200 years prior to Hosea; 10 tribes broke away and formed the Northern Kingdom, referred to as Israel. Judah and Benjamin were the Southern Kingdom, referred to as Judah.
Israel had recently restored their border. Hosea tells them of their coming destruction.
v1. Hosea means salvation. He ministered to Israel a long time and fully knew their condition.
v2. Why would God want Hosea to marry a harlot? He is a prophet; what better way to preach or teach than to have a personal experience to relate to? Didn’t Paul’s trials and tribulations form him into a better, more powerful apostle? It is much easier to take advice or correction from someone who has been through a similar situation. Remember, this signifies Israel’s unfaithfulness (Spiritual harlotry). Maybe there were no honest, modest woman left.
v4. His first message to Israel is to tell them that they are evil and adulterous. Not a good way to gain authority or earn respect. Jezreel means God will scatter. (Those without Christ are truly “lost”.)
v6. Lo-Ruhamah means not pitied or not beloved. Worldly prosperity is no sign of spiritual riches or security in them.
v7. Not because Judah was sinless or holy. Only by God’s mercy. Not saved by their efforts either; they had a smaller, weaker army than Israel and were attacked by the same Assyrian army.
v9. Lo-Ammi means not my people. Signifies a break or pause in the Covenant because they are unrepentant.
v10. The chosen are rejected to make way for a new covenant. The ruin of Israel is due to the sin of Israel. If they hadn’t first revolted from God, He wouldn’t have rejected them.
v11. (Eph 2:14-16) Includes the Gentiles. Jezreel here means to sow.