Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hosea 1-2

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1:2-3 - "When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, 'Go, take for yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.' So he went and took Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son."
1:6-9 - "She conceived again and bore a daughter. Then the LORD said to him, 'Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have pity on the house of Israel or forgive them. But I will have pity on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the LORD their God; I will not save them by bow, or by sword, or by war, or by horses, or by horsemen.' When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. Then the LORD said, 'Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not my people and I am not your God.'"

Hosea 2 - "Say to your brother, Ammi [meaning My People], and to your sister, Ruhamah [meaning Pitied]."

Israel's Infidelity, Punishment, and Redemption

"Plead with your mother, plead-- for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband-- that she put away her whoring from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts, or I will strip her naked and expose her as in the day she was born, and make her like a wilderness, and turn her into a parched land, and kill her with thirst. Upon her children also I will have no pity, because they are children of whoredom. For their mother has played the whore; she who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, 'I will go after my lovers; they give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.' Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns; and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths. She shall pursue her lovers, but not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them. Then she shall say, 'I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better with me then than now.' She did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished upon her silver and gold that they used for Baal. Therefore I will take back my grain in its time, and my wine in its season; and I will take away my wool and my flax, which were to cover her nakedness. Now I will uncover her shame in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of my hand. I will put an end to all her mirth, her festivals, her new moons, her sabbaths, and all her appointed festivals. I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, of which she said, 'These are my pay, which my lovers have given me.' I will make them a forest, and the wild animals shall devour them. I will punish her for the festival days of the Baals, when she offered incense to them and decked herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers, and forgot me, says the LORD."

"Therefore, I will now allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. From there I will give her her vineyards, and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she shall respond as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. On that day, says the LORD, you will call me, 'My husband,' and no longer will you call me, 'My Baal.' For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be mentioned by name no more. I will make for you a covenant on that day with the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land; and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will take you for my wife forever; I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. I will take you for my wife in faithfulness; and you shall know the LORD. On that day I will answer, says the LORD, I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth; and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel; and I will sow him for myself in the land. And I will have pity on Lo-ruhamah, and I will say to Lo-ammi, 'You are my people'; and he shall say, 'You are my God.'"

My Comments

So, I had a lot more written here but then Blogger messed up and I lost all of it. Short version, I was going to write up this blog last night but my friends showed up earlier than planned to play D&D so I never really got a chance to write up anything. After copying all the quoted text I realized there's quite a bit here to look over so I'm going to go through it a bit tonight and write up something tomorrow.

But if you just can't wait for my own critical reading, feel free to do some analysis in the comments. :)

[update] Yeah, I lied a bit. My weekend is gonna be spent slowly recovering from the epic amounts of bullshit that decided to pop up Thursday and Friday. Seriously hate my job.

[Actual blog post follows]

Yeah, I wish my job didn't affect me so much, but when I have those really bad days I tend to just curl up and have no motivation to do anything. Here's hoping this week is better, yeah?

So to start off, right off the bat we got 3 occasions of the word "whoredom" in a single sentence. That's quite a large amount of "whoredom" for such a relatively small amount of words. "Go out and get a whore wife so you can have whore children in this whore city," God spoke to Hosea. Ah, how poetic, right? Just rolls right off the tongue. Now, do we even for a second believe that once Hosea is told to get a whore wife so he can bear his whore children that Hosea took a whore wife consenting manner? I'm gonna go ahead and go with no one that one.

And thus Hosea has his children "of whoredom" and the daughter is named Lo-ruhamah, which means No Pity, and the son is named Lo-ammi, which means My People. Those seem TOTALLY equal in meaning, right? Seems like they really had positive feelings for the daughter, right? Doesn't seem like she stood a chance, even if, in the end, God decides to go ahead and take pity on her. Not sure why there's a sudden change of heart. God seems to enjoy punish people (especially when they are female in nature) for no real good reason, telling them they TOTALLY deserve this most heinous of punishments, and then deciding (after a fair amount of torture) that he shall take pity and mercy on them and making sure that the small, pitiful subject of this torture understands that while God may be showing mercy and pity that the subject by no means DESERVES such pity and mercy. Therefore bow down and worship him before you do something REALLY bad and God has to punish you again for your own good even though it hurts him more than it does you.

The bulk of Hosea 2 is fairly unremarkable. Which is funny since all of it is pretty fucking deplorable, but really it is nothing that we haven't seen before. The declaration that the people God has chosen are suddenly "whoring" themselves out to others which is just the most egregious of sins. God declaring that his people will find no refuge, not even in their "lovers." God laying his people's shame and nakedness out for all to see and take advantage of. On and on and on and on. Even God eventually taking back his "whore" of a people isn't unusual, since God does eventually forgive Israel and others their "whoring," but not until they have been good and properly punished.

God's answer to this infidelity and "whoring" is, basically, to take Israel and leave her exposed to those whom were once her "lovers" and let them violate her again and again until God has decided it has been enough. Israel's sin was "sex" and thus God sees no problem with using "sex" as a punishment. I mean, if Israel had no problem sleeping with every other god and tribe in town then why would she have a problem with those same gods and tribes taking what they want now? Sound familiar? Kind of like the common idea that prostitutes and whores and unable to be raped or that women are unable to be raped by husbands and boyfriends? Because once a woman has sex with a man she is then seen as consenting to all future sex with said man (or, in the case of prostitutes, once a woman has sex with any man she is seen as consenting to all future sex with any man) Sounds a bit like that to me. Not sure if I've brought that point up before, but this has become such a trend that it's become incredibly hard not to notice.

I'm really hoping this book isn't going to turn into another Israel punishment/torture/rape fest. I'm sooooooo tired of that nonsense. I'd honestly thought the Bible would have a bit more to offer but it seems to be stuck in a rut. A really, horrible, terrible, torturous rut.

Wednesday: More Hosea

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