. Astonishingly, he addressed them as ‘Men of Issachar’!
St. Jerome and some others believe Hosea to be the oldest of the Minor Prophets whose writings are in our possession. He was witness to the first captivity of four of the ten norther tribes who were exiled by King Tiglath-pileser (745-727 B.C.), and the eventual extinction of the kingdom of *Samaria by King Shalmaneser V (727-721 B.C.) in 721 B.C. Shalamaneser died before the complete exiling of the Shalamaneser. His successor son is Sargon II.
*This is the Northern Kingdom of Israel…Samaria was their capital.
Now that we know the time period within which Hosea prophesied let’s see who some of his contemporaries were. To begin with Amos plus *Jonah “of the whale” bible historical event were contemporaries of Hosea. Other contemporaries of Hosea include Micah, Isaiah, and possibly Joel (contested), and Obadiah.
*JIV NOTE: We can view the life of Jonah as one of inaction, sea action; knee action; reaction, then action. Due to the Assyrians initially overrunning and exiling the Tribes of the Northern Kingdom in the lifetime of Jonah, Amos, and Hosea, Jonah had no love affair with the people of Nineveh, Assyria. They were hated enemies. No wonder he did not want to go there.
According to 1:1, “The Word of Jehovah that was to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam II, the son of Joash, king of Israel.” [Literal Translation of the Holy Bible]
Hosea is the only prophet who came from the northern kingdom. Recall that he is either from the Tribes of Issachar of Reuben. Both were northern tribes. Other prophets ministered or prophesied to these ten northern Tribes of Israel but did not come from within them. A hundred plus years earlier, Elijah and Elisha witnessed to the northern kingdom but also to little avail.
JIV NOTE: The Northern Kingdom under Jeroboam II was at the zenith or apex of its power and prosperity when Hosea prophesied against it. Might we look at the world today and specifically the USA March 2020? We are/were at the zenith of our power and prosperity when the CoVid 19 coronavirus took us to our knees. Similarities? Time will prove one way or another but the thought that a simple flu bug can do what military powers have never been able to accomplish…total submission to the bug, not a person or political sphere.
In comparison to Hosea, we might also consider that the Americas were established as a place for freedom of worship. We have since prostituted ourselves to other global issues, governments, wars, and much more that redirect our focus from God Bless America to God bless me. Why should he bless us? We have deserted him, not the other way around. We must return to God so that he can return to us with blessings of his choice. [cf. James 4:8]. Religious we certainly are. Drawing closer to God?
Hosea is the person GOD specifically instructed to take as a wife, a woman of prostitution. On the surface this sounds like everything we know or have been taught per the New Testament about what is and constitutes adultery. We are told in his book that it is to exemplify or embody the condition of the Kingdom of Israel; i.e. 10 northern Tribes of Israel in their relationship to the God of Israel.
There are four major schools of thought per this relationship of Hosea/Gomer marriage and the marriage relationship of God and Israel.
The entirety of Hosea is just an allegory just as were Jesus’ parables
The wife (Gomer) and life of Hosea took is likened unto Israel and God. She was faithful and obedient but later became a prostitute just as Israel left its first love…God.
Gomer was already a prostitute. Hosea purchased then repurchased her from slavery to be his wife. The three children she had are from Hosea.
Gomer had her three children in her adultery with others. Hosea named them and took them in as his own.
Chapters 1-3 overview:
The character of Gomer: For those who have suggested Hosea bible history to be merely an allegory of the relation between God and Israel. The Hosea writings are realistic and actual recorded history. They MUST be taken literally. Among the latter, some insist that Gomer was faithful at first and later became unfaithful, others that she was unfaithful even before the marriage. This is about 750 to 760 years before the birth of Jesus.
Chapters 1, 2, & 3 are all about Hosea’s family situation, challenges, struggles, and both with his wife and with his people of the Kingdom of Israel. A good note to understand as we close Article #1: God (Hosea), Gomer (Israel as a northern kingdom), Hosea’s (Gomer’s) children represent individuals within the Tribes of the North.
Almost a thousand years before the coming of the Savior, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the prophet foretold the end of sacrificial offerings and of the priesthood of Aaron (Hos. 3:4-5), and that the knowledge of the True God would spread through all the earth (Hos. 2:20-23). Hosea spoke also about Christ, how He would return from out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1; compare Mt. 2:15), that He would be resurrected on the third day (Hos. 6 and especially Hos.6:2; compare with 1 Cor.15:4), and that He would conquer death (Hos.13-14. Compare 1 Cor.15:54-55).
Hosea is the first of the twelve prophets in the Book of the Twelve. The Book of the Twelve Prophets was originally on one parchment roll because of the brevity of the text, and together formed one Book of the 24 Books of Hebrew Scripture. The Book of the Twelve follows the writings of the four Major Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. All together the 16 prophets are called the Latter Prophets, as they began writing after the Division of the United Kingdom of Israel.
Hosea – הוֹשֵׁעַ – parallels his own tragic marriage to his unfaithful wife Gomer (Chapters 1-3) to that of the covenant between God and Israel (Chapters 4-14).
Our commentary this week is taken from the Bible Commentary by Adam Clarke (1762–1832), a British Methodist minister and theologian. It is interesting sometimes to get a historical perspective on some of the more difficult or controversial topics in the Bible, and there are few more “difficult” than Hosea.
The rabbins say that Bura was his father, who is mentioned in the Chronicles, and was prince of the tribe of Reuben at the time when Tiglath-pileser carried some of the tribes of Israel into captivity. But if it be so, Hosea must be said to be of the tribe of Reuben; and a native of Beelmeon, beyond Jordan. This prophet lived in the kingdom of Samaria; and his prophecies for the most part have a view to this state, though there are likewise some particular things which concern the kingdom of Judah.
We read, in the introduction to his prophecy that he prophesied under the kings of Judah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, and under Jeroboam II., king of Israel. If he prophesied in the reign of all these princes, he must have lived a very long time; for there are a hundred and twelve years from the beginning of Uzziah‘s reign to the end of Hezekiah‘s reign.
He foretells that the people of Judah should still continue some time in their country after the captivity of the ten tribes; but that after this they themselves should likewise be carried captives beyond the Euphrates.
The children of this faithless woman are children of prostitution, since they imitate the idolatry of their mother. God gives these children the names of Jezreel, God will disperse; Lo-rechamah, or Without mercy; and Lo-ammi, Thou art no longer my people; to show, –
1.That God was going to revenge upon the house of Jehu, king of Israel, the sins which he had committed at Jezreel, when he usurped the kingdom of the ten tribes.
2.That the Lord would treat his idolatrous and sinful people without mercy.
3.That he would reject them, and no more look upon them as his people.
Order and Time in Which the Twelve Minor Prophets Flourished
1. Jonah Prophesied between 823 B.C. and 783 B.C. in the reign of Jeroboam II., king of Israel. See 2 Kings 14:25.
2. Amos prophesied from about 823 B.C. to about 785 B.C. in the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in that of Jeroboam II., king of Israel. See Amos 1:1.
3. Hosea flourished from about 809 B.C. to about 698 B.C., in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in that of Jeroboam II., king of Israel. See Hosea 1:1. [But see the observations above)
4. Micah flourished between 757 B.C. and 698 B.C., in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. See Micah 1:1.
5. Nahum is supposed to have prophesied between 720 B.C. and 698 B.C., in the reign of Hezekiah.
6. Joel is supposed to have prophesied between 697 B.C. and 660 B.C., in the reign of Manasseh.
7. Zephaniah prophesied between 640 B.C. and 609 B.C., in the reign of Josiah. See Zephaniah 1:1.
8. Habakkuk is thought to have prophesied between 606 B.C. and 598 B.C., in the reign of Jehoiakim.
9. Obadiah prophesied soon after 587 B.C., between the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and the destruction of the Edomites by the same prince. 10. Haggai prophesied about 520 B.C. after the return from Babylon. See Haggai 1:1. 11. Zechariah prophesied from 520 B.C. to about 518 B.C.; and was contemporary with Haggai. See Zechariah 1:1.
12. Malachi is generally believed to have prophesied about 436 B.C.
The verb to return – שׁוּב or “shuv” is recorded in Hosea 3:5, 6:1, 12:6, 14:1, and 14:2, calling upon Israel to return to the Lord…which makes sense of the scripture “draw close to God THEN he will draw close to us as individuals.” [James 4:8]
The Gospel of Matthew 2:15 refers to Hosea 11:1 in a direct quotation, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” And St. Paul cites Hosea 2:1 and 2:25 (1:10 and 2:23 in this English translation) in Romans 9:25-26 concerning God’s free election, and Hosea 13:14 in First Corinthians 15:54-55 in a different way, that of the ultimate victory of life over death in the resurrection of the body through Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection.
Jezreel, Hosea’s first born…the Valley of Jezreel is also the same as the Valley of Megiddo; also known as Plain of Esdraelon. As a rule of thumb and logistics, this valley has historically been the pathway of invading armies. This will be true in End Time during the Battle of Armageddon [Revelation 14-16].This is why in End Times, those who align against Jerusalem (50 miles to the south) will assemble in Megiddo. This is also why Daniel’s prophecies of wars between the Kings of the north and the Kings of the south need to pass through Northern Israel; a place where large masses of military forces and equipment could be moved. In reality, this valley is a bridge passage between Europe, Africa, and Asia.
In was on the plains of Jezreel that Jehu’s army defeated the armies of Jezebel (2 Kings 9), beginning a bloodbath in the Northern Kingdom that would have consequences for years (cf. Hos 1:4-5). And it was at Megiddo that King Josiah was killed in a fateful attempt to block Egyptian armies from using the pass to march north to lend aid to Assyrian armies trapped by the Babylonians (2 Kings 23:29).
NOTE: Within the territory of the tribe of Ephraim, the children of Israel brought the Tabernacle (Josh. 18:1), Making Shiloh a religious center for the Israelites even before Jerusalem.
The path to the mound has a beautiful view of the valley where one of the most colorful stories in the Bible took place – the summer grape-harvest festival when the daughters of Shiloh came out dancing and the men of Benjamin sought brides from among them (Judges 21:15-23).
But its modern-day beauty hides a bloody and violent history.
Here Jezreel’s rulers killed Ahab’s 70 sons, put their heads in baskets, and brought them to Jehu (2 Kings 10:1–11). Queen Jezebel murdered Naboth in his own vineyard in Jezreel (1 Kings 21:1–23) and later died after being thrown from a palace and devoured by dogs. Pharaoh Neco killed King Josiah in the Jezreel Valley (2 Kings 23:30).
To date and according to history, there have been no less than 34 battles in this valley. Four of these recorded battles were from the Crusades in the 12th century; Napoleon Bonaparte crushed the Ottomans in 1799. One major and remaining world-ending battle remains to be fought in this same Valley; i.e. Armageddon.
The Book of Hosea was a severe warning to the northern kingdom against the growing idolatry being practiced there; the book was a dramatic call to repentance. Christians extend the analogy of Hosea to Christ and the church: Christ the husband, his church the bride. Christians see in this book a comparable call to the church not to forsake the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians also take the buying back of Gomer as the redemptive qualities of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
Hosea lived in the tragic final days of the northern kingdom, during which six kings (following Jeroboam II) reigned within 25 years (2Ki 15:8 — 17:6). Four (Zechariah, Shallum, Pekahiah, Pekah) were murdered by their successors while in office, and one (Hoshea) was captured in battle; only one (Menahem) was succeeded on the throne by his son. These kings, given to Israel by God “in anger” and taken away “in wrath” (13:11), floated away “like a twig on the surface of the waters” (10:7). “Bloodshed” followed “bloodshed” (4:2). Assyria was expanding westward, and Menahem accepted that world power as overlord and paid tribute (2Ki 15:19-20). But shortly afterward, in 733 b.c., Israel was dismembered by Assyria because of the intrigue of Pekah (who had gained Israel’s throne by killing Pekahiah, Menahem’s son and successor). Only the territories of Ephraim and western Manasseh were left to the king of Israel. Then, because of the disloyalty of Hoshea (Pekah’s successor), Samaria was captured and its people exiled in 722-721, bringing the northern kingdom to an end.
Theological Theme and Message
The first part of the book (chs. 1 – 3) narrates the family life of Hosea as a symbol (similar to the symbolism in the lives of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel) to convey the message the prophet had from the Lord for his people. God ordered Hosea to marry an adulterous wife, Gomer, and their three children were each given a symbolic name representing part of the ominous message. Ch. 2 alternates between Hosea’s relation to Gomer and its symbolic representation of God’s relation to Israel. The children are told to drive the unfaithful mother out of the house; but it was her reform, not her riddance, that was sought. The prophet was ordered to continue loving her, and he took her back and kept her in isolation for a while (ch. 3). The affair graphically represents the Lord’s relation to the Israelites (cf. 2:4,9,18), who had been disloyal to him by worshiping Canaanite deities as the source of their abundance. Israel was to go through a period of exile (cf. 7:16; 9:3,6,17; 11:5). But the Lord still loved his covenant people and longed to take them back, just as Hosea took back Gomer. This return is described with imagery recalling the exodus from Egypt and settlement in Canaan (cf. 1:11; 2:14-23; 3:5; 11:10-11; 14:4-7). Hosea saw Israel’s past experiences with the Lord as the fundamental pattern, or type, of God’s future dealings with his people.
The second part of the book (chs. 4 – 14) gives the details of Israel’s involvement in Canaanite religion, but a systematic outline of the material is difficult. Like other prophetic books, Hosea issued a call to repentance. Israel’s alternative to destruction was to forsake her idols and return to the Lord (chs. 6; 14). Information gleaned from materials discovered at Ugarit (dating from the 15th century b.c.) enables us to know more clearly the religious practices against which Hosea protested.
Hosea saw the failure to acknowledge God (4:1,6; 8:2-3; 13:4) as Israel’s basic problem. God’s relation to Israel was that of love (2:19; 4:1; 6:6; 10:12; 12:6). The intimacy of the covenant relationship between God and Israel, illustrated in the first part of the book by the husband-wife relationship, is later amplified by the father-child relationship (11:1-4). Disloyalty to God was spiritual adultery (4:13-14; 5:4; 9:1; cf. Jer 3; see note on Ex 34:15). Israel had turned to Baal worship and had sacrificed at the pagan high places, which included associating with the sacred prostitutes at the sanctuaries (4:14) and worshiping the calf images at Samaria (8:5; 10:5-6; 13:2). There was also international intrigue (5:13; 7:8-11) and materialism. Yet despite God’s condemnation and the harshness of language with which the unavoidable judgment was announced, the major purpose of the book is to proclaim God’s compassion and covenant love that cannot — finally — let Israel go
The book of Hosea has at least two perplexing problems. The first concerns the nature of the story told in chs. 1 – 3 and the character of Gomer. While some interpreters have thought the story to be merely an allegory of the relation between God and Israel, others claim, more plausibly, that the story is to be taken literally. Among the latter, some insist that Gomer was faithful at first and later became unfaithful, others that she was unfaithful even before the marriage.
The second problem of the book is the relation of ch. 3 to ch. 1. Despite the fact that no children are mentioned in ch. 3, some interpreters claim that the two chapters are different accounts of the same episode. The traditional interpretation, however, is more likely, namely, that ch. 3 is a sequel to ch. 1 — i.e., after Gomer proved unfaithful, Hosea was instructed to take her back.
8. Undying Love— The Story of Hosea and Gomer
The calendar on the wall indicated that it was about 760 years before Jesus was born. Jeroboam II was on the throne of the northern kingdom of Israel, and his military exploits had extended Israel’s borders farther than they had been since the days of Solomon’s glorious kingdom. Tribute money from subject nations was pouring into the treasury at the capital city of Samaria, and the people of Israel were enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity.
As is often the case, with prosperity came moral and spiritual degeneration. Secularism and materialism captured the hearts of the people and sin ran rampant. The list reads like twentieth-century America: swearing, lying, killing, stealing, adultery, drunkenness, perversion, perjury, deceit, and oppression, to name but a few. But the thing that grieved the heart of God more than anything else was the sin of idolatry (Hos. 4:12, 13; 13:2).
Q: In 1 Peter 1:10-12 how does Peter’s explanation help explain Daniel’s situation in these verses?
God is not just in control of the timing as to when prophecy comes true, but the timing as to when the meaning of prophecy will be revealed. He is sovereign.
There are things given in the Old Testament which have been hidden until God’s working moved from Israel to His church; i.e. age of the Gentile church. Other things had to be set up to fulfill what was revealed; so prophecy often describes a goal or end result, but not always the detailed, specific means. We confuse or do not understand the prophetic motive unless we can grasp the motivation.
Daniel’s desire to know “what will be the outcome” as explained by Peter is something more focused on outcome than knowing the greater spiritual meanings behind it. We cannot understand faith until we practice it.
Q: What is the greater sign that is once again highlighted?
A: In Daniel 12:5-7, the greater sign concerning the timing and fulfillment was “as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people” – spiritual persecution. In v.10 of I Peter 1 it’s the purging, purification, and refinement of God’s people contrasted with those who continue to embrace sin. As Satan turns up the heat our personal impurities flow to the top as seen by others and our own knowledge of them. This is when an action-decision of each person must be made. Is his or her action one of skimming off the impurities that come to the surface or is it going to be a “well enough left alone” or “good enough” type of action each individual will take.
JIV NOTE: There is a great spiritual issue at work behind the events of the End Time that is separating the truly righteous from the wicked. What Christ said He’ll do at the end of that time is actually just confirming the behavior and choices individual’s embraced during his or her life own time. His judgment just puts the exclamation point, so to speak, to what has been going on spiritually the whole time. [Matthew 7:2 and Romans 2:6]
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.” [Matthew 25:31-33]
BACK TO DANIEL 12:
Q: So what are the numbers associated with the End Times described in “days”?
A: The numbers given include 1,260; 1,290; 1,335.
Q: How do these numbers fit together? What exactly do they mean?
A: We don’t really know but many theologians do much guessing. They may be concurrent days, over lapping days, or different times given in [day-years]. We know they tell us something about the timing and relationships of things yet to come, but as yet it has not been precisely revealed. This may very well be some of what Daniel was told to “seal up.” However, when we synchronize the Jewish lunar calendar to the seasons, as needed they add an additional “leap month” of *Adar. In other words, there are times when a 3-1/2 year period can have both 1,260 AND 1,290 days.
* Adar was the last month the Jewish people spent in Egypt before the Exodus. Adar’s joy is so great, in part, because it serves as the opening to an even greater rejoicing: the miracles of Passover.
Q: What is the event that will trigger these things? What is the greater spiritual thing at work?
A: According to both Daniel here in 12:11 and Christ Himself in Matthew 24:15, it’s the “abomination of desolation”. This is the kick off or starting point to identified events; histories yet to be current events.
“Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) [Matthew 24:15]
JIV NOTE: We will know this when it happens. “When we see….” The righteous and studied believer will know but the ignorant will have no clue.
Many theories have come and gone concerning 1,260, 1,290, and 1,335 – and many continue to this day – but none of them can come true without the visible witness of the greatest spiritual deception attempted. “Many will be deceived…” This is where and when Satan through the person of the Antichrist sets himself up to be worshiped and attempts to supplant God including the Islamic Allah (H)himself. Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus Epiphanes IV (during the time of the Macabees; 167 B.C. to around 30 B.C.), and Titus (the Roman destruction of Jerusalem; 70 A.D.) all teach us about this event. They mimicked it, setting up an idol of themselves to be worshiped in place of the One True God. Before we truly understand the numbers at the end of Daniel 12, we have to first understand and recognize the abomination of desolation, Satan’s great spiritual deception.
Many have concentrated on the individual events too much therefore missing the greater spiritual message and meaning accompanying each event:
The most important thing is that one’s name is found to be written in the book of life; that is, a life devoted to Christ 24/7; a be-liever.
This final, seven-year period, the 70th week of Daniel’s Seventy7s, holds a reward for all Believers. They can and may by personal choice be part of the Messiah’s millennial earthly kingdom to come.
Those who come to know these things and study will come to understand them in the same way Daniel did, through earnest prayer, fasting, by meditating on and with study of God’s Word. This will not mean knowledge alone will decipher numbers and such. Knowledge does not mean understanding. Such people, defined here as having “insight”, (to be – to live) preach and live righteousness.
There are greater spiritual events which will put these things into the proper context: persecution of the nation Israel, Israel’s restoration to Jesus as their Messiah, persecution of all Believers, and Satan’s attempt to spiritually pervert and deceive everyone through the person of the Antichrist in the work of the abomination of desolation. These things pertaining to the spiritual environment are the most important indicators and triggers for which we need to remain vigilant.
As Peter explained, prophets such as Daniel – and even the angels themselves – are more interested in how these things speak of Jesus than how they fit together into some kind of timeline. So should we. The spiritual is far more important than the physical.
The greater spiritual working during this last seven-year period is separating the sheep from the goats – the righteous from the wicked – which Christ Himself formally finalizes at the end. So the greater issue at work is the quality of each individual’s faithfulness.
Overall, this is a call for spiritual endurance. It’s not a test of knowledge, but a test of faith.
This all adds up to a pyramid or stratus of people. Like a pyramid the largest numbers of the ALL in the world is base line. As individuals advance up the pyramid the number included is no long the “ALL” but whittled to some.
Awareness, Knowledge and even Understanding are a choices personal to everyone, The denomination or particular church cannot make this an actuality. We teach but individuals must decide.
Desire and Action come from the choice to do something about it. We can opt to remain ignorant, but that is a choice. We can understand the consequences but still not opt to follow Christ 24/7. Our action of accepting the truth or rejecting it is tethered to the final judgment of us by God.
Thank you for following this extensive study of Daniel. All rights to use this study are free but not for sale or reproduction to be sold. Gods Plan of Salvation (our GPS) is not for sale. It too is a choice…YOURS!
We are using a question and answer approach to chapter 12 of Daniel. We now continue…
Q: What might one suppose is the meaning in Daniel 12:4 of “many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase”?
A: It sometimes appears today that many fundamentalist theologians wish to believe that this is a reference to the present, modern age on-earth wherein transportation and knowledge have greatly increased and few understand its impending meaning. However, since all things prophetic are consistently made up of earthly activities which are influenced by and tied to heavenly activities…
…consider this alternative: It speaks of a time when a great many will be stirred up to inquire into Scripture the same way as Daniel was in his reading of Jeremiah and realizing the time of fulfillment of God’s Word was at hand. (Daniel 9) Nothing will be spared in the pursuit of the meaning of Scripture and, with the blessing of God, biblical knowledge will increase and things will appear nearer and plainer than ever. It’s a prelude to fulfilling a condition that will be present in the Millennial Kingdom:
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord (but understanding is lacking)
As the waters cover the sea but will be no more (Revelation 20:1)
JIV NOTE: God created man for his purposes, not ours. We are to communicate with him THEN he will communicate with us through gained knowledge AND understanding. Our response today should be exactly like that of Daniel; to walk constantly in the light and path of the Lord God. Daniel prayed three times a day; none of them had to do with his daily meals.
Read Daniel 12 verses 5-7 (NASB; below)
5. Then I, Daniel, looked and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the river and the other on that bank of the river.
6. And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?”
7. I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.
Point: This is a general summation of events described of the first few verses in Daniel 12. There are a great many biblical instances of 3-1/2 years or 42 months or 1,260 days. Examples:
The apostasy of the little horn. Is 3-1/2 years. (Daniel 7:25)
The two witnesses preach and have power for 1,260 days, and remain unburied for 3-1/2 days. (Revelation 11:3, 9, 11) THEN to the shock of the entire world, they come back to life and ascend to heaven in view of all.
Just because we know these things occur in Daniel’s 70th week of his Seventy 7’s vision, just because some things it contains last half of a seven does not necessarily mean they have to occur sequentially or exclusively in the first half or the second half of the 7 year tribulation called Jacob’s Trouble. They may overlap in some manner. There are other references that seem to teach us something about these past and pending events.
The famine and drought brought about through Elijah lasted 3-1/2 years. (Luke 4:25; James 5:17)
Christ’s earthly ministry lasted for 3-1/2 years.
The “Man of Sorrows” will be cut off in the midst of the week. (Daniel 9:27)
The most important information for us is the event mentioned at the end of v.7, “as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people”. There is a greater sign of spiritual persecution which we should be sensitive to far more than trying to figure out the beginning and end of these or any unspecified and dated periods of time. The greater issue is bearing up spiritually and withstanding persecution. Christ spoke of this in depth in His Olivet Discourse per End Times in Matthew 24, 25. This not only included End Time of anti-Christ but included that it is not just a literal persecution and battle with Israel, but with all Believers. Even though the “comforter” [John 14:12…the giving of the comforter and restrainer Satan; 2 Thessalonians 2:7…present in believers during the Tribulation but no long restraining the evil one]
At this point it might do some good for use to recall Ecclesiastes 10:2…”A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left.”
Read Daniel verses 8-13 (below)
8. As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?”
9. He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.
10. Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. (Emphasis mine)
10. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.
11. And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.
`12. Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days.
13. “Go your way until the end. You shall rest and will stand in your allotted place at the end of [the] days.
I could not understand (v8)? If Daniel could not understand and then was told to “seal up these words,” the ones he did not understand. Why then do we speculate? Daniel did not understand and was told to seal it up. That is simple to grasp even in our minds today. In a way it is like a time capsule. Things are put into it, sealed, and then stored away in such a manner that it will not be easily retrieved. Once it is retrieved, all will know what it contained and perhaps better said, what it contains. This is Daniel’s time capsule. Following generations from this point in scripture will not know what it means (contains) until the End Time is here.
Go your way (Daniel) until the end. We are given clues and watch lists of things that must happen before the millennial kingdom. Even the evil or lawless one must be revealed. Look at how the church (true believers and followers of Christ) has gradually wandered away from the Church of Acts. Just as Daniel was told in the final verse of his book, we will also stand in our allotted place at the end of [the] days. Which “PLACE” will yours be? A place of good intentions is not redemption.
The next article concludes our Daniel studies; Article #37c.
Study Note: Daniel 12:1 is a precise actuality statement so often skimped or stinted in bible studies by teachers, preachers, and students.
The result in a study of chapter 12 is often a pinching out of its actual content, context, plus its very feasible identification of the unidentified figures or characters mentioned throughout this chapter. Please keep in mind and per this website’s platform…every denomination or those individuals who claim or believe in his or her mind that they are born again often ignore the signs given in Daniel 12 as to what to look for per the beginning of End Time. What is their motive to not wish to grasp this scripture?
Denominations need to examine the Book of Acts to see that the original church was a gathering place of expectant and practicing believers; those who “BE” along with “LIVE” the Word of God. The Apostle Paul warns (1 Timothy 6:3) of those wolves who were already worming their different opinions and eventual “denominational” differences into the original Christian church. We should not see this as much as singular focus(es), but too much denominational differences and emphasis is usually “at the expense of knowing and understanding the totality of the Word of God.” Denominations isolate a group and as a group, insulate that same group from other (differing denominational doctrines) believers. This was NOT the church in the Book of Acts.
Allow us to put it in very simple terms. As Christians, we are to be united without compromise in order to be a team of believers. If our concentration is on only one or a few faces on a team it divides. It does not unite or even make for a good team. Similarly, a football team has individual players and player positions, but then so does Christianity through the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Together they make a powerful team when correctly coached. No, a wide receiver coach does not advise the corner backs or offensive tackles. Christianity is a common denominator. Far too many of those who claim Christ never practice the position the Holy Spirit assigns to him or her. There is no position called the “bench.” The positions on a Christian team are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord [I Corinthians 12:4 & 5]
Right out of the chute Daniel 12:1 identifies a specific in the angel Michael. Let’s take a question and answer approach to this final chapter in Daniel.
Please Read Verses 1-4 of Daniel 12
Q: What does “at that time” refer to?
A: Remember that originally there were no chapter and verse markings. Chapters 10-12 should be read as a single chapter. There is no break in the conversation between the end of chapter 11 and the beginning of chapter 12. Daniel 12 begins with… “at that time” referring to what has just been described in chapter 11 as the actions of the Antichrist. The same is true between the end of chapter 10 and the beginning of chapter 11. “at that time” helps us understand these chapters are one.
Q: What might be significant about the fact that it is Michael who is specified here and not Christ the Messiah?
A: Michael is identified exclusively with and the protector of the people of Israel regardless of where one of them lives on planet earth. It indicates that the things occurring here in Daniel are specific to the literal nation (people) of Israel. If the Messiah were specified, it would speak of the church composed of both Jew and Gentile. It’s yet another indication that God is not yet done with Israel and has plans yet to be fulfilled.
Q: What is “the book” referred to here in 12:1? 12:1 states, ”At that time your people will be delivered, (whose) everyone whose name is written in the book.”
A: The Book of Life, those of God’s chosen people obtaining salvation through Christ. This statement may be a signpost that the church has already been raptured. This is not an ALL INCLUSIVE statement. First it refers to YOUR PEOPLE (Daniel’s) then it specifically refers to those from this select grouping whose names are written in the book.
Q: So what does this indicate about those of Israeli descent who will be then rescued?
A: They have experienced a spiritual revival and accepted Jesus as their Messiah. (This is spoken of through other prophets as well.) This is not an automatic inclusion of Israelis who reject Christ as Messiah.
Q: And what occurs shortly after Israel’s rescue?
A: The “time of distress” comes to a close and there is a resurrection. The Time of distress is the final 3 ½ years of the Tribulation known best as Jacob’s Trouble; Jacob, the progenitor of the 12 Israeli tribes.
Q: Is v.2 describing the final and ultimate resurrection of all people for Final Judgment?
A: No. Scripture corroborates that there is an initial resurrection timed with the beginning of Messiah’s Millennial Reign (Bema Seat Judgement), followed by the ultimate and final resurrection of everyone for final disposition (Great White Throne Judgement).
*For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. [I Thessalonians 4:16]
“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” (This passage is a great and multiple points discussion, study and clarification by itself) [Revelation 20:4-6]
JIV NOTE: In reality, it won’t matter whether you believe in the Rapture of the Church and whether or when it comes in relation to these events because believers are all going to be under God’s will and timing regardless. The more important factor is whether or not one’s individual name is “written in the book”; whether or not we choose Christ over everything else.
Q: Why will “those who have insight…shine brightly”? Of what is this speaking? [Daniel 12:3]
A: It’s a general reference to the role and responsibility of the teachers and preachers of the Gospel during the future end of times as described in Daniel 10-12. They are not merely preaching about the need for salvation, but fulfilling Christ’s mandates to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) by teaching and holding ourselves plus others who claim Christ to living according to the biblical standards of righteousness, putting into personal practice God’s Word to us.
JIV NOTE: In previous articles we define the word “believe” according to scripture as a two part word. To BE-to LIVE…be-lieve! This defines a disciple. In other words, a student of Bible who lives out his or her actions according to God’s will, not our will.
Q: What is the contrast of the personal message to Daniel in v.4 during Daniel’s time, versus that to John in Revelation 22:10?
In Revelation the Apostle John was told: “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.” Daniel is told to “Seal up these words” for now. It is a future prophecy of time yet to come.
JIV NOTE: The timing and perspective given through Daniel 10-12 is one of looking at two future events yet to occur; one sooner and one at End Time. John is looking back on one fork of a dual prophecy; one portion or prong of the two-pronged prophecy as already fulfilled between 530 B.C. and the birth of Jesus. The second prong is still unfulfilled during the life of John; probably around 90 A.D. But, it has similar characteristics.