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Hosea; I will give them up

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posted on Oct, 30 2015 @ 06:07 PM
Hosea is the man who “found himself” in an unfortunate marriage.
He “discovered” that his wife was an adulteress, and drew a lesson out of the fact.
At least, that’s how he seems to be explained in modern homilies.
I don’t like that way of rationalising the event, because it waters down the seriousness of what was happening to the prophet.

Hosea tells us himself that he was instructed to marry a harlot, and went into the marriage knowing exactly what he was doing, because God needed to set up a scene which could be used as a metaphor.
I believe we need to take this report at face value, at least as an account of his own understanding of the situation.
Nobody ever said that being a prophet of the Lord would be an easy life, especially in those days when messages had to be acted out.

The children of this marriage are a message in themselves (ch1).
The first child is to be called Jezreel, as a public sign of two things; that the house of Jehu needs to be punished for the blood which was shed in Jezreel, and that Jezreel will be the place where the power of Israel will be broken.
The second child is to be called “Not-pitied”, as a public sign that the Lord will have no pity on the house of Israel.
The third child is to be called “Not-my-people”, as a public sign that the Lord no longer regards the nation of Israel as his people.

These children are then given a message to be passed on to their mother, and it becomes clear that the message is really directed at Israel (ch2 vv1-13).
The background of the metaphor is that Israel has been harvesting the good things of the earth, year after year.
They have been celebrating the fact in the regular ceremonies designed for the purpose, in the new moon celebrations and Sabbaths and “all her appointed feasts”.
The problem is that they have not been giving all the credit to their own God, the Lord of Israel.
They have been sharing the credit and the offerings with the other deities of the land.
(The Lord does not need the offerings in themselves, but part of the point of the relationship is that his people need to recognise him as Creator and provider.)

The husband-and-wife metaphor is brought into play, to help them understand what they’re doing wrong.
The God of Israel is to be understood as the husband, and his people Israel are to be understood as his “wife”.
So when the Lord provides Israel with wine and grain and oil and precious metals, these are like the gifts of a husband to his wife.
When Israel assumes that she gets these things from other gods, that’s like a wife accepting “hire” from her lovers.
When Israel gives offerings to other gods out of the good things she has received, that’s like a wife taking the gifts she has received from her husband and passing them on to her lovers.

Therefore the Lord will behave like a jealous husband.
He will throw her out of the house, so to speak, and take back everything he has given her.
He will take away the wine, the grain, the wool, and the flax.
He will lay waste her vines and her fig trees and turn them back into a forest wilderness.
The land will become like a desert.
In effect, she will have been stripped naked.

But this will also have the effect of breaking off her contact with her lovers.
“I will hedge up her way with thorns…so that she cannot find her paths.
She shall pursue her lovers, but not overtake them;
And she shall seek them, but shall not find them”.
Once the good things of the earth have been taken away, she can have no sense that the other gods are providing them.
“Then she shall say ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better with me then than now” (vv6-7).
This offers the possibility that the relationship can be restored after all.

The husband-and-wife relationship is one of the key themes of the Bible.
The relation of man and wife goes back to the beginning of Genesis.
We can see from the laws how much value the Lord places upon it.
It has an important place in the prophets as an image of the relation between God and his people.
Hosea’s metaphor of the adulterous wife is picked up later in Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
But the more positive image of God’s people as a wife continuing
to be loved is the intended theme of the Song of Solomon.
We find it in Ephesians; “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians ch5 v25).
This theme continues to the end, for the “new Jerusalem”, adorned as a bride, is part of the final scene in Revelation.

It’s an image which portrays the relation between God and his people as a bond of shared love and obligation.

edit on 30-10-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 30 2015 @ 06:27 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

God himself is not a tame being,there is no defining him.

He's wild enough that he sends messengers and prophets that see his face to make the secrets of his wishes known.

You except and follow the creators way, you know peace and easy sailing.

His, there is no name attached, holds all faith sacred. At least from what I have gathered.

If it doesn't fit in nature it doesn't work. It's a model and a medium. The tree bears or it does not.

There are many barriers to understanding, the creation screams. It's a matter of hearing.

Happiness or contentment in the moment, regualdless of the circumstances. The cup running over on the street.

My personal depiction of Jesus is the buddy Christ with darker skin lol.

He chilled with the weak and poor because he fully understood, an amazing life.

What is money? What is happiness?

Are you happy now?

It's what it boils down too.

Anyway I like your posts!

Sorry just felt the need to speak, or swayback! Edited to add....grace is an amazing thing.

edit on 30-10-2015 by Treespeaker because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 30 2015 @ 06:38 PM

originally posted by: Treespeaker
God himself is not a tame being,there is no defining him.

Well, exactly. Even Moses was only allowed to see him "from behind", as it were.
The value of the prophets is that they help us get as close to understanding him as we are capable of getting.
Thank you for your contribution.

posted on Oct, 30 2015 @ 07:07 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

As I recall, Moses refused the honour of the sight of his face because like Adam he was afraid. He was fearful person and worried a lot.

Jesus, and others were in my opinion different in the fact that they were comforted with reality, and his face bare and naked.

Like thee the wind or the fire bare....,it is what it is, no miracle needed though there are lots on the path lol.

posted on Oct, 30 2015 @ 07:16 PM
a reply to: Treespeaker
According to Exodus, the Lord denied Moses a clear sight of his face in order to protect him.
"No man can see my face and live... I will put you in a cleft in the rock... then I will take away my hand and you shall see my back" (Exodus ch33 vv17-23).
But you are right- he was made visible in Jesus.

posted on Oct, 30 2015 @ 08:10 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Then it becomes how many times you've lived and died.

Having had the grace of life.

It's the same painting.

And I love it.

posted on Oct, 31 2015 @ 12:02 AM
God had a problem, in that He had taken corporate Israel as His wife at the mountain of God (not Sinai) in Midian. With Israel and Judah whoring after other lovers/gods, God gave them both a bill of divorce and sent them packing into exile. His problem was that His own law stated that a wife, after having been with another man, could not return to her husband. The death of Jesus, the YHVH of the OT, freed Him from the limitations of the old marriage covenant, and enables Him to take Israel (including Judah) as His bride again.

posted on Oct, 31 2015 @ 12:44 PM
a reply to: Lazarus Short
The way I read the story, it never quite gets as far as divorce.
God breaking the relation with his people is like the elimination of the human race in the Genesis Flood. He threatens to do it, for the sake of discipline. He goes a very long way towards doing it, to show that he isn't bluffing. Yet when it comes to the crunch, he can't bring himself to make it final. He leaves someone in place, whether Noah or "the remnant of Israel", to keep it going.

So the exiles of Israel and Judah were intended more as a "trial separation" than a divorce, designed to bring the wandering wife back to her senses.
All this is foreshadowed here in Hosea;
"I will bring her into the wilderness... make the Valley of Achor a door of hope... And I will betroth you to me for ever" (ch2 vv14-20).
The later Jeremiah (ch3 v8) speaks of the divorce of Israel, but not of the divorce of Judah.
I follow up that theme in the later Hosea threads, viz. "I cannot give them up" and "I will bring them back

edit on 31-10-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 31 2015 @ 02:33 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I offer this, Jeremiah chapter 3, verses 6 through 14:

"Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? She is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto Me. But returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the Lord. And the Lord said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah."

Do you see that God divorced Israel, and Judah was worse? I have not dug up the divorce declaration against Judah, but it is probably in there somewhere.

posted on Oct, 31 2015 @ 02:39 PM
a reply to: Lazarus Short
I will grant you the eventual divorce of Israel (which never did come back), but I don't think you will find one for Judah.
Judah's time of separation came to an end with the Return from Babylon, and the slate was wiped clean;
"Her inquity is pardoned, she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins" (Isaiah ch40 v2).
If Judah was getting close to divorce again in the time of Jesus, that was the result of what she had been doing since the Return.

posted on Nov, 1 2015 @ 03:04 PM
This thread is the sequel to;
What's wrong with Israel?

posted on Nov, 15 2015 @ 02:12 PM

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