Hosea’s prophecy for “Israel” was for the northern kingdom of Israel, not for the modern nation of Israel.
Solomon, king of the house of David, married hundreds of wives and started to worship other gods such as Ashtoreth and Molech because of the influence of some of his wives, 1 Kings 11:1-8. This made the LORD angry, 1 Kings 11:9-11. And so the LORD decided to rend 10 tribes of the kingdom of David away from Solomon’s line, and allow 1 tribe of the kingdom of David to remain with Solomon’s line for David’s sake, 1 Kings 11:31-38. 10 tribes were offered to Jeroboam, 11:31. 1 tribe, namely Judah, was left to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, 1 Kings 11:13 and 1 Kings 11:43. Subsequently, the tribe of Benjamin joined Judah, 1 Kings 12:21.
Importantly, notice 1 Kings 11:39. This verse speaks to redemption for Judah, at the Second Coming.
“And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.”
– 1 Kings 11:39
So, upon the death of Solomon the house of David divided into 2 separate kingdoms: the northern kingdom of Israel ruled by Jeroboam, and the southern kingdom of Judah ruled by Rehoboam: 1 Kings 12.
By the time of Hosea, the northern kingdom of Israel had started to worship other gods, as Solomon did in his latter years. For this reason, the LORD called Hosea to prophesy unto the kingdom of Israel:
“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest. Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother. 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 4:1-6
Some people incorrectly cite Hosea 4 to argue that modern Israel has been forsaken. Others misread Hosea 4 and apply it to the end times, because of the part with dead birds and dead fish. Zephaniah 1:2-4 is the actual passage for that, because Zephaniah’s is an end times prophecy and it pertains to Judah.
Anyway, the part of Hosea that I would like to focus on now is Hosea 1. Notice in Hosea 1:4-11 that all 3 of Hosea’s children were given meaningful names: Jezreel, Loruhamah, Loammi.
Before examining the names, let’s recap: Israel, the northern half of all the tribes of Jacob, rejected God’s laws, Hosea 4:6, and instead worshipped other gods, Hosea 4:11-15. Israel had become a spiritual harlot. i.e. Israel allowed freedom of religion.
To point out Israel’s harlotry, the LORD asked Hosea to marry a harlot, Hosea 1:2. And then the LORD instructed Hosea to name his 3 children in a specific way.
The first was named “Jezreel”, Hosea 1:4. Strong’s says, יזרעאל Jezreel means “God will sow”. Tel Megiddo, aka Armageddon, overlooks the valley of Jezreel. Jehu killed Jezebel in Jeezrel, 2 Kings 9:30-37. Jehu also ended the reign of Ahab and killed many prophets of Baal, 2 Kings 10:28. But subsequently Jehu turned away from the LORD, 2 Kings 10:31.
“And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”
– Hosea 1:4-5
The second was named “Loruhamah”, Hosea 1:6. Strong’s says, לא רחמה Loruhamah means “not pitied”.
“And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.”
– Hosea 1:6
The third was named “Loammi”, Hosea 1:9. Strong’s says, לא עמי Loammi means “not my people”.
“Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.”
– Hosea 1:9
When the Assyrians conquered the kingdom of Israel, the army of Israel was broken in the valley of Jeezrel. Thus, Hosea 1:4-6 and Hosea 1:8-9 have been fulfilled.
Hosea 1:7 and Hosea 1:10-11, however, remain unfulfilled. Both prophecies pertain to the end times, the day of the LORD.
“But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.”
– Hosea 1:7
“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 1:10-11
Hosea 1:7 refers to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and the redemption of Jews. Hosea 1:10-11 is cryptic: “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”. I gather, Hosea 1:10-11 speaks to the grafting of branches of Christians and Jews into the olive tree of Romans 11.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.”
– Jeremiah 33:14
One might ask, since Assyria attacked Israel and scattered the 10 tribes, why is today’s state of Israel called “Israel” rather than “Judah”?
One reason is, bible prophecy speaks of an end times “Israel”. The following are some passages of the Bible that reference “Israel” in the end times: Joel 2:27, Joel 3:2, Zephaniah 2:9, Amos 9:14, Ezekiel 25:14, Isaiah 47:4 ,Isaiah 17:3, Isaiah 19:25, Isaiah 60:14.
Another reason is, ישראל “Israel” was the name given to Jacob after he wrestled with God at Peniel, Genesis 32:24-30. So “Israel” is one who wrestles with God.
After the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when Israel realises all of the promised land and becomes the Kingdom of God, Israel will receive a new name, per Jeremiah 33:16 and Isaiah 60:14, etc.
“In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;”
– Jeremiah 33:16-17
“The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”
– Isaiah 60:14