The new covenant (Hos 2:18-2:18)

“On that day,

I will make

For you

A covenant

With the wild animals,

The birds of the air,

The creeping things

Of the ground.

I will abolish

The bow,

The sword,

War from the land.

I will make you

Lie down in safety.”

On that day to come, Yahweh said that he was going to make a new covenant with the wild animals, the birds, and the creeping things. He was going to abolish the bow, the sword, and even fighting in general. War would be no more. This futuristic peace time would mean that they could lie down in safety. Was this the messianic age to come with worldwide peace?

The fight against Baal (Hos 2:16-2:17)

“Yahweh says.

‘On that day,

You will call me.

‘My husband.’

No longer

Will you call me.

‘My Baal.’

I will remove

The names of the Baals

From her mouth.

They shall be mentioned

By name

No more.’”

Yahweh said the Israelites would no longer call out the name Baal. Actually, this term meant master or lord, a term that was used later in addressing Yahweh, the God of Israel, especially with the Greek κγριος. Yahweh was going to be the husband of Israel. Baal would be removed from the mouths of these Israelites. No longer would his name be mentioned.

Yahweh will reconcile with Israel (Hos 2:14-2:15)

“‘Therefore,

I will now allure her.

I will bring her

Into the wilderness.

I will speak tenderly

To her.

From there,

I will give her

Her vineyards.

I will make

The Valley of Achor

A door of hope.

There she shall respond

As in the days

Of her youth,

As at the time.

When she came out

Of the land of Egypt.’”

Now Yahweh was going to lure her back into the wilderness. He was going to speak tenderly to her. Her vineyards would be returned. The Valley of Achor, near Jericho, would be a door of hope for her, instead of a place of sin. Then Israel would respond, as in the days of her youth in the wilderness, after she left Egypt.

The punishment for Israel (Hos 2:13-2:13)

“‘I will punish her

For the festival days

Of the Baals.

There she burned

Incense to them.

She decked herself

With her ring,

With jewelry.

She went after

Her lovers.

She forgot me.’

Says Yahweh.”

The “her” here is clearly Israel in this oracle of Yahweh. Israel had prostituted itself by running to the false idol Baal gods. Yahweh was going to punish the people of Israel, because they were burning incense to these gods on the festival days of Baal. Israel, like Gomer, decked herself out with a ring and jewelry. When she sought her idol lovers, she forgot Yahweh.

The destruction of Gomer’s life (Hos 2:10-2:12)

“Now I will uncover

Her shame

In the sight

Of her lovers.

No one shall rescue her

Out of my hand.

I will put an end

To all her mirth,

Her festivals,

Her new moons,

Her sabbaths,

All her appointed festivals.

I will lay waste

Her vines

With her fig trees.

She said.

‘These are my pay.

My lovers

Have given me

These vines,

These fig trees.’

I will make them

A forest.

The wild animals

Shall devour them.”

Hosea was going to shame Gomer. He was going to uncover her nakedness in the sight of her lovers. Nudity was considered shameful, not glorified. No one would be able to save her from his hands. He was going to put an end to all her merry ways. Strangely enough, this included the various Israelite religious holidays, such as the festivals, the new moon observance, the Sabbath observance, as well as the other religious appointed festival days. Hosea was also going to destroy the vines and the trees that her lovers had given her as payment for her various sexual activities. Hosea was going to make them like a overgrown forest, so that the wild animals would devour and destroy them. Gomer was then a symbol of what was going to happen to Israel.

The necessities of life (Hos 2:8-2:9)

“She did not know

That it was I

Who gave her

The grain,

The wine,

The oil.

I lavished upon her

Silver,

With gold,

That they used for Baal.

Therefore,

I will take back

My grain,

In its time.

I will take back

My wine,

In its season.

I will take away

My wool,

With my flax,

That were to cover

Her nakedness.

The prophet Hosea, like Yahweh, had given Gomer, like Israel, grain, wine, and oil. Silver and gold also came from him. Then they, the Israelites, like Gomer, used these precious metals on Baal. Therefore, he was going to take back his grain and wine at the right time in the season. He also was going to take back his wool and flax that she had used as clothing to cover her naked body. It was a sign of reproach to have a naked body.

Gomer will be lost (Hos 2:6-2:7)

“Therefore,

I will hedge up

Her way

With thorns.

I will build a wall

Against her,

So that she cannot find

Her paths.

She shall pursue

Her lovers,

But not overtake them.

She shall seek them,

But shall not find them.

Then she shall say.

‘I will go.

I will return

To my first husband.

It was better

With me then

Than now.’”

The prophet Hosea was going to make it difficult for Gomer. He was going to build a wall of hedges around her. Then, she would not be able to follow her paths. She might want to pursue her lovers, but she would not be able to reach them. She would go looking for them, but not find them. Finally, she would say, maybe I should return to my first husband. I was better off then with him. Once again, Gomer was a symbol of the lost Israel, seeking the Baal gods, but finally deciding to come home to Yahweh, their first husband.

No pity for the children (Hos 2:4-2:5)

“Also,

I will have no pity

Upon her children,

Because they are children

Of whoredom.

Their mother

Has played the whore.

She conceived them,

But she has acted shamefully.

She said.

‘I will go after

My lovers.

They give me

My bread,

My water,

My wool,

My flax,

My oil,

My drink.’”

The prophet Hosea also has no pity on his or her children since they were considered the children of a prostitute. She conceived them and bore them, but she had acted shamefully. She went after her lovers in order to get bread, water, wool, flax, oil, and something to drink, basically the necessities of life. Obviously, Gomer, the prostitute, was the Israelite people, who sought their lovers among the various fertility Canaanite gods and Baals.

The breakup (Hos 2:2-2:3)

“Plead with your mother!

Plead!

She is not my wife!

I am not her husband!

She should put away

Her whoring

From her face.

She should put away

Her adultery

From between her breasts.

Otherwise,

I will strip her naked.

I will expose her

As in the day

She was born.

I will make her

Like a wilderness.

I will turn her

Into a parched land.

I will kill her

With thirst.”

Now the prophet Hosea really tore into Gomer. He told the children that Gomer was not his wife and that he was not her husband. Gomer had to stop her whoring ways. She continued to commit adultery, although she bore 3 children. Hosea had a punishment for her. He was going to strip her naked, so that she would be like the day she was born. He was going to turn her into a wilderness or a parched land. He was going to kill her with thirst. I guess that there was no reconciliation here. The verse numbering system is not the same here for various bibles, since the Bible of Jerusalem has this at the end of the chapter.

The names are reversed (Hos 2:1-2:1)

“Say to your brother!

‘Ammi!”

My people!

Say to your sister!

‘Ruhamah!

Pity!”

In a play on words, the Hebrew text drops the “Lo” or “not” in front of the names of the brother and sister. Lo-ammi has become Ammi. Lo-ruhamah has become Ruhamah. Jezreel remained the same. Thus, the brother and sister now represent pity, love, and my people, instead of the negative connotation, as in the first chapter. Now, all is well.