By Your servant, Dan L Baxley
Hosea is a small yet powerful book. It is a book of prophetic value and concerns not only the people of Israel but the People of the Christ, our Savior, YaHshua.
Hosea began his ministry during the times of Jeroboam II of Israel and Uzziah of Judah, around the 8th century BC. This is after the rich and prosperous kingdom of Solomon. Solomon had allowed the foreign gods of his many wives to dot the landscape of the surrounding hills of Jerusalem and more. The kings that followed him continued on this path of religious tolerance. The people saw themselves as very religious even after forgetting about their first God, YHWH. They used His name a lot, in their ignorance and desire to follow other more exciting gods, gods that titillated the flesh and the eye. Certainly there were brief periods of repentance but for the most part YaHWeH was pushed to the back and this is where Hosea comes into the picture.
Israel is divided, there are the Northern Tribes which have fallen deep into Baal Worship and the Southern Tribes still hanging on to a semblance of true worship of the True God, YaHWeH. Eventually, however, despite the warnings from the Prophets, like Hosea, the Southern Tribes went the way of their Northern brothers and sisters.
(2Ki 21:3-6) For he (Manassea) built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal(Lord 0r Lords), and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. And he built altars in the house of YHWH, of which YHWH said; In Jerusalem will I put my name. And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of YHWH. And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of YHWH, to provoke him to anger.
Hosea’s time was spent in warning the Northern Tribe by a visual sign YHWH has instructed him in, a sign that would be illustrated in his own life. He was to take a whore for a wife and the symbol of this is not lost on the reader of the book of Hosea. YaHWeH uses Hosea as an example between Himself and the unfaithful Israel. As the whore chases after other men, for money and pleasure, so Israel was chasing after other gods. Israel, however, thought of itself as very religious and devote in all things religious, even to the point of sacrificing their own children to the evil, and false, god Molech. Reading the verses above you read that the Kings were so religious as to “pass their sons through the fire” – the fire of Molech was to offer your own children as a burnt offering, consumed by the fires of Molech. Yes, they were very religious, indeed.
What Hosea has to say and demonstrates was definitely a message for them, way, way back then, but there is some curious wording coming out from Hosea. We must remember it is YaHWeH that is giving these words of warning and also, prophecy of another time.
(Isa 46:10) Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
(Amos 3:7) Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets. (secret – purpose, plan)
And He has – He has revealed from the beginning to the end, from ancient times He has made known to His prophets more than just things for their times, but for ours too, all the way to the end. Hosea is one of those prophets –
Hosea Speaks – To Us
(Hos 4:1-2) Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.(Hos 4:3-5) Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away. Yet let no one contend, and let none accuse, for with you is my contention, O priest. You shall stumble by day; the prophet also shall stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother.(Hos 4:6) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.(Hos 4:7-9) The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame. They feed on the sin of my people; they are greedy for their iniquity. And it shall be like people, like priest; I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.(Hos 4:10) They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the whore, but not multiply, because they have forsaken the LORD to cherish
What, you think this is only Israel? This is not meant for you and me, for the country you live in? I have been to several other countries and have found this truth – all are blind and ignorant of our Creator even in this time of technological advances and in this information deluge the people are willingly blind. Satisfied to be unsatisfied, worshiping the things as opposed to our true God and Savior. There seems to be an unwritten law – when in a group setting, do not talk about religion – do not invite religious discussion – do not talk about the One God and Savior. Oh, you can talk about demons and witchcraft, the burning of candles, and the Eastern religions of the flesh or the wonderful demands of the Islamic faith but talk about our Lord and Savior, YaHshua, outside of a Church building or private group?
He is the bread and He is the life and it is only by and through Him you will receive real spiritual food, food that will satisfy. He has offered Himself so there is no need to offer up any other – by His single sacrifice for us He has put an end to child sacrifice and to animal sacrifice – with Him there is no need, His blood covers it all.
This takes us to Hosea’s revelation of what was and did happen –
(Hos 5:3) I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from me; for now, O Ephraim, you have played the whore; Israel is defiled. Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. For the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they know not the LORD (YHWH). The pride of Israel testifies to his face; Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in his guilt; Judah also shall stumble with them.
Hosea Declares the Salvation of Israel
(Hos 2:10) Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of my hand.
(Hos 2:11) And I will put an end to all her mirth, her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her appointed feasts.
He has done just that. After the Messiah, YaHshua, was rejected and crucified the fate of Israel, the Jews, was sealed – an end to the days and times they considered as sacred obligations were brought to an end. In their stubbornness, even after the signs they so dearly sought were shown to them and they continued to reject the one that could save them, they clung to the Law of Moses and Temple worship. This all came crashing down by the force of His words spoken to Hosea through and by the reality of the Temple being torn down by the Romans in and around 68-70 AD. It did not end there, for 70 years later another Roman assault and the whole of the city of Jerusalem was leveled.
(Hos 2:12) And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, of which she said, 'These are my wages, which my lovers have given me.' I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall devour them.(Hos 2:13) And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares YHWH.(Hos 2:14) "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.
This is a time to come, a time like before, when He brought the children of Israel into the wilderness to establish a covenant with them. He did not pick Israel to fail, but fail they did so that His Might and Power, His Savior could be shown to them. So, that His great mercy will be on display and be proof it is He that controls what happens to Israel as a people. One more time He will bring the “remnant” of the people that survive what is to come, out into the desert wilderness and He will be kind and gentle, and from that moment Israel will succeed.
(Hos 2:15) And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.(Hos 2:16-17) "And in that day, declares YHWH, you will call me 'My Husband,' and no longer will you call me 'My Baal.' (Or “my LORD”) For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more.
No more will other names be used in calling on Him. No more will they defile and profane His Holy Name. Lord (Baal) worship will end. Some have wondered who the Bride is, well, what does it say here? “You will call me, “My Husband”. Also, when we look in the book of Revelation we see that the Heavenly City of Jerusalem, coming down from Heaven above is called the “Bride”. How is this Heavenly City constructed? Twelve gates, each named for one of the Tribes of Israel, and the foundation stones the twelve Apostles and the Corner Stone our Savior, YaHshua, and all of these representing the structure of this Holy City are Israelites.
(Hos 2:18) And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety.
War will be abolished and the people of Israel will live in safety. Does that seem like any time in the past or now? No, but it is the future for Israel restored. Hosea is not the only one to declare what YaHWeH has revealed –
(Zec 14:9-11) And the YHWH will be king over all the earth. On that day the YHWH will be one and His Name one. The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king's winepresses. And it shall be inhabited, for there shall never again be a decree of utter destruction. Jerusalem shall dwell in security.
It would be of great benefit to read all of Zechar-iah (YaH) 14 to see with your own eyes, to hear with your own ears what YaHWeH/YaHshua has in store. What is revealed in that chapter fits nicely with the message of Hosea and the revelation of the Book of Revelation as well as identifying YaHWeH as YaHshua in His previous Glory as the God of Israel – whom they rejected.
(Hos 2:19-20) And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know YHWH.(Hos 2:21-23) "And in that day I will answer, declares YHWH, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel, and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, 'You are my people'; and he shall say, 'You are my God.'"
KJV __ (Hos 2:23) And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
This prophecy is for Israel and Judah, and is not speaking to the Gentiles. Some have mistakenly applied this verse to the Christian Church, especially those of the “replacement theology” those teaching the Christian Church replaces Israel. This is totally incorrect, however, and demonstrates how the KJV has at times mistranslated the meaning. You will notice in the example from the KJV (above) the grayed out words? These are words added by the KJV translators to clarify the meaning as they saw it. This allows for the bias of the translators to be entered into the Scriptures. This verse should be read and understood without the addition of these words. Reading this verse with these added words it then appears to be talking about gentiles being favored over Israel. The full context of Hosea’s message is for all of Israel and all of Judah and not Gentiles – at least at this point – look again, who is this verse addressed to? YHWH rejects Israel as His people at one point for their unfaithfulness, so He says they are not His people anymore, but He has not laid out a plan of failure and by His own power He will deliver and restore Israel and once again call her His people and He will stop the process of “no mercy” toward her and exhibit mercy, even though she still does not deserve it. We need to be careful in claiming to be what we are not. YaHWeH has a plan to deliver all of Israel and a good thing too, because it is from them our Savior came by blood and flesh to save us as well. When we say, “us”, it should be understood that the children of Israel have been dispersed among the nations and certainly some of the flesh have lost their identity among the nations and even, perhaps, some of the blood of Israel have lost who they are and think of themselves as gentiles. But, who is to say from where you came, only the Creator of Israel will have that answer. It is, however, very dangerous to claim to be someone we are not, please read Revelation 3:9 carefully.
We will Jump ahead in the narrative to stay on point, to show part of the message from Hosea is not a message of the past but also for the future. Hosea’s name means “deliverer” which is akin to “savior”. It is clear Hosea is a type of “husband” over an unfaithful wife that goes whoring after other men – other gods. But in the narrative of the writing, of the letter to the whore Israel, the figure seen in the likes of Hosea’s unfaithful wife, Israel should rejoice for the message is one of deliverance, of salvation for all Israel, past and present. Are the people of Israel listening? What will it take to bring them home, to the real home -- when YaHshua rules from Jerusalem?
He has determined the times and the places and some of us may witness these events, who knows, in a few years, ten, twenty, two hundred? Before any of this can happen we must live through the Seals of Revelation. The most immediate for us is Revelation 6:12-17 – we are looking over the edge of the 5th Seal, down into the coming of the 6th when the earth and the heavens will be struck and all of the combined power of man will not be able to stop it or control it and will see how helpless we really are and that without Him we are but a speck floating in space awaiting our demise. If He does not step in forces beyond the control of man will destroy us – the sun is burning out, galaxies are colliding, asteroids threaten -- oh, and the ice is melting. Nuclear war? There may be a nuclear war, after all, mankind has never developed a weapon they did not use, but this, if it were to occur, will not be the events of Revelation 6th Seal.
Will the people of Israel eventually see their error and accept the truth of their unfaithfulness and repent? Here is what is revealed, and it is a positive message --
(Hos 3:4-5) For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek YHWH their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the YHWH and to his goodness in the latter days.
How remarkable is this, in the “latter days”, David is to be King again over the children of Israel? “Many days” to our God is years, thousands of years to us, but only a day in time for Him. Peter made known that a thousand years to us is like a day with Him (2Pe 3:8) But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. From this we can know the verse from Hosea is referring to the situation Israel/Judah finds itself today, without a King, without sacrifice, without gods – a people in limbo awaiting the God and Savior they rejected some few days ago, as time is counted in Heaven.
Look, see, David is their King – in the “latter days”. Imagine, King David is raised to rule over Israel once again. He is raised and his whole household to life in the flesh once again. All Israel is to be raised and get that infamous “second chance” people talk about getting – what would you do if you had a second chance? Israel is going to find out but in a different way, as their stony hearts are going to be replaced by a heart of flesh of love and mercy.
From here I think Hosea has said enough. Everything in Hosea builds off of these few verses and the main message is to the people of then (782-726 BC) a warning to the people of then, but a warning with a ray of hope, hope in a new and fantastic future as determined, not by men, but by their Creator – but when? We have yet to see the fullness and finish of this prophecy concerning Israel.
(Isa 11:11-12) In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
“A second time” and when would this be? When was the first time? We have seen in our modern times, since WWII, the restoration of a facsimile of Israel’s return to the land, coming out of nations but not as described here. We could say the modern return of Israel is the “first time”, but not in the fullness of this prophecy Isaiah speaks and Hosea speaks of. Read this verse carefully and you will see that there is yet another time of Israel’s return to the Land, but this next time, this “second time” will be more amazing and miraculous than the first.
(Isa 66:18-19) "For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations.
Imagine that, Israel, the survivors of what is to come will be “evangelizing” the world, declaring the Glory of our God and Savior “among the nations”. There is a lot that has to happen before this comes to pass. Reading the Book of Revelation we can see what it means when Isaiah speaks of survivors.
(Isa 66:20) And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the YHWH, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the YHWH, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the YHWH.
(Zec 10:8) "I will whistle for them and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as they were before.(Zec 10:9) Though I scattered them among the nations, yet in far countries they shall remember me, and with their children they shall live and return.(Zec 10:10) I will bring them home from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria, and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon, till there is no room for them.(Zec 10:11) He shall pass through the sea of troubles and strike down the waves of the sea, and all the depths of the Nile shall be dried up. The pride of Assyria shall be laid low, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.(Zec 10:12) I will make them strong in YHWH, and they shall walk in His name," declares the YHWH.
Does any of this sound like the Israel of today? Certainly, a type of Israel has returned to the Land (the first return?) but are they living safely, are they so numerous there seems to be no room for them? Are the surrounding countries subdued? Is all of Israel calling on the NAME of their God? Do we see the survivors, the remnant of Israel traveling to far countries to reclaim their brothers and sisters and proclaim the Name of their God to the Nations, to declare His Glory? No, we have seen none of this, because the fulfillment of these words has not happened yet, they are still future!
(Zec 12:10) "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on Him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over Him, as one weeps over a firstborn.(Zec 13:1) "On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.
Has this ever happened? No, but it is going to, it is going to become a reality and when this time comes, when these days are fulfilled, all of the doctrines of men, all of the fake gods of stone and wood, and the false teachers, and fables and myth will cease.
(Eze 36:23) And I will vindicate the holiness of My great Name, which has been profaned (abused, made useless, hidden) among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am YHWH, declares the Lord YaH, when through you I vindicate My holiness before their eyes.(Eze 36:24) I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.(Eze 36:25) I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.(Eze 36:26) And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.(Eze 36:27) And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.(Eze 36:28) You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.(Eze 36:29) And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you.
Have we seen any of this? No, we have not. The Israel of today does not fit this description. Verse 24 is continually pulled out of context by modern prophets and authors on prophecy quoted as the fulfillment of Modern Israel today, but reading the surrounding verses you will see this is not the truth, these prophecies from those who “speak” for YaHWeH are speaking of another time, a time still in the future. What seems to be at play, in this “plan” of Israel’s Creator, is another period of utter collapse of Israel and a saving of a remnant by YHWH/YaHshua ultimately ending in an everlasting peace and safety under the New Israel, under a New covenant, under our Savior and theirs, YaHshua.
Hosea Speaks a Final Word -- Speaking, as all True Prophets do -- For YaHWeH/YaHshu --
(Hos 14:4) I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for My anger has turned from them.(Hos 14:5-6) I (YHWH/YaHshua) will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon.(Hos 14:7) They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine; their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.(Hos 14:8) O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit.(Hos 14:9) Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the YHWH are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.