Main point summary
God's Restored Covenant (Marriage) Reverses the Implications of Hosea's Children's Names
Hosea 2:16-23 ESV
16 “And h in that day, declares the Lord , you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17 For i I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. 18 And j I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And k I will abolish 1 the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in l safety. 19 And I will betroth you to me m forever. n I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 n I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And o you shall know the Lord . 21 “And p in that day q I will answer, declares the Lord , I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, 22 and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer r Jezreel, 1 23 and s I will sow her for myself in the land. And t I u will have mercy on No Mercy, 1 and v I will say to Not My People, 2 w ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”
vv. 16-17 - Israel will stop calling Yahweh "My Baal" because God will remove the Baals from her mouth (17a). The result is that the Baals will be remembered no more (v. 17b) v. 18 - God will make a (creation-like) covenant (18a-i) so that Israel would lie down in safety (18j). vv. 19-20 - God will marry Israel to himself (19a, 19c, 20a) with the result that Israel knows the Lord (20c). The covenant God will make (v. 18) is that he will betroth Israel to himself (Ac-Mn; vv. 18-20). vv. 21-23 - The final poetic section restates the narrative section (vv. 16-20), but rather than the alternative of Israel calling God Husband versus calling God "Baal" (v 16b-c). Hosea reverses the implications of Hosea's children's names. Both sections indicate a change in the relationship between God and his people via the change of name. Israel will no longer call God Baal because of the covenant (marriage) that he will make with them that removes the Baals from her mouth. Likewise, those whom God formerly named "No Mercy" and "Not My People" will receive mercy and will be called God's people respectively. God's covenant marriage that elicits Israel calling Him by a new name, also elicits the reversal of the effects of Hosea's children's names.
וְהָיָ֤ה בַיּוֹם־הַהוּא֙ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה
“And h in that day, declares the Lord ,
you will call me ‘My Husband,’
וְלֹֽא־תִקְרְאִי־לִ֥י ע֖וֹד בַּעְלִֽי׃
and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’
וַהֲסִרֹתִ֛י אֶת־שְׁמ֥וֹת הַבְּעָלִ֖ים מִפִּ֑יהָ
For i I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth,
וְלֹֽא־יִזָּכְר֥וּ ע֖וֹד בִּשְׁמָֽם׃
and they shall be remembered by name no more.
וְכָרַתִּ֨י לָהֶ֤ם בְּרִית֙
And j I will make for them a covenant
on that day
with the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens,
and the creeping things of the ground.
But the bow,
I will break from the land
and I will make you lie down in safety.
And I will betroth you to me
n I will betroth you to me
and in justice,
in steadfast love
and in mercy.
n I will betroth you to me
And o you shall know the Lord .
וְהָיָ֣ה׀ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא
“And p in that day
q I will answer, declares the Lord ,
I will answer the heavens,
וְהֵ֖ם יַעֲנ֥וּ אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
and they shall answer the earth,
and the earth shall answer
and the oil,
וְהֵ֖ם יַעֲנ֥וּ אֶֽת־יִזְרְעֶֽאל׃
and they shall answer r Jezreel, 1
and s I will sow her for myself
in the land.
וְרִֽחַמְתִּ֖י אֶת־לֹ֣א רֻחָ֑מָה
And t I u will have mercy on No Mercy, 1
and v I will say to Not My People, 2
w ‘You are my people’;
וְה֖וּא יֹאמַ֥ר אֱלֹהָֽי׃פ
and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”
This action manner I'm reading as God will remove the Baals BY making a covenant with the land and by betrothing Israel to himself. In other words, God will remove the idols because he will do a covenantal work on Israel's behalf that gives them a greater love for Yahweh than their love for Baal. It will be a marital love (betrothal), and it will be grounded in a "creation-like" covenant.
The poetic section of vv. 21-23 is a restatement of vv. 16-20. The first section highlights Israel no longer calling God "my Baal," but referring to him as a husband (cf. whoredom motif and covenant marriage relationship). The restatement takes that restored covenant idea and betrothal and reverses the names of Gomer's children as the restatement that not only will God reverse the implications of the children's names, but in fact, God's people will once again call him by a new name, namely a covenantal name, "My God."