ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bible: What Does Hosea 1-4 Teach Us About Unfaithfulness and Redemption?

Updated on September 22, 2016

Hosea the Prophet


Hosea's Wife (Gomer) and Children


Hosea begins his prophecy by mentioning the period of kingdom history during which he received revelation (v. 1); his ministry as a "man of God," nabi (prophet), spanned the reigns of four Judean kings and one Israelite king.

At the outset of Hosea’s service, Yahweh planned that His messenger's marriage to Gomer should testify against Judah's rebellion against Him.

To mirror the LORD's relationship to Israel, Hosea must marry a prostitute; the subsequent behavior of Gomer will demonstrate the people’s unfaithfulness to God (v. 2).

Not only would the prophet’s marriage witness to the faithlessness of Judah, but his wife’s children would also point to the nation’s future disgrace.

Jezreel, Gomer’s first-born, is also the name of a valley where Yahweh "will break the bow of Israel" (vv. 3-5).

At God’s direction, Hosea calls the second child, a girl, "No-Mercy (English)," thus informing Israel of the LORD’s decision against them (v. 6).

However, in the next breath, Yahweh promises to save Judah personally (v. 7).

"Not-My-People (English)," Hosea and Gomer's second son, also manifests the LORD’s displeasure (vv. 8-9).

Nevertheless, despite God's temporary rejection, He vows to fulfill His promise to Jacob by one day causing Judah and Israel to unite under the Messiah ("one head'') [vv. 10-11; cf. Gen. 32:12].

Portrayal of Israel

view quiz statistics

Present Punishment

Hosea 2

The subject of reconciliation (begun in 1:10) briefly continues here (v. 1).

At the time of Messiah, family members in Israel will restore fellowship with one another.

However, in Hosea's day, Yahweh calls for an indictment of His people because of their disloyalty to Him.

He characterizes her (Israel) as an unfaithful harlot, and not His wife, and exhorts her to repent lest He judge her (v. 2).

Upon conviction of her sin, Israel can expect the humiliating treatment an adulterous wife receives (v. 3).

Her children also suffer for their mother's sin, for God withholds His mercy from them (v. 4).

Israel's apostasy will cost future generations their freedom (v. 5).

God guides Israel through a painful process to bring her to nothing (vv. 6-13).

First, He prevents her rendezvous with her lovers (vv. 6-7a).

Second, when she tries to return to Him (the continual Supplier of all her good things which she in turn offers to a foreign god), He chastises her.

Not only does He not supply her sustenance any longer, He also "exposes" her to her lovers, disallows her special celebrations, and destroys the gifts her paramours give to her (vv. 7b-13).

Time of Restoration


Future Restoration

After allowing enough time for punishment, Yahweh responds again with mercy and favor toward Israel.

[The phrase "in that day" (vv. 16, 18, 21) indicates the time of restoration, and cannot refer to any other historical period except the Messianic kingdom].

As though He were her Husband once again, the LORD speaks to Israel with terms of endearment: allure (v. 14), comfort (v. 14), and betroth (vv. 19-20).

He blesses her with peace (v. 18); vineyards (v. 15), grain, new wine, and oil again abound (v. 22).

Israel sings a song of the good days of old (v. 15), for her relationship with God prospers.

She becomes faithful to Him (vv. 16-17), and He pledges both His everlasting loyalty to her (vv. 19-20) and His mercy upon her (v. 23).

Hosea and His Wife


Hosea Redeems Gomer

Hosea 3

Time passes and, in an action paralleling the deed of Israel toward God, Gomer leaves Hosea for another man.

Yahweh desires His prophet to mirror His love for the nation, so He sends Hosea to redeem his wayward wife (vv. 1-2).

After the humiliating ordeal, the prophet pledges faithfulness to his wife, and demands the same from her (v. 3).

Drawing a comparison, Hosea states that Israel will be leaderless and without means to worship God or to know His will until the latter days, when Yahweh will restore the nation spiritually in Messiah and "David's" reign (vv. 4-5).

Special Culpability

view quiz statistics

Punishment of People and Priests Alike

Hosea 4

Next, Hosea calls upon Israel to heed God's charge against her (v. 1a).

What is the indictment in question?

The nation lacks three vital spiritual attributes (namely, truth, mercy, and knowledge of God), and consequently commits abominable acts.

Yahweh will therefore punish every living thing in Israel: the land, human beings, beasts, birds and fish (vv. 1b-3).

People who reject authority and continually stumble into error saturate the Land (vv. 4-5).

Their anti-knowledge stance will destroy them as a unique people of God, and cause Him to ''forget" the next generation (v. 6).

As responsible vessels to teach Israel about Yahweh and His law, the priests stand guilty of disobedience; consequently, they will suffer shame.

By taking their sinning seriously, they bring down an entire generation (vv. 7-8).

God will not allow them to escape appropriate retribution; their sensuality will not satisfy them (vv. 9-10).

The worldly lifestyles of both the priests and the people enslave them (v. 11), as idolatry and harlotry replace true worship (vv. 12-13).

Not only do the women apostatize, but so do the men as well.

Apparently, God allows them to bring about their own ruin (v. 14; cf. Deut. 23:18); "although Israel has gone astray, Judah must not follow," warns Yahweh (v. 15).

Having delivered them over to their harlotry, He allows the former to go off on their own ("let them forage like a lamb in open country," "let them alone") [vv. 16-17].

One day their rebellion will lead to their ruin; "they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices" (vv. 18-19).

© 2014 glynch1


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)