Hosea Continued



A few days back, I started a thread on the story of Hosea in the Hebrew Scriptures. Picking up where we left off...

Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered; and in the place where it is said to them, "You are not My people," it will be said to them, "you are the sons of the living God." (11) And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint for themselves one leader, and they will go up from the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.
Verse 1:10-11 is problematic because in a literal sense, Judah and Israel has not been re-gathered and in fact can never in a literal way be re-gathered. When the Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the tribes were scattered; hence the anthropological interest in finding the "lost tribes of Israel." Today's Jews are derived from the remnant of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. So in what sense are they re-gathered? Am not a theologian but from what I've read here are some possible explanations:
(1) Jews return from exile when the Persians toppled the Babylonians around 538BC.
(2) Jews eventually regains national standing which happened in 1947. In dispensational theology, the Jewish nation will grow even stronger in a future "millennial" kingdom.
(3) The church symbolically takes the mantle of Israel.
Explanation #1 is okay though it would be fairly modest fulfillment of the promise but quite feasible. #2 and #3 are almost mutually exclusive. I lean toward #3.
Hosea 2:1 Say to your brothers, "Ammi," and to your sisters, "Ruhamah."
Here is some Biblical wordplay. "Ammi" refers back to verse 1:9 when a son is named "Lo-ammi" which means "not my people" and "Ruhamah" refers back to verse 1:6 when a daughter is named "Lo-ruhamah" which means "not loved." With this wordplay, there is some hope given as the negation is removed.

This chapter begins the merging of the story line of Hosea's broken marriage and the nation of Israel's shattered relationship with God. What follows is a torrent of poetic images in the rest of chapter two. In most Bibles, the text is laid out differently when poetic literary style is employed. If you have a Bible nearby, check it out. Usually, the type face is a little different or the text is indented.

In some parts in this chapter you wonder is it God speaking or is it Hosea or is it both? People often think of the Bible as old and musty or dry and boring. Keep reading and you find fiery passion and vivid images!

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