Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Hosea
Book: Hosea
Chapter: 1

Under a figure, is represented the shameful Idolatry of the
ten tribes. (1-7) The Calling of the Gentiles, and the uniting
Israel and Judah under the Messiah. (8-11)

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.

8-11 The rejection of Israel for a time, is signified By the
name of another Child: Call him Lo-Ammi, "not my people." The
Lord disowns all relation to them. We Love him, because he first
loved us; but our being cast out of Covenant, is owing to
ourselves and our folly. Mercy is remembered in the midst of
wrath; the rejection, as it shall not be total, So it shall not
be final. The same Hand that wounded, is stretched forth to
heal. Very precious promises are here given concerning the
Israel of God, and they may be of use to us now. Some think that
these promises will not have accomplishment in full, till the
general Conversion of the Jews in the latter days. Also this
promise is applied to the Gospel, and the bringing in both the
Jews and Gentiles to it, By St. Paul, Ro 9:25,26, and By St.
Peter, 1Pe 2:10. To believe in Christ, is to have him for our
Head, and willingly to commit ourselves to his guidance and
government. And let us pray for the coming of the glorious Day,
when there shall be one Lord through all the Earth.