Hosea 2:1-6

Hosea 2:1 (KJB)

Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ru-hamah.


Here God is declaring his mercy to Israel once again in calling them by two different names which was in contrast to the names God previously gave the children of Hosea which represented the position which Israel was in according to their sins.  God tells Hosea to speak to his brethren which would be here the ten northern tribes because they were not yet taken into captivity.  Then God calls them Ammi which means “my people” because previously God called them “Lo-Ammi” which means “not my people.”  Then God calls them “Ru-hamah” which means “having mercy” because previously he called them “Lo-ruhamah” which means “not pitied or not have mercy.”  What God is saying here that he will have mercy upon them as his people again.


Hosea 2:2 (KJB)

Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;


Pleading with his mother is a synonym for Israel from where Hosea came from which is speaking about Gomer who now represents the sinful condition of Israel.  God states that he is no longer married to them because of their sinful nature.  The marriage was symbolic showing the coming marriage of the Lord Jesus Christ and the body of believers.  Jeremiah 3:14 (KJV) Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:  God was married to Israel because out of them would come the Messiah.  It was a marriage in a civil sense but spiritually speaking it was a marriage only to the remnant who would become saved making up the body of Christ.  She was to put away her whoredoms which means she was to return and be a proper wife which meant getting rid of all the idolatries that caused them to commit spiritual adultery.  In times past whores would lay open their breasts and position them to entice the weak men.  It was symbolic of Israel playing with idolatry and plainly allowing their evil practices to be open for all to see.


Hosea 2:3 (KJB)

Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.


Here is a metaphor of God telling Hosea that he is going to strip Israel naked, that is, to remove all the blessings and temporal gifts which God had bestowed upon her.  He will set her as the day she was born.  Remember the nation of Israel was born while they were slaves in Egypt.  God threatens them that if they do not forsake their idolatries, they will be returned to the day of slavery which would eventually come on them when they are taken to Assyria.  God will make her land a wilderness and this happened once they were removed from Samaria and taken to Assyria.  The land laid fallow and became a dry land.  They were also going to become a people of thirst but not for water but for the words of God.  Amos 8:11 (KJV) Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:  Once they were taken to Assyria, they became as slaves and would not have the benefit of hearing any words from the Lord.  All the subsequent prophets except Amos would be sent to the people of Judah.


Hosea 2:4 (KJB)

And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms.


Here God is stating plainly that he will not have mercy upon the Israelites and future generations simply because they are the children of whoredoms.  They had learned the idolatrous ways of their parents and continued to seek the false gods instead of turning back to the true God of Israel.  God will count them as unbelievers since they serve false gods.  2 Kings 17:33 (KJV) They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence. There was fear of the LORD but they continued to serve the false gods which would have images in every house that had turned away from the true God.  Children who grew up in that type of environment would carry on the traditions of idolatry.


Hosea 2:5 (KJB)

For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.


Israel, represented by “their mother” had played the harlot, that is, she played with the false gods and adopted them as their primary deities.  They not only played the harlot of false gods but also taught their children to do the same thus perpetuating the sin to future generations.  Israel was intent on continuing to pursue the false gods and called them lovers.  The word “lovers” in the Hebrew is the word “me’ahvay” and carries with it the meaning of “intense, passionate love” and since this word is in the plural, it speaks about sinful loves.  To say “I will go” shows a hardened heart with a determined spirit not concerning themselves with the consequences of their actions.  Israel gives a list of the objects they are going after attributing these gifts to the false gods.  Bread and water are staple requirements for daily living.  The wool and the flax represents their clothing and other garments for daily living.  The oil was for health, food, and medicine and their drink which was wine.  They attributed all these gifts and necessities to the false gods instead of the true God who really supplied it for them.


Hosea 2:6 (KJB)

Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.


Since Israel had declared arrogantly that she “will go” to her lovers, here God is stating that he is going to hinder their plans to walk in their own whoredoms.  Since they did not set any boundaries for their whoredoms, God is going to place a hedge of thorns in their way which means the consequences of their actions will be felt harshly as one who is stabbed with thorns.  The thorn bushes in the Middle East were not just short but were long and strong and could go deep inside a person when jabbed with one.  It could cause excruciating pain and that is what is in view here, the consequences of their actions will yield according to their idolatry.  Then they will face a wall whereby they will not be able to go over and this alludes to the fact when Assyria comes to take them into captivity, they will not be able to escape as all the paths for escape will be blocked.  Her judgments are going to come swiftly and relentlessly.