A Refleciton on Hosea 1:1-3:5

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Old Testament Survey

I Am Gomer, the Whore of Samaria: A Reflection on Hosea 1:1-3:5

The ministry of Hosea took place between 780 and 725 B.C.E. During this time in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the people of God were prosperous but unfaithful (Tenney Vol. 3). It was a time of paganism, marital infidelity, and general disdain towards God. Hosea’s entire ministry was a reflection of the unfaithfulness of Israel and the love that God still had for her. Israel was the metaphorical bride of God. She was unfaithful, yet God constantly took her back and loved her. The message Hosea was trying to convey to the people would have been delivered near the time of the Assyrian take over. It reflects some of the warnings David had given Israel in the past (Ferreiro). Northern Israel would be taken captive by the Assyrians, an experience the Jews would have been somewhat familiar with.

In Hosea 1-3, the theme of Israel being God’s wayward wife is introduced (Brisben). This is later paralleled in Hosea 11-14 as Israel being God’s wayward son. The story begins with Hosea marrying Gomer, a well-known prostitute. God commanded Hosea to marry her, despite public opinion. This would have hurt his initial credibility as a prophet. Hosea and Gomer had a child named Jezreel. This would shock the Jews of the day as it would have reminded them of their defeat to the Philistines and was a warning of the impending massacre that would occur under the Assyrians. Their second child was named Lo Ruhamah, which means unloved or no mercy. No mercy was a warning of the severity of punishment that would occur under the Assyrians. Hosea’s third child was named Lo Ammi, meaning not mine. God commanded Hosea to name the third child Lo Ammi because “You are n...

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Brisben, David. “Lesson 25 Prophesying the North’s Fall.” PowerPoint presentation. WSC 224, Siloam Springs, AR. 17 Apr 2014.

Calvin, John. Calvins Commentaries Bible Commentaries. Vol. 22. Grand Rapids, MI: Calvin Translation Society., 1989. 36-508. Print.

Freedman, D.N. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Vol. 3. New York, NY.: Doubleday, 1992. 291-97. Print.

Ferreiro, Alberto, and Thomas C. Oden. The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Vol. 14. Downers Grove (Ill.): InterVarsity, 2003. 1-56. Print.

Tenney, Merrill C., and Moisés Silva. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009. 810. Print.

Tenney, Merrill C., and Moisés Silva. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009. 221-28. Print.
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