Why choose such odd names for children? (Hosea 1:4, 6, 9)

Hosea 1:4 Then the LORD said to Hosea, "Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel.

Hosea 1:6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, "Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means "not loved"), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them.

Hosea 1:9 Then the LORD said, "Call him Lo-Ammi (which means "not my people"), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.

Hosea 1:4

NIV - 4 Then the Lord said to Hosea, "Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 02 2019 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that, just as God had commanded Hosea to marry a harlot (as a visible representation of God's faithfulness to Judah and Israel, despite their unfaithfulness to Him), the names that God then commanded Hosea to give to his children were meant as a constant witness or reminder to both those nations of the effects or consequences of their actions.

There were other cases in the Bible where names were given as a form of witness or prophecy, as well as a pun or a form of wordplay. For example, the name of Methuselah (the human who lived the longest at 969 years) means "when he dies, it will come". Examination of the ages of the patriarchs as given in Genesis 5 indicates that the year that Methuselah died was the same year that God sent the Flood.

Similarly, in Genesis 17:5, God Himself changed the name of Abram (meaning "exalted father") to Abraham (meaning "father of nations" or "father of a multitude"), as a foretelling of the multitudes of whom he would be either the physical (with regard to the tribes of Israel) or spiritual (through Christians' faith in Christ, who was descended from Abraham) ancestor. 

Abraham's son was named Isaac (meaning "laughter"), both in reference to Abraham's wife Sarah laughing in disbelief when she heard that she was to bear a child at the age of ninety (Genesis 19:12), and to the joy that Isaac's birth brought her (Genesis 21:6).

And God also changed the name of Isaac's son from Jacob (meaning "deceiver", which was prophetic of the way in which Jacob would later deceive Isaac into giving him the blessing that belonged to his older brother Esau as Isaac's first-born son (Genesis 27)) to Israel (meaning "He who contends with God") in recognition of Jacob's struggle with an angel, as recounted in Genesis 32:22-32.

November 02 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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