Hosea 1

Hosea's message

1 This is the message that the LORD gave to Hosea, the son of Beeri. He gave this message during the time that Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. This was during the time when Jeroboam, son of Joash, was the king of Israel.

2 The LORD began to speak to Israel's people by Hosea. The LORD said to Hosea, ‘Go, and marry a prostitute. I want you to have children by her. The children will be like her. In the same way, my people have left me and they have loved other gods.’ 3 So Hosea married a woman called Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim. After this, a child began to grow in her and she gave birth to their first child, a son. 4 The LORD said to Hosea, ‘Call him Jezreel. This is because I will soon punish the family of Jehu. I will hurt them because of the murders by Jehu at Jezreel. Then I will cause the end of the country called Israel. 5 And, in the Valley of Jezreel, I will at that time completely destroy the armies of Israel.’

Hosea's wife and their children

6 Gomer had a second child. This time it was a daughter. The LORD said to Hosea, ‘Call her Lo-Ruhamah. This is because I will not continue to show great love to the people in Israel. I will not forget their sins. 7 But I will show love to the people in Judah. I, the LORD, will save them. I will not do it by war. I will not use weapons. I will not use horses or people who ride horses.’

8 After Gomer gave her own milk to Lo-Ruhamah, another child began to grow in Gomer. A son was born to her. 9 Then the LORD said to Hosea, ‘Call him Lo-Ammi. This is because the people in Israel are not my people. And I am not their God.’

1:9Verses 2-5 God does not ask Hosea to marry a prostitute in the usual way that the word means. Perhaps the word means that his wife was like a prostitute. In 4:12 and 5:4, Hosea uses the word prostitute in another way. Israel is like a prostitute. Gomer's children are also like prostitutes. They, too, are part of a bad group of people. Hosea does not mean that the children were born before Gomer's marriage to Hosea. He does not suggest that the children were not his own. The names Lo-Ruhamah and Lo-Ammi mean No Great Love and Not My People.

10 At a future time, the number of Israel's people will be like the sand by the sea. You cannot measure the sand or count it. Now God says to them, ‘You are not my people.’ But there will be a future day when he will say to them, ‘You are the children of the living God!’ 11 The people from Judah and the people from Israel will come together again. They will choose for themselves a single leader. And they will go out of a foreign country. The day of Jezreel will be an important day.