ESV - 5 And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
The bow was used in biblical times as a weapon of war to shoot arrows at an enemy. By saying that He would break Israel's bow, God was indicating His intent to destroy the military power of the northern kingdom of Israel in a battle at the Valley of Jezreel (located between Galilee and Samaria). God was bringing about this destruction as a punishment of the Israelite king Jehu for his continued toleration of idol worship after overthrowing the evil king Ahab and his pagan wife Jezebel.
Great question, William! Wiersbe says, "Gomer’s three children were given meaningful names selected by the Lord. The first child, a son, was called Jezreel (Hos. 1:4-5), which means 'God sows' or 'God scatters.'" To break Israel's bow means to put an end to Israel as an independent kingdom. This divine promise was fulfilled 25 years hence when Assyria conquered the northern kingdom and brought them into captivity. LASB God promises to extract Israel from the Land and scatter them elsewhere.
The words of Jehovah to Hosea (1:4) regarding “the acts of bloodshed of Jezreel” are not to be understood as referring to Jehu’s destroying Ahab’s ungodly house. Jehu was used as Jehovah’s instrument in executing divine judgment. However, it may well be that the wrong motivations that were behind Jehu’s continuing to let calf worship remain also caused him to make himself guilty of bloodshed.—2Ki 10:30, 31 The prophetic name Jezreel, by which Jehovah instructed Hosea to call his son by Gomer, pointed to a future accounting against the house of Jehu. God would “sow seed” in that he would cause a scattering of it. The accounting against Jehu’s house came when Jehu’s great-great-grandson Zechariah, after ruling for six months, was murdered and the assassin Shallum seized the throne. (2Ki 15:8-10) Thus ended the dynasty of Jehu. About 50 years later, in 740 B.C.E., when the northern kingdom fell to Assyria and its inhabitants were exiled, the royal rule of the house of Israel ceased completely. At that time “the bow of Israel,” that is, its military strength, was definitely broken. The prophecy had indicated that this would take place in the Low Plain of Jezreel, perhaps because the Assyrians gained a decisive victory there
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.