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The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.

The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

1:29 be for meat. The question as to how or when some of the animals became carnivorous is not definitely answerable at this late date, since the Bible does not say. In the future kingdom age, there will again be no predation or struggle between animals or between animals and men (Isaiah 11:6-9; Hosea 2:18; etc.). Even today, both animals and men can (and do, on occasion) live on a strictly vegetarian, herbivorous diet. The development of fangs and claws, as well as other such structures and practices, may be explained as either (1) recessive created features which became dominant by selection processes as the environment worsened following the Fall and Flood; (2) features created originally by the Creator in foreknowledge of the coming Curse; or (3) mutational changes following the Curse, converting originally benign structures into predatory and defensive structures.

25:26 Esau’s heel. The prophet Hosea interprets Jacob’s odd name as an evidence of his strength and power with God (Hosea 12:3), overtaking his older and more outwardly impressive brother because of his strength before God.

32:24 wrestled a man. This “man” was actually an angel (Hosea 12:4)–in fact, the angel, the preincarnate Christ, for Jacob recognized that he had seen God face to face (Genesis 32:30), and this is impossible except through Christ (John 1:18). The intensity of Jacob’s prayer, as he “wrestled” in his intercession (the word Jabbok means “wrestler,” the river being named for the unique event that occurred there), was such that God actually deigned to appear to him in human form as an antagonist over whom he must prevail for the blessing. As he had held on to Esau’s heel at birth, so he now held on to God, so earnest was his desire for God’s purpose to be accomplished in and through him.

16:34 make an atonement. This annual “day of atonement” is still observed by the Jews as Yom Kippur (see Leviticus 23:26-32). Ever since the destruction of their temple by the Romans in A.D. 70, however, their required sacrifices have been arbitrarily eliminated, so that the observance of this day can have no “atoning” value for them in reality (note Hosea 3:4).

Introduction to II Kings The division between I Kings and II Kings is seemingly quite arbitrary; originally the two were one book. The second book continues the history of Judah and Israel until their eventual captivities. Like I Kings, the book of II Kings was probably compiled from records of the earlier prophets by Jeremiah or one of the later prophets of Judah. The ministries of Elijah and Elisha constitute the dominant subject of the first third of the book. The portion of the history devoted to Israel is sad in the extreme, with one ungodly king after another leading the people away from God, until finally the Assyrians destroyed their land and carried the people off into captivity. The last king of Israel was Hoshea (II Kings 17). There were, of course, believers and faithful servants of God in the northern kingdom during all those years of spiritual decline and apostasy. The most notable were the prophets Elijah and Elisha, but two of the prophets of the Biblical canon also had ministries primarily in Israel. Hosea’s initial ministry to Israel was during the long reign of Jeroboam II, but it evidently continued even beyond Israel’s exile into Assyria (Hosea 1:1). The prophet Amos was a contemporary of Hosea who also ministered especially in the northern kingdom of Israel (sometimes called Ephraim). In Judah, several of the kings were God-fearing men, and Hezekiah and Josiah in particular led in great national revivals. Of the writing prophets, those whose ministry was mainly centered in Judah were—in more or less chronological order—Obadiah, Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah and Jeremiah. Isaiah, in the days of Ahaz and Hezekiah, and Jeremiah, during the last days of the kingdom under Josiah and the kings who briefly followed him, had especially significant influence on the kings and the nation as a whole. No doubt because of the influence of these prophets, and the several God-fearing kings of Judah, God allowed Judah to remain in the land for about 130 years after Israel had been carried away to Assyria. Eventually, however, even Judah became so wicked and apostate, especially under her final kings (Jehoiakim, Jeconiah and Zedekiah) that God sent Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon to destroy Jerusalem with its temple and to carry the king and all the leaders of the people into exile and captivity in Babylon. There were other godly prophets and priests in both Israel and Judah, of course, besides those whose prophecies have been preserved in the Bible. Some among these, no doubt, were the original writers of the records now incorporated in the books of Kings. The last of them, Jeremiah, quite possibly was the man who compiled and edited all of these earlier documents into their present, divinely inspired form.

27:7 the acts of Jotham. Probably Jotham’s relatively good and successful reign was partly due to the influence of Isaiah, Hosea and Micah, all of whom were preaching and prophesying in Judah during his tenure (Isaiah 1:1; Hosea 1:1; Micah 1:1). These prophets all continued to prophesy during the reign of Ahaz.

37:3 verily thou shalt be fed. The Hebrew word here for “verily” is also translated “truth.” For example, “all His works are done in truth” (Psalm 33:4). It is said here that God’s people will be fed not just with bread; more importantly, God shall feed them with His truth! The unbeliever, on the other hand, feeds on spiritual “ashes” and “wind” (Isaiah 44:20; Hosea 12:1), and even “wormwood” and “gall” (Jeremiah 23:15).

92:12 like the palm tree. Believers are often compared to trees in Scripture (Psalm 1:3; 52:8; Hosea 14:6). The palm here is the date palm, perhaps the most useful of all trees—producing dates, sugar, wine, honey, oil, resin, rope, thread, tannin and dyes. Its seeds are fed to cattle and its leaves are used for roofs, fences, mats, and baskets. Its fruit gets sweeter as the tree ages. Note the next verse, which says that true believers “shall still bring forth fruit in old age.”

21:3 than sacrifice. Note also Micah 6:7-8; Psalm 51:16-17; Hosea 6:6; I Samuel 15:22; Matthew 9:13.

4:3 fallow ground. Fallow ground is ground that has been plowed and readied for sowing, but then is withheld and allowed to remain unproductive and useless. Note also Hosea 10:12.

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