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I am me but am concerned about YOUR eternity. If you don't buy into such religious underpinnings, that is called a choice. If I am wrong, I end up just as you hope will happen to you. If you are wrong, we end up in very different places. You guess which one is playing it safe.

Hosea Article #10


Chapter 8

GOD IS ALSO JUST.

We hear from pulpits, Bible studies, Sunday school classes, and read banners on church walls that GOD IS LOVE. Yes this is true but we forget that he is also “JUST” as in his final justice system.  In other words, we as individuals will get precisely what we deserve. Seldom do we hear a message with the emphasis on God getting angry. Hosea addresses this in chapter 8. He points out that the God of Israel (both kingdoms to the north and the south) will tolerate nothing to be putor come before him. This is also the First Commandment on he Stone Tablets Moses brought to the people of Israel while they were in their Wilderness wanderings.

Like many of us, we may have moments of spiritual up-lifting but then slide back to our sinful ways by putting other things in front of our respect, fear, and responsibilities to God and Jesus our Messiah-Savior. While the Prophet Amos is preaching this to the southern parts of Kingdom of Israel, Hosea is preaching it to the Kingdom of Israel to the north. When we draw close to him then and only then will he draw close to us (James 4:8). This is Israel’s problem during the time of Hosea. They have made God a religion; one of several religious practices they did in parallel to God. One major sin they practiced in Baal worship was child sacrifice. How can this be practiced in abortion clinics without eventually paying a steep personal price? Child sacrifice is murder no matter how one defines or tries to justify it.

ABORTION IS MURDER–modern child sacrifice

The trumpet is sounded to Assyria to attack the northern Kingdom of Israel. The setting as explained in earlier Hosea articles is warfare. Egypt and Assyria were arch enemies. The kingdom of Israel was known to the Assyrians as Bit-Humri, ‘House of Omri’. Together with the kingdoms of Hamat and Damascus (Syria), it dominated the political landscape of Syro-Palestine in the 9th and 8th centuries BC and, like them, it eventually fell victim to the Assyrian expansion to the Mediterranean (Karen Radner, ‘Israel, the ‘House of Omri”, Assyrian empire builders) It was King Jehu on the throne of Israel when the Assyrians began picking them off one or two tribal territories at a time. Hosea lived through this time in History. Some of this is history recorded in Assyrian records and on the archeologic discoveries such as the Black Obelisk.

Here is the setting according to scripture:

(King) Ahaz (of Juda) sent messengers to say to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, ‘I am your servant and vassal. Come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram (i.e. Damascus) and of the king of Israel, who are attacking me’. And Ahaz took silver and gold… and sent it as a gift to the king of Assyria. The king of Assyria complied” (2 Kings 16:7-9). It was King Ahaz of Judah who brought Assyria’s King Pul (aka: Tiglath-pileser) into the war(s). In short…it is ultimately Israelis against Israelis; Gods method of judgment upon Israel and the beginnings of great territorial expansion by Assyria.

In Assyrian secular records of Tiglath-pileser we also find: “The land Bit-Humri (meaning the Northern kingdom of Israel), all of whose cities I had utterly devastated in my former campaigns, whose [people] and livestock I had carried off and whose (capital) city Samaria alone had been spared: (now) they overthrew Peqah, their king.” (Tiglath-pileser III records)

“The land Bit-Humri (Israel; King Omri): I brought to Assyria […], its auxiliary army, and an assembly of its people. They (or: I) killed their king Peq(k)ah and I placed *Hoshea [as king] over them.” (Tiglath-pileser III records) This was 732 B.C.

*Do not confuse King Hoshea of Israel with Hosea the prophet.

After Tiglath-pileser died (727 B.C.), Hoshea [who probably only ruled over the territories of the Tribe of Ephraim] revolted against the new Assyrian king, Shalmaneser. Consequently he invaded Israel, took Hoshea prisoner, and besieged Samaria. When the city fell [by siege] three years later, many of Israel’s citizens were deported to {hinterland] Assyria, and the Assyrians ruled in Israel. (Encyclopedia Britannica) [emphasis mine]

JIV INSIGHT: When we read of Damascus in the bible and even early secular history, this evolved into what we know today as Syria. Damascus had a king that eventually ruled over the lands of Syria. Samaria was the capital of the Northern Kingdom. It was also situated within the territory of the Tribe of Ephraim.

Also…the names Hoshea and Hosea mean “Salvation.” Hmmmmm?

Now that we know the historical backdrop to Hosea 8 let’s look at what God was saying through the prophet Hosea.

Hosea 8

When trumpets sound it is to herald troops or populations. It is primarily a way to get people’s attention. Even the “Last Trumpet” sounding will herald the second coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:52), the raising of the dead, and the end of End Time; i.e. the 7 year Tribulation.

In Hosea 8:1 it is a call for the end of the Northern kingdom of Israel. The next trumpet Israelis will hear is 1 Corinthians 15:52. The cry of Israel in verse two is like being guilty of being caught, not repentance. They tried to shift the blame to God by claiming to be his people therefore qualifying for his elite protection. They may have also pleaded with their other gods of wood, stone and golden calf but scripture does not state this. (note Hosea 8:5 below)

The golden calf as described in the book of Exodus

Hosea 8:3 is specific. “Israel has cast off the thing (God’s protection) that is good.” Verse 4 goes even further…the kings of Israel were not kings by God’s choice. Similar to religions and the churches today we make our worship what we want it to be; not as God defines it in the Book of Acts and other places. We are unequally yoked in a common building with unbelievers. This is evangelical but not worship as God expects. Think on this! There is a significant difference to be in a worship center unequally yoked with unbelievers who are there for who-knows-what reason…religious habit perhaps?

Hosea 8:5 is very similar in context as was Elijah’s experience in the same territory of the Northern Kingdom of Israel years earlier (1 Kings 18:20-40). Hosea 8:5a…”Your calf is rejected” (ESV). Just as happened with Elijah and the priests of Baal at Mt Carmel when Ahab was king and Jezebel his queen, their god Baal failed them then and now. Hosea points out that this false god has failed them again. God’s anger, in part, is due to the fact that after a short time, Israel returned to their deaf and dumb gods including Baal. This reminds us of the “Pet Rock” rage of 1975. Pet rocks did absolutely nothing, did not need house training, stayed put, and ate nothing. This is also reflective of Baal. Neither pet rocks nor Baal could protect the household or the lands and possessions of Israel.

Hosea 8:6 is even more comparative to the Pet Rock era. It reads in the NKJV in the middle of that verse…Á workman made it, and it is not god” just as the Pet Rock was not a real pet.

David Guzik’s Commentary defines it well per Hosea 8:11…”When we give ourselves opportunity and occasion for sin, it is never surprising when we end up sinning.”

In a very real sense and often overlooked in a read-through-the-Bible scenario, this verse explicitly identifies God as its author…Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing” (ESV). Note the words “I & my laws” This reference is to the Ten Commandments God had already written for Moses and the wandering Israelites.

Hosea 8:13b (ESV) is a solid reminder of the future Bema Seat and the Great White Throne judgements. In the Bema seat it is the sins not yet *confessed that will be judged per the believer. The Great White Throne Judgement is the final judgement. Those in the earth and on earth without Christ will be finally and fatally judged…”Now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins…”

*Confession is not a laundry list of deeds or misdeeds. It is confession of being a sinner and needing to ask forgiveness (as in the Lord’s Prayer) “Just as we forgive those who have sinned against us.” God forgives in like manner according to the Lord’s Prayer.

Jstark
2020

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

Hosea – Article #4

Mount Hermon panorama – northern Israel

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.

Hosea – Article #3

Hosea – Article #3 (Chapter 1)

NOTHING FEELS WORSE

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.

  1. 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 not my 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?

Hosea Article #2

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 1:2 The *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.

Deeper perspective

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.

Bodies or 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.

Hosea – Article #1

Hosea Article #1
An 8th century Minor Prophet

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:

  1. 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.”
  2. Matthew 6:33 “Seek [you] first the kingdom of God AND his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”
  3. 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?

DRAW NEAR TO GOD AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU.

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.

  1. The entirety of Hosea is just an allegory just as were Jesus’ parables
  2. 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.
  3. Gomer was already a prostitute. Hosea purchased then repurchased her from slavery to be his wife. The three children she had are from Hosea.
  4. 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.