Hosea 1:1-6



 The name “Hosea” means “A Savior or Jehovah is help or salvation.”  Not much is known about him before his writings.  Based upon the 5 kings named in verse 1, it appears that he must have been called as a young boy and had prophesied for 70 years.  He has also been known as Israel’s earliest evangelist.  He was a native of the Northern Kingdom.  It is believed that he started prophesying about 800 B.C. during the reign of Jeroboam II which would have been 79 years before the Assyrians took the Northern Kingdom into captivity, never to be heard from again.  The pivotal verse in Hosea is 3:1 where God commands Hosea to marry Gomer who was a woman with a bad reputation.  The narrative shows that Hosea was faithful to Gomer even though she was not faithful to him.  It will be a picture of God’s faithfulness to Israel and Judah while they were unfaithful to him.


Hosea 1:1 (KJB)

The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.


The word of the LORD came to Hosea but not all at one time since he prophesied during the reigns of five kings four of them were in Judah and one in the northern kingdom.  He was the son of Beeri, his name means “expounder or man of the well.”  Not much is known about him except that he was the father of Hosea.


Jeroboam II was king in the northern kingdom for 41 years from 825-784 B.C.  He was the son and successor of Joash and the fourteenth king of Israel.  2 Kings 14:23 (KJV) In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty and one years.


Uzziah was king of Judah from 809-756 B.C. and reigned 52 years.  He was a wise and virtuous ruler.  He was much influenced by Zechariah the prophet.


Jotham was the son of King Uzziah and reigned from 758-742 B.C sixteen years.  2 Kings 15:1 (KJV) In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign.


Ahaz was the son of Jotham and eleventh king of Judah who reigned from 741-726 B.C. about 16 years.  He was a weak idolater and made his sons pass through the fire to Moloch.  2 Kings 16:3 (KJV) But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel. 


Hezekiah ascended the throne of Judah in 726-698 B.C., was the son of Ahaz and was known as one of the most perfect kings of Judah.  2 Kings 16:20 (KJV) And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead. 


So we see when looking at the total time frame of these five kings we can see they add up to 127 years and it seemed Hosea prophesied during a good portion of that time.


Hosea 1:2 (KJB)

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.


When it speaks of the beginning of the word of the LORD, it means when the words began to come to Hosea which would continue on for quite a number of years.  Now the LORD gives Hosea a command to do something that no Israelite would normally do.  The LORD had commanded Hosea to take a wife who is a whore and that is well-known to be one so there is no mistaking the picture that God is setting up.  She was also to have a whore for a mother to show the greatness of the whoredom in her life.  God wants the whole land of Israel to see that they have committed a great whoredom when they departed from the LORD and began to take up the worship of the false gods like Ahaz when he sacrificed his son to Molech.


Hosea 1:3 (KJB)

So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.


So Hosea obeys God and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim.  The name “Gomer” means “completion” which in this case means the filling up of the measure of idolatry which she represented coming from the northern kingdom of Israel.  The name “Diblaim” means “double layers of grape cake” which speaks of a person totally given to sensuality.  It gives us insight as to why Gomer was the way she was with a father given over to sensuality.  Then Gomer bears a son to Hosea.


Hosea 1:4 (KJB)

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 first son’s name is called Jezreel.  The name “Jezreel” means “God sows or scatters.”  The name may suggest that soon the northern kingdom would become scattered into the hands of Assyria.  God had promised Jehu that his family would reign in the house of Israel unto the fourth generation.  2 Kings 10:30 (KJV) And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.  The third generation was now in power which was Jeroboam II.  At this juncture we do not know how long the carrying out of the vengeance because the reign of Jeroboam II began in 825 B.C. and ended in 784 B.C. but we do know that the northern kingdom ceased to exist in 721 B.C.


Hosea 1:5 (KJB)

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


God gives a prophecy that at a certain time which will come to pass, that he will break the bow.  The bow was a weapon of war but maybe God has in view here that he is going to break the bow of the house of Jehu who had slain Jehoram with the bow and usurped his throne.  2 Kings 9:24 (KJV) And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.  Jezreel was the chief city of the ten northern tribes which was situated in a large valley known as the valley of Jezreel from the time of Joshua.  Joshua 17:16 (KJV) And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Beth-shean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel. 


Hosea 1:6 (KJB)

And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.


Gomer conceived again and this time a daughter and she was named “Lo-ruhamah” which means “not pitied or not have mercy.”  Nothing beyond the name of this girl is known but her symbolic name was to show Israel that they will no more experience the mercy of God and that they would be removed from Samaria and taken away into captivity with the Assyrians and would not be returned to the land as Judah was.  2 Kings 15:29 (KJV) In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.