Take a prostituting wife (Hos 1:2-1:2)

“When Yahweh

First spoke

Through Hosea,

Yahweh said to Hosea.

‘Go!

Take for yourself

A wife of prostitution!

Have children

Of prostitution!

The land commits

Great prostitution

By forsaking Yahweh.’”

The command of Yahweh to Hosea is a little strange at first sight. Yahweh God wants Hosea to take a wife, which is not odd. However, she should be a prostitute or whore. He should have children with this prostitute. Thus, the life of Hosea the prophet became symbolic in itself. The reason for the emphasis on prostitution was that the land of Israel had prostituted itself by giving up on Yahweh. The great theme of the infidelity of the Israelites was lived out by Hosea in a real symbolic way. The later prophets of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel would mention this infidelity of Israel also.

The repulsion towards King Coniah (Jer 22:24-22:27)

“As I live,

Says Yahweh.

‘Even if King Coniah,

The son of King Jehoiakim

Of Judah,

Were the signet ring

On my right hand,

I would tear you off.

I would give you

Into the hands of those

Who seek your life,

Into the hands of those

Of whom you are afraid,

Even into the hands

Of King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon,

Into the hands of the Chaldeans.

I will hurl you

With the mother who bore you

Into another country,

Where you were not born.

There you shall die.

But they shall not return

To the land

To which they long to return.”

Apparently in 598 BCE, King Jehoiakim or King Eliakim was killed. Thus his son King Coniah or King Jehoiachin, who was 18 years old, took over for 3 months before he was taken away into the Babylonian captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar. His uncle, King Zedekiah or King Mattaniah (598-587 BCE) took over for him. King Coniah lived out his life in captivity in Babylon for at least 25 more years. Here Yahweh does not speak highly of him. Yahweh was willing to turn him over to his future captives, the Chaldeans and the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, even if he would have been king of Judah as the ring on his finger. Yahweh was going to throw him and his mother into captivity. There they would die in a country that they were not born in. Despite their desires, they would never return to Israel.