New International Version
When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORD."
New Living Translation
When the LORD first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, "Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the LORD and worshiping other gods."
English Standard Version
When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.”
New American Standard Bible
When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD."
King James Bible
The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
When the LORD first spoke to Hosea, He said this to him: Go and marry a promiscuous wife and have children of promiscuity, for the land is committing blatant acts of promiscuity by abandoning the LORD.
International Standard Version
When a message from the LORD came to Hosea, the LORD told him, "Go marry a prostitute and have children with her, because the land is prostituting itself by departing from the LORD."
When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, he said to him, "Go marry a prostitute who will bear illegitimate children conceived through prostitution, because the nation continually commits spiritual prostitution by turning away from the LORD."
GOD'S WORD® Translation
When the LORD first spoke to Hosea, the LORD told him, "Marry a prostitute, and have children with that prostitute. The people in this land have acted like prostitutes and abandoned the LORD."
JPS Tanakh 1917
When the LORD spoke at first with Hosea, the LORD said unto Hosea: 'Go, take unto thee a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry; for the land doth commit great harlotry, departing from the LORD.'
New American Standard 1977
When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD.”
Jubilee Bible 2000
The beginning of the word of the LORD with Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land shall give itself over to whoredom by departing from the LORD.
King James 2000 Bible
The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto you a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry: for the land has committed great harlotry, departing from the LORD.
American King James Version
The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take to you a wife of prostitutions and children of prostitutions: for the land has committed great prostitution, departing from the LORD.
American Standard Version
When Jehovah spake at the first by Hosea, Jehovah said unto Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom; for the land doth commit great whoredom, departing from Jehovah.
The beginning of the Lord's speaking by Osse: and the Lord said to Osee: Go, take thee a wife of fornications, and have of her children of fornications: for the land by fornication shall depart from the Lord.
Darby Bible Translation
The beginning of the word of Jehovah through Hosea. And Jehovah said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms, and children of whoredoms; for the land is entirely given up to whoredom, away from Jehovah.
English Revised Version
When the LORD spake at the first by Hosea, the LORD said unto Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom: for the land doth commit great whoredom, departing from the LORD.
Webster's Bible Translation
The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go take to thee a wife addicted to lewdness and children of lewdness; for the land hath committed great lewdness, departing from the LORD.
World English Bible
When Yahweh spoke at first by Hosea, Yahweh said to Hosea, "Go, take for yourself a wife of prostitution and children of unfaithfulness; for the land commits great adultery, forsaking Yahweh."
Young's Literal Translation
The commencement of Jehovah's speaking by Hosea. And Jehovah saith unto Hosea, 'Go, take to thee a woman of whoredoms, and children of whoredoms, for utterly go a-whoring doth the land from after Jehovah.'
Parallel CommentariesMatthew Henry's Concise Commentary
1:1-7 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.
Verse 2. - The beginning of the word of the Lord by (literally, in) Hosea. These words may be rendered at once more literally and more exactly,
(1) "The beginning (of that which) Jehovah spoke by Hosea." Thus Gesenius translates, understanding ashen, which is often omitted as a pronoun in the nominative or accusative, indicating relation, and as including the antecedent personal or demonstrative pronoun. When the pronoun thus supplied is in the genitive, the preceding noun is in the construct state, as here.
(2) Rosenmüller, without necessity, takes the noun in the adverbial sense; thus: "In the beginning Jehovah spake by Hosea." He also suggests the possibility of dibber being a noun of the same meaning as dabar, but of different formation; while in two manuscripts of De Rossi and one of Kennicott the regular form of the construct state of davar is expressed.
(3) Keil takes the noun as an accusative of time, and accounts for its construct state by the substantival idea of the succeeding subordinated clause; thus: "At the commencement of ' Jehovah spake,' Jehovah said to him." But what is the beginning here mentioned? It cannot mean that Hoses was the first of the prophets by whom God made known his will to Israel, or the first of the minor prophets; for Jonah, as is rightly inferred from 2 Kings 14:25, preceded him; Joel also is usually regarded as before him in point of time; neither can it denote his priority to Isaiah and Amos, who also prophesied in the days of Uzziah. The plain meaning is that which becomes obvious when we adopt the right rendering of Gesenius, as given above, that is, the beginning of the prophecies which Hoses was commissioned by Jehovah to make known. The peculiarity of the expression, "in Hosea," as the word literally means, deserves attention. Maurer compares Numbers 12:2, 6, and 8, to prove that the expression signifies speaking to rather than in or by; he also cites other passages to the same purpose, But while the verb "to speak," followed by b5 and the verb constructed with el, may coincide in signification at a certain point, it does not thence follow that they are everywhere and always synonymous. Long ago Jerome drew attention to the distinction which this difference of construction suggests. "It is one thing," says that Father, "for the Lord to speak in Hosea, another to speak to
(5) Hosea: when it is in Hosea he does not speak to Hosea himself, but by Hosea to others; but speaking to Hosea denotes communication to himself. So in the New Testament (Hebrews 1:1) we find the corresponding Greek expression, viz. ὁ Θεὸς λαλήσας ἐν προφήταις, which the Revised Version rightly renders, "God having... spoken the ... in the prophets." The first verse is the general heading for the whole book; the first clause of the second verse is the special heading of the first section of the book, which extends to the end of the third chapter. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms, and children of whoredoms. Whether the transaction here enjoined is to be understood as a reality, or a vision, or an allegory, has been keenly debated. To enter fully into the discussion of this point would lead us too far from our purpose; nor could it minister to edification. Though high authorities have maintained it to be a real occurrence, we do not see our way to concur with their view. A canon of interpretation sanctioned by Augustine forbids the literal acceptation of this command, for, according to the canon referred to, if the language of Scripture taken literally would involve something incongruous or morally improper, the figurative sense must be preferred. Again, we can scarcely understand it of a vision; for there is no mention of or reference to anything of that kind in the passage, nor does the context countenance the notion of a vision. Keil regards it as such when he speaks of it as "an inward and spiritual intuition in which the word of God was addressed" to the prophet. We are, therefore, shut up to that interpretation which explains the whole as an allegorical or imaginary narrative, which is thus constructed in order to impart greater vividness to the prophet's declaration. The Chaldee paraphrase understands it in this sense. "Go," says the paraphrast, "declare a prophecy against the inhabitants of the idolatrous city, who persist in sin." Jerome also explains it allegorically, and urges against the literal sense that passage in Ezekiel 4:4-6, where the prophet is commanded by God to bear the iniquity of the house of Israel, and to lie upon his left side three hundred and ninety days - a thing impossible according to the literal understanding of the injunction; he accordingly concludes, in reference to the particulars here commanded, that "sacramenta indicaut futurorum." Calvin rightly understands it in the sense of a parabolic representation as follows: '" The Lord had bidden him (the prophet) to relate this parable, so to speak, or this similitude, that the people might see, as in a living portraiture, their turpitude and perfidiousness. It is, in short, an exhibition in which the thing itself is not only set forth in words, but is also placed, as it were, before their eyes in a visible form." Kimchi considers it to be a prophetic vision; while some of the older Hebrew interpreters viewed it in the light of an actual transaction. Kimchi's words are: "And the whole took place in the vision of prophecy, not that Hoses the prophet had taken to himself a wife of whoredoms; although it is found in the words of our rabbins that the meaning is according to the literal signification of the words." By "a wife of whoredoms" we understand a woman addicted to whoredoms, and thus likely to prove an unfaithful wife, as" a woman of quarrels" is a quarrelsome woman, "a man of bloods" is a bloody man, "a man of sorrows" a sorrowful man; while "children of whoredoms" are children who follow in the footsteps of their mother's lewdness, or children on whose birth their mother's licentiousness bad left a stigma so that their legitimacy is questionable. The construction of the verb "take," with both objects, is an example of the figure zeugma, by which one word does duty to two clauses, though it undergoes a modification of sense in its application to the second. The meaning here is clearly that the prophet should take a wife of the character indicated, and beget children by her, not take such a wife and such children already born to her. This view is favored by the Vulgate, Sume tibi uxorem fornicationum et fac tibi filios fornicationum; though Keil maintains that Hosea was to take children of prostitution as well as a wife who had lived by prostitution. For the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord. This is more exactly rendered, for the land hath utterly gone a-whoring from after (that is, from following) the Lord. From this we learn the symbolic import of the command, in whatever way that command is interpreted, whether as a reality, or vision, or allegory, the prophet's marriage to an unfaithful wife sets forth Jehovah's marriage to an unfaithful nation. God often condescends - graciously condescends - to represent his relation to his people as a marriage covenant; while unfaithfulness on their part is spiritual adultery. The mother and the children may represent the country and its inhabitants, or the nation as a whole and its several members, or generally the people and their posterity in succeeding generations. The father of the Hebrew race had served other gods on the other side of the flood, that is, in Ur, in the land of the Chaldees, whence God had called Abraham. When taken into covenant relationship, how often had they fallen into the former sin of idolatry! The fearful consequences of their sin is graphically portrayed in the verses immediately following, symbolized in the names of the prophet's children. They are - national ruin, the loss of the Divine favor, and the forfeiture of their proud position as the chosen people of Jehovah.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea,.... Or "in Hosea" (i); which was internally revealed to him, and was inspired into him, by the Holy Ghost, who first spoke in him, and then by him; not that Hosea was the first of the prophets to whom the word of the Lord came; for there were Moses, Samuel, David, and others, before him; nor the first of the minor prophets, for Jonah, Joel, and Amos; are by some thought to be before him; nor the first of those contemporary with him, as the Jewish writers interpret it, which is not certain, at least not all of them; but the meaning is, that what follows is the first part of his prophecy, or what it began with; by which it appears he was put upon hard service at first, to prophesy against Israel, an idolatrous people, and to do it in such a manner as must be disagreeable to a young man:
and the Lord said to Hosea, go, take thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms; a woman given to whoredom, a notorious strumpet, one taken out of the stews, and children that were spurious and illegitimate, not born in lawful wedlock. Some think this was really done; that the prophet took a whore, and cohabited with her, or married her which, though forbidden a high priest, was not forbid to a prophet; and had it been against a law, yet the Lord commanding it made it lawful, as in the cases of Abraham's slaying his son, and the Israelites borrowing jewels of the Egyptians; but this seems not likely, since it would not only look like countenancing whoredom, which is contrary to the holy law of God; but must be very dishonourable to the prophet, and render him contemptible to the people; and, besides, would not answer the end proposed, to reprove the spiritual adultery or idolatry of Israel, but rather serve to confirm in it; for how should that appear criminal and abominable to them, which was commanded the prophet by the Lord? others think that the woman he is bid to marry, though before marriage a harlot, was afterwards reformed; but this is directly contrary to Hosea 3:1 and besides, the children born of her, whether reformed or not, yet in lawful wedlock could not be called children of whoredom; nor would the above end be answered by it, since such a person would be no fit representative of Israel committing spiritual adultery or idolatry, and continuing in it; and moreover, whether this or the former was the case, the prophecy must be many years delivering; it must be near a year before the first child was born, and the same space must be between the birth of each; so that here must be a long and frequent interruption of the prophecy, which does not seem likely: nor is it probable that he took his own wife, which is the opinion of others, and gave her the character of a whore, and his children with her, and called them children of whoredom, in order to represent and reprove the idolatry of Israel: what Maimonides (k), and the Jewish writers in general, give into, is more agreeable, that this was all done in the vision of prophecy; that it so seemed to the prophet in vision to be really done, and so he related it to the people; but this is liable to objection, that such an impure scene of things should be represented to the mind of the prophet by the Holy Spirit of God; nor can the relation of it be thought to have any good effect upon the people, who would be ready to mock at him, and reproach him for it. It seems best therefore to understand the whole as a parable, and that the prophet, in a parabolical way, is bid to represent the treachery, unfaithfulness, and spiritual adultery of the people of Israel, under the feigned name of an unchaste woman, and of children begotten in fornication; and to show unto them that their case was as if he had taken a woman out of the stews, and her bastards with her; or as if a wife married by him had defiled his bed, and brought him a spurious brood of children. So the Targum interprets it,
"go, prophesy a prophecy against the inhabitants of the idolatrous city, who add to sin:''
for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord; or
"for the inhabitants of the land erring, erred from the worship of the Lord,''
as the Targum; that is, the inhabitants of the land of Israel have committed idolatry, which is often in Scripture signified by adultery and whoredom; as an adulterous woman deals treacherously with her husband, so these people had dealt with God, who stood in such a relation to them; see Jeremiah 3:1, this interprets the parable, and shows the reason of using the following symbols and emblems.
(i) , Sept.; in Hosea, V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius, Tarnovius. (k) Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. 46. Aben Ezra & Kimchi in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. beginning—not of the prophet's predictions generally, but of those spoken by Hosea.
take … wife of whoredoms—not externally acted, but internally and in vision, as a pictorial illustration of Israel's unfaithfulness [Hengstenberg]. Compare Eze 16:8, 15, etc. Besides the loathsomeness of such a marriage, if an external act, it would require years for the birth of three children, which would weaken the symbol (compare Eze 4:4). Henderson objects that there is no hint of the transaction being fictitious: Gomer fell into lewdness after her union with Hosea, not before; for thus only she was a fit symbol of Israel, who lapsed into spiritual whoredom after the marriage contract with God on Sinai, and made even before at the call of the patriarchs of Israel. Gomer is called "a wife of whoredoms," anticipatively.
children of whoredoms—The kingdom collectively is viewed as a mother; the individual subjects of it are spoken of as her children. "Take" being applied to both implies that they refer to the same thing viewed under different aspects. The "children" were not the prophet's own, but born of adultery, and presented to him as his [Kitto, Biblical Cyclopædia]. Rather, "children of whoredoms" means that the children, like their mother, fell into spiritual fornication. Compare "bare him a son" (see Ho 2:4, 5). Being children of a spiritual whore, they naturally fell into her whorish ways.
Hosea 1:2 Additional Commentaries
Hosea's Wife and Children
1The word of the LORD which came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. 2When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD." 3So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.…
And the LORD said to Moses: "You are going to rest with your ancestors, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them.
"If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again? Would not the land be completely defiled? But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers-- would you now return to me?" declares the LORD.
They became prostitutes in Egypt, engaging in prostitution from their youth. In that land their breasts were fondled and their virgin bosoms caressed.
Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.'
The LORD said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes."
I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from me. Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt.
Treasury of Scripture
The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take to you a wife of prostitutions and children of prostitutions: for the land has committed great prostitution, departing from the LORD.
a wife. That is, says Apb. Newcome, a wife from among the Israelites, who were a people remarkable for spiritual fornication or idolatry.
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OT Prophets: Hosea 1:2 When Yahweh spoke at the first (Ho Hs Hos.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools