1 The ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord that was] to Hosea son of Beeri ·during the time [L in the days] that Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel [C Hosea prophesied about 760–722 bc].
Hosea’s Wife and Children
2 When the Lord began speaking through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, and ·marry [L take for yourself] an ·unfaithful woman [or prostitute; L woman/wife of prostitution/harlotries] and have ·unfaithful children [L children of prostitution/harlotries], because ·the people in this country [L this land] have ·been completely unfaithful to [practiced prostitution/harlotry against] the Lord [C they have been spiritually unfaithful; C Gomer may have been a prostitute or promiscuous woman before the marriage, or only afterward].” 3 So Hosea ·married [L went and took] Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she ·became pregnant [conceived] and gave birth to Hosea’s son.
4 The Lord said to Hosea, “Name him Jezreel [C Hebrew: “God sows”], because soon I will punish the ·family [L house] of Jehu for the ·people they killed at [L blood of] Jezreel [C Jehu slaughtered the family of king Ahab; 2 Kin. 9:7—10:28]. In ·the future [L that day] I will put an end to the kingdom of [L the house of] Israel 5 and break the ·power of Israel’s army [L bow of Israel] in the Valley of Jezreel.”
6 Gomer ·became pregnant [conceived] again and gave birth to a daughter. The Lord said to Hosea, “Name her Lo-Ruhamah [C Hebrew: “no pity/mercy” or “not loved”], because I will not ·pity [have mercy on; show love to] Israel anymore, nor will I forgive them. 7 But I will show ·pity [mercy; love] to the people of Judah. I will save them, but not by using bows or swords, horses or horsemen, or ·weapons of war [or battle; war]. I, the Lord their God, will save them.”
8 After Gomer had stopped nursing Lo-Ruhamah, she ·became pregnant [conceived] again and gave birth to another son. 9 The Lord said, “Name him Lo-Ammi [C “not my people”], because you are not my people, and I am not your God.
God’s Promise to Israel
10 “But the number of the Israelites will become like the grains of sand of the sea, which no one can measure or count [Gen. 22:17; 32:12]. ·They were called [or Although it was said to them; or In the place where it was said to them], ‘You are not my people,’ but later ·they will be called [it will be said to them] ‘children of the living God.’ 11 The people of Judah and Israel will ·join [come; be gathered] together again and will ·choose [appoint] one leader for themselves. They will come up from the land, because the day of Jezreel [C “God plants/sows,” alluding here to the rebirth of the once desolate nation; see vv. 4–5; 2:22–23] will be truly great.