Hosea: Chapter 1

We can assume here that Hosea was a younger man, as the beginning of the book would have been around 753 BC. Hosea continued prophesying until 722, the year of the exile, and so we can safely assume that he was somewhere between 20 and 40 here at his marriage. It was not uncommon for prophets to be married, as we know Isaiah and Ezekiel had wives, although Elijah and Elisha probably did not, and Jeremiah was forbidden from marrying by God. Regardless, one thing that would never fall in the realm of acceptability was for a godly man to marry a prostitute. Such an act would all but guarantee that the man’s wife was not a believer, and especially for a prophet of God, this would be an act of treason on the man’s part. After all, Paul tells us that teachers of the word are to be held to higher standards, that we should not be unequally yoked in marriage, and that the wives of elders should be respectable and “faithful in all things” (1 Timothy 3:11). Yet God commands Hosea to do this, and Hosea simply obeys (much like Abraham does when asked to sacrifice Isaac—”So he went.”) One wonders how he chose Gomer. Did he put a lot of thought into it? Was attraction involved? Was she looking to escape her life and live more godly? Did she even want to go with him? There are a million questions we have that won’t be answered here, but keep in mind, it’s not really about Gomer and Hosea. They are pictures of a deeper truth.

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