Hosea (“Hoshea” meaning salvation) is the son of Beeri (my fountain) and was a prophet who lived in the eighth century BC, and the book covers a period of about 60 years from 785 to 725 BC, and his ministry spanned the rule of four kings: Uzziah, Yotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah of Judah, and Jeroboam II king of Israel. He is a contemporary of Isaiah and Micah in Judah, and the prophet Amos in Israel. Historically he will be prophesying about a coming Assyrian invasion because of the idolatrous practices of the northern kingdom. He will also bring out other sins like social injustice, violent crime, political rebellion, dependence on foreign alliances, selfish arrogance, and spiritual ingratitude. His message will be to the northern kingdom, also called Israel, Ephraim, Samaria, and Joseph. He is commanded by Yehovah to take a harlot for a wife to illustrate how he (Yehovah) has an adulterous wife because of idolatry, but it will also illustrate God’s love for his people and forgiveness.
Prophetically, we believe this book illustrates the passion Yehovah has to restore mankind and Israel. Being an eighth-century BC prophet, we also believe this book gives us a glimpse into certain events during the first three and a half years of the birth-pains. We will also need to see three things to see this prophecy in its context: the historical (Assyria invasion, etc); the Messianic (all the truths for us that even as a “harlot” God loves us and will send his “salvation”); the Prophetic (which is seen from six reference points which is the historical, Messiah’s first coming, Messiah’s second coming, the Birth-pains, the Messianic Kingdom and the Olam Haba). These concepts are true for any prophetic book. The main message is not the historical, but a prophetic restoration of man and the universe. We must get back to the basics in this book. We have a prophetic concept called “here now, but not yet.” Yehovah gives prophesies looking back as if on a “wheel of time” (Num 24.17). The prophetic application of the Tanak prophecies are what is lacking in the faith. How does this book relate to upcoming events?
Hosea 1.1-11 tells us that Israel is reproved for their idolatrous practices and their coming destruction and judgment is illustrated by the names of the children Hosea has with his harlot wife named Gomer.
v 1…The word of the Lord (Yehovah) which came to Hosea (meaning “salvation” and is related to the name “Yeshua”), the son of Beeri (my fountain) during the days of Uzziah (my strength is Yehovah), Yotham (Yehovah is perfect), Ahaz (possessor) and Hezekiah (Yehovah gives strength), kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam II (let the people contend) the son of Yoash (God has given), king of Israel (prophecies will concern the northern and southern kingdom).
v 2…When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord (Yehovah) said to Hosea, “Go, take a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry (pointing to the harlotry of their mother and relates to the harlotry of the northern kingdom); for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.”
v 3…So he went and took Gomer (completion and perfect; it has the same consonants in Hebrew as “gamar.” Hosea marries a woman who isn’t this at all, just like us. She was far from it, but God sees the end and looks back. Another example of this is Yerushaliyim meaning “he sees peace” but there isn’t much of that right now but it will be. Again, Giod sees the end and looks back) the daughter of Diblaim (cluster of figs-Israel is represented by three types of trees: the vine out of Egypt, the fig tree in judgment, especially in Jer 8.13 and Mark 11.12-20; Luke 21.29-33), and the olive tree in the future redemption) and she conceived and bore him a son.
v 4…And the Lord said to him, “Name him Jezreel (sown of God, referring to Israel as a vineyard-Isa 5.1), for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Yehu for the blood of Jezreel (for the blood that was spilled by Yehu in that area-2 Kings 9 and 10). And I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel (in the family of Ahab, and ultimately by Assyria in 2 Kings 17.6).
v 5…And it will come about on that day that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel (2 Kings 17.6).”
v 6…Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah (not shown mercy), for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I should ever forgive them (as he had done time after time. Now they would be given into the hands of Tiglat-pilesar and Shalmaneser, kings of Assyria).
v 7…But I will have compassion on the house of Judah (even though they also went into exile eventually; however, they returned to the land after 70 years, unlike Israel), and deliver them (out of Babylon) by the Lord their God (by his power and nothing else), and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen (by military power).”
v 8…When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and gave birth to a son (shows an interval of time, alluding to the milk of the Torah has stopped).
v 9…And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi” (not my people) for you are not my people and I am not your God (a divorce-Jer 3.8; they rejected him and this is the final measurement of punishment; they were sown of God, the meaning of Jezreel, but they rejected the Torah and the milk of the word of God and were not shown mercy anymore and were taken by Assyria, the meaning of Lo-ruhamah, and were going to be Lo-ammi, not God’s people).
v 10…Yet (there is hope) the number of the sons of Israel will be (in the future) like the sand of the sea which cannot be numbered (because of his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-Gen 12.1-3, 13.14-16, 22.17, 26.1-5, 28.10-15; Rom 11.25-26); and it will come about that in the place where it is said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said to them, ‘You are the sons of the living God (through the Messianic Redemption and come into a right relation to Yehovah through Yeshua).’ “
v 11…And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together (Isa 11.11-12; Ezek 37.15-23; Rom 11.25-26 as one nation), and they will appoint for themselves one leader (Messiah-Ezek 37.24-28), and they will go up from the land (of their dispersion-Isa 66.19-24) for great will be the day of Jezreel (they will be sown again and multiply in the redemption and deliverance provided by the Messiah-Luke 2.34).”