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FRAMEWORKS: Hosea

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FRAMEWORKS: Hosea 2: Israel, to be Punished & Restored

 

[Preliminary Comment: Observe the following divisions:

v.1 Continues from previous chapter

v.2-8 Action to limit Israel's Adultery

v.9-13 The Lord's Declarations of Judgments (Punishment)

v.14-23 The Lord's Declarations of Restoration (Restored)

 

v.1 The children [future offspring] will be renamed with names of hope

v.1 ‘Say of your brothers, “My people”, and of your sisters, “My loved one”.

 

[Notes: This continues on from the words of hope and restoration in v.10 & 11 of the previous chapter and therefore refers to their future designations, not the present – see below.]

   

  

v.2-8 Action to limit Israel's Adultery

 

v.2 Israel, the mother is to be rebuked for her unfaithfulness

v.2  ‘Rebuke your mother, rebuke her,
    for she is not my wife,
    and I am not her husband.
Let her remove the adulterous look from her face
    and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.
    

v.3 If she will not repent, the Lord will strip and slay her

v.3  Otherwise I will strip her naked
    and make her as bare as on the day she was born;
I will make her like a desert,
    turn her into a parched land,
    and slay her with thirst.
    

v.4 Moreover, the present-day children will not be accepted

v.4  I will not show my love to her children,
    because they are the children of adultery.
    

v.5 Why? Because of their mother, their past history of unfaithfulness

v.5  Their mother has been unfaithful
    and has conceived them in disgrace.
She said, “I will go after my lovers,
    who give me my food and my water,
    my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.'
    

v.6 So God will intervene to stop her activities

v.6  Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
    I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
    

v.7 She will want to go after foreign gods but He will not let her until she repents

v.7  She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
    she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
    “I will go back to my husband as at first,
    for then I was better off than now.”
    

v.8 She has failed to acknowledge that He has been the Lord of provision for them

v.8  She has not acknowledged that I was the one
    who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold –
    which they used for Baal.

 

[Notes: Following verse 1, the prophecy returns to the present where Israel is being rebuked for her unfaithfulness [v.2] and unless she repents she will be severely chastised [v.3] and her immediate children will be robbed of blessing because of her ongoing unfaithfulness [v.4,5] but the Lord will take action to hinder her [v.6] to stop her constant lusting after other foreign gods [v.7] [?going into exile until she changes her heart?] because she continues to fail to accept God's good provision for her [v.8]

 

 

v.9-13 The Lord's Declarations of Judgments (Punishment)

 

v.9 He will remove her provisions and leave her naked

v.9  ‘Therefore I will take away my corn when it ripens,
    and my new wine when it is ready.
I will take back my wool and my linen,
    intended to cover her naked body.
     

v.10 She will be exposed to all can see what she is really like

v.10  So now I will expose her lewdness
    before the eyes of her lovers;
    no one will take her out of my hands.
     

v.11 All of her imitation festivals [see 1 Kings 12:32,33] will be stopped

v.11  I will stop all her celebrations:
    her yearly festivals, her New Moons,
    her Sabbath days – all her appointed festivals.
  

v.12,13 She will be thoroughly punished for her idolatry

v.12  I will ruin her vines and her fig-trees,
    which she said were her pay from her lovers;
I will make them a thicket,
    and wild animals will devour them.
v.13  I will punish her for the days
    she burned incense to the Baals;
she decked herself with rings and jewellery,
    and went after her lovers,
    but me she forgot,'
declares the Lord.

 

[Notes: Verses 9 to 13 are a series of declarations of the punishments that the Lord will bring on Israel, her affluence removed [v.9] so will appear naked and exposed for all to see [v.10], and her idolatrous celebrations stopped [v.11], and remove all her signs of affluence she thought she got from her idolatry [v.12] and this is all because she has given herself completely to her idolatry [v.13]. A passage of total condemnation.]

 

 

v.14-23 The Lord's Declarations of Restoration (Restored)

 

v.14 God will now take her off into exile [to be changed, implied, see following]

v.14  ‘Therefore I am now going to allure her;
     I will lead her into the wilderness
    and speak tenderly to her.
   

v.15 Through this she will be utterly changed, as she was at the beginning

v.15  There I will give her back her vineyards,
    and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
    as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

 

v.16 When that happens there will be a new intimacy between her and God

v.16  ‘In that day,' declares the Lord,
    ‘you will call me “my husband”;
    you will no longer call me “my master”.
    

v.17,18 Indeed when that happens, idolatry will be a thing of the past

v.17   I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
    no longer will their names be invoked.
v.18  In that day I will make a covenant for them
    with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
    and the creatures that move along the ground.
Bow and sword and battle
     I will abolish from the land,
    so that all may lie down in safety.
    

v.19,20 Indeed when that happens we will be united afresh for ever

v.19  I will betroth you to me for ever;
     I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
    in love and compassion.
v.20  I will betroth you in faithfulness,
    and you will acknowledge the Lord.

 

v.21,22 When that happens, sky and earth will work together to bring blessing

v.21  ‘In that day I will respond,'
    declares the Lord –
I will respond to the skies,
    and they will respond to the earth;
v.22  and the earth will respond to the grain,
    the new wine and the olive oil,
    and they will respond to Jezreel.
    

v.23 It will be a time of complete transformation

v.23  I will plant her for myself in the land;
     I will show my love to the one I called “Not my loved one”.
I will say to those called “Not my people”, “You are my people”;
    and they will say, “You are my God.”'

 

[Notes: Verses 14 to 23 paint an amazing picture of restoration. Yes, it will be in the future after the Lord has taken her into exile [v.14] and brought about a change of heart in her [v.15] when she completely returns to the Lord [v.16]. It is a work of the Lord in which the past of idolatry will be completely removed [v.17,18] and there will be a new coming together of God with His people [v.19,20] so He will call the sky and the earth to bring forth blessings [v.21,22] and she will be established as the loved one in the land once again [v.23]. What an amazing picture of transformation of this presently unfaithful people!]

 

[Additional Notes: For the fulfilment of the words of the latter half of this chapter, we must remember

- first their terrible state, their sinfulness recorded in 2 Kings 17:7-17 that caused God's judgment of them,

- the Lord's regular disciplining of Israel, e.g.

- Hazael king of Aram oppressing Israel throughout the reign of Jehoahaz (2 Kings 13:22), [before the time of Hosea's words]

- then in the time of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came and deported some of the people to Assyria, (2 Kings 15:29) until finally

- Shalmaneser  king of Assyria  came up to attack king Hoshea (2 Kings 17:3) and eventually “in the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes.” (2 Kings 17:6)

For the restoration part Hezekiah of Judah, in 2 Chron 30:1-12,18 we see Hezekiah sending out dispatches to Judah AND Israel, those scattered, to come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord and they came from far and wide. It may be that when Judah were returned by Cyrus to rebuild the temple, there may have been other Jews who took the opportunity to return as well. There are also other brief references to both Israel as well as Judah [e.g. Mal 2:11, Zech 8:13] indicating an ongoing oneness.]

     

   

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