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2016 February 21

Gomer and the Three Children (15th Century)
Guiard des Moulins (15th Century)
Renaissance Style
Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris, France / Dessins Enluminures Bible
Image Source: Art Bible Net

     Overview of Hosea: In his prophecy, Hosea [c. 750-715 B. C.] centers his message on what Jehovah is and does for Israel, in contrast to Isaiah who centers on what Israel is for Jehovah. (Vos, Biblical Theology, 254) The prophets often refer to the LORD as "Jehovah of Hosts," which is a way of emphasizing his omnipotence. This may refer to his power over the stars of heaven, the angelic hosts, or Israel - either its people in general or its armies in particular, but probably has particular reference to the angelic hosts. Hosea also deals much with the emotions or affections of God. "Most of the material for this is found in Hosea and the second part of Isaiah." (Vos, Biblical Theology, 275). "What other prophets affirm concerning God in terms of will and purpose Hosea expresses in language suffused with emotion." (Vos, Biblical Theology, 275). Among other things, he speaks of God's hatred (9:15), his desire (longing, strong desire) to punish Israel (10:10), his anger (11:9; 13:11), and his loving-kindness (2:19). Hosea treats the covenant with Jehovah both as a marriage (13:5) and as a legal arrangement (8:1), but primarily as a marriage. Vos says that Hosea is the chief source of our knowledge about the nature of the marriage covenant between Israel and Jehovah and that we learn the following 5 things about it: "(1) The union originated on the part of Jehovah ... (13:5) ... (2) The relation had a definite historical beginning (13:4) ... (3) Though the union originated effectually on Jehovah's part, yet Israel was led freely to enter upon it ... (11:4) ... (4) Although the berith is thus traced back to its highest ideal source in the nature and choice of Jehovah, it nevertheless established a legally defined relationship. The marriage exists under a marriage-law ... She is legally guilty. Jehovah has a 'ribh', 'controversy at law' with Israel, 4:1." ... (5) The covenant is according to Hosea, as it is to all N. T. writers, a national berith. It was made when the descendants of Abraham had come to form a nation (11:1)." (Vos, Biblical Theology, 280-284).
     "With him [Hosea] it is the conception of Jehovah as the marriage-Lord of Israel that has at nearly every point shaped his presentation of the subject. ... Sin is to Hosea want of conformity to the ideal of marriage-affection and loyalty. (4:1; 5:7; 6:7; 7:13; 11:12; 7:16; 10:2; 8:12; 4:10-12, etc.)." (Vos, Biblical Theology, 297 ff.).
     "Hosea reaches a profound conception of its [sin's] character as a disposition, an enslaving power, as something deeper and more serious than single acts of transgression. It is a bent rendering its victim unable to reform (5:4; 7:2)." (Vos, Biblical Theology, 300).

     Explanation: In Hosea 1 the LORD told Hosea to take "a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms" (v. 2). Hosea took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim and had three children by her. The illumination above illustrates this; (the third child is in the womb). The first child was a boy. The LORD told Hosea to name him Jezreel. The name was symbolic of the vengeance the LORD was going to take upon the house of Jehu for his murders in the valley of Jezreel. The LORD named the second child, a girl, Loruhamah, meaning "No Mercy." This name indicated that the LORD would no longer have mercy on Israel (the Northern Kingdom). They were carried away and scattered among the nations by the Assyrians. Gomer had a third child, a boy, and the LORD called him Loammi, meaning "Not My People." Nevertheless, said the LORD, a time would come when Judah and Israel would be regathered, and they would experience mercy and would be called "sons of the living God" (v. 10).
     Several elements in this first chapter, clustering around Gomer, are difficult to interpret. Was Gomer real or visionary? Was the marriage real or visionary? If Gomer is real, was she a prostitute before her marriage to Hosea, or only afterward? Was Diblaim Gomer's father or her mother? One key concern is the question of whether God would move one of his holy prophets to marry an unclean woman, defiled by prostitution. However, when one considers that God moved Hosea to redeem her and take her back after she was unfaithful to him, the defilement issue is not an impossible barrier at the beginning of the marriage. And it is by no means clear that Gomer was sexually loose before the marriage. Although she is called "a wife of whoredoms," this may refer to the general climate of spiritual whoredom which then prevailed in Israel and Judah, by which both Israel and Judah were collectively defiled. This may be why the children were called "children of whoredoms" even before they were conceived. Also, Gomer may be called "a wife of whoredoms," in prospect of what she would become after Hosea married her. Or it may be that Gomer was unfaithful early in the marriage, before the children were born, and that the children were by another man (or men). [Sermons: Eric Alexander. William Still. John Stott. ].
     Today's image depicts Hosea and his family (with Loammi in the womb), as mentioned in today's chapter.


          [ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]

          [ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]

          [ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

          [ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]

1. Before Gomer's Captivity (1:1 - 2:23)
a. Signs to Israel Before Gomer, Hosea's Wife, Went into Captivity (1:1 - 1:9) - 760-756 B.C., Israel
b. The Lord's Commentary on the Pre-Captivity Signs (1:10 - 2:23) - 756 B.C., Israel

2. After Gomer's Captivity (3:1 - 14:9)
a. Signs to Israel After Gomer Returned From Captivity (3:1 - 3:5) - 756-720 B.C., Israel
b. The Lord's Commentary on the Post-Captivity Signs (4:1 - 14:9) - 720 B.C., Israel

Hosea 1

1. Before Gomer's Captivity (1:1 - 2:23)

a. Signs to Israel Before Gomer, Hosea's Wife, Went into Captivity (1:1 - 1:9) - 760-756 B.C., Israel

1). Jezreel, a Son - A Sign Of The End Of Israel (1:1-5)

     1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
     2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom [to commit whoredom she is committing whoredom], departing from the LORD. 3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.
     4 And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.

2). Loruhamah, a Daughter - A Sign That God Would No Longer Show Love To Israel (1:6-7)

     6 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. 7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.

3). Loammi, a Son - A Sign That Israel Is Not God's People, And He Is Not Their God (1:8-9)

     8 Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. 9 Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.

b. The Lord's Commentary on the Pre-Captivity Signs (1:10 - 2:23) - 756 B.C., Israel

1). A Promise of Restoration (1:10 - 2:1)

     10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, 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. 11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
     2:1 Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.

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