The New Covenant
In Hosea 2:18, we find the first use of the expression “Covenant,” as it applies to the “New Covenant.” This is actually New Covenant will be with Gentiles, “I will make a Covenant with the beasts of the field.” The Old Covenant, with the Israelites, began when Christ, the Angel of the Lord, led them out of Egypt, “I will never break My Covenant with you,” (Judges 2:1).
1 “Say to your brothers, ‘My people!’ And to your sisters, ‘My loved one!’
see ending of Chapter 1.
2 Contend with your mother! Contend, for she is not my wife, Neither am I her husband; And let her put away her prostitution from her face, And her adulteries from between her breasts; 3 Lest I strip her naked, And make her bare as in the day that she was born, And make her like a wilderness, And set her like a dry land, And kill her with thirst.
Nor am I her husband – meaning that Israel does not make God husband, she does not love God. But she will love God, in the New Covenant, as we will see in vs. 16.
4 Indeed, on her children I will have no mercy; For they are children of unfaithfulness; 5 For their mother has played the prostitute. She who conceived them has done shamefully; For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my flax, My oil and my drink.’
I will not have mercy on her children – Israel will be punished for her harlotry. The northern Kingdom will be destroyed.
6Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, And I will build a wall against her, That she can’t find her way. 7 She will follow after her lovers, But she won’t overtake them; And she will seek them, But won’t find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband; For then was it better with me than now.’
She will seek them, but not find them – She will realize the emptiness of her harlotry.
8 For she did not know that I gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil, And multiplied to her silver and gold, which they used for Baal. 9 Therefore I will take back my grain in its time, And my new wine in its season, And will pluck away my wool and my flax which should have covered her nakedness.
I gave her grain, new wine and oil – which shall represent true communion with God, in the New Covenant, in verse 22.
10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, And no one will deliver her out of my hand. 11 I will also cause all her celebrations to cease: Her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her solemn assemblies.
I will cause her mirth to cease…her feast days, her new moons, her sabbaths – God is going to end the relationship with His people, that is based on the “basic principles of this world” – Colossians 2:8,16; Galatians 4:9, John 4:21, etc. We do not worship God only in a particular place, or on a particular day, our entire life is devoted to God. In every place, and at every time, we are seeking to bring Him glory. Of course, this does not end God’s commandment to rest on the Sabbath Day, as has been interpreted by some. It is still God’s will for us to rest in unity with Him, and one another, according to His commandment.
12 I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, About which she has said, ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me; And I will make them a forest,’ And the animals of the field shall eat them. 13 I will visit on her the days of the Baals, To which she burned incense, When she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, And went after her lovers, And forgot me,” says YHVH.
but Me she forgot – God desires to have true intimacy with His people.
14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, And bring her into the wilderness, And speak tenderly to her. 15 I will give her vineyards from there, And the valley of Achor for a door of hope; And she will respond there, As in the days of her youth, And as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
I will speak comfort to her – to bring into the wilderness, away from the celebrations, into a relationship with God in the holy spirit. The spirit of God Himself will be the promised comforter.
She shall sing as in the days of her youth – with the true intimacy with God.
16 It will be in that day,” says Yihvah, “That you will call me ‘my husband,’ And no longer call me ‘my master.’
no longer call me “My Master” – meaning “Lord” as in Jeremiah 23:27: “their fathers forgot My Name for Baal (Lord).” God will no longer be the Master. Christ, will be the Master, and God’s people will love God as a husband.
17 For I will take away the names of the Baals out of her mouth, And they will no more be mentioned by their name.
For I will take from her mouth – God will remove the idolatry of Israel.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the animals of the field, And with the birds of the sky, And with the creeping things of the ground. I will break the bow, the sword, and the battle out of the land, And will make them lie down safely.
I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field – the New Covenant will also include the Gentiles. The “beasts” brings us to Peter’s dream, in Acts 10:12, where God showed Peter that the Gentiles would become a part of the Church: “In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.”
bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth – some think that Christianity did not end the sword of battle. But, we must remember that since the 4th Century, the Gentiles have not embraced the teachings of the New Covenant. They have been worshipping the beast and his image – the image of a lion, a leopard and a bear. They have been deceived by a mystery harlot. In Isaiah 2:2-4, we learn that the New Covenant will be re-established in the last days, and peace will reign, “in the latter days the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on top of the mountains…they shall beat their swords into plowshares.”
19 I will betroth you to me forever. Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in lovingkindness, and in compassion. 20 I will even betroth you to me in faithfulness; And you shall know Yihvah.
I will betroth you to me forever – as we read also in Ezekiel 37:25. In the end days, Israel shall never depart from God.
21 It will happen in that day, I will respond,” says Yihvah, I will respond to the heavens, And they will respond to the earth; 22 And the earth will respond to the grain, and the new wine, and the oil; And they will respond to Jezreel.
shall answer with grain, new wine, and oil – the symbols of the communion with God in the New Covenant: the oil of the Spirit; and bread and wine, as the body and blood of Christ.
they shall answer Jezreel – meaning God sows or scatters. Here, we can also see the removing of idolatry from the New Covenant Church which is “scattered” by it’s harlotry with pagan religion. But the Gospel of Christ, of the grain, new wine, and oil shall bring unity.
23 I will sow her to me in the earth; And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; And I will tell those who were not my people, ‘You are my people;’ And they will say, ‘My God!'”
I will sow…have mercy…you are My people – the exact opposite meaning to the three names of Hosea’s children (Jezreel – Sows; Lo-Ruhamah – No Mercy; and Lo-Amni – Not My People). God will bring restoration. This repeats the hope that was first expressed in Hosea 2:1.
You are My people – this is the prophecy of the inclusion of the Gentiles in the New Covenant, as Paul mentions in Romans 9:24-26.