Darby's Bible Synopsis
Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.
Chapter 2 introduces some new elements of exceeding interest; and, at the same time, a magnificent revelation of the dealings of God in grace, towards Israel. The opening words of the chapter appear to me to recognise the principle of a remnant, acknowledged by the heart of God as a people, and an object of mercy, while the nation, as a body, is rejected by the Lord. But the thought of Israel's restoration, announced in the last Verse of chapter 1((Hosea 1:11), gives the remnant its value and its place, according to the counsels of God: "God has not cast off his people whom he foreknew." Nevertheless, Jehovah says by the Holy Ghost to the prophet, not "I have married thy mother, and I will not put her away," but "Say unto your brethren, Ammi (my people), and to your sisters, Ruhamah (received in mercy)"; that is to say, to those who, acted upon by the Spirit of God, really enter in heart into the mind of the prophet-those who possess the character which made Jesus say, These are my brethren and my sisters. Such a position, in the eyes of the prophet, have the people and the beloved of God. It is thus that Peter applies Hosea 2:23 to the remnant, that Paul reasons in Romans 9, and that the Lord Himself can take the name of "the true vine."
The prophet, then (he alone could do it), was to acknowledge his brothers and sisters as in relation with God, according to the whole effect of the promise, although that effect was not yet accomplished. But, in fact, with respect to God's dealings, God had to plead with the mother-with Israel, looked at as a whole. God could not own her as married to Him: He would not be her husband. She must repent, if she would not be punished and made bare before the world. Neither would Jehovah have pity on her children, for they were born while she was going after false gods. Israel ascribed all the blessings that Jehovah had poured upon her to the favour of false gods. Therefore Jehovah had forcibly turned her back in her path. And since she knew not that it was Jehovah who filled her with this abundance, He would take it from her, and leave her naked and destitute, and visit upon her all the days of Baalim, during which Israel had served them and had forgotten Jehovah. But having brought this unfaithful woman into the wilderness, where she must learn that these false gods could not enrich her, Jehovah Himself, having allured her into it, would speak to her heart in grace. There it should be, when she had understood where her sin had brought her and was alone with Jehovah in the wilderness to which He had allured her, that He would comfort her, and give her entrance through grace into the power of those blessings which He alone could bestow.
The circumstance by which God expresses this return to grace is of touching interest. The valley of Achor should be her door of hope. There, where the judgment of God began to fall on the unfaithful people after their entrance into the land, when God acted according to the responsibility of the people-there would He now shew that grace abounded over all their sin. The joy of their first deliverance and redemption should be restored to them. It should be a recommencement of their history in grace, only it should be an assured blessing. The principle of the relationship of Israel with Jehovah should be changed. He would not be as a Master (Baal) to whom she was responsible, but as a Husband who had espoused her.. The Baalim should be entirely forgotten. He would take every kind of enemy out of their land, whether wild beast or wicked man, and He would betroth her unto Him in righteousness and in judgment, in lovingkindness, in mercies, and in faithfulness. She should know that it was Jehovah. Israel being thus betrothed in faithfulness to Jehovah, and such being the assured principles of His relationship with her, the chain of blessing between Jehovah and His people on earth should be secured and uninterrupted. Jehovah should be in connection with the heavens, the heavens with the earth, the earth should yield her blessings, and these should meet all the wants of Israel, the seed of God. And He would sow Israel unto Himself in the earth, and her name should be Ruhamah (that is, received in mercy or grace), Ammi (that is, my people); and Israel should say, "Thou art my God." In a word, there should be an entire restoration of blessing, but on the ground of grace and of the faithfulness of God.
Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;
Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.
And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms.
For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.
Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.
And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.
For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.
Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness.
And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand.
I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.
And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.
And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.
For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.
And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.
And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth;
And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.
And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.