Understanding the Scriptures
|Conceived (vv. 3, 6, 8)||Became pregnant|
|Avenge (v. 4)||Give just punishment for something (in this case for Jehu’s killing in Jezreel)|
Hosea 1:2–3—Did the Lord Really Tell Hosea to Marry a Harlot?
“Whether [Hosea’s marriage was literal or symbolic], the religious significance of chapters 1–3 is quite clear. Hosea’s wives represent Israel, the disloyal and harlotrous consort of Jehovah, who stipulates that unless Israel puts aside her harlotries and reforms she will meet with stern action. For her gross sins she will be checked and punished and thus learn in the crucible of bitter experience that her husband means more to her than she at first supposed” (Sidney B. Sperry, The Voice of Israel’s Prophets , 282).
To truly understand the message of the book of Hosea, we must consider what kind of strength Hosea had to have to actually do what is described in the story.
|Hedge up (v. 6)||Block|
|Overtake (v. 7)||Catch|
|Lewdness (v. 10)||Immoral behavior|
|Mirth (v. 11)||Fun, happiness, laughter|
|Allure (v. 14)||Invite by offering something good|
|Betroth (vv. 19–20)||The covenant one entered into when becoming engaged to be married|
Studying the Scriptures
Do activities A and B as you study Hosea 1–3.
Interpret the Symbolism
If Hosea represents the Lord and Gomer represents Israel, what is the message of Hosea 1?
Hosea 2:5 explains why Gomer went after her idols. How are these reasons like the ones people give for breaking their covenants today?
“Come unto Me”
Elder Spencer W. Kimball said, “The image of a loving, forgiving God comes through clearly to those who read and understand the scriptures. Since he is our Father, he naturally desires to raise us up, not to push us down, to help us live, not to bring about our spiritual death” (The Miracle of Forgiveness , 344). Choose two specific instances from Hosea 2:14–23 that illustrate the truth of what Elder Kimball said, explaining what impressed you about the verses you chose.
From Hosea 2:14, list some specific ways you know the Lord persuades us to come unto Him.
In the story of Gomer, it seems that the mistakes she made somehow put her in bondage or slavery. So, even if Gomer (Israel) wanted to return to Hosea (the Lord), she was unable. The same is true for those in sin. On their own, they are unable to release themselves from the bondage of sin. According to Hosea 3:25, what did Hosea do for Gomer that symbolizes what the Lord does for His people?
According to Hosea 3:3–5, what was Gomer supposed to do to accept what Hosea did for her?