Hosea 2The Voice (VOICE)
Jezreel means “God sows [seed].” He will bring the people back to their land, and they’ll never be uprooted again.
2 Eternal One (to the future reunited people): Give your brothers a new name: My People;
Israel was unfaithful to God by worshiping the fertility gods of her neighbors and forging diplomatic and military alliances with these foreign nations.
Look at her! She must cease from her whoring ways,
4 When I divorce her, I won’t take care of her children
Whenever God’s children abandon proper worship of Him in favor of any earthly thing—be it worship of another god, dependence on themselves, or trust in foreign leaders—they break their covenant with Him. Breaking that promise is like committing adultery, which is literally the destruction of a marriage covenant. Here, God is furious with Israel because they have chosen to serve the gods of other nations in addition to Him; they are committing adultery against Him.
Under the rule of King Jeroboam II in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, worship of a Canaanite deity named Baal is common. Many people believe he is the god of weather and therefore the one who makes the earth fertile and produces crops. Like God, he is worshiped through the donation of gifts and sacrificing of animals, but Baal is also honored by the activities of prostitutes at shrines dedicated to him. The men and women who are employed at those shrines are paid for their fertility rituals by customers (worshipers) not only with money but also with the produce of the land their sexual activities supposedly fertilized: bread and water, wool and flax, oil and wine.
5 Their mother was a prostitute;
8 She didn’t know I was the One who gave her the grain and wine and oil—
9 So when harvest time comes, I’ll take back My grain,
11 So I’m going to end all of her celebrations
14 But once she has nothing, I’ll be able to get through to her.
This is where Achan was judged for keeping forbidden spoils of war when Israel first entered into the land after the exodus.
In the wilderness of exile she’ll learn to respond to Me
16 And I swear when that day comes, she’ll call Me “my husband” and never address Me again as “my master” as she did those other gods. 17 She’ll never invoke the name of any other master again.
Everyone will forget that gods by that name ever existed. 18 When that day comes, this is what I’ll do for My people: I’ll make a covenant for them with the wild animals and flying birds and crawling insects, and they’ll agree never to devour her crops again. I’ll smash all the bows and swords and weapons that could be used to invade their land, and they’ll live in security.
(to His reclaimed bride) 19 I’m going to marry you, and this time it’ll be forever in righteousness and justice. Our covenant will reflect a loyal love and great mercy; 20 our marriage will be honest and truthful, and you’ll understand who I really am—the Eternal One.
21 And I swear that when that day comes
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