Bible: Hosea 1-3

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Superscription

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This is the word of the Lord which was revealed to Hosea 2  son of Beeri during the time when 3  Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah ruled Judah, 4  and during the time when Jeroboam son of Joash 5  ruled Israel. 6 

Symbols of Sin and Judgment: The Prostitute and Her Children

1:2 When the Lord first spoke 7  through 8  Hosea, he 9  said to him, 10 Go marry 11  a prostitute 12  who will bear illegitimate children conceived through prostitution, 13  because the nation 14  continually commits spiritual prostitution 15  by turning away from 16  the Lord.” 1:3 So Hosea married 17  Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim. Then she conceived and gave birth to a son for him. 1:4 Then the Lord said to Hosea, 18 Name him ‘Jezreel,’ because in a little while I will punish 19  the dynasty 20  of Jehu on account of the bloodshed 21  in the valley of Jezreel, 22  and I will put an end to the kingdom 23  of Israel. 24  1:5 At that time, 25  I will destroy the military power 26  of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”

1:6 She conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord 27  said to him, “Name her ‘No Pity’ (Lo-Ruhamah) because I will no longer have pity 28  on the nation 29  of Israel. For 30  I will certainly not forgive 31  their guilt. 32  1:7 But I will have pity on the nation 33  of Judah. 34  I will deliver them by the Lord their God; I will not deliver them by the warrior’s bow, by sword, by military victory, 35  by chariot horses, or by chariots.” 36 

1:8 When 37  she had weaned ‘No Pity’ (Lo-Ruhamah) she conceived again and gave birth to another son. 1:9 Then the Lord 38  said: “Name him ‘Not My People’ (Lo-Ammi), because you 39  are not my people and I am not your 40  God.” 41 

The Restoration of Israel

1:10 42  However, 43  in the future the number of the people 44  of Israel will be like the sand of the sea which can be neither measured nor numbered. Although 45  it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it will be said to them, “You are 46  children 47  of the living God! 1:11 Then the people 48  of Judah and the people of Israel will be gathered together. They will appoint for themselves one leader, 49  and will flourish in the land. 50  Certainly, 51  the day of Jezreel will be great! 2:1 Then you will call 52  your 53  brother, “My People(Ammi)! You will call your sister, “Pity” (Ruhamah)!

Idolatrous Israel Will Be Punished Like a Prostitute

2:2 Plead earnestly 54  with your 55  mother

(for 56  she is not my wife, and I am not her husband),

so that 57  she might put an end to her adulterous lifestyle, 58 

and turn away from her sexually immoral behavior. 59 

2:3 Otherwise, I will strip her naked,

and expose her like she was when she was born.

I will turn her land into a wilderness

and make her country a parched land,

so that I might kill 60  her with thirst.

2:4 I will have no pity on her children, 61 

because they are children conceived in adultery. 62 

2:5 For their mother has committed adultery;

she who conceived them has acted shamefully.

For she said, “I will seek out 63  my lovers; 64 

they are the ones who give me my bread and my water,

my wool, my flax, my olive oil, and my wine. 65 

The Lords Discipline Will Bring Israel Back

2:6 Therefore, I will soon 66  fence her in 67  with thorns;

I will wall her in 68  so that 69  she cannot find her way. 70 

2:7 Then she will pursue her lovers, but she will not catch 71  them;

she will seek them, but she will not find them. 72 

Then she will say,

I will go back 73  to my husband, 74 

because I was better off then than I am now.” 75 

Agricultural Fertility Withdrawn from Israel

2:8 Yet 76  until now 77  she has refused to acknowledge 78  that I 79  was the one

who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil;

and that it was I who 80  lavished on her the silver and gold

which they 81  used in worshiping Baal! 82 

2:9 Therefore, I will take back 83  my grain during the harvest time 84 

and my new wine when it ripens; 85 

I will take away my wool and my flax

which I had provided 86  in order to clothe her. 87 

2:10 Soon 88  I will expose her lewd nakedness 89  in front of her lovers,

and no one will be able to rescue her from me! 90 

2:11 I will put an end to all her celebration:

her annual religious festivals,

monthly new moon celebrations,

and weekly Sabbath festivities –

all her appointed festivals.

2:12 I will destroy her vines and fig trees,

about which she said, “These are my wages for prostitution 91 

that my lovers gave to me!”

I will turn her cultivated vines and fig trees 92  into an uncultivated thicket,

so that wild animals 93  will devour them.

2:13I will punish her for the festival days

when she burned incense to the Baal idols; 94 

she adorned herself with earrings and jewelry,

and went after her lovers,

but 95  she forgot me!” 96  says the Lord.

Future Repentance and Restoration of Israel

2:14 However, in the future I will allure her; 97 

I will lead 98  her back into the wilderness,

and speak tenderly to her.

2:15 From there I will give back her vineyards to her,

and turn the “Valley of Trouble 99  into an “Opportunity 100  for Hope.”

There she will sing as she did when she was young, 101 

when 102  she came up from the land of Egypt.

2:16At that time,” 103  declares the Lord,

“you will call, 104 My husband; 105 

you will never again call me, 106  ‘My master.’ 107 

2:17 For 108  I will remove the names of the Baal idols 109  from your lips, 110 

so that you will never again utter their names! 111 

New Covenant Relationship with Repentant Israel

2:18At that time 112  I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals,

the birds of the air, and the creatures that crawl on the ground.

I will abolish 113  the warrior’s bow and sword

– that is, every weapon of warfare 114  – from the land,

and I will allow them to live securely.” 115 

2:19 I will commit myself to you 116  forever;

I will commit myself to you in 117  righteousness and justice,

in steadfast love and tender compassion.

2:20 I will commit myself to you in faithfulness;

then 118  you will acknowledge 119  the Lord.” 120 

Agricultural Fertility Restored to the Repentant Nation

2:21At that time, 121  I will willingly respond,” 122  declares the Lord.

“I will respond to the sky,

and the sky 123  will respond to the ground;

2:22 then the ground will respond to the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil;

and they will respond to ‘God Plants’ (Jezreel)! 124 

2:23 Then I will plant her as my own 125  in the land.

I will have pity on ‘No Pity’ (Lo-Ruhamah).

I will say to ‘Not My People(Lo-Ammi), ‘You are my people!’

And he 126  will say, ‘You are 127  my God!’

An Illustration of God’s Love for Idolatrous Israel

3:1 The Lord said to me, “Go, show love to 128  your wife 129  again, even though she loves 130  another man 131  and continually commits adultery. 132  Likewise, the Lord loves 133  the Israelites 134  although they turn to other gods and love to offer raisin cakes to idols.” 135  3:2 So I paid fifteen shekels of silver and about seven bushels of barley 136  to purchase her. 3:3 Then I told her, “You must live with me many days; you must not commit adultery or have sexual intercourse with 137  another man, and I also will wait for you.” 3:4 For the Israelites 138  must live many days without a king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred fertility pillar, without ephod or idols. 3:5 Afterward, the Israelites will turn and seek the Lord their God and their Davidic king. 139  Then they will submit to the Lord in fear and receive his blessings 140  in the future. 141 

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