Old Testament Summary Lesson 34: “I Will Betroth Thee Unto Me In Righteousness”
- Same Message “Repent:” As with all prophets of God, the message is improving, changing and turning toward God (“to turn” “return” or “go back” is also the word repentance in Hebrew). Various metaphors were used by various prophets and Hosea chooses the tender subject of marriage and moral fidelity to emphasize the nurturing and forgiving nature of our Father in Heaven.
- Israel Compared to Unfaithful Wife: “In the aggadah, great emphasis is placed on God’s command to Hosea to marry a harlot and beget children of harlotry. God evidently wanted Hosea to experience the bitterness of being married to an unfaithful woman. This theme of Israel as the unfaithful wife appears frequently in the Prophets.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Husband/Wife Relationship: “Jeremiah used the favorite image of the earlier prophet Hosea that the relationship between God and Israel is like that of husband and wife and that Israel, in deserting the true faith, had been like an unfaithful wife. He urged the people to acknowledge no other God than the God of Israel, and to submit to Him totally.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Hosea Leads Us to Atonement: Hosea’s recurring reminder for repentance is repeated in Jewish Sabbath services that lead to the Day of Atonement. “Shabbat Shuvah is the Sabbath which occurs between Rosh Ha-Shanah and the Day of Atonement. The name is derived from the first word of the Haftarah, “Return (shuvah) O Israel unto the Lord” (Hosea 14:2) read on that Sabbath. The main feature of the day is the sermons of repentance delivered by the rabbis to prepare the congregants for the Day of Atonement.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)