1:1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri,
in the days a of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, b
kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of
Joash, king of Israel.
The Argument - After the ten tribes had fallen away from God
by the wicked and subtle counsel of Jeroboam, the son of
Neba, and instead of his true service commanded by his word,
worshipped him according to their own imaginings and
traditions of men, giving themselves to most vile idolatry
and superstition, the Lord from time to time sent them
Prophets to call them to repentance. But they grew even
worse and worse, and still abused God's benefits. Therefore
now when their prosperity was at the highest under
Jeroboam, the son of Joash, God sent Hosea and Amos to the
Israelites (as he did at the same time send Isaiah and Micah
to those of Judah) to condemn them for their ingratitude.
And whereas they thought themselves to be greatly in the
favour of God, and to be his people, the Prophet calls them
bastards and children born in adultery: and therefore shows
them that God would take away their kingdom, and give them
to the Assyrians to be led away captives. Thus Hosea
faithfully executed his office for the space of seventy
years, though they remained still in their vices and
wickedness and derided the Prophets, and condemned God's
judgments. And because they would neither be discouraged
with threatening only, nor should they flatter themselves by
the sweetness of God's promises, he sets before them the two
principal parts of the Law, which are the promise of
salvation, and the doctrine of life. For the first part he
directs the faithful to the Messiah, by whom alone they
would have true deliverance: and for the second, he uses
threatenings and menaces to bring them from their wicked
manners and vices: and this is the chief scope of all the
Prophets, either by God's promises to allure them to be
godly, or else by threatenings of his judgments to scare
them from vice. And even though the whole Law contains
these two points, yet the Prophets moreover note distinctly
both the time of God's judgments and the manner.
(a) Also called Azariah, who being a leper was disposed from
(b) So that it may be gathered by the reign of these four
kings that he preached about eighty years.
1:2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD
said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife c of whoredoms
and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great
whoredom, [departing] from the LORD.
(c) That is, one that has been a harlot for a long time: not
that the Prophet did this thing in effect, but he saw
this in a vision, or else was commanded by God to set
forth under this parable or figure the idolatry of the
Synagogue, and of the people her children.
1:3 So he went and took d Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which
conceived, and bare him a son.
(d) Gomer signifies a consumption or corruption, and rotten
clusters of figs, declaring that they were all corrupt
like rotten figs.
1:4 And the LORD said unto him, Call his name e Jezreel; for
yet a little [while], and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel
upon the house of f Jehu, and will cause to cease the
kingdom of the house of Israel.
(e) Meaning that they would no longer be called Israelites,
which name they boasted because Israel did prevail with
God: but that they were as bastards, and therefore
should be called Jezreelites, that is, scattered people,
alluding to Jezreel, which was the chief city of the ten
tribes under Ahab, where Jehu shed so much blood; (1Ki 18:45).
(f) I will be avenged upon Jehu for the blood that he shed
in Jezreel: for even though God stirred him up to
execute his judgments, yet he did them for his own
ambition, and not for the glory of God as the intended
goal: for he built up that idolatry which he had
1:5 And it shall come to pass at that g day, that I will break
the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.
(g) When the measure of their iniquity is full, and I will
take vengeance and destroy all their administration and
1:6 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And [God] said
unto him, Call her name h Loruhamah: for I will no more
have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly i
take them away.
(h) That is, not obtaining mercy: by which he signifies that
God's favour had departed from them.
(i) For the Israelites never returned after they were taken
captives by the Assyrians.
1:7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will k
save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by
bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by
(k) For after their captivity he restored them miraculously
by the means of Cyrus; (Ezr 1:1).
1:9 Then said [God], Call his name l Loammi: for ye [are] not
my people, and I will not be your [God].
(l) That is, not my people.
1:10 Yet the number of the m children of Israel shall be as
the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered;
and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was
said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be
said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.
(m) Because they thought that God could not have been true
in his promise unless he had preserved them, he
declares that though they were destroyed, yet the true
Israelites who are the sons of the promise, would be
without number, who consist both of the Jews and the
Gentiles; (Ro 9:26).
1:11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel
be n gathered together, and appoint themselves one head,
and they shall come up out of the land: for great [shall
be] the day of Jezreel.
(n) That is, after the captivity of Babylon, when the Jews
were restored: but chiefly this refers to the time of
Christ, who would be the head both of the Jews and
(o) The calamity and destruction of Israel will be so
great, that to restore them will be a miracle.