Hosea - Chapter 4 (Verses 1-6)

In this chapter we see the arguments God has with Israel. The sins are laid out before them in simple terms but with the emphasis of small words, such as “no” to lash them into the reality of their doom. The consequence of the sin is exemplified in a like reaction to the sin. Such as, having forgotten God and His laws, God will be forgetful also. The message is to a people that are supposed to posses a land of promise (Verses 1 and 3, land references) but also the familial relationship that binds them to God spiritually (Verse 1 - “sons of Israel”; Verse 5 - “your mother”; Verse 6 – “forget your children”).

1. What does Verse 1 demand of the errant soul?

2. What is the direct correlation to the Law to be made from the list of Verse 2 by an Israelite?

 

 Gal 5:19-21

Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, heresies, envyings, murders, revelings, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

3. What does the phrase “bloodshed follows bloodshed” or “blood touches against blood” mean?

4. Why does the land and animals mourn and languish because of the sin men (Verse 3)?

The first three verses establish the general problem for the kingdom of Israel. The follow-up to this is the declaration of the reason for the problem in Verses 4-6.

5. What character or action is the people accused of in Verse 4? Recall 2 Timothy 2:24, Titus 3:1-2.

6. Is there any significance to them stumbling by day and night? What does this have to do with mothers?

7. What is the root problem with the people according to Verses 1 and 6?

8. What is the consequence of the people of Israel not having a priesthood appointed or recognized by God going forward?

 

Christ in the Text

Is Jesus in this text as prophecy? No. Not in these six verses.

Is Christ directly represented in this set of verses? No.

Is Christ indirectly represented in these verses? Yes. It is stated by God that the people will be without a priesthood appointed by God in Verse 6. This is important due to the duties of the Levitical priests but also the established type the priests serve unto the coming Christ as the High Priest of the kingdom of God. The duty of the priest is clear in the words of Malachi which speak directly of the Priest of God which is Christ in the second half of Verse 7:

Malachi 2:7-8  For the lips of the priest should guard knowledge, and they should seek the Law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of Jehovah of Hosts. But you have turned out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the Law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says Jehovah of Hosts. 

Is the purpose of Christ shown in these verses? Yes. Christ brings the word which is able to give life. The life it gives includes longer mortal life due to faithfulness (Psalm 37:9,11; Matthew 6:30-33; Romans 8:11; 1 Timothy 4:8) in order to fulfill our service to Him. If we have no knowledge of Christ’s laws then we are no better off than the Israelites addressed in Hosea and due death.

Chapter Three takes the intended actions of Chapter Two and sets the expectations into covenant. Verses 15 and 18-19 of Chapter Two speak of the renewal of the covenant God made with the people of Israel going back to the exit from Egypt and the entry into the promised land. This is a resetting and promise of total forgiveness on the part of God. Now in Chapter Three, we have the covenant in newness.

The action that is required of Hosea is not unheard of in the sense of a forgiving spouse. The requirement for success in this case is love. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, describes the type of love that is necessary to overcome the relational break down that has occurred between Hosea (God/Christ) and Gomer (Israel/church).

  1. How should we define “the love of Jehovah” as used in these verses?
  2. Is there anything peculiar about the phrase, “woman loved by a friend” in Verse 1?
  3. What is the point that God is making in declaring that Israel loved raisin cakes of grapes?

When reading Verse 2, it strangely seems like there is slave trading taking place. The thing is, no one is paying for another person. There are only two persons involved in the exchange of the silver and barley.

  1. That being the case, who is paying the price for Gomer and who is receiving the price for Gomer?
  2. What does the payment represent from the perspective of God?

The phrase “many days” in Verses 3 and 4 are intended for the immediate application between Hosea and Gomer. I would take this to be the required time to make complete the necessary conversation and actions of reconciliation as described in Hosea 2:14-20. Verse 4 gives a drastic, even extreme measure to bring the relationship back to a point of purity. It may not be unheard of, or even unusual, for a spouse to forgive a cheating spouse, but if there is not a period of time where the relationship can be brought back to the beginning of the offering of vows, then the forgiveness will be in vain. The reoffering of covenant has to be from the heart of both spouses and not just forced (demanded) by one side.

  1. How can we describe the period of time demanded by God in Verse 3?
  2. What is the list of items that Israel will do without and what are their significance?

Verse 5 uses some very specific terminology. This is intended to remind the audience of Hosea of the representative nature his marriage carries. The point of the preaching is the reinstitution of the people of God under God’s law. The wording here requires them to look to the future in spiritual terms and not in the terms of the Law of Moses. Base on the wrath of God, the northern kingdom has lost its opportunity to engage the coming Messiah through the Law of Moses. They must now wait without the benefit of sacrifice and priesthood according to the Law of Moses and be patiently looking for the one who would sit on the throne of David. Keep in mind that David and Jesus were not of any of the ten tribes but of the tribe of Judah.

  1. What and whose kingdom is Hosea speaking of in Verse 5 if David has been dead for so long?

 

Christ in the Text

Is Jesus in this as prophecy? Yes. In Verses 4 and 5 Jesus is represented as the coming king of kings and branch from root of Jesse which is to occupy the throne of David. See Acts 13:35-37.

Is Christ directly represented in this set of verses? Yes. The reference to David in Verse 5 is a direct reference to Christ. See Luke 1:32, Isa. 9:7; Isa. 16:5; Jer. 23:5; Dan. 2:44; Dan. 7:14, 2 Sam. 7:12-16.

Is Christ indirectly represented in these verses? Yes. In Verse 4 there is the reference to Israel being without king or sacrifice both in their own respective manner being the removal of God’s blessing of each to remind them of the perfection of the coming Christ who would construct the kingdom upon Himself (Matthew 16:18, Acts 3:15, Hebrews 2:10, 5:9, 12:1-2).

Is the purpose of Christ shown in these verses? Yes. The purpose of Christ is reconciliation of the repentant to God. There is a call for repentance in the verses. Since all have sinned, without repentance in the name of Christ, there is only condemnation (Hebrews 11:9-10). Christ is the only means to life as declared by the Lord himself (John 14:6, Hebrews 5:6-10).

Hosea - Chapter 2 (Verses 14-23)

After the first half of the chapter which calls out the transgression and rebellion of the unfaithful, the Lord decrees forgiveness and reconciliation in the second half. In the case of all conversions and renewals to the Lord, this is not a one-sided event on the part of God, the forgiver. There are conditions that must be met.

  1. What does Hosea (God/Christ) need to do in order to get Gomer’s (unfaithful Israel/unfaithful church) attention?
  2. What is the appeal of Verse 14? What condition in the marriage does Hosea (God) want to take the Gomer back to (unfaithful Israel/unfaithful church)?
  3. What is the significance of the Valley of Achor?

Verse 16 speaks to the condition of the heart with regard to the knowledge of God and His word/law for the people. Here he contrasts two names for Himself from the perspective of a wife and people. The first is Ishi (husband) and second is Baal. They are expected to call God Husband going forward based on repentance. This repentance requires them to subject themselves to God and the Law of God. This is the contrast to the name Baal which means owner or lord. In other words, one with authority and to which a person is fully subjected. The word Baal is commonly translated in the bible as the word husband. The difference here is the other use of the word in the bible as related to idols (Verse 27). God desires people to be subject to His authority, but, by their own choice of love. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). In the following verses, God itemizes the reasons the fallen should recognize the need to be betrothed to Him anew.

  1. Who were the Baals?
  2. God is reiterating a promise in Verse 18 that He made to Israel long before. When was this promise originally made?
  3. How many times does the text say the repentant wife will be betrothed to the loving and forgiving husband?
  4. What are the three conditions of betrothal?
  5. How does the chapter close in Verses 21-23 relative to its beginning?

 

Christ in the Text

Is Jesus in this as prophecy? No.

Is Christ directly represented in this set of verses? No.

Is Christ indirectly represented in these verses? Yes.

Two instances in this set of verses has indirect references to Christ. In Verse 20 it is said “you will know Jehovah”. In the book of John, Jesus repeatedly states the only way for anyone to know the Father is through the Christ, Himself (John 6:45, John 14:6, John 15:26, John 16:25). The second is in Verses 21-23. Here there will be a sowing of the earth by God and those that formerly rejected God, or did not know God, would be reconciled to God. This comes to fruition on the day of Pentecost after the resurrection of the Lord with the Jews obeying the gospel and, in turn, the gospel being shared to all.

Is the purpose of Christ shown in these verses? Yes.

The purpose of Christ is reconciliation of the repentant to God. There is a call for repentance in the verses. Specifically, in Verses 16-17. Christ authorizes that salvation from all sin only comes through calling on His name (Acts 2:21). Paul also quoted from Joel 2:32, For everyone, "whoever may call on the name of the Lord will be saved." - Romans 10:13. See also Matthew 23:9 and 1 Peter 1:17.

Hosea - Chapter 2 (Verses 1-13)

The chapter starts in an odd manner consider the following text of condemnation in Verses 2-13. Some consider the first verse to actually be the conclusion of Chapter 1 and the confirmation of the Lord’s blessing the people again based on a reconciliation despite the representation of the second and third children of Chapter 1. But it may actually be foreshadowing to the conclusion of this chapter based on a more thorough statement of reiteration in Verse 23.

1. What does Hosea mean by the words “she is not My wife, and I am not her husband”?

2. To what end should truthful accusations (charges) be brought against the children’s mother?

3. How has the mother prostituted herself?

 

In some way there is a contrast between the blessings the adulteress mother receives from her husband and the gift she receives from her lovers. The resolute point being made by God is that the breaker of the covenant will receive the gifts from neither if repentance is not accomplished. What gifts have been attained will be removed to destruction.

Blessings from Husband

Gifts from Lovers

Clothing, housing, food and drink (v. 2)

High grade luxuries (v. 3)

Direction and leadership, purpose (v. 6)

Nothing (v. 7)

 

Verses 8 through 11 indicate what God will do concerning the blessings that have been bestowed.

4. To what end and for who has the adulteress used her blessings (v. 8)?

5. What is the consequence of revealing to her lovers they have committed adultery with the wife of the husband (v. 10)?

6. What is the significance of removing her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts (v. 11)?

 

Verses 12-13 shows the anger of the forsaken and the consequence of the adultery.

7. What is to happen to the gifts that are received from the lovers?

8. What is the significance of the appearance of the adulteress shown in Verse 13?

9. What does the husband represent?

10. What does the adulteress wife represent?

11. What does the broken marriage vow represent?

 

Christ in the Text

Is Jesus in this as prophecy? No. Is Christ directly represented in this set of verses? No. Is Christ indirectly represented in these verses? No. Is the purpose of Christ shown in these verses? Yes. The purpose of Christ is reconciliation of the repentant to God. There is a call for repentance in the verses. Without repentance there is condemnation. Christ is the only means to life as declared by the Lord himself (John 14:6, Hebrews 5:6-10).