Hosea - Chapter 1

1The word of Hashem that came to Hoshea son of Be'eri, in the reigns of Kings Uzziyahu, Yotam, Achaz, and Chizkiyahu of Yehuda, and in the reign of King Yerovam son of Yoash of Yisrael.

אדְּבַר־יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר הָיָה אֶל־הוֹשֵׁעַ בֶּן־בְּאֵרִי בִּימֵי עֻזִּיָּה יוֹתָם אָחָז יְחִזְקִיָּה מַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה וּבִימֵי יָרָבְעָם בֶּן־יוֹאָשׁ מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

2When Hashem first spoke to Hoshea, Hashem said to Hoshea, “Go, get yourself a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom; for the land will stray from following Hashem.”

בתְּחִלַּת דִּבֶּר־יְהֹוָה בְּהוֹשֵׁעַ וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־הוֹשֵׁעַ לֵךְ קַח־לְךָ אֵשֶׁת זְנוּנִים וְיַלְדֵי זְנוּנִים כִּי־זָנֹה תִזְנֶה הָאָרֶץ מֵאַחֲרֵי יְהֹוָה׃

3So he went and married Gomer daughter of Diblaim. She conceived and bore him a son,

גוַיֵּלֶךְ וַיִּקַּח אֶת־גֹּמֶר בַּת־דִּבְלָיִם וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד־לוֹ בֵּן׃

4and Hashem instructed him, “Name him Yizrael; for, I will soon punish the House of Yehu for the bloody deeds at Yizrael and put an end to the monarchy of the House of Yisrael.

va-YO-mer a-do-NAI ay-LAV k'-RA sh'-MO yiz-r'-EL kee OD m'-AT u-FA-kad-TEE et d'-MAY yiz-r'-EL al BAYT yay-HU v'-HISH-ba-TEE mam-l'-KHUT BAYT yis-ra-AYL

דוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלָיו קְרָא שְׁמוֹ יִזְרְעֶאל כִּי־עוֹד מְעַט וּפָקַדְתִּי אֶת־דְּמֵי יִזְרְעֶאל עַל־בֵּית יֵהוּא וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי מַמְלְכוּת בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

 1:4  I will soon punish the House of Yehu for the bloody deeds at Yizrael

Hoshea describes how the nation’s present troubles stem from the manner in which the ruling dynasty of the kingdom of Israel, the house of Yehu, had achieved power. The Yizrael valley runs through the northern hills of Israel, from Megiddo to Beit Shean, and was one of the major highways in antiquity. The ancient city of Yizrael, located on the western edge of the Gilboa mountain range, overlooked the valley and was a very important city for the northern kingdom of Yisrael. It was strategically located, affording great military advantage, and the nearby Yizrael spring provided ample water for the city as well as for travellers. It was there that the coup d’état, in which Yehu overthrew the idolatrous house of Achav, took place. Though originally supported by the prophet Elisha, the takeover became exceedingly violent and bloodthirsty, and Hoshea promises that Yehu will be punished accordingly. Hoshea reminds us that even when beginning with good intentions, power and authority can easily corrupt.

Tel Yizrael looking east toward Gilboa

A lookout over the Yizrael Valley in northern Israel.

5In that day, I will break the bow of Yisrael in the Valley of Yizrael.”

הוְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וְשָׁבַרְתִּי אֶת־קֶשֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּעֵמֶק יִזְרְעֶאל׃

6She conceived again and bore a daughter; and He said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah; for I will no longer accept the House of Yisrael or pardon them.

ווַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בַּת וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ קְרָא שְׁמָהּ לֹא רֻחָמָה כִּי לֹא אוֹסִיף עוֹד אֲרַחֵם אֶת־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־נָשֹׂא אֶשָּׂא לָהֶם׃

7But I will accept the House of Yehuda. And I will give them victory through Hashem their God; I will not give them victory with bow and sword and battle, by horses and riders.)”

זוְאֶת־בֵּית יְהוּדָה אֲרַחֵם וְהוֹשַׁעְתִּים בַּיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְלֹא אוֹשִׁיעֵם בְּקֶשֶׁת וּבְחֶרֶב וּבְמִלְחָמָה בְּסוּסִים וּבְפָרָשִׁים׃

8After weaning Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son.

חוַתִּגְמֹל אֶת־לֹא רֻחָמָה וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן׃

9Then He said, “Name him Lo-ammi; for you are not My people, and I will not be your [Hashem].”

טוַיֹּאמֶר קְרָא שְׁמוֹ לֹא עַמִּי כִּי אַתֶּם לֹא עַמִּי וְאָנֹכִי לֹא־אֶהְיֶה לָכֶם׃