My Ryrie Study Bible titles chapters 1:1 to 3:5, The Prodigal Wife.
Verse 1 establishes the season of Hosea's prophesy. The Word of the Lord came during Judah's reign o Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. And during the reign of Jeroboam II in Israel.
Right there in verse 2, the Lord tells Hosea to take a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry. I know some of the commentaries made a case for Gomer being first chaste and then becoming a harlot later...but so far...it reads like the Lord ordained for Hosea to live a metaphor for all of us to learn from. Much like Jonah in the whale. The lord gives his reasoning upfront, "for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord."
One of the arguments that Gomer became a harlot later was that Israel wasn't a harlot when she left Egypt. But the Lord doesn't mention Egypt here. It about the grief and betrayal; not necessarily the whole timeline.
Immediately following verse 2, in verse 3, it starts with "so". Meaning, basically, "then". Once again emphasizing the order of events. After the Lord tells him what to do, he marries a Gomer and they conceive a child. Just as the Lord mentions in verse 2.
MacArthur's interpretation is wife of harlotry and children of harlotry shows that the harlotry came later.
Wiersbe points out that Rahab was a harlot and Salmon married her and she is in the Messianic line...
In verse 5, Hosea is ordained to name is first born Jezreel, "God sows", as a judgment on house of Jehu for assassinating Jezreel, and an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. It takes time, but God is just.
MacArthur translates it as "God will scatter."
So where Jehu murdered Ahab's son, the Assyrians will finally end Israel, as prophesied to Jehu in II Kings 10:30. (Ryrie)
In verse 6, Hosea has a daughter. the Lord ordained that her name be Lo-ruhamah, meaning unpitied. The Lord no longer had pity on the kingdom of Israel. His long suffering had come to an end.
Wiersbe reads that another translation of her name is "not loved."
Either way, this is contrasted in verse 7, by the Lord's statement that He will have compassion on Judah, and that it will be the Lord God who delivers them, and no other thing that be given credit.
This seems to be emphasized in the taunting of the Assyrian commander when he points to those in Jerusalem that they couldn't even offer enough horsemen is Assyria gave them 2000 horses. Everyone seems to see that Jerusalem was ripe for the picking; but the Lord God alone saved them. (II Kings 19)
As soon as the daughter is weaned, Gomer conceives with a son, named by the Lord as Lo-ammi.
This means "not my people". Which God emphasized by adding,
...for you are not My people and I am not your God.Hosea 1:9b, NASB
When your God divorces you...
I don't even know what to say about that, It's too terrifying to contemplate. Although, for those individuals who do not choose Him and His Salvation...they will know this.
MacArthur translates it as "I will not be 'I am' to you", That seems even sadder.
We do find hope, starting in verse 10 when the names will be changed to "My people" and "My loved one."
But even having come to this extreme separation, God also promises that on this spot, there will be a restoration that leads to innumerable people who will be considered sons of the living God.
Verse 11 emphasizes that it will be sons of Judah and sons of Israel restored in this place of judgment in the kingdom age.
Naming the children as part of the prophesy reminds me of Isaiah. It seems so foreign to me to use your children's name in that way; but they didn't have the various mediums and media that we have. Like circumcision, this was a very concrete and permanent way of making a statement and communicating over time.
Wow. Hosea starts off with a bang. Isaiah sprawls with imagery, narrative, and changing seasons. Hosea lands like a storm. Short, tough, and to the point. And yet. God remains the same in both tellings.