Hosea 2

1 Rename your brothers 'God's Somebody.' Rename your sisters 'All Mercy.' Wild Weekends and Unholy Holidays
2 "Haul your mother into court. Accuse her! She's no longer my wife. I'm no longer her husband. Tell her to quit dressing like a whore, displaying her breasts for sale.
3 If she refuses, I'll rip off her clothes and expose her, naked as a newborn. I'll turn her skin into dried-out leather, her body into a badlands landscape, a rack of bones in the desert.
4 I'll have nothing to do with her children, born one and all in a whorehouse.
5 Face it: Your mother's been a whore, bringing bastard children into the world. She said, 'I'm off to see my lovers! They'll wine and dine me, Dress and caress me, perfume and adorn me!'
6 But I'll fix her: I'll dump her in a field of thistles, then lose her in a dead-end alley.
7 She'll go on the hunt for her lovers but not bring down a single one. She'll look high and low but won't find a one. Then she'll say, 'I'm going back to my husband, the one I started out with. That was a better life by far than this one.'
8 She didn't know that it was I all along who wined and dined and adorned her, That I was the one who dressed her up in the big-city fashions and jewelry that she wasted on wild Baal-orgies.
9 I'm about to bring her up short: No more wining and dining! Silk lingerie and gowns are a thing of the past.
10 I'll expose her genitals to the public. All her fly-by-night lovers will be helpless to help her.
11 Party time is over. I'm calling a halt to the whole business, her wild weekends and unholy holidays.
12 I'll wreck her sumptuous gardens and ornamental fountains, of which she bragged, 'Whoring paid for all this!' They will soon be dumping grounds for garbage, feeding grounds for stray dogs and cats.
13 I'll make her pay for her indulgence in promiscuous religion - all that sensuous Baal worship And all the promiscuous sex that went with it, stalking her lovers, dressed to kill, And not a thought for me." God's Message! To Start All Over Again
14 "And now, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to start all over again. I'm taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I'll court her.
15 I'll give her bouquets of roses. I'll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. She'll respond like she did as a young girl, those days when she was fresh out of Egypt.
16 "At that time" - this is God's Message still - "you'll address me, 'Dear husband!' Never again will you address me, 'My slave-master!'
17 I'll wash your mouth out with soap, get rid of all the dirty false-god names, not so much as a whisper of those names again.
18 At the same time I'll make a peace treaty between you and wild animals and birds and reptiles, And get rid of all weapons of war. Think of it! Safe from beasts and bullies!
19 And then I'll marry you for good - forever! I'll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness.
20 Yes, I'll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go. You'll know me, God, for who I really am.
21 "On the very same day, I'll answer" - this is God's Message - "I'll answer the sky, sky will answer earth,
22 Earth will answer grain and wine and olive oil, and they'll all answer Jezreel.
23 I'll plant her in the good earth. I'll have mercy on No-Mercy. I'll say to Nobody, 'You're my dear Somebody,' and he'll say 'You're my God!'"

Hosea 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

The idolatry of the people. (1-5) God's judgments against them. (6-13) His promises of reconciliation. (14-23)

Verses 1-5 This chapter continues the figurative address to Israel, in reference to Hosea's wife and children. Let us own and love as brethren, all whom the Lord seems to put among his children, and encourage them in that they have received mercy. But every Christian, by his example and conduct, must protest against evil and abuses, even among those to whom he belongs and owes respect. Impenitent sinners will soon be stripped of the advantages they misuse, and which they consume upon their lusts.

Verses 6-13 God threatens what he would do with this treacherous, idolatrous people. They did not turn, therefore all this came upon them; and it is written for admonition to us. If lesser difficulties be got over, God will raise greater. The most resolute in sinful pursuits, are commonly most crossed in them. The way of God and duty is often hedged about with thorns, but we have reason to think it is a sinful way that is hedged up with thorns. Crosses and obstacles in an evil course are great blessings, and are to be so accounted; they are God's hedges, to keep us from transgressing, to make the way of sin difficult, and to keep us from it. We have reason to bless God for restraining grace, and for restraining providences; and even for sore pain, sickness, or calamity, if it keeps us from sin. The disappointments we meet with in seeking for satisfaction from the creature, should, if nothing else will do it, drive us to the Creator. When men forget, or consider not that their comforts come from God, he will often in mercy take them away, to bring them to think upon their folly and danger. Sin and mirth can never hold long together; but if men will not take away sin from their mirth, God will take away mirth from their sin. And if men destroy God's word and ordinances, it is just with him to destroy their vines and fig-trees. This shall be the ruin of their mirth. Taking away the solemn seasons and the sabbaths will not do it, they will readily part with them, and think it no loss; but He will take away their sensual pleasures. Days of sinful mirth must be visited with days of mourning.

Verses 14-23 After these judgments the Lord would deal with Israel more gently. By the promise of rest in Christ we are invited to take his yoke upon us; and the work of conversion may be forwarded by comforts as well as by convictions. But usually the Lord drives us to despair of earthly joy, and help from ourselves, that, being shut from every other door, we may knock at Mercy's gate. From that time Israel would be more truly attached to the Lord; no longer calling him Baali, or "My lord and master," alluding to authority, rather than love, but Ishi, an address of affection. This may foretell the restoration from the Babylonish captivity; and also be applied to the conversion of the Jews to Christ, in the days of the apostles, and the future general conversion of that nation; and believers are enabled to expect infinitely more tenderness and kindness from their holy God, than a beloved wife can expect from the kindest husband. When the people were weaned from idols, and loved the Lord, no creature should do them any harm. This may be understood of the blessings and privileges of the spiritual Israel, of every true believer, and their partaking of Christ's righteousness; also, of the conversion of the Jews to Christ. Here is an argument for us to walk so that God may not be dishonoured by us: Thou art my people. If a man's family walk disorderly, it is a dishonour to the master. If God call us children, we may say, Thou art our God. Unbelieving soul, lay aside discouraging thoughts; do not thus answer God's loving-kindness. Doth God say, Thou art my people? Say, Lord, thou art our God.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO HOSEA 2

This chapter is an explanation of the former, proceeding upon the same argument in more express words. The godly Israelites are here called upon to lay before the body of the people their idolatry, ingratitude, obstinacy, and ignorance of the God of their mercies; and to exhort them to repentance, lest they should be stripped of all their good things, and be brought into great distress and difficulties; all their joy and comfort cease, and be exposed to shame and contempt, Ho 2:1-13, yet, notwithstanding, many gracious promises are made unto them, of their having the alluring and comfortable word of the Gospel; of a door of hope; of salvation being opened to them; of faith in the Lord, and affection to him as their husband; of the removal of all idolatry from them; of safety from all enemies; of their open espousal to Christ; of his hearing of their prayers, and giving them plenty of all good things; and of their multiplication, conversion, and covenant relation to God, Ho 2:14-23.

Hosea 2 Commentaries