Chapter 1

1The word of the Lord which came to 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.   אדְּבַֽר־יְהֹוָ֣ה | אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָיָ֗ה אֶל־הוֹשֵׁ֙עַ֙ בֶּן־בְּאֵרִ֔י בִּימֵ֨י עֻזִּיָּ֥ה יוֹתָ֛ם אָחָ֥ז יְחִזְקִיָּ֖ה מַלְכֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֑ה וּבִימֵ֛י יָֽרָבְעָ֥ם בֶּן־יוֹאָ֖שׁ מֶ֥לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
The word of the Lord which came to Hosea the son of Beeri in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, etc.: He buried these four kings during his lifetime, for he outlived them all. From here they derived the maxim: Woe is to authority, for it buries its holders [from Pesachim 87b].  
and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash: He was of the sons of Jehu [i.e., a great grandson of Jehu], and he too reigned with Uzziah and Jotham, but a meritorious deed caused him to be counted with these righteous men, since he did not heed slander concerning Amos, as is explained in Pesachim, in the chapter entitled הָאִשָּׁה, “The woman” (87b), as it is stated: “(Amos 7:10) And Amaziah sent etc. ‘Amos has conspired against you etc.’”  
2At the beginning of the Lord's speaking to Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea: Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry, for the land goes astray from following the Lord.   בתְּחִלַּ֥ת דִּבֶּר־יְהֹוָ֖ה בְּהוֹשֵׁ֑עַ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־הוֹשֵׁ֗עַ לֵ֣ךְ קַח־לְךָ֞ אֵ֚שֶׁת זְנוּנִים֙ וְיַלְדֵ֣י זְנוּנִ֔ים כִּֽי־זָנֹ֚ה תִזְנֶה֙ הָאָ֔רֶץ מֵאַֽחֲרֵ֖י יְהֹוָֽה:
At the beginning of the Lord’s speaking to Hosea: Lit. in the beginning the Lord spoke to Hosea. Therefore, our Rabbis stated: The first of the four prophets who prophesied (in these days): Hosea, Isaiah, Amos, and Micah. [Parshandatha reads: in the days of Uzziah. Michah, in fact, is not mentioned as having prophesized in the days of Uzziah, but only in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah; this will be explained further. In Pesachim 87a, we read: at that time] Isaiah prophesized [at the time of the earthquake (Parshandatha)], as it is stated: (Isaiah 6:4) “And the doorposts quaked etc.” And that was the day that Uzziah was stricken when he entered the Temple, for the ethereal beings clamored to burn him, and the earthly beings to swallow him as the punishment of Korah’s company, among which there were [some] swallowed up and [some] burned. Concerning Amos, it is stated: (Amos 1:1) “Two years before the earthquake.” [Amos, accordingly, preceded Isaiah.] And Micah was the last of all of them, for it is said concerning him: (Micah 1:1) “In the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah,” and Uzziah is not mentioned in his regard (Cf. Pesachim 87a; Seder Olam, ch. 20; Tanhuma Tzav 13; Rashi, Isaiah 6:4). But the simple meaning of the verse is: At the beginning of the speech which the Holy One, blessed be He, spoke to Hosea, he said this to him.  
take yourself a wife of harlotry: Our Rabbis said: This is to be explained according to its apparent meaning: Since he said about Israel, “Exchange them for another nation,” as is explained in Pesachim at the beginning of the chapter entitled האשה, “The woman” (87a).  
and children of harlotry: For she will bear you children who will be of possible illegitimacy. And Jonathan paraphrased: Prophesy a prophecy about the inhabitants of the cities of idolatry. The word קַח, stated here is an expression of teaching, [derived from לֶקַח, doctrine]. Teach them to repent.  
goes astray: Heb. תִּזְנֶה. This is the present tense.  
3And he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.   גוַיֵּ֙לֶךְ֙ וַיִּקַּ֔ח אֶת־גֹּ֖מֶר בַּת־דִּבְלָ֑יִם וַתַּ֥הַר וַתֵּֽלֶד־ל֖וֹ בֵּֽן:
Gomer: Our Rabbis (Pesachim 87a) said. That was her name by dint of her harlotry, for all would gratify their lust on her (גּוֹמְרִין) and they would tread upon her like a pressed fig (דְּבֵלָה). [That is a euphemism for sexual contact.] Jonathan, however, paraphrases: גֹּמֶר, that if they would return from their way, their retribution would be finished, and if not, they will be like unripe figs falling from the fig tree.  
and she conceived and bore: Jonathan paraphrases: And they continued to do evil deeds.  
4And the Lord said to him: Name him Jezreel, for, in a short time, I will visit the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and I will terminate the kingdom of the house of Israel.   דוַיֹּ֚אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֵלָ֔יו קְרָ֥א שְׁמ֖וֹ יִזְרְעֶ֑אל כִּֽי־ע֣וֹד מְעַ֗ט וּפָ֨קַדְתִּ֜י אֶת־דְּמֵ֚י יִזְרְעֶאל֙ עַל־בֵּ֣ית יֵה֔וּא וְהִ֨שְׁבַּתִּ֔י מַמְלְכ֖וּת בֵּ֥ית יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
Name him Jezreel: Jonathan renders: Call their name the scattered ones. I.e. prophesy over them that they will be exiled, and they will be sown among the peoples.  
the blood of Jezreel: To be understood according to its Aramaic translation: the blood of the house of Ahab, whom Jehu slew in Jezreel because they worshipped Baal, and he and his sons went afterwards and worshipped pagan deities; therefore, I account for them the blood of the house of Ahab as innocent blood.  
upon the house of Jehu: Jeroboam the son of Joash was of the sons of Jehu, and his son Zechariah was assassinated.  
5And it shall come to pass on that day that I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.   הוְהָיָ֖ה בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא וְשָֽׁבַרְתִּי֙ אֶת־קֶ֣שֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בְּעֵ֖מֶק יִזְרְעֶֽאל:
6And she conceived again and bore a daughter, and He said to him: Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will not continue to grant clemency to the house of Israel, but I will mete out their portion to them.   ווַתַּ֚הַר עוֹד֙ וַתֵּ֣לֶד בַּ֔ת וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ל֔וֹ קְרָ֥א שְׁמָ֖הּ לֹ֣א רֻחָ֑מָה כִּי֩ לֹ֨א אוֹסִ֜יף ע֗וֹד אֲרַחֵם֙ אֶת־בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל כִּֽי־נָשֹ֥א אֶשָּׂ֖א לָהֶֽם:
I will not continue to grant clemency Heb.: אֲרַחֵם, like לְרַחֵם, to grant clemency.  
but I will mete out their portion to them: I will mete out to them the portion of their cup and their deed. This expression is like (Gen. 43: 34), “And he gave out portions (וַיִּשָּׂא מַשְׂאֹת).”  
7But to the house of Judah will I grant clemency, and I will save them by the Lord their God, but I will not save them with the bow, with the sword, with war, with steeds, or with riders.   זוְאֶת־בֵּ֚ית יְהוּדָה֙ אֲרַחֵ֔ם וְהֽוֹשַׁעְתִּ֖ים בַּֽיהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיהֶ֑ם וְלֹ֣א אֽוֹשִׁיעֵ֗ם בְּקֶ֚שֶׁת וּבְחֶ֙רֶב֙ וּבְמִלְחָמָ֔ה בְּסוּסִ֖ים וּבְפָֽרָשִֽׁים:
But to the house of Judah will I grant clemency: after I terminate the kingdom of Israel, for after the ten tribes were exiled, the house of Judah was the object of clemency from Hezekiah until Zedakiah.  
8And she weaned Lo-ruhamah, and she conceived and bore a son.   חוַתִּגְמֹ֖ל אֶת־לֹ֣א רֻחָ֑מָה וַתַּ֖הַר וַתֵּ֥לֶד בֵּֽן:
And she weaned Lo ruhamah: According to the Targum, we explain: And that generation shall perish among the nations where they were exiled.  
and she conceived and bore a son: According to the Targum: And they continued and committed evil deeds. But according to its simple meaning, we explain it as it apparently means.  
9And He said: Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people, and I will not be yours.   טוַיֹּ֕אמֶר קְרָ֥א שְׁמ֖וֹ לֹ֣א עַמִּ֑י כִּ֚י אַתֶּם֙ לֹ֣א עַמִּ֔י וְאָֽנֹכִ֖י לֹֽא־אֶהְיֶ֥ה לָכֶֽם: