Hosea Article #9


Chapter 7 –
Israel sees the problem but not the sin

Intro note: There is much history in and around the people to whom Hosea is prophesying. The Northern Kingdom had just made war with the Southern Kingdom. We will address these influencers during our review of this chapter in Hosea. Hosea is in the northern kingdom and Amos is also a prophet to the northern kingdom.

This first king of the divided kingdom of Israel to the north was from the Tribe of Ephraim. It should also be noted that at times the Tribe of Ephraim may have had its own supreme ruler (king) separate from the remaining nine Tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. In Hosea 5:5 both Israel (10 northern tribes) and Ephraim are mentioned in the same sentence. There is no practical reason to conclude this does not infer two entities within the same kingdom. The city of Samaria is within the tribal territory of Ephraim. At time the Bible calls these ten tribes Israel, Ephraim or Kingdom of Samaria. All three are one and the same peoples.

6th letter of Hebrew alphabet

For the serious Bible student and one who grasps for understanding of the Hebrew language implication in words, in Hosea 5:5 there is a vav (6th letter in the Hebrew alphabet/Aleph-bet) before the name Israel and the name Ephraim. Many other conclusions can be drawn or dramatized about this prefix (vav) in Hosea 5:5. The letter vav has a hooked form; often used to refer to the “hooks” used in the Temple to hold up the separation curtain. Here is the connection:

Numbers 25 records the history of Phineas (grandson of Aaron), death in the camp of the wandering Israelites, a Midianite woman, and an unnamed man of Israel. The Israelites, were still under the leadership of Moses, had fornicated with Midianite women while camped in Shittum; land of Midianites. One Israelite man was caught in the act when Phineas took matters into his own hands to stop the incest and punishment upon the twelve tribes in the Wilderness. Specifically the unnamed man of Israel as written in Numbers 25 and the Midianite woman were in his tent. Phineas grabbed a “HOOKED SPEAR” and impaled them together. Two individuals, of their own accord, VAV’d together; i.e. hooked.

This may mean in Hosea 5:5 that Israel and Ephraim at times were hooked (vav) together but two functional entities…both sinning by bowing to idols; joined together by agreement.

PS; It is tempting to go into greater educational and knowledge about the Hebrew letter VAV but this is not the point of this article.

Hosea 7:1…”the iniquity of Ephraim and the wickedness of Samaria…” Per the comments above and as to the distinction between Israel and Ephraim here in verse 1, the name Ephraim sometimes infers all of the northern Kingdom of Israel. Why? Samaria is mentioned in the same verse (7:1) as a separate entity. The capital of the northern kingdom is located in Samaria. That is the territory assigned to the Tribe of Ephraim by Joshua.

In chapter 7 we find that Hosea had now lived through times of four assassinated kings of the northern tribes (Israel), an invasion of Judah by the northern tribes, 200,000 from Judah being taken captive, stripped (customary for captured peoples), then being released due to the pleas of a few influential leaders in the northern kingdom. He witnessed Israel seeking the help of Egypt, Syria (Damascus) and Assyria that quickly resulted in the downfall and scattering of the population of Israel. God wanted them to seek HIM, not reliance upon mankind.

Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria, from whom military help had been requested by Israel, had already campaigned against Damascus, Syria. The writing on the proverbial wall should have been obvious to both Israel and Judah. They didn’t see it as they already shared in Baal worship. The Syrians (Damascus) agreed militarily to help invade Judah. Assyria was already at the doors of Damascus. What consequently happened is Judah and Syria became tributary to Assyria. Within 10 years Israel is a conquered and dispersed people.

Hosea 7:2 has New Testament implications. God through Hosea states that the people and leadership (particularly) had it in their heart that God forgets sin even if not forgiven by confessing it to HIM. Israel’s dirty laundry list was growing by leaps, no, heaps. One big sin was the fact they went to Syria for help instead of God. What may be the New Testament implications? For one, the so-called modern day Christian and church leadership are identifying right as being wrong, and wrong as being right. The reader can fill in these right and wrong blanks. This is identified as political, but not God correctness; seeking mankind agreements instead of seeking God.

Unconfessed sins will be judged at the Bema Seat Judgement. Many evangelicals want to slip past this but it does not pass inspection of the commandment to confess our sins…daily.

Half baked

Has the term “half-baked” ever crossed minds? This passage is from where birth was given to that statement via the bible. From Hosea 7:4–7 is about Israel acting like it is half-baked bread; cooked too long and burned on one side while remaining unbaked on the other side. Customarily back during this time of Hosea, bakers would turn the loaf while cooking to assure it to be thoroughly cooked. Baking was dome at ground level. Hosea is pointing out that Israel’s worship of God was more show than actuality. They would over do their supposed allegiance to the God of Abraham via sacrifices and customary religious ceremonies but the only reality was their attendance, not their commitment. They were half-baked followers of ONLY God almighty.

Hos 7:10 “And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this.” [KJV] Simply put, Israel demonstrated a form of religiousness but did not seek the guidance of their one and only true God. The word “all” (kole) in the Hebrew means…nothing excluded. This definition is the same as the word pas in Greek…nothing excluded. We read in the King James “the pride of Israel.” The translated Hebrew word for pride is gaw-ohn’. It means arrogance, pomp or majesty. Not to be read or misinterpreted as pride in their God Jehovah, but pride (gaw-ohn’) in themselves.

Verse 11 makes or supports an earlier comment in this article. We read that “Ephraim” (Israel) called out for their help to come from Egypt and Assyria. They did not seek God’s help. In short this was to God like his people saying “in your face, God.” Verse 14 backs this up. It reads in the ESV: “They did not cry out to me.” Instead they cried out to Egypt, Damascus, then fatally to Assyria.

Looking back to amplify verse 9, Hosea points out that the strength of their youthful days under God has depleted…strangers (other gods) devour their strength and GRAY HAIRS begin to show. Like so many in denial of their relationship with God imaging it to be genuine but a false relationship. Israel’s relationship to God had aged, grown gray, became a religion. Today we color our hair only to present a deception of not showing one’s age. This is similar to what Israel had done…deceptive as followers of God.

In concluding chapter 7 we get another parallel to modern day so-called Christians; those who believe in a god but do not believe and trust IN God. Hosea compares it to a bent bow; i.e. a less than straight arrow. The arrow is put to the bow, shot, but no one can tell where it will go. What one does know is that it destined to go off course right out of the bow.

Change but we go back t same old self rather than seek God change.

They change directions but do not come back to me (ERV). Someone confesses to get it off his or her chest then walks away determined to change but does not seek God, only change. (C.f. Jeremiah 7:19-26; Hebrews 6:4-6)

Rev. Dr. Jstark – 2020

Hosea Article #8

Chapter 6

until they acknowledge their offence…..

We concluded our preceding article [chapter 5] with…“…until they acknowledge their offence — The Hebrew is, ‘till they suffer the penalty of their guilt and repent.’” Sadly, this is still the status quo today. It will take the Tribulation to drive Israelis to finally acknowledge God and his son Jesus, the Messiah. The people of Israel have neither acknowledged their offence nor repented. This means Hosea 5:15.” I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me” is *still the consequence.

PS: *This may actually answer this article’s closing question per bible commentary debates.

This chapter has one of the most controversial statements or wishee-washee explanations found in commentaries and if they dare, from the pulpits if ministers will address the controversy. The best assurance that these first two verses have big meaning is to look at the final verse in chapter 6, then rest assured. It reads…

Hosea 6:11 [ERV] “Judah, there is also a time of harvest for you. It will happen when I bring back my people from captivity.” 

JIV INSIGHT: The Brenton’s English Septuagint adds a verse 12.  “Israel and Judah are defiled; (v12) begin together grapes for thyself, when I turn the captivity of my people. None of my other 18 translation has a verse 12.

What we do know is Hosea is a prophet to the ten Northern Tribes of Israel now includes Judah in his prophecies and prayer. He also begins to identify the northern kingdom of Israel as Ephraim [we discussed this a bit in our previous article on chapter 5]. Be mindful that Amos is alive during the same time as is Hosea. Amos comes from Judah but at times implicates Ephraim; i.e. The Kingdom of Israel to the north. Hosea targets Israel but often refers or includes Judah.

Hosea 6:1 is so reflective of the world, both God-believers and those who reject such. The ESV in 1a says (paraphrase is mine) We must return to the Lord (yeh-ho-vaw’) for it is us who left him, not him who left us. This is so close to James 4:8 in meaning and perhaps lesson learned. [NIV] Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Hosea was speaking to ears that would not listen at the same time as Amos from Judah was saying the same thing but with an emphasis on class discrimination in Sameria.

WHAT SHALL I DO UNTO THEE?

Hosea 6:4 might circumstantially be familiar with every parent. It reads: “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goes away”. Many parents today and in the past have said, “Oh __?__, what can I do with you to get you to obey?” THAT CHILD in his or her family who can only be obedient for a few moments then wanders off into more trouble. S/he never seems to learn the lesson being taught by his or her parent. God the Father and husband of Israel is saying the same thing. He tells them through prophets but they wander off to other gods and nations; i.e. this is the adultery to which Hosea exemplified in his marriage with Gomer. She would not remain home but short times before going out seeking other pleasures. Hosea identifies her actions of obedience like the morning clouds.

Hosea 6:6 is for critical Bible learning. “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. “ Remember that mercy is only for the guilty to be set free. Hang in here. Burnt offering or offerings of any type other than gaining God KNOWLEDGE (study) is preferred by God over our offerings. What might this verse mean to those who think that their tithe is a form of worship in and by itself? Does a person of this mindset know anything about God other than the Bible stories? They substitute bible reading (if at all) for bible study. To KNOW the Lord God is only the beginning of knowledge [C.f. Proverbs 1:7 & 9:10].

This takes a student of the Bible to the passage ending chapter 6. The BBC (Believers Bible Commentary) shows another conflict of commentary and pulpit interpretations. Note the final sentence…

6:7-11   “But they, like Adam (RV), had transgressed the covenant.” The wickedness of Israel is pictured in verses 7-10 as a city of evildoers, bands of robbers, and a murdering company of priests. Judah, too, is appointed to a harvest of suffering (v. 11) before God restores the fortunes of His people. (Some theologians think the harvest here is one of blessing, not judgment)” What about thinking of it as ‘we reap what we sow”? [Galatians 6:7]

So how is this resolved in the believer’s mind and heart: 2 Timothy 2:15…[ESV] “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

Bible History is secular history; secluar history Bible History.

This is the primary goal of this website; ahabiblemoments.com. It is to help believers around the world to better knowledge of the Word of God far beyond the Bible Stories that even nonbelievers can narrate.

Rev. Dr. Jstark – 2020

Hosea – Article #7

Hosea Article #7
Chapter 5

We ended our previous chapter by pointing out that “To know of God is not the same as knowing God.” This is the circumstance surrounding Israel (northern kingdom) and the essence of Hosea 5. The very first verse in chapter 5 makes this quite clear. Hear this, O priests! Pay attention, O house of Israel! Give ear, O house of the king! For the judgment is for you.” Priests, house of Israel, house of the king…it is the leadership to which Hosea is laying the blame for falling away from KNOWING God to knowing of God. Instead of God it is plural as in multiple gods. In any group setting, the leadership sets the tone of culture, worship, language, group focus, and public expression (today known as political correctness). God Jehovah through Hosea is putting the finger of his judgment responsibility upon these leaders. It is a group think scenario in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Jamison-Fausset-Brown Commentary points out why Israel fell away from God.

“ [King] Jeroboam thought it a profound piece of policy to set up golden calves to represent God in Dan and Beth-el, in order to prevent Israel’s heart from turning again to David’s line by going up to Jerusalem to worship.

Three major issues are exposed here in verse 2.

  1. Jeroboam had just become the first king of the northern Kingdom after the 10 tribe split from the nation of Israel.
  2. Golden calves (idols) were set up in the territory of *Dan; one of the Israeli tribes to originally split from their Joshua assigned land within the nation of Israel. Many of those from the Tribe of Dan moved to the north of the kingdom after conquering Laish. They renamed it Dan of Bashan.
  3. Verse 2 does not state it, but in this chapter we read the name Ephraim many times. King Jeroboam was from the Tribe of Ephraim. Some historians refer to the Kingdom of Israel as the Kingdom of Ephraim [The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica]
  • Space does not permit a full discussion of the anti-God character of the Danites. It is discussed in several other articles within this website. When they decided to pull out of their Joshua-assigned territory, they took with them a priest of their choice, idols of their choice, deliberately leaving the God of Israel behind.

[C.f.] https://www.ancient-origins.net/history/grisly-tales-marriage-and-murder-who-were-ancient-danites-danaan-part-ii-007488

JIV BIBLE HISTORY NOTE: The name Ephraim and Israel are specifically and individually mentioned Hosea 5:4. The Tribe of Ephraim has always been a leader within this northern kingdom. Recall the bible history of Elijah, King Ahab, and Jezebel in 1 Kings 18. King Ahab of this northern kingdom was also from the Tribe of Ephraim. When Ahab married Jezebel he created an unholy alliance with the King of Sidon, Jezebel’s father. Her country worshipped Baal and Ashera and Israel was beginning to do the same. The size and strength of the Tribe of Ephraim and its name are sometimes synonymous when discussing or identifying the northern kingdom. Kingdom of Israel has also been identified as the Kingdom of Samaria.

Hosea 5:4 is simple…The distinctions between Ephraim and Israel is eliminated with the use of the words “permit THEM.” This means Hosea now addresses all within the Northern Kingdom. [ESV] “Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God.” This verse is just as applicable today as it was in the 8th century B.C. Those who have a religion in no way means s/he serves God.  As we said on the first page…“To know of God is not the same as knowing God.” Many back in the 8th century B.C. Israel, as is true today in the 21st century, are religious. Hosea 5:4 is an indictment to Israel 9eventually Judah) and the religious of today.

Knowing God – Know His Word

Do not permit them?  They are not true believers of YHWY. They know of God and many other gods but no longer know (yadda) God. Elijah and Elijah had already prophesied to the northern kingdom some 100 years earlier.

The final prophets to the northern kingdom:

870 – 850 B.C.         Prophet Elijah
850 – 800 B.C.         Prophet Elisha
750 – 745 B.C.         Prophets Amos and Hosea
721 B.C. is the fall of Israel to Assyria.

In Hosea 5:5 we find many warnings that include Judah to the south of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  This continues through 5:14.                                                                                                                                         …until they acknowledge their offence — The Hebrew is, “till they suffer the penalty of their guilt and repent.” Sadly, this is still the status quo today. It will take the Tribulation to drive Israelis to finally acknowledging God and his son Jesus, the Messiah.

Jstark
May 2020

850 – 800 B.C.         Prophet Elisha
750 – 745 B.C.         Prophets Amos and Hosea
721 B.C. is the fall of Israel to Assyria.

In Hosea 5:5 we find many warnings that include Judah to the south of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  This continues through 5:14.

 

 

 

“…until they acknowledge their offence — The Hebrew is, “till they suffer the penalty of their guilt and repent.” Sadly, this is still the status quo today. It will take the Tribulation to drive Israelis to finally acknowledging God and his son Jesus, the Messiah.

Jstark
May 2020

 

 

Hosea – Article #6

Chapter 4

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

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 attention or 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

 

 

Hosea Article #5

Hos 3:1 Then 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.

  1. love a woman” ‘âhêb (Strong’s Hebrew). “…to love (in a social or moral sense)”
  2. “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.
  3. 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.

  1. Though shalt abide for/with me for a time ( a type of seclusion by commitment)
  2. You shall no longer whore yourself to other gods (or priorities)
  3. 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]
  4. 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.

 

James W. Stark (Rev., Th.D.)
April 2020