Hosea
1
The Lord sent a message to Hosea son of Beeri at the time when Uzziah, Jotham, and Ahaz were the kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash* was the king of Israel. The Lord began speaking through Hosea by telling him, “Go and take a wife who is a prostitute and have children born to a prostitute because those living in this land have committed terrible prostitution by turning away from the Lord.”
So Hosea went and married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim. She became pregnant and bore Hosea a son. The Lord told Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I am going to punish the house of Jehu for the blood he shed at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. On that day I will break Israel's military power in the valley of Jezreel.”
Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. The Lord told Hosea, “Call her Lo-ruhamah,§ because I will no longer love the house of Israel and certainly not forgive them. But I will have pity on the house of Judah, and I will save thembut I will not save them by bow or sword or war or horses and riders.”
After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah she became pregnant again and gave birth to a son. The Lord told Hosea, “Call him Lo-ammi,* because you are not my people and I am not your God. 10 Even so the number of the people of Israel will be like the sand on the seashore that cannot be measured or counted. Then right there at the place where they were toldyou are not my people’ they will be calledthe children of the living God.’ 11 The people of Israel and the people of Judah will be gathered together and they will choose one leader for themselves and they will take possession of the land, and the day of Jezreel will be great.”
* 1:1 Spelled here “Joash.” 1:2 Literally “children of prostitution.” There is much debate over this phrase. Some believe this indicates that Gomer had children as a result of her prostitution before marrying Hosea. Others believe this could have happened later as she returned to her former ways (note that only the first child, Jezreel, is clearly identified as being Hosea's). Still others believe that this means any children Hosea had with Gomer would be tainted by her reputation as a prostitute. 1:4 Jezreel means “the Lord will sow” (or scatter, since that was the way in which seed was sown). Jezreel was historically a place of much violence and bloodshed. § 1:6 The name means “unloved.” * 1:9 The name means “not my people.” 1:9 Literally, “I am not yours.” 1:10 “Even so”—transition supplied. The Hebrew simply says “and.”