A different approach to reading the Bible

During my many years of reading the bible, the belief has slowly grown on me that there is more than one way to read the bible. This belief had its foundations over 20 years ago, but I have only recently pursued it in any depth. The first time I experienced a ‘New’ way of reading was during a group bible study. At some point during the study, the leader of the study made reference to Hosea and almost duty bound we all thumbed through our bibles to find the reference. What I read there stunned me for a minute or two and then my mind started asking questions. Why would God instruct a holy man, a priest and a leader to marry a harlot? Who were these people and what was their relevance to me? The rest of the study was lost on me as I read and re-read the first chapter of Hosea. Maybe it was divine intervention or illumination but I felt led to look up the meanings of their names. This I did and this is what I found:

Hosea 1:1-11

The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea.

And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.

So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.

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.

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.    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.

Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.  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.

Name
Meaning
Hosea
to be open, wide or free, i.e. (by implication) to be safe; causatively, to free or succor:--X at all, avenging, defend, deliver(-er), deliverer;
Gomer (Wife)
to end (in the sense of completion or failure):--cease, come to an end, fail, perfect, perform.
Diblaim (Father)
from an unused root (akin to H2082) probably meaning to press together;
Jezreeel (Son)
to sow; figuratively, to disseminate, plant, fructify:--bear, conceive seed, set with sow(-er), yield.
Lo-ruhamah Daughter
not pitied; Lo- Ruchamah, the symbol. name of a son of Hosea (My Note: Bible says daughter but Strongs says son of Hosea)
Lo-ammi
not my people; Lo-Ammi, the symbolic name of a son of Hosea:

 

I have not gone any further than this because I hope to be able to illustrate the point with just these few verses. My train of thought then followed this route:

Hosea. Here Father is talking of Salvation as being free and wide. I take this to mean that it covers a wide range of people and/or places. The start of deliverance from danger and possibly death.

Diblaim: He is the father of the Gomer, but also as Gomer is described as a prostitute and an adulterer so this reflects on her father. The land of Israel has on many occasions been described as adulterous; figuratively, idolatry:--whoredom. Diblaim means pressed together. In this I am reminded of Gods wrath, being pressed together, concentrated and compressed. In symbolic language it is the ultimate, there can be no more as it is absolute.

Gomer. The name has two apparently opposed meanings. On the one hand is failure on the other is completion. This is the perfect finish. We now know, although it is entirely possible that Hosea didn't know, that the law ends in death. By this time the Israelites had apparently lost all insight into the spiritual meaning of their history and their stories used to illustrate these truth. They had gone after strange gods and committed fornication numerous times. The time now was that these adulterous acts should cease and it was time for the second act, as in a play.

So Hosea (salvation and deliverance) is now bonded with an adulterous wife and through this union God is about to bring to an end His marriage with Israel. A union or marriage has to bring forth children, or the story would end with salvation only for Gomer. And so she brings forth 3 children. The first of these is Jezreel and as can be seen, in his name are the attributes of husbandry. He would sow, he would plant and disseminate. All these he did and more beside, but we are not there yet. Jezreel is also the name of a valley previously owned by the Canaanites and the separation of Ephraim and Manasseh. David took a wife from the valley of Jezreel. Elijah ran to Jezreel and King Joram was healed there. There were vineyards there but perhaps more important is the death of Jezebel at Jezreel. Then Jehu slew all the remnants of the house of Ahab there.

Unto Gomer was born a second child, this time a daughter who God named Lo-ruhama and this daughter was not to be pitied. The reason for this will become apparent very shortly.

The final child was a son, Lo-ami meaning not my people. The people not to be pitied were the Israelites. God had given them every opportunity and every blessing to remain faithful to sons to Him and yet they had gone their own way, committing fornication with other gods and peoples. On the other hand, the people who where not His people were the gentiles and the heathens.

And so God brought forth His salvation to the gentiles and the means by which He planted and sowed His word was through Jezreel. In verse 5 God breaks the bow of Israel. The bow of Israel in this case is the Rainbow which was a sign of the first covenant and precedes this with annulling His marriage with Israel. Jesus made it clear that the justification for divorce was adultery, and that they could no longer put their wives away (divorce them) through a piece of paper. God instigates the second covenant through Jezreel (the son of salvation) who plants and disseminates His Fathers word or his seed.
Finally the last offspring of the marriage Lo-ammi gets accepted as a son of God. For all gentiles who accept and who hear the word and keep it shall be called sons of the most high God. So it was not by sword or by horse or the bow or chariots that God broke the bow of Israel, but by His word through His son.

So the simple story of a priest ordered to marry a prostitute, when interpreted to understand, turns into an explanation and a prophecy of what will happen to Israel and why God now includes the gentiles in His redemptive plan. We are the ploughed field, awaiting the word. For us there is no burdensome law but instead we have direct access to the Father. The Christ consciousness within; so the latter or younger son again seems to have the better portion.

I shall be writing more on alternate methods to read the bible, but I hope this explains why I am doing it and has given you something to think on. If you have any questions then please contact me via the contact form from the main menu.