Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Hosea 1:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He went and took Gomer - All this appears to be a real transaction, though having a typical meaning. If he took an Israelite, he must necessarily have taken an idolatress, one who had worshipped the calves of Jeroboam at Dan or at Bethel.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

So he went - He did not demur, nor excuse himself, as did even Moses Exodus 4:18, or Jeremiah Jeremiah 1:6, or Peter Acts 10:4, and were rebuked for it, although mercifully by the All-Merciful. Hosea, accustomed from childhood to obey God and every indication of the will of God, did at once, what he was bidden, however repulsive to natural feeling, and became, thereby, the more an image of the obedience of Christ Jesus, and a pattern to us, at once to believe and obey God‘s commands, however little to our minds.

Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim - “Gomer” is completion; “Diblaim,” a double lump of figs; which are a figure of sweetness. These names may mean, that “the sweetness of sins is the parent of destruction;” or that Israel, or mankind had completely forsaken God, and were children of corrupting pleasure.

Holy Scripture relates that all this was done, and tells us the births and names of the children, as real history. As such then, must we receive it. We must not imagine things to be unworthy of God, because they do not commend themselves to us. God does not dispense with the moral law, because the moral law has its source in the mind of God Himself. To dispense with it would be to contradict Himself. But God, who is the absolute Lord of all things which he made, may, at His Sovereign will, dispose of the lives or things which He created. Thus, as Sovereign Judge, He commanded the lives of the Canaanites to be taken away by Israel, as, in His ordinary providence, He has ordained that the magistrate should not bear the sword in vain, but has made him His “minister, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” Romans 13:4. So, again, He, whose are all things, willed to repay to the Israelites their hard and unjust servitude, by commanding them “to spoil the Egyptian” Exodus 3:22.

He, who created marriage, commanded to Hosea, whom he should marry. The prophet was not defiled, by taking as his lawful wife, at God‘s bidding, one defiled, however hard a thing this was. “He who remains good, is not defiled by coming in contact with one evil; but the evil, following his example, is turned into good.” But through his simple obedience, he foreshadowed Him, God the Word, who was called “the friend of publicans and sinners” Matthew 11:19; who warned the Pharisees, that “the publicans and harlots should (enter unto the kingdom of God before them” Matthew 21:31; and who now vouchsafes to espouse, dwell in, and unite Himself with, and so to hallow, our sinful souls. The acts which God enjoined to the prophets, and which to us seem strange, must have had an impressiveness to the people, in proportion to their strangeness. The life of the prophet became a sermon to the people. Sight impresses more than words. The prophet, being in his own person a mirror of obedience, did moreover, by his way of life, reflect to the people some likeness of the future and of things unseen. The expectation of the people was wound up, when they saw their prophets do things at God‘s command, which they themselves could not have done. When Ezekiel was bidden to show no sign of mourning, on the sudden death of “the desire of his eyes” Ezekiel 24:16-18, his wife; or when he dug through the wall of his house, and carried forth his household stuff in the twilight, with his face covered Ezekiel 12:3-7; the people asked, “Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us, that thou doest so?” (Ezekiel 24:19, add Ezekiel 12:10). No words could so express a grief beyond all power of grieving, as Ezekiel‘s mute grief for one who was known to be “the desire of his eyes,” yet for whom he was forbidden to show the natural expressions of grief, or to use the received tokens of mourning. God Himself declares the ground of such acts to have been, that, rebellious as the house of Israel was Ezekiel 12:2, “with eyes which saw not, and ears which heard not,” they might yet consider such acts as these.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Israel was prosperous, yet then Hosea boldly tells them of their sins, and foretells their destruction. Men are not to be flattered in sinful ways because they prosper in the world; nor will it last long if they go on still in their trespasses. The prophet must show Israel their sin; show it to be exceedingly hateful. Their idolatry is the sin they are here charged with. Giving that glory to any creature which is due to God alone, is an injury and affront to God; such as for a wife to take a stranger, is to her husband. The Lord, doubtless, had good reasons for giving such a command to the prophet; it would form an affecting picture of the Lord's unmerited goodness and unwearied patience, and of the perverseness and ingratitude of Israel. We should be broken and wearied with half that perverseness from others, with which we try the patience and grieve the Spirit of our God. Let us also be ready to bear any cross the Lord appoints. The prophet must show the ruin of the people, in the names given to his children. He foretells the fall of the royal family in the name of his first child: call his name Jezreel, which signifies "dispersion." He foretells God's abandoning the nation in the name of the second child; Lo-ruhamah, "not beloved," or "not having obtained mercy." God showed great mercy, but Israel abused his favours. Sin turns away the mercy of God, even from Israel, his own professing people. If pardoning mercy is denied, no other mercy can be expected. Though some, through unbelief, are broken off, yet God will have a church in this world till the end of time. Our salvation is owing to God's mercy, not to any merit of our own. That salvation is sure, of which he is the Author; and if he will work, none shall hinder.
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