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.
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.