1:1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days a of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, b kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
The Argument - After the ten tribes had fallen away from God by the wicked and
subtle counsel of Jeroboam, the son of Neba, and instead of his true service
commanded by his word, worshipped him according to their own imaginings and
traditions of men, giving themselves to most vile idolatry and superstition,
the Lord from time to time sent them Prophets to call them to repentance. But
they grew even worse and worse, and still abused God's benefits. Therefore
now when their prosperity was at the highest under Jeroboam, the son of Joash,
God sent Hosea and Amos to the Israelites (as he did at the same time send
Isaiah and Micah to those of Judah) to condemn them for their ingratitude. And
whereas they thought themselves to be greatly in the favour of God, and to be
his people, the Prophet calls them bastards and children born in adultery: and
therefore shows them that God would take away their kingdom, and give them to
the Assyrians to be led away captives. Thus Hosea faithfully executed his
office for the space of seventy years, though they remained still in their
vices and wickedness and derided the Prophets, and condemned God's
judgments. And because they would neither be discouraged with threatening
only, nor should they flatter themselves by the sweetness of God's promises,
he sets before them the two principal parts of the Law, which are the promise
of salvation, and the doctrine of life. For the first part he directs the
faithful to the Messiah, by whom alone they would have true deliverance: and
for the second, he uses threatenings and menaces to bring them from their
wicked manners and vices: and this is the chief scope of all the Prophets,
either by God's promises to allure them to be godly, or else by threatenings
of his judgments to scare them from vice. And even though the whole Law
contains these two points, yet the Prophets moreover note distinctly both the
time of God's judgments and the manner.
(a) Also called Azariah, who being a leper was
disposed from his kingdom.
(b) So that it may be gathered by the reign of
these four kings that he preached about eighty years.
1:2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea.
And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife c
of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great
whoredom, [departing] from the LORD.
(c) That is, one that has been a harlot for a
long time: not that the Prophet did this thing in effect, but he saw this in a
vision, or else was commanded by God to set forth under this parable or figure
the idolatry of the Synagogue, and of the people her children.
1:3 So he went and took d
Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.
(d) Gomer signifies a consumption or corruption,
and rotten clusters of figs, declaring that they were all corrupt like rotten
1:4 And the LORD said unto him, Call his name e
Jezreel; for yet a little [while], and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon
the house of f Jehu, and will cause to
cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.
(e) Meaning that they would no longer be called
Israelites, which name they boasted because Israel did prevail with God: but
that they were as bastards, and therefore should be called Jezreelites, that
is, scattered people, alluding to Jezreel, which was the chief city of the ten
tribes under Ahab, where Jehu shed so much blood; (1 Kings
(f) I will be avenged upon Jehu for the blood
that he shed in Jezreel: for even though God stirred him up to execute his
judgments, yet he did them for his own ambition, and not for the glory of God
as the intended goal: for he built up that idolatry which he had destroyed.
1:5 And it shall come to pass at that g
day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.
(g) When the measure of their iniquity is full,
and I will take vengeance and destroy all their administration and strength.
1:6 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And
[God] said unto him, Call her name h
Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will
utterly i take them away.
(h) That is, not obtaining mercy: by which he
signifies that God's favour had departed from them.
(i) For the Israelites never returned after they
were taken captives by the Assyrians.
1:7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah,
and will k save them by the LORD their
God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor
(k) For after their captivity he restored them
miraculously by the means of Cyrus; (Ezra
1:9 Then said [God], Call his
name l Loammi: for ye [are] not my
people, and I will not be your [God].
(l) That is, not my people.
1:10 Yet the number of the m
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.
(m) Because they thought that God could not have
been true in his promise unless he had preserved them, he declares that though
they were destroyed, yet the true Israelites who are the sons of the promise,
would be without number, who consist both of the Jews and the Gentiles; (Romans
1:11 Then shall the children of Judah and the
children of Israel be n gathered
together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the
land: for great [shall be] the day of Jezreel.
(n) That is, after the captivity of Babylon, when
the Jews were restored: but chiefly this refers to the time of Christ, who
would be the head both of the Jews and Gentiles.
(o) The calamity and destruction of Israel will
be so great, that to restore them will be a miracle.