Yahweh loves us, and wants us to become a bride fit for His Son. He wants us to become our very best. That is why He applies high standards of discipline, like a caring drill sergeant.
In matters of discipline, Elohim is never random. Just like in the military, Elohim has a uniform code of legal justice which He applies to Himself as well as to us. And while some people might think studying matters of His Torah is being “legalistic,” it behooves us to learn how Yahweh applies judgment and discipline, so we can learn how to keep out of trouble with His law.
Not only does Yahweh publish His laws, He always gives fair warning before He disciplines. He sends His servants the prophets to help people understand what horrors await them if they do not start caring about Yahweh, His feelings, and what He wants. Among the prophets Yahweh sent to the northern kingdom of Ephraim was Hoshea (Hosea).
Hoshea (Hosea) 1:1
1 When Yahweh began to speak by Hosea, Yahweh said to Hosea: “Go! Take yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land has committed great harlotry, by departing from Yahweh.”
Idolatry is spiritual adultery, and because the house of Ephraim had committed idolatry/adultery with other elohim (gods), Yahweh told Hosea to take a harlot as his wife. This was to show the Ephraimites how their idolatry made Him feel.
Hoshea (Hosea) 1:3
3 So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
The name Gomer means finished. The implication was that even Yahweh’s great patience with Ephraim had finally come to an end.
Hoshea (Hosea) 1:4
4 Then Yahweh said to him: “Call his name Jezre’el, for in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezre’el on the house of Yehu [Judah], and bring an end to the kingdom of the [northern] house of Israel.”
The name Jezre’el means Elohim shall scatter, or Elohim will sow, as one sows wheat into the ground. This is the concept to which Yeshua refers in some of His agricultural parables. Notice that Yahweh did not say He would destroy the Ephraimites themselves, He only said that He would bring an end to their kingdom. (We will also see references to this in the Renewed Covenant [New Testament].)
Hoshea (Hosea) 1:6
6 And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then Elohim said to him: “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah; for I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.”
Lo-Ruhamah means, no mercy, or no compassion. Yahweh was saying that He could not take any more. He was finished (Gomer) with His adulterous wife. Elohim would scatter (Jezre’el) Ephraim into the earth like wheat seed, and would no longer have compassion (Lo Ruhamah) on her because she did not care about what He wanted. No longer would Ephraim be Yahweh’s people, but they would become Lo-Ammi (not His people).
Hoshea (Hosea) 1:8-9
8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore (another) son.
9 Then Elohim said: “Call his name Lo-Ammi, for you are not My people, and I will not be your Elohim.”
And, yet, despite all the idolatry the Ephraimites had committed against Him, and despite the fact that they did not seem to care about Him, Yahweh was still merciful. He said He would redeem them one day, after they had repented and turned their hearts back to Him.
Hoshea (Hosea) 1:10
10 “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted. And it shall be in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people’, There it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living Elohim.’”
If Ephraim refused to keep the Torah, it would be like a repeat of the Garden of Eden: Yahweh would kick Ephraim out of His land, and draw out the sword after her until she repented and loved Him once again.
After many generations, Ephraim’s children would be brought back to His land where they would be reunited with their Jewish brethren who would also believe on Yeshua at that time.
Hoshea (Hosea) 1:11
11 “Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and appoint for themselves one head; and they shall come up out of the Land, for great will be the day of Jezre’el!”
The Torah says that before a sinner can be punished, there must be two or more witnesses to his sin. Therefore, in addition to Hosea, Yahweh sent a prophet named Eliyahu (Elijah) to witness against the Ephraimites. Many Christians are familiar with Eliyahu’s famous showdown with the priests of Ba’al. Very few, however, realize that the names in most Western translations have been changed. This is a big deal, because in Scripture, names are prophetic and have power.
The Creator’s name (Yahweh or Yahuweh) has been altered some 6,828 times in Scripture. This is contrary to the third commandment.
7 “You shall not take the name of Yahweh your Elohim in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless, who takes His name in vain.”
|(7) לֹא תִשָּׂא אֶת שֵׁם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לַשָּׁוְא | כִּי לֹא יְנַקֶּה יְהוָה אֵת אֲשֶׁר יִשָּׂא אֶת שְׁמוֹ לַשָּׁוְא|
In Hebrew, the word vain is l’shavah (לַשָּׁוְא). This word refers to making His name desolate or letting it lie useless (i.e., bringing it to nothing). The idea here is that if we do not use His name (like He says to), we are desolating His name, and bringing it to nothing.
OT:7723 shav’ (shawv); or shav (shav); from the same as OT:7722 in the sense of desolating; evil (as destructive), literally (ruin) or morally (especially guile); figuratively idolatry (as false, subjective), uselessness (as deceptive, objective; also adverbially, in vain):
KJV – false (-ly), lie, lying, vain, vanity.
For purposes of comparison, the root of the word l’shavah is the word shoah. This word refers to devastation, and it is the same word used for the Great Holocaust of World War 2.
OT:7722 show’ (sho); or (feminine) show’ah (sho-aw’); or sho’ah (sho-aw’); from an unused root meaning to rush over; a tempest; by implication, devastation:
KJV – desolate (-ion), destroy, destruction, storm, wasteness.
The Orthodox rabbis tell us that we should not speak Yahweh’s name, because speaking His name aloud is being disrespectful. However, while we want to be respectful, we also don’t want to let His name lie desolate. We also don’t want to call Him by a name that is not His own—yet that is precisely what many people do when they call Him God or Lord.
When the Roman legions conquered new lands, they allowed their formerly pagan subjects to call Elohim by the names of their false gods. This was practical, as it made it much easier for them to convert to Catholicism. Because Yahweh is also very practical, He put up with this. However, He doesn’t really like it. Ultimately, He wants all of His people to learn to call Him by His true name (just as we would want people to call us by our true names, and not the names of pagan deities).
Sometimes people wonder if it is really such a big deal to call Yahweh by His real name, but He tells us it is a very big deal. It is one of the Ten Commandments that was etched into stone. Yahweh is very clear that He wants His name declared in all the earth.
Shemote (Exodus) 9:16
16 “And indeed, for this purpose I have raised you up: that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth!”
Yahweh emphasizes the importance of loving Him, and knowing His true name.
Tehillim (Psalms) 91:14-16
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 I will satisfy Him with long life, and show him My salvation (literally: Yeshua).”
In Hebrew, Yahweh’s name is spelled yod-hay-vav-hay (יהוה). There are several good theories about how to pronounce His name (Yahweh, Yahuweh, Yahuwah, Yehovah, etc.). We can accept all of these pronunciations, however, there is no way to pronounce yod-hay-vav-hay as God or Lord. When the Roman legions conquered the British Isles, they simply told the British to use these names for Yahweh, and the practice has been carried down through the centuries, even though Scripture forbids it.
We need to remember that one of Ephraim’s problems is idolatry (which is spiritual adultery). When the gentiles in the British Isles were worshipping God (Gud) and Lord (Lordo/Larth), they were committing spiritual adultery. When the newly conquered pagans began worshipping Yahweh, He forgave them for having committed spiritual adultery on Him, but how do you think it made Him feel? And how does He feel now when we continue to call Him these names? How would we like it if our spouses were to commit adultery on us (Yahweh forbid!), and when they came back to us, they called us by the name of their former lovers all the time?
Many believers call Yahweh Lord. They think this is okay because the English have been calling Yahweh Lord for well over a thousand years now. In actuality, this is a fulfillment of an ancient prophetic foreshadow that took place at Eliyahu’s infamous showdown with the priests of Ba’al (Lord).
|1 Kings 18:17-18
17 Then it happened, when Ahab saw Eliyahu that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?”
18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s [Jeroboam’s] house have, in that you have forsaken the commands of Yahweh, and have followed the Ba’als [Lords].”
| (17) וַיְהִי כִּרְאוֹת אַחְאָב אֶת אֵלִיָּהוּ | וַיֹּאמֶר אַחְאָב אֵלָיו הַאַתָּה זֶה עֹכֵר יִשְׂרָאֵל:
(18) וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא עָכַרְתִּי אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי אִם אַתָּה וּבֵית אָבִיךָ | בַּעֲזָבְכֶם אֶת מִצְוֹת יְהוָה וַתֵּלֶךְ אַחֲרֵי הַבְּעָלִים
Notice that Eliyahu rebuked Ahab for encouraging Israel to continue in the false practices of his father, King Jeroboam. Then he challenged Ahab to gather the 450 prophets of the Lord, and the 400 prophets of Easter/Asherah/Ishtar, who eat at Jezebel’s table.
Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 18:19
19 “Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Ba’al [the Lord], and the four hundred prophets of Asherah [Easter], who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
Just as our forefathers forsook Yahweh for the Lord and Asherah/Ishtar/Easter, many of us do this today. Even those who know the meaning of Lord still call Him both Yahweh and Lord interchangeably, as if it is okay to call Yahweh by the name of a former lover.
Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 18:20-21
20 So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel.
21 And Eliyahu came to all the people, and said, “How long will you keep hopping between two opinions? If Yahweh is Elohim, follow Him; but if the Lord, follow him!” But the people answered him not a word.
People are creatures of habit. Once they start calling Yahweh Lord, they don’t like to change. Yet notice that Eliyahu makes it clear that there is a difference between Yahweh and Lord.
Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 18:22-29
22 Then Eliyahu said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of Yahweh; but the Lord’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men!
23 Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it.
24 Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of Yahweh; and the Elohim who answers by fire, He is Elohim.” So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.”
25 Now Eliyahu said to the prophets of the Lord, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your Elohim, but put no fire under it.”
26 So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of the Lord from morning even till noon, saying, “O Lord, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made.
27 And so it was, at noon, that Eliyahu mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a mighty one [a god]! Either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey; or perhaps he is sleeping, and must be awakened!”
28 So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them.
29 And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered: no one paid attention.
Yahweh gave the Ephraimite priests plenty of time to admit they were wrong. Then Eliyahu rebuilt the altar of Yahweh that had been broken down, and he dug a trench big enough to hold two seahs of seed (probably representing the two houses of Israel). Then he had the people soak the wood with twelve jars of water.
Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 18:30-37
30 Then Eliyahu said to all the people, “Come near to me;” so all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of Yahweh that was broken down.
31 And Eliyahu took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of Yahweh had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.”
32 Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of Yahweh, and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed.
33 And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four water-pots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.”
34 Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35 So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.
36 And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Eliyahu the prophet came near and said, “Yahweh, Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are Elohim in Israel, and I am Your servant; and that I have done all these things at Your word.
37 Hear me, Yahweh! Hear me, that this people may know that You are Yahweh Elohim; and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
Yahweh answered by fire when Eliyahu called on His true name.
Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 18:38-40
38 Then the fire of Yahweh fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust: and it licked up the water that was in the trench.
39 Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “Yahweh! He is Elohim! Yahweh! He is Elohim!”
40 And Eliyahu said to them, “Seize the prophets of the Lord! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them, and Eliyahu brought them down to the Brook Kishon, and executed them there.
The first three commandments all deal with idolatry. In the first two, Yahweh says not to worship anyone other than Him, and not to make any graven images of Him. In the third He says not to let His name lie in ruins. We can make excuses for letting His name lie in ruins if we want, but Yahweh will not hold us guiltless, if we do that.
Shemote (Exodus) 20:7
7 “You shall not take the name of Yahweh your Elohim in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
If you love your spouse, are you sure to call your spouse by their correct name? This is all a simple part of love—calling our Husband by His name.
In Hosea 2:17 (2:19 in Hebrew), Yahweh says the day will come (after Armageddon) when He will take away the name of the Ba’als from Ephraim’s mouth, and they (Ba’als) shall be remembered by their names no more. This can only be the name Lord because that is the only name that the Ephraimites call on. No other name fits.
17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more.
|(19) וַהֲסִרֹתִי אֶת שְׁמוֹת הַבְּעָלִים מִפִּיהָ | וְלֹא יִזָּכְרוּ עוֹד בִּשְׁמָם|
When we are reading Scripture, we are reading about spirits. We need to realize that Yahweh and the Lord are two separate deities. The Lord wants us to worship him on Sunday, Christmas, and Ishtar/Easter. He has a son named Jesus who came to do away with the bridal covenant (the Torah), as well as the bride (Israel). He is not the same deity as Yahweh.
Hosea 13:1 says that our forefathers were mighty, and that when they spoke, there was trembling. However, when they began to worship the Lord (rather than Yahweh) they incurred guilt. They “died” spiritually (and were no longer counted as Ephraimites). This is the seriousness of the third commandment.
Hoshea (Hosea) 13:1
1 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling. He was exalted in Israel; but he incurred guilt through the Lord, and he died.
Yahweh is patient, but even His great patience has limits. Our forefathers did not see the importance of doing things His way, and eventually the time came when Yahweh was finished (Gomer) with Ephraim. He would no longer have mercy (Lo Ruhamah), so we would no longer be His people (Lo Ammi).
Because our forefathers did not value the inheritance Yahweh had given them, Yahweh sent the King of Assyria to take them out of the land, and sow them into the earth like seed, and their descendants would not return home for some 2,730 years.