The Amazing Prophecy of Hosea
The Word of the Lord came to Hosea 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.” (Hosea 1:1) The prophecy of Hosea would stretch from the time of king Uzziah to king Hezekiah, which duration was from around 785 B.C. to 725 B.C.
The prophet Hosea was contemporary with the prophets Amos, Joel, Micah and Isaiah. It would do us well to consider these prophets when studying Hosea.
The kings in those days were as follows:
Kings of Assyria: Pul (2 Kings 15:19), Tiglathpileser (1 Chronicles 5:26), Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:1-3; 18:9), and Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:13).
Kings of Israel (Ephraim): Jehoash (2 Kings 14:23-24), Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:29), Zechariah (2 Kings 15:8-11), Shallum (2 Kings 15:13-14), Menahem (2 Kings 15:14, 17-18), Pekahiah (2 Kings 15:22-25), Pekah (2 Kings 15:29-30), Hoshea (2 Kings 15:30; 17:1-2, 6)
Kings of Judah: Uzziah (Azariah, 2 Kings 15:1-3), Jotham (2 Kings 15:7, 32-34, 38), Ahaz (2 Kings 16:1-4), Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:1, 9-10)
The Kingdom of Israel was divided in the days of Solomon's son Rehoboam in about the year 975 B.C. because of the transgressions of Solomon (1 Kings 11:9-12, 13). Ten tribes followed Jeroboam (who was of the tribe of Ephraim) in his rebellion against the house of David. The ten tribes were together referred to as the house of Israel and called Ephraim because, for the most part, that is where they settled, in the land that was allotted to the tribe of Ephraim, north of Jerusalem and Judah. Their capital was first in the city of Shechem and later the city of Samaria. The region of their kingdom was also later called Samaria which was south of Galilee and north of Judea.
Jeroboam who led the rebellion set up altars in Bethel and Dan where they turned to idolatry and made golden calves to worship (1 Kings 12:25-28, 29-32, 33; 2 Kings 10:29; 2 Chronicles 11:15). How soon they forgot what happened when they made a golden calf to worship during their Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 32:1-35). Seventeen times we are told that the kings of Israel “departed not from the sins of Jeroboam ... who made Israel to sin.”
The other two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, were loyal to Solomon's son Rehoboam and Jerusalem was their capital. They were collectively known as the house of Judah in contrast to Israel, the Ten Tribes. Nevertheless, after the 10 tribes saw the abominations of Jeroboam, the Levites and other of the 10 tribes, who set their hearts to seek the Lord, returned to strengthen the kingdom of Judah (2 Chronicles 11:13-16, 17).
The prophecy of Hosea was approximately 200 years after the kingdom of Israel was divided, when Solomon died. His prophecy focused primarily on the 10 northern tribes of Israel who had committed great whoredom in departing from the Lord (Hosea 1:2), but also had in view the future judgment of Judah (Hosea 5:5, 13-14).
The Children of Whoredom
The prophet Hosea was commanded by God to marry Gomer the harlot. His relationship with her signified the relationship between God and the rebellious house of Israel. She bare him 3 children of whoredom whose names are symbolic of what would happen to Israel.
The first child was a son whose name was Jezreel (Hosea 1:3-4). Jezreel means “God sows”, like that of scattering seed, saying, I “will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.” (Hosea 1:4) The kingdom of the house of Israel would come to an end and God would scatter them. Israel, like a stock of wheat, once beautiful and white in the field, at the end of its season is cut down, and its seed, some is ground to powder and baked in the oven and some is sown in the land which at a later date will spring forth to bear fruit once again.
The prophet Zechariah says concerning Ephraim, “And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again.” (Zechariah 10:9) Many had been ground to powder. Many perished by the invading Assyrian armies and some were taken into captivity, and from there, were scattered into the farthest reaches of the earth.
This is what the prophet Amos had to say, when he prophesied to the house of Israel:
“Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us. In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” (Amos 9:8-15)
Israel would be scattered among the nations, they would be sown with the seed of men (Jeremiah 31:27-28), but the day is coming, and even now is, that the Lord is going to sift Israel from among all nations. They shall be shaken in a sieve and the chaff shall be sifted out. He will purge the rebels out of Israel (Ezekiel 20:33-36, 37-38). They shall be sorted through and separated, but not the least grain shall fall to the ground. But the chaff will fall to the ground and be carried away (Job 21:17-21, Psalm 1:4-6, Matthew 3:11-12), but the house of Jacob will not be utterly destroyed.
The Lord says, “All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.” This is akin to 1 Thessalonians 5:3 which says, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”
Nevertheless, in those days and at that time, the Lord shall raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, He shall raise up his ruins, and build it as in the days of old. He shall bring again the captivity of His people Israel and they shall be planted in their own land, never to be plucked up again out of the land the Lord has promised to them.
After the northern kingdom of Israel was taken captive by the Assyrians, they became so thoroughly scattered among the nations that many have referred to them as the “10 lost tribes” of Israel. But we can be assured that they are not lost to God. Although Israel would be scattered to the nations, there was the promise that they would be restored and reconciled back to the Lord, “In that day”, when God would “bring again the captivity of my people Israel”. The land shall once again be sown and tilled. They shall build the waste places. The Lord shall multiply and increase them. They shall inherit the land, and God will do better to them than at their beginnings (Ezekiel 36:6-9, 10-12).
Those who reject any future that God has for Israel, and that the church has replaced them, have said that Amos' prophecy was fulfilled in their return from the Babylonian captivity. This is clearly not the case as James quoted these same verses saying at that time that the rise of Israel was still future, and would take place after God is done taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name (Acts 15:14-17, Romans 11:25-26). Furthermore, when Israel returned from their Babylonian captivity, it was not from all nations, it was not “from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:11-12) as we are told of their gathering in the latter days.
The second child Gomer bear was a daughter named Loruhamah whose name means “no mercy”. The Lord said, “I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.” (Hosea 1:6). The “house of Israel” at this time only consisted of 10 tribes after the kingdom was divided. They were also called Ephraim and were located in Samaria. They were soon to be conquered and taken into captivity by the Assyrians, which took place in 721 B.C. “And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes: Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.” (2 Kings 18:11-12)
Many have claimed that since that time these ten tribes became "lost". This is clearly not the case. The Lord had decreed that they would be scattered among the nations, saying, “Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.” (Hosea 8:8) And again, “They shall not dwell in the LORD'S land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.” (Hosea 9:3) And again, “My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.” (Hosea 9:17) Israel would keep their identity among the nations. However, the Scriptures are unmistakably clear that Israel would not be “cast away” forever, but blindness in part would happen to Israel UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles come in (Romans 11:1-36, Jeremiah 33:19-26).
It is evident that, even though Israel had become dispersed among the nations, they would never lose their identity. For more on this topic see: Did the Ten Tribes get Lost?
The next child Hosea's wife bare was a son named Loammi, which means “not my people” (Hosea 1:8-9). Now, what does that look like? The 10 northern tribes had become totally apostate. The Lord said, “there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.” (Hosea 4:1) Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) When any nation or individual forgets or abandons the knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, they are clearly “not my people”.
Israel had become obsessed with “swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.” (Hosea 4:2) They were given over to idolatry (Hosea 4:12-13) and drunkenness (Hosea 4:11). They had “forgotten the law of thy God” (Hosea 4:6) and “set their heart on their iniquity” (Hosea 4:8).
This is the natural course of any nation or people who forget the Law of God. This is the root cause of apostasy, in any people or nation or church. When they neglect the Word of God they gradually become spiritually deaf, dumb and blind. Israel of old was told that His Word, “shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
As Joshua was about to enter the Promised Land, the Lord admonished him, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8, Read also Psalm 1:1-4, 5-6)
The Word of God was to be their very life. They were to meditate therein day and night, they were to eat it up morning, evening and noontime. Job had said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12) The Lord had taught Israel, “that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” (Deuteronomy 8:3) Parents were to feed their children the Word of God daily, and if done so diligently from a young age they would not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
Consider the young disciple Timothy whose faith was the product of a genuine godly mother and grandmother. Paul would say, “I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” (2 Timothy 1:5)
The Apostle Paul would further admonished his young disciple Timothy, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
Not only was he to continue in what he learned from the Scriptures, he was to pass these same teachings on to others. “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
Apostasy can happen in any generation when the parents refuse to diligently teach their children daily the Holy Scriptures. And ever so subtly they forget the true God who made them. This is what happened to Israel. The Lord lamented, “there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.” (Hosea 4:1) He said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:6)
This is what happened when Israel had forgotten the Law of God. The Lord said, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” (Hosea 4:17) To be left to our own devices is a fearful thing. The Lord said, “I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.” (Hosea 4:14)
Because of the terrible apostasy of the house of Israel, the prophet Isaiah had spoken to them in like manner. “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.” (Isaiah 1:2-5)
The Lord says, “Why should ye be stricken any more?” “I will not punish”, “let him alone”, Ye are “not my people”. How sad and tragic. As a nation, they had come to the place where they no longer knew the Lord, and were no longer His people. In the New Testament we are told, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:5-8)
God does not chasten children who are not His (Job 21:19-20), for they would “revolt more and more”. When one continues in his sin and is not chastised, they are illegitimate children and not sons. However, when a child of God persists in sin and does not repent, he will be chastised by his heavenly Father. If we find that we are without chastisement, it is likely that one was never “born again” (John 3:3-6, 7-8; 1 Peter 1:23-25), and not a child of God.
Has Israel been cast away forever?
The prophetic implications concerning Israel had a near and far application. God would deal with Israel in a fashion signified by the names of Hosea's children. All the daylong God had stretched forth His hand in mercy to a disobedient and gainsaying people (Romans 10:21), but they refused to hearken and the time for judgment had come. The rod of God's anger would be the Assyrian nation (Isaiah 10:5-6). Perhaps they thought they could get away with their sin (Numbers 32:23), and get by without the Lord, but the Lord said, “woe also to them when I depart from them!” (Hosea 9:12) God would withhold His protection and mercy. He would reject them from being His people. They would be led into captivity by the Assyrian nation, and they would ultimately be sown among the nations of the world.
However, even though the Lord said, “for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” (Hosea 1:9-11) God will not renounce His promise to the Fathers despite the present wickedness of their children. God's irrevocable promise to Abraham will be fulfilled when the children of Judah and Israel are gathered together in the last days (Genesis 22:17).
In that great “day of Jezreel”, a great company of undivided Israel and Judah shall come up out of the nations and be gathered together and recognize the exceeding riches of His grace and His abundant mercy. They will come under the covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) and appoint themselves one Head, even the Lord Jesus Christ.
Those who believe that God has cast away Israel forever seem not to understand that God is true to His Word. His promises cannot be broken, and His love for Israel is unconditional and never ending. Unfaithful Israel, despite their filthiness, despite their exceeding wickedness and deserved judgment, was still the object of His love. Despite all the great evil that Israel had done, and their indifference towards the Lord, He would say, “thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 3:1) They were so appalling and loathsome, yet in love, He would call for them to return unto Himself.
He told Israel even before they entered the Promised Land, “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them” (Deuteronomy 4:29-31).
The day is coming when they shall “acknowledge their offence, and seek my face” and shall say, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD” (Hosea 5:13-15; 6:1), but it will take the “tribulation” in the “latter days” before they repent. He will not forget the covenant He made with their fathers. “And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.” (Zechariah 9:16)
We only need to read Nehemiah (Nehemiah 9:1-38) to see how many times in the course of their history that they forsook their Lord, and trouble came in the form of many enemies, then they repent and cried out to the Lord and in faithfulness He saved them, proving to them His unconditional and great love wherewith He loves them and that He does not go back on His promises.
His love was ultimately manifested, not only to them, but to the whole world, when He gave His only begotten Son to save them from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He freely offered Himself to be the spotless sacrifice to take away our sin, in order that we who were dead in sins and trespasses might receive the gift of everlasting life, by faith in His atoning blood (Romans 3:24-26), through, His death and resurrection (Romans 5:8-10, Ephesians 2:4-5, John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Hosea says, “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). Israel would be scattered to the nations for their transgressions, but the day is coming when the Lord, just as He plucked them up out of His land (2 Chronicles 7:20-22), will sow them back in His land. He will first gather them back to their land in unbelief, before they go through their “time of trouble” (Daniel 12:1), the “time of Jacob's Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:6-9), even the “great tribulation” (Deuteronomy 4:29-31, Matthew 24:21-22), then they shall turn to God and call upon His name in the great day of Jezreel. The Lord shall hear them and will roar out of Zion to save and deliver them (Joel 3:16).
In the mean time, God is visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name (Acts 15:14). Blindness in part is happened to the Jew until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in (Romans 11:25). But after their fullness has come in, God will open the eyes of Israel (2 Corinthians 3:13-16). Paul summed this up well saying, “Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” (Acts 28:26-28)
But after the fullness of the Gentiles are come in, the “times of the gentiles” shall come to an end with the rapture of the Church. This will trigger the “day of the Lord... there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.” (Joel 2:1-2) The nations that are left after the rapture shall turn on the newly formed nation of Israel to destroy her (Zechariah 14:2-5). It shall be the “time of Jacob's Trouble”. Many in Israel shall be purged (Zechariah 13:8-9), but the Lord will also execute His judgment on the nations for their aggressions against Israel (Joel 3:1-3). “And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.” (Micah 5:15) “For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.” (Ezekiel 30:3) “For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.” (Obadiah 1:15) See also, Psalm 110:6; 149:7-9, Isaiah 24:21-23; 34:2-17, Jeremiah 25:15-29, Joel 3:11-14, Zephaniah 3:6-8, Zechariah 14:3-19, Revelation 19:13-21.
At that time Judah and Israel will be gathered together as one nation, no longer divided as it was in the days of Solomon's son Rehoboam. They shall “appoint themselves one head” (Ezekiel 37:22), their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall return to save them from their enemies (Luke 1:71-74, Nehemiah 9:27) and restore the kingdom to Israel (Hosea 3:5, Isaiah 9:6-7, Micah 5:2, Amos 9:11, Acts 1:3, 6-7; 3:19-21).
To those who think God is done with Israel, they need to turn again to the Scriptures and see all the irrevocable and wonderful promises to the children of Israel which are yet to come. (Jeremiah 24:6-7; 30:18, 22-24; 31:1, 7-10, 27-28, 31-34; 32:37-40, 41-42, Ezekiel 11:16-19, 20; 36:21-24, 25-28; 37:21-23, 25-28; Zechariah 8:7-8; 13:8-9, Romans 11:25-27)
It is clear in Hosea 2:23, that Hosea was speaking of the remnant of Israel. But Paul, by inspiration, quoted this verse and made an application to a remnant of the Gentiles as well (Romans 9:24-26). The Gentiles as a whole were rejected at Babel and scattered upon the face of all the earth (Genesis 11:5-8, 9), but He loved them too (Isaiah 45:22). He said through the prophet Isaiah, “It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)
The Gentiles were never a people of God, but now, God would extend His salvation to the Gentiles during Israel's blindness. But this also had a divine purpose. The apostle Paul said of Israel, “Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” (Romans 11:11)
Israel despised the Gentiles, and now, salvation was come to them. “But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.” (Romans 10:19-20)
The decline and fall of Israel from their exalted position and favor with God, would result in the riches of the Gentiles (Romans 11:12). Israel would be diminished and God would set them aside while He reconciles the world, but the Scriptures are abundantly clear that Israel shall rise and be restored again. He shall receive them as alive from the dead (Romans 11:15). The branches of the olive tree were broken off because of unbelief and the Gentiles were grafted in, but when Israel believes, they shall be grafted back in to their own olive tree (Romans 11:23-24).
Paul concludes his revelation like this, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:25-26). The day is coming when the number of Gentiles, that is, those Gentiles who will be saved by the blood of the Lamb of God, will be complete. Only then will the scales of blindness be removed from the nation Israel and they shall be saved (2 Corinthians 3:14-17).
James speaks in a similar vein saying, God, for the first time, (speaking of the house of Cornelius; Acts 10:1-48; 11:1-18), “did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” (Acts 15:14-17, 18)
James is here quoting from Amos chapter 9. If we would really understand the full thrust of James judgment, it would do us well to go read the context in Amos.
“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us. In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” (Amos 9:9-15)
God had promised that the house and the throne of David would last forever (2 Samuel 7:16), but the kingdom of David fell because of the abominations of Israel, and the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and carried away the Jews into captivity (Jeremiah 6:15-16; 8:4-7, 12-13). They had a brief reprieve in the days of Jesus, when they and were once again offered the kingdom, but Israel did not know the time of their visitation (Luke 19:44).
Because of the blindness of their heart, and rejection of the reign of Jesus over them (Luke 19:14), Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles, their city and Temple destroyed (Matthew 24:1-2), and Israel was once again scattered to the nations (Luke 21:24). The restoration of the Kingdom to Israel would be delayed (Acts 1:3, 6-7). In the interim, God is visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.
The tabernacle of David had fallen long ago, when the Lord departed from Jerusalem in the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Hosea said, “the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.” (Hosea 5:5). When we break into the New Testament, the Kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matthew 3:2; 4:17). Israel was offered the kingdom in the person of Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:28), but the opportunity for the Kingdom departed from Israel when they rejected Jesus their King. But after the fullness of the Gentiles are come in, Christ “will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up”.
Like seed, Israel was scattered among the nations where they would lay dormant, until “that day”, as the Lord says, “I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” (Amos 9:9) Israel was scattered among the nations, but the Lord says He will sift Israel out from among the nations. Sinners shall be purged, but not the least grain shall fall to the earth. He will bring again the captivity of His people Israel and gather them back into the land He promised to their fathers. In the day when He builds again the tabernacle of David, He says, “I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” (Amos 9:15)
The political ascendancy of Israel among the nations (Deuteronomy 14:2; 15:6; 26:19; 28:1) will only come to pass when Christ returns during the Millennium. Only then they shall “possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name”. Some have said that this was fulfilled when Israel returned from their Babylonian captivity, but this was obviously yet future when James spoke these words (Acts 15:14-18).
The fall of Israel and promise of a future national resurrection had its purpose, so “That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” (Acts 15:14-18) As Isaiah said, Jesus shall, “raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)
God so loved the world, not just the Jews, but the Gentiles also. When Jesus Christ was born into the world, Simeon beheld that little baby and said, “For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:30-32) But then he prophesied, saying, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against” (Luke 2:34). “Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid”. Israel shall rise again. One day they shall say, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:34-35). HOW OFTEN He would have gathered them as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but they would not. Time and again He proved to them that He is the Faithful and True God but they would not be gathered to Him (Genesis 49:10). It will not be until they say, blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord. He loves them, they are the apple of His eye. They are ever in His focus, even though they are a stiff necked and hard hearted people.
The Hope of Hosea
The Lord's desire was to gather Israel to Himself once again. That day is coming as Hosea says, “Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” (Hosea 1:11) The “valley of Jezreel” (Hosea 1:5) is one and the same with the valley of Esdraelon, of the valley of Megiddo (2 Chronicles 35:22), and Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). I believe this to be one and the same as the “valley of Jehoshaphat”.
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered... Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about... The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” (Joel 3:1-2, 12, 16-17).
God would judge Israel and scatter them, but God had long ago promised Abraham that his descendants would be as the “sand of the sea” (Genesis 22:17). Although they were scattered and “broken off” (Romans 11:15-27), dead to God and not His people, yet in a future day, they would be declared to be “the sons of the living God”. In the latter times, Judah and Israel would be gathered together out of the nations of the world. At that time they shall appoint to themselves one head, which will be their Messiah. This shall all come about in the great “day of Jezreel”.
Listen, God is not done with Israel. “Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.” (Jeremiah 31:10) The false teachers of those who say God is done with the nation Israel, that the church has replaced Israel, and they are now the true Jews are liars (Revelation 2:9; 3:9), deceiving and being deceived. “Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 31:35-37) In other words, Israel shall not cease from being a nation forever and He will NOT cast off all the seed of Israel. Read also Jeremiah 33:19-26.
Remember what the prophets had said concerning Israel? Like seed they would be sown in the land. They would be scatted among the nations. Zechariah said, “I will sow them among the people” (Zechariah 10:9). Amos said, “I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve”. Hosea's first child was named Jezreel which means “God sows”. He said He “will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.” (Hosea 1:4) But, do you remember what the Lord said concerning seed? “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24) Because their Messiah died for their sins and rose from the dead, they too shall come alive from the dead and bear fruit.
Israel as a nation would die, they would be sown and scattered among the nations of the world, but one day they would come alive. Seeds can lay dormant for many generations until the right conditions before they will germinate and come alive. This is what Ezekiel's prophecy of the “Dry Bones” depicts. “Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.” (Ezekiel 37:11-14) The nations of the world were like a graveyard to the Jews, they were sown among the nations, but the Lord says He shall cause them to come up out of their graves, and shall place them in their own land never to be plucked up again.
The Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah were both carried away captive by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, and later by the Romans, but in the latter days, they would be brought back into their land as one nation again. “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.” (Ezekiel 37:21-28)
Now, did God make a mistake when He said all this? Do not be deceived! “In that day”, the Lord says, “He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.” (Isaiah 27:6) The Lord says, “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) Israel shall be sown in the land He had given unto Jacob, Jacob shall come and take root, and Israel shall blossom and bud. The Lord says, “I will... multiply them” (Ezekiel 37:26), and they shall fill the face of the world with fruit. Isaiah had earlier referred to Israel as a beautiful vineyard and Judah as His pleasant plant (Isaiah 5:1-4, 5-7). He says, “In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” (Isaiah 27:2-3)
When God sent His Son to visit Israel, He came expecting fruit, but the fig tree was barren (Luke 13:6-9, Mark 11:13-16, 17-20, 21, Jeremiah 8:12-13), and so the Lord caused it to wither away (Matthew 21:19-20). Israel rejected their Messiah, and sought to kill Him, so He told them, “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matthew 21:42-43) This will be the reborn nation of Israel when He returns and gathers them unto Himself (Genesis 49:10). Israel crucified the Great Shepherd of the sheep (Zechariah 13:7), and as a result, they were scattered to the nations (Luke 21:24).
The prophet Jeremiah said, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.” (Jeremiah 31:27) Daniel saw this same thing in his great prophecy of the Gentile kingdoms. “And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” (Daniel 2:43) Although scattered among the nations, Israel would not integrate with the seed of men, but would keep their national identity over two millennia until the last days when He would gather them back into His land (Read Ezekiel 36, Zechariah 10:9-10). Although Jeremiah said Judah and Israel would be sown among the nations, he went on to say, “And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 31:28), then shall they be born again (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
Israel had become a terrible example for the nations round about her, but the Lord says, “I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. THEN will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:23-28)
Before Israel is born again, they will first be gathered back into the land that God promised to their fathers for an everlasting possession and inheritance. Israel will take root again in her land, and when she does, she shall blossom and bud, and when it does, we shall know that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand and that Israel is ready to bring forth her fruit (Jeremiah 24:1-4, 5-7; Luke 21:29-32).
It is interesting that in the New Testament, James wrote to these same 12 tribes that were scattered. “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” (James 1:1) He told them, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” (James 5:7-8)
No doubt James was thinking of Hosea's prophecy (Hosea 6:1-3), and in the Revelation, we see 144,000 of the 12 tribes of Israel that are sealed and are said to be the firstfruits of a great multitude who will be saved in the time of Jacob's Trouble (Romans 11:15, 26-27, Zechariah 12:10) “Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field... And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them.” (Zechariah 10:1, 6)
Israel would be sown in the land, one day they would sprout and bear fruit. It is interesting to note, that at harvest time, the grain needed to be beaten or threshed to separate it from the plant. It then needed to be winnowed to separate the grain from the chaff which the wind would blow away. So shall it be at the end of the age.
Death and Resurrection
Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” (John 12:32-33) This no doubt is in reference to the brazen serpent (Numbers 21:8-9, John 3:13-15) which was lifted up for the salvation of Israel in the Old Testament. But also, Jesus, like a tall and vibrant plant of corn, He would be cut down and sown in the earth (John 12:24).
From the time that Peter confessed that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:14), “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” (Matthew 16:24)
He told His disciples many times how He must be crucified and rise from the dead the third day, but they understood not (Mark 9:31-32). Speaking of His body He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (John 2:19-22), and they understood not. Even after His resurrection, the two on the road to Emmaus, did not comprehend the significance of the things which took place in that day. Jesus told them, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:44-48)
Their Scriptures had spoken before of His death and resurrection. Hosea said the day is coming when Israel shall acknowledge their sin and return to the Lord. They shall say, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3) Like showers of blessing, Jesus would come unto them, like the former rain and the latter rain to the earth.
On the great day of Pentecost, Peter spake to Israel saying, “Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3:24-26) Jesus came “down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world” like Manna from heaven (Psalm 78:23-24, John 6:32-35). He came first to bless Israel, like the early rain, “having raised up his Son Jesus, sent Him to bless [them]”.
Peter also told them that He would come again, like the latter rain. “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:18-21)
Heaven must receive Him until the times of restitution of all things, but one day soon, the heaven shall open (Revelation 19:11) and Jesus shall once again come down from heaven like a great storm with thunderings and lightenings, first to judge the nations, but then the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. They shall one day recognize their crucified and risen Lord. They shall see the nail prints in His hands (Zechariah 12:10, Revelation 1:7) and shall repent and be converted.
For those who recognized Him the first time, Paul said, we are “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him” (Colossians 2:12-13) Paul also told the Ephesians, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).
Remember what Hosea said? This brings us back to our key verse.
“When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound. For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hosea 5:13-15; 6:1-3)
When Christ comes to Israel like the latter rain, they too shall come under the blessings of the Gospel and be blessed “with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). They shall finally come to understand what it means, “After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” (Hosea 6:2) Paul says, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11)
Those dead bones shall live. Because Christ lives, they too shall live. They will come under the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:25-28). They shall believe the glorious gospel of Christ, which reads like this, “I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Israel had played the harlot, “she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.” (Hosea 2:13). Hosea said, "I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved." (Hosea 9:10) Her lovers are those she thought had brought her prosperity through trade and commerce. Is this not a well drawn picture of Israel today, who is back in the land in unbelief, who is prospering in the land, making many trade deals with the nations, becoming a leader in technology, agriculture, along with many other innovations. In the midst of material prosperity she had forgotten her LORD, “for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.” (Hosea 2:5)
But the Lord is going to stop this in order to bring her to her senses. The Lord had beckoned them, “thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD (Jeremiah 3:1). “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.” (Hosea 2:6-7) When Israel is all alone, and all her lovers will have abandon her, even in the great tribulation, they shall return to her first Husband. The Lord had said, “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.”
“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 3:3-5)
We must remember, that Hosea's prophecy was spoken to Israel at a time when her impending judgment was about to come upon her via the Assyrian nation. However, within those same prophetic utterances there were also Words that were projected far into the future to the last days. The Lord says, “I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.” (Hosea 2:14) In the last days, Israel shall have another wilderness experience where God will provide a place for protection from the Beast and to prepare her for her returning Messiah (Revelation 12:6-17; read: The Last Days Flood )
“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) Ishi means “Husband” and Baali was the name of the false gods that had been introduced into the worship of the Lord. Although the children of Israel looked to other gods, He still loved them (Hosea 3:1; 2 Timothy 2:13). In “that day” she shall never again turn away from her Lord and Husband. “And I will betroth thee unto me for ever... I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD” (Hosea 2:19-20).
In that day, wars shall be made to cease (Isaiah 2:2-4) and He “will make them to lie down safely” (Hosea 2:18). In that day, the Lord shall “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)
Israel shall be restored as the Wife of Jehovah but only after their long dispersion into the nations of the world. Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:37-39)
How often He would have gathered them, but they would not. The house of David would lay desolate until they return to the Lord. Jesus said, “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24)
But in the time of the Great Tribulation, in their affliction, they shall seek Him early. “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” (Zechariah 13:8-9)