Hosea 2

1 “Say to your brothers, ‘My people!’ and to your sisters, ‘My loved one!’ 2 Contend with your mother! Contend, for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband; and let her put away her prostitution from her face, and her adulteries from between her breasts; 3 lest I strip her naked, and make her bare as in the day that she was born, and make her like a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and kill her with thirst. 4 Indeed, on her children I will have no mercy; for they are children of unfaithfulness; 5 for their mother has played the prostitute. She who conceived them has done shamefully; for she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’ 6 Therefore behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, that she can’t find her way. 7 She will follow after her lovers, but she won’t overtake them; and she will seek them, but won’t find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.’ 8 For she did not know that I gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil, and multiplied to her silver and gold, which they used for Baal. 9 Therefore I will take back my grain in its time, and my new wine in its season, and will pluck away my wool and my flax which should have covered her nakedness. 10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one will deliver her out of my hand. 11 I will also cause all her celebrations to cease: her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her solemn assemblies. 12 I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, about which she has said, ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me; and I will make them a forest,’ and the animals of the field shall eat them. 13 I will visit on her the days of the Baals, to which she burnt incense, when she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and went after her lovers, and forgot me,” says the LORD. 14 “Therefore behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. 15 I will give her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she will respond there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. 16 It will be in that day,” says the LORD, “that you will call me ‘my husband,’ and no longer call me ‘my master.’ 17 For I will take away the names of the Baals out of her mouth, and they will no longer be mentioned by name. 18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the animals of the field, and with the birds of the sky, and with the creeping things of the ground. I will break the bow, the sword, and the battle out of the land, and will make them lie down safely. 19 I will betroth you to me forever. Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in loving kindness, and in compassion. 20 I will even betroth you to me in faithfulness; and you shall know the LORD. 21 It will happen in that day, I will respond,” says the LORD, “I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth; 22 and the earth will respond to the grain, and the new wine, and the oil; and they will respond to Jezreel. 23 I will sow her to me in the earth; and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; and I will tell those who were not my people, ‘You are my people;’ and they will say, ‘My God!’”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-5

This chapter continues the figurative address to Israel, in reference to Hosea’s wife and children. Let us own and love as brethren, all whom the Lord seems to put among his children, and encourage them in that they have received mercy. But every Christian, by his example and conduct, must protest against evil and abuses, even among those to whom he belongs and owes respect. Impenitent sinners will soon be stripped of the advantages they misuse, and which they consume upon their lusts.

Verses 6-13

God threatens what he would do with this treacherous, idolatrous people. They did not turn, therefore all this came upon them; and it is written for admonition to us. If lesser difficulties be got over, God will raise greater. The most resolute in sinful pursuits, are commonly most crossed in them. The way of God and duty is often hedged about with thorns, but we have reason to think it is a sinful way that is hedged up with thorns. Crosses and obstacles in an evil course are great blessings, and are to be so accounted; they are God’s hedges, to keep us from transgressing, to make the way of sin difficult, and to keep us from it. We have reason to bless God for restraining grace, and for restraining providences; and even for sore pain, sickness, or calamity, if it keeps us from sin. The disappointments we meet with in seeking for satisfaction from the creature, should, if nothing else will do it, drive us to the Creator. When men forget, or consider not that their comforts come from God, he will often in mercy take them away, to bring them to think upon their folly and danger. Sin and mirth can never hold long together; but if men will not take away sin from their mirth, God will take away mirth from their sin. And if men destroy God’s word and ordinances, it is just with him to destroy their vines and fig-trees. This shall be the ruin of their mirth. Taking away the solemn seasons and the sabbaths will not do it, they will readily part with them, and think it no loss; but He will take away their sensual pleasures. Days of sinful mirth must be visited with days of mourning.

Verses 14-23

After these judgments the Lord would deal with Israel more gently. By the promise of rest in Christ we are invited to take his yoke upon us; and the work of conversion may be forwarded by comforts as well as by convictions. But usually the Lord drives us to despair of earthly joy, and help from ourselves, that, being shut from every other door, we may knock at Mercy’s gate. From that time Israel would be more truly attached to the Lord; no longer calling him Baali, or “My lord and master,” alluding to authority, rather than love, but Ishi, an address of affection. This may foretell the restoration from the Babylonish captivity; and also be applied to the conversion of the Jews to Christ, in the days of the apostles, and the future general conversion of that nation; and believers are enabled to expect infinitely more tenderness and kindness from their holy God, than a beloved wife can expect from the kindest husband. When the people were weaned from idols, and loved the Lord, no creature should do them any harm. This may be understood of the blessings and privileges of the spiritual Israel, of every true believer, and their partaking of Christ’s righteousness; also, of the conversion of the Jews to Christ. Here is an argument for us to walk so that God may not be dishonoured by us: Thou art my people. If a man’s family walk disorderly, it is a dishonour to the master. If God call us children, we may say, Thou art our God. Unbelieving soul, lay aside discouraging thoughts; do not thus answer God’s loving-kindness. Doth God say, Thou art my people? Say, Lord, thou art our God.

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