Hosea 2:14-23: Israel, God’s Betrothed :: By Mark A. Becker

This is such a beautiful passage of Scripture that aligns so perfectly with all of the promises of God to His chosen people, Israel, as well as future prophecy during the Tribulation and going into the Millennial Kingdom, as found throughout the Word of God.

In our examination of Hosea 2:14-23, we will correlate the passage with other Scriptures to magnify the harmony, splendor, and prophetic theme of God’s love for Israel.

Israel: God’s Betrothed is a beautiful love story that only God can orchestrate.

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her” (Hosea 2:14).

So often, we see God using the plans of the enemy to fulfill His will for His people. What the enemy intends for evil, God will always use to benefit those He loves and for His ultimate glory.

In this particular case, it’s the Antichrist’s Abomination of Desolation in the third temple at the midway point of the Tribulation – when Antichrist and the representatives of the nations of the world’s armed forces will attack, kill, and drive the Jews out of Jerusalem, and all of Israel, into the wilderness – that will fulfill this prophecy. [A Study of Zechariah 14:1-11]

“And the woman [Israel] fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (Revelation 12:6).

Notice the tenderness of God to His people when He declares, “I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.”

The Hebrew word for “comfortably” is 3820 לֵב “leb” and means to care for, comfortably, consent, considered, courageous, friendly, broken, hard. A form of lebab; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect. (emphasis mine)

Here we see God’s heart for His chosen people. The time has come for Israel to come to their Messiah, and He will “comfortably care for” them and appeal to their “heart” by “the will and even the intellect.”

Finally, “… all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (Romans 11:26-27).

“And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt” (Hosea 2:15).

The Valley of Achor is north-east of Jericho and is in the approximate area of Gilgal where Israel began their entry into the promised land under the leadership of Joshua. Just as Israel purged the accursed thing from their midst (Joshua 7) and then made their way into the promised land, so too will Israel be purged from their accursed thing – their sins and rejection of Messiah Yeshua – and will again enter back into the promised land, after exile, with their Messiah leading the way.

She most certainly comes in with great joy, and “she shall sing there” as her Messiah and Savior ushers in the long-awaited Millennial Kingdom when Israel will reign over the nations, and the wine from the “vineyards” shall flow in perpetuity in the presence of their Messiah and King.

“And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali” (Hosea 2:16).

In Hebrew, 376 אִישׁ “Ishi” means great, mighty man, he, high degree, him that is, husband, mankind. Many translations render the word “husband” and, in context of the passage – as we will note as we move along – is well-deserved!

This is the same word that Adam used of himself when God had made Eve and brought her to him:

“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman [‘ishshah], because she was taken out of Man [‘ish]” (Genesis 2:23).

Therefore, not only did Adam recognize the significance of Eve being made from him, but he immediately recognized her as his God-given wife! This is the idea behind God’s declaration that Israel would finally recognize the LORD as her Husband, just as Adam recognized Eve as his wife.

There’s also the secondary, and equally important, application that Israel would also recognize the God/man Yeshua as their divine Messiah. Both of these truths will Israel have finally acknowledged, individually and as a nation, at this time!

“For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name” (Hosea 2:17).

God had plenty to say to Israel and Judah when it came to their whoring around with other gods. When it came to their adultery, God had this to say:

“And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also” (Jeremiah 3:8).

Although the Lord divorced Israel because of her whoring after idols, He will take her back to herself, just as God commanded Hosea to take back Gomer:

“Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee. For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days” (Hosea 3:1-5).

No longer shall Baal and the other false gods – from Ashtaroth/Ashtoreth in Biblical times to secular Darwinian evolution and atheism in modern times, that have so easily ensnared God’s people through the centuries – be worshipped, nor will they “be remembered by their name” ever again. God’s people will finally be free.

“And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely” (Hosea 2:18).

The “covenant” that God will make “with the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven and with the creeping things of the ground” is clearly laid out in Isaiah. The beauty of nature – living in harmony with mankind – will once again be restored along with the promises God had made to Israel, His wife!

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9).

The Lord “will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely!”

“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4).

“Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places” (Isaiah 32:15-18).

“And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord” (Hosea 2:19-20).

Here is the promise of God to Israel and Judah, as one united nation once again, of full restoration and love, yet future. Isaiah put it this way:

“Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

“For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer” (Isaiah 54:4-8). (emphasis mine)

The LORD couldn’t proclaim His love for Israel and Judah any more than He did:

“And the Lord said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord.

“Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:11-15). (emphasis mine)

One can hear the Lord’s heart of love for His people. His promises are sure, and His salvation will fill the earth!

“The Lord is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure” (Isaiah 33:5-6).

“And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel” (Hosea 2:21-22).

I wanted to look into the Text Analysis on these two verses in an attempt to get the clearest idea of what they are trying to convey. Here is the literal rendering of Hosea 2:21-22, with my own punctuation.

“And it shall come to pass in day, [that] I will answer, says Yahweh. I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, and the earth shall answer the grain and with new wine and with oil, and they shall answer Jezreel.”

The idea is that the LORD will give rain from the heavens, and they shall water the earth, and the earth shall provide the grain and the new wine and the oil, and they, in turn, shall fill Jezreel with obvious bounty and blessings!

Though this is what God’s food cycle has been doing for mankind since creation, there can be no doubt that what God plans to do in the Millennial Kingdom – particularly in Israel – will be nothing but an unsurpassed bountiful provision unknown since the Garden of Eden.

Jezreel, Hebrew 3157 יִזְרְעֵאל “Yizreel,” means “God sows.” The LORD will certainly sow in the earth during His Messianic Millennial Kingdom!

But why Jezreel? Well, remember, the entire prophecy of Hosea was directed toward the northern 10-tribe nation of Israel, and Jezreel is a prominent theme in Hosea’s prophecy. Jezreel was also the place where many of Israel’s kings reigned from and where many important battles took place. [The Valley of Jehoshaphat and ‘Armageddon’]

The theme of restoring Jezreel, as representing all of Israel, is perfectly encapsulated in the closing verse.

“And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God” (Hosea 2:23).

God’s people – who were despised by the nations and the peoples of the earth for thousands of years – will finally have the respect and admiration they were promised.

Not that they didn’t deserve their plight — they most certainly did for their rejection of God, His Word, and, ultimately, their Messiah. These promises of disrespect and disrepute were prophecies fulfilled because of their own choices, as they rejected the LORD God and His covenant and followed after other gods. They had been warned repeatedly, but they refused to listen.

But when all is said and done – and all of Israel will have finally been saved at the end of the Tribulation and redeemed by their Messiah’s Second Coming – Israel will again be restored to their land, and God “will sow her [Jezreel, Israel] to [Himself] in the earth… and [He] will say to them which were not [His] people [because of their earlier rebellion], Thou art My people; and they shall say, Thou art my God!”

Hosea 2:14-23 is a beautiful love story – that followed a tragic history of betrayal, infidelity, and rebellion – that finally results in a magnificent, thematic restoration crescendo like no other!

God’s Betrothed will be reconciled to her Husband, and Israel will enjoy the realities of the promises her Husband has made to her, because He loves her… He is always faithful to His Words and promises!!!

Please feel free to share this article with anyone who says that God is through with the Jews. He is not. Israel is God’s wife. He loves her dearly and has an amazing future awaiting her in the promised land with Messiah Yeshua, the King of kings and Lord of lords ruling from Jerusalem in the Millennial Kingdom!

And, until the Lord calls us home, may we all continue to be Answering the Call of The Great Commission and giving an answer to every man and woman who so desperately needs Jesus and asks us, “Why Am I Here and What Is It All About?

Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!

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