Hosea 1

Verse 45. He shalt plant the tabernacles] He shall make a last

stand in Judea, and there shall his power be smitten.

He shall come to his end, and none shall help him] All his

confederate and tributary kingdoms, states, and provinces shall

desert him, and leave that government to come to a shameful end.

IN the interpretation of this chapter I have generally followed

Bp. Newton, in his most excellent Dissertations on the Prophecies,

consulting other eminent authors occasionally.

From the beginning of the chapter Da 11:1 to the end of

Da 11:30 all is very clear and plain, relative to the Grecian,

Syrian, and Egyptian histories; from the thirty-first verse to the

end, Da 11:31-45 the mode of interpretation is not so

satisfactory, in its application to the times since Christ. Yet

possibly these alone may be intended; though the whole might be,

with considerable ease, applied to the remaining part of the

Syrian and Egyptian history. It is a wonderful piece of

prophecy, and of great utility to the cause of Divine revelation.




Chronological Notes relative to the commencement of Hosea's

prophesying, upon the supposition that this event took place

in the last year of the reign of Jeroboam II., king of Israel

-Year of the world, according to the Usherian account, 3219.

-Year of the Julian period, 3929.

-Year since the Flood, 1563.

-Year from the vocation of Abram, 1136.

-Year from the foundation of Solomon's temple, 227.

-Year before the First Olympiad, 9.

-Year before the building of Rome, 32.

-Year before the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 785.

-Cycle of the Sun, 9.

-Cycle of the Moon, 15.

-Second year of Coenus, the second king of Macedon; which was

the thirtieth from the foundation of the monarchy.

-Thirteenth year of Agamestor, perpetual archon of the


-Thirteenth year of Ardysus, king of Lydia.

-Twelfth year of Amulius Sylvius, king of the Albans.

-Twenty-fifth year of Charilaus, king of the Lacedaemonians.

-Forty-first year of Jeroboam II., king of Israel.

-Twenty-sixth year of Uzziah, king of Judah.


Under the figure of a wife proving false to her marriage vows,

and bearing children that would follow her example, the prophet

represents the shameful idolatry of the ten tribes, which

provoked God to cast them off. The whole passage is information

by action instead of words. This names of the children are all

emblematical. The first is intended to put Israel in mind of

their unrepented guilt, and the acts of cruelty committed in

their palace of Jezreel, (1Ki 21:1.)

The second and third, signifying not finding mercy, and not my

people, denote that, in consequence of their guilt, they were

to be rejected of God, 1-9.

God promises, however, to repair the loss to his Church by

calling in the Gentiles, 10;

and by uniting all the children of God under one head, the

Messiah, in the latter days, 11.


Verse 1. Hosea, the son of Beeri] See the preceding account of

this prophet.

In the days of Uzziah, &c.] If we suppose, says Bp. Newcome,

that Hosea prophesied during the course of sixty-six years, and

place him from the year 790 before Christ to the year 724, he will

have exercised his office eight years in the reign of Jeroboam the

second, thirty-three years in the reign of Uzziah, the whole

reigns of Jotham and Ahaz, and three years in the reign of

Hezekiah; but will not have survived the taking of Samaria. But

see the preceding account of this prophet.

I think the first verse to be a title to this book added by the

compiler of his prophecies, and that it relates more to facts

which took place in those reigns, and had been predicted by Hosea,

who would only be said to have prophesied under an those kings, by

his predictions, which were consecutively fulfilled under them. By

those, though dead, he continued to speak. The prophet's work

properly begins at Ho 1:2; hence called, "The beginning of the

word of the Lord by Hosea."

Verse 2. A wife of whoredoms] That is, says Newcome, a wife from

among the Israelites, who were remarkable for spiritual

fornication, or idolatry. God calls himself the husband of Israel;

and this chosen nation owed him the fidelity of a wife. See

Ex 34:15; De 31:16; Jud 2:17; Isa 54:5;

Jer 3:14; 31:32; Eze 16:17; 23:5, 27; Ho 2:5; Re 17:1, 2.

He therefore says, with indignation, Go join thyself in marriage

to one of those who have committed fornication against me, and

raise up children who, by the power of example, will themselves

swerve to idolatry. See Ho 5:7. And thus show them that they are

radically depraved.

Verse 3. He went and took Gomer] All this appears to be a real

transaction, though having a typical meaning. If he took an

Israelite, he must necessarily have taken an idolatress; one who

had worshipped the calves of Jeroboam at Dan or at Bethel.

Verse 4. Call his name Jezreel] that is, God will

disperse. This seems to intimate that a dispersion or sowing of

Israel shall take place; which happened under Shalmaneser, king of

Assyria, 2Ki 17:5, 6. But the word refers also to the name of

a city, where Jehu slew Jezebel and all the children of Ahab.

2Ki 9:10, 36; 10:6.

This was one of those prophetic names which we so often meet

with in the Scriptures; e.g. Japheth Abraham, Israel, Judah,

Joshua, Zerubbabel, Solomon, Sheer-jashub, &c.

The blood of Jezreel] Not Jehu's vengeance on Ahab's family, but

his acts of cruelty while he resided at Jezreel, a city in the

tribe of Issachar, Jos 19:18, where the kings of Israel had a

palace, 1Ki 21:1.

Will cause to cease the kingdom] Either relating to the cutting

off of the kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians, see Ho 1:6, or to

the ceasing of the kingdom of Israel from the house of Jehu,

2Ki 10:30, and which was fulfilled, 2Ki 15:10.


Verse 5. In the valley of Jezreel] This also is supposed to

relate either to some signal defeat of the Israelites by the

Assyrians, which took place in the valley of Jezreel; or to the

death of Zechariah, the fourth lineal descendant of Jehu, which

may have happened here. See 2Ki 15:10.-


Verse 6. Call her Lo-ruhamah] , "Not having obtained

mercy." This also was a prophetic or typical name; and the reason

of its imposition is immediately given:

For I will no more have mercy] ki lo osiph

od arachem, "For I will no more add to have mercy upon the house

of Israel." This refers to the total destruction of that kingdom.

Verse 7. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah] I will

spare them as a kingdom after Israel has been carried away into

captivity by the Assyrians.

And will save them by the Lord their God] Remarkably fulfilled

in the supernatural defeat of the army of the Assyrians, see

2Ki 19:35; and so they were saved not by

bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, nor by horses, nor by

horsemen. The former expression may mean, not in war by horses,

i.e., yoked to war chariots, nor by horsemen-nor by cavalry,

however efficient such troops might have then been deemed.

Verse 9. Call his name Lo-ammi] Lo-ammi, "Not my

people;" for which the reason is immediately given:

Ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.] The word GOD

is not added here by any of the ancient versions or MSS.; and yet

the construction absolutely requires it, as Houbigant properly

observes, who thinks the present reading lo eheyeh

lachem, "I will not be to you," a corruption of the word

eloheychem, "your God." It is strange that no various reading

occurs on this verse in any MS. yet discovered. In two of the

oldest of mine there is a blank of half a line left after the last

word; and so it is in the Masoretic Bibles, though the sense is

not complete; for it is evidently continued in the following

verse. Probably God refers to the words, Ex 3:14:

I am that I am. I am, eheyeh,-I shall be, hath sent

me unto you. I will not be your eheyeh, i.e., I will not be your


Verse 10. Yet the number of the children of Israel] God had

promised that the children of Israel should be as the sand of the

sea. See Ge 32:12; Ro 9:25, 26. And though for their iniquities

he had thinned and scattered them, yet the spirit and design of

his promise and covenant shall be fulfilled. An Israel there shall

be. In the place of the reprobated people, who were now no longer

his people, there shall be found an Israel that shall be the

children of the living God. See the above scriptures, and

1Pe 2:10. This must mean either the Israelites after their

conversion to Christianity, or even the Gentiles themselves

converted to God, and now become the true Israel.

Verse 11. The children of Judah and the children of Israel]

After the return from Babylon, the distinction between Israel and

Judah was entirely destroyed; and those of them that did return

were all included under one denomination, Jews; and the one head

may refer to Zerubbabel their leader, and afterwards under Ezra

and Nehemiah. In the more extensive view of the prophet the one

Head may mean Jesus Crist, under whom the true Israel, Jews and

Gentiles, shall be finally gathered together; so that there shall

be one flock, and one Shepherd over that flock.

They shall come up out of the land] Assyria and Chaldea in

particular; but also from the various places of their dispersions

in general.

Great shall be the day of Jezreel.] He alludes to the meaning of

the word, the seed of God. God who has dispersed-sown, them in

different lands, shall gather them together; and that day of God's

power shall be great and glorious. It was a wonderful seed time in

the Divine justice; it shall then be a wonderful harvest in the

Divine mercy. He sowed them among the nations in his wrath; he

shall reap them and gather them in his bounty.

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