Hosea 1 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Hosea 1)

Verse 2

[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, departing from the LORD.

Go take — This was, probably, done in vision, and was to be told to the people, as other visions were: it was parabolically proposed to them, and might have been sufficient to convince the Jews, would they have considered it, as David considered Nathan's parable.

A wife of whoredoms and children — Receive and maintain the children she had before.

Verse 4

[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.

The blood — The slaughters made by Jehu's hand or by his order, in Jezreel.

The house of Jehu — Which had now possessed the throne, through the reigns of Jehoahaz, Jehoash, and Jeroboam; but the usurper, and his successors adhering to the idolatry of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and adding other sins to it, had now provoked God to declare a sudden extirpation of the family: all this came to pass when Shallum conspiring against Zechariah, slew him, 2 Kings 15:8-10.

The kingdom — After one and forty years tottering it fell to utter ruin and hath so continued to this day.

Verse 5

[5] And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.

At that day — When my vengeance hath overtaken the house of Jehu.

Break — Weaken and by degrees quite break.

The bow — All their warlike provision, power and skill.

Jezreel — In this valley it is probable the bloodiest battles in the civil wars were fought; the reason whereof might be, because whoever carried the victory in this place, were soon masters of Samaria and Jezreel, and consequently of the kingdom.

Verse 6

[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.

Lo-ruhamah — Not pitied. Israel's name had been through many ages Ruhamah, that is, pitied. God had pitied them, and saved them from their enemies. But now Israel should be no more pitied, God would throw them up to the rage of usurpers, and conspirators.

Verse 7

[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.

Save them — I will preserve them, that violence do not swallow them up, nor length of captivity wear them out; and this preserved remnant shall return and be planted in their own land, and there kept in safety.

By the Lord — Particularly in that extraordinary deliverance of Hezekiah and Jerusalem, from Sennacherib.

Verse 9

[9] Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.

Loammi — That is, not my people. Tho' once you were a peculiar people, you are so no more; you are cast off as you deserved.

I will not be your God — I will be a God to you, no more than to any of the Heathen nations. This God executed when he gave them up into the hands of Salmaneser, who sent them where none now can find them.

Verse 10

[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.

The children of Israel — Not Israel after the flesh, not those very families that are carried captive.

In the place — In those places, were a people dwelt who were not his people, there shall be a people of God.

The living God — Who is the fountain of life to all his children, and who enables them to offer living sacrifices to the living God.

Verse 11

[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.

Then — This verse has both an historical and a spiritual sense; the one referring to the return out of Babylon, the other to a more glorious deliverance from a more miserable captivity.

Judah — The two tribes, who adhered to the house of David.

Israel — Some of the ten tribes who were incorporated with the kingdom of Judah, and so carried captive with them. But this is spiritually to be understood of the whole Israel of God.

One head — Zerubbabel, who was appointed by Cyrus, yet with full approbation of the people. And so Christ is appointed by the Father, head of his church, whom believers heartily accept.

Come up — Literally out of Babylon, spiritually out of captivity to sin and to Satan.

Great — Good, joyous and comfortable.

Of Jezreel — Israel is here called Jezreel, the seed of God. This seed is now sown in the earth, and buried under the clods; but great shall be its day, when the harvest comes. Great was the day of the church, when there were daily added to it such as should be saved.