2 Kings 10:1-14; Hosea 1:1-5, Jezreel (7/6/15)
Some of the names in the Old Testament are not puns and not at all amusing, but they are symbolic in other ways. Jehu’s commission from God was to overthrow the evil king of Israel, Ahab. Jehu got carried away, killed Ahab’s entire network of family and friends, and then extended his bloodbath to the family of the king of Judah. All this happened in the Valley of Jezreel. Later, God commissioned Hosea to prophesy that because of Jehu’s sin, Jehu’s dynasty would not last. God tells Hosea to name his son Jezreel
as a continuous reminder of what Hosea’s prophetic message is about.
Hosea 1:4-5 And the Lord said to him, Give him the name of Jezreel, for after a little time I will send punishment for the blood of Jezreel on the line of Jehu, and put an end to the kingdom of Israel. And in that day I will let the bow of Israel be broken in the valley of Jezreel.
Hosea 1:6-9, 2:2-13, Lo-ruhamah and Lo-Ami (7/7/15)
/Not Pitied, Not Loved; Lo-Ami
/Not My People
God loves us. If we spend a lot of time worshipping other gods, God gets annoyed and sends a prophet to tell us the error of our ways. If we keep on
worshipping other gods, God sends a prophet to say that we are in very
deep trouble. Israel had had a lot of prophets by this time, but they continued to worship other gods. God tells Hosea to name his second and third children “Not Pitied” and “Not My People” to show the people of Israel just how much trouble they are in.
6 And after that she gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said, Give her the name Lo-ruhamah/Not Pitied; for I will not again have mercy on Israel, to give them forgiveness.
Hosea 2:14-23, Ruhamah and Ami (7/8/15)
8-9 Now when Lo-ruhamah/Not Pitied had been taken from the breast, the woman gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, Give him the name Lo-Ami/Not My People; for you are not my people, and I will not be your God.
/Pitied, Loved; Ami
The good news is that we are never beyond the reach of God’s love and grace. If we turn our backs on God for long enough, God respects that choice and does not force his mercy on us. If we turn around and take even a tiny step, God comes a blazing mile to meet us. Hosea assures the people of Israel that when they repent, God will name them Pitied and My People.
16 And in that day, says the Lord, you will say to me, Ishi/My Husband; and you will never again give me the name of Baali/My Baal;
Isaiah 7:1-9, Shear-Jashub (7/09/15)
23 And I will put her as seed in the earth, and I will have mercy on Lo-Ruhamah/ Not Pitied; and I will say to those who were not my people, you are Ami/My People, and they will say, My God.
/A Remnant Will Return
The names of Isaiah’s sons are a little more positive than those of Hosea’s children. Jerusalem is besieged, and King Ahaz is worried. When the prophet Isaiah takes him a message from God, his son, A Remnant Shall Return, goes with him. God wants Ahaz to know that the people of Judah will never be totally destroyed.
3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, Go out now, you and Shear-Jashub/A Remnant Will Return, your son, and you will come across Ahaz at the end of the stream flowing from the higher pool, in the highway of the washerman's field.
Isaiah 8:1-4, Maher-shalal-hash-baz (7/10/15)
/Speed Spoil, Hasten Prey
Isaiah is still speaking to the king of Judah. The king of Israel, also known as Samaria, has joined forces with Damascus to attack Judah. God directs Isaiah’s younger son to be named “Speed Spoil, Hasten Prey,” in token that within two years, the attack will end, and the attackers themselves will be despoiled.
This ends our unit on punning names, some of which were amusing, but most of which were interesting or enlightening.
1-2 And the Lord said to me, Take a great writing-board, and on it put down in common letters, Maher-shalal-hash-baz/Speed Spoil, Hasten Prey; And take true witnesses to the writing, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah, the son of Jeberechiah.
More Voices of the Bible
3-4 And I went in to my wife, and she became with child, and gave birth to a son. Then the Lord said to me, Give him the name Maher-shalal-hash-baz/Speed Spoil, Hasten Prey, For before the child is able to say, Father, or, Mother, the wealth of Damascus and the goods of Samaria will be taken away by the king of Assyria.
Playful Appellations, 1
Playful Appellations, 2
Less Playful Appellations
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