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In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.

And possibly this verse although never quoted in the New Testament might be relevant to Psalm 110:1 1 The Lord says to my lord:[a] and Matthew 22 the entire chapter besides verse 44 and the Son of David incident.

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  • @curiousdannii - I don't understand why this question should be closed as opinion-based, when we often address other prophetic passages that some think apply to Jesus and others do not. Commented May 7 at 19:13
  • Other possibilities include the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (mentioned by @Dottard) and the parable of the Wedding Feast. In both cases Jesus is the the husband and Israel or the new Israel can be seen as the wife. I am hopeful the moderators will see fit to reopen this question. It would benefit from more details, but I think it is a good question even as it stands. Commented May 7 at 19:20
  • @DanFefferman We shouldn't be doing that, I don't think any "what is the fulfilment?" questions are on topic.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented May 7 at 22:25
  • The question hints at the topic of "typology", whether the Hosea passage "typifies Christ", in other literature we might call it something like "foreshadowing". But, as it stands, the question doesn't ask strictly along those lines. It asks open-endedly about the "meaning" of the text, then about "relevance" to Jesus. Everything in the Bible could be considered relevant to everything else in the Bible. Moreover, it refers to only one separate prophecy Jesus himself cites, but not others, not explaining the specific relevance to Hosea nor quoting those texts. As-is, it must remain closed.
    – Jesse
    Commented May 10 at 15:26
  • As @curiousdannii points out, "fulfilling prophecy" is not on-topic. But, typology is allowed if stated up front. So, if the Matthew-Psalm reference were either quoted and explained for why it gets special mention or else removed altogether, plus if the question is re-worded so as to specifically ask about any "typological" ramifications of the Hosea passage, and added the typology tag, it might be a candidate for re-open.
    – Jesse
    Commented May 10 at 15:29

3 Answers 3

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The answer to this is found in the Hos 2:2 - it is part of a pattern that repeatedly represent the relationship between God and His people as a marriage. See Isa 62:5, Jer 2:1, 2, Matt 9:15, Mark 2:19, Luke 5:35, John 3:29, 14:1-3; 2 Cor 11:2, Eph 5:27, Rev 12:1-17, 19:7, 21:9. [The logical extension of this is spiritual adultery - God's people worshiping other gods.]

  • Hos 2:2 - Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not My wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adultery from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.

This continues in the NT when the great celebration in heaven is depicted by the marriage of the Lamb to the faithful saints, Rev 12:1-17, 19:7, 21:9.

It is these final passages that appear to be the predicted fulfillment of the passage in Hos 2:16 - when God's faithful people "marry" the Lamb as the bride.

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  • Not literally marry though, and not literally a lamb. This isn’t a Jerry Springer episode of a polygamist beastiality cult, I hope.
    – user64483
    Commented May 5 at 1:25
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Question: What is the meaning of Hosea 2:16 and is it relevant to Jesus?

Short Answer: In terms of its relevance to Jesus, we can note that the language of marriage and covenant used in Hosea is echoed in the New Testament’s depiction of the relationship between Christ (the bridegroom) and the Church (the bride). In this sense, Jesus can be seen as fulfilling the kind of loving, intimate relationship that God desired with His people, as expressed in Hosea 2:16.


Let's look at the meaning closer:

Hosea 2:16 NKJV

16 “And it shall be, in that day,” Says the Lord, “That you will call Me [a]‘My Husband,’ And no longer call Me [b]‘My Master,’

Footnotes

  • Hosea 2:16 Heb. Ishi
  • Hosea 2:16 Heb. Baali

Barnes' notes this:

And it shall be ... thou shall call Me Ishi - (my Husband) and shalt call Me no more Baali (my Baal, Lord). “Baal,” originally Lord, was a title sometimes given to the husband. “The lord of the woman,” “her lord,” “the heart of her lord,” stand for “the husband,” “her husband” (Exodus 21:22; 2 Samuel 11:26; Proverbs 31:11, ...). God says, “so wholly do I hate the name of idols, that on account of the likeness of the word Baal, “my Lord,” I will not be so called even in a right meaning, lest, while she utter the one, she should think on the other, and calling Me her Husband, think on the idol.” Yet, withal, God says that He will put into her mouth the tenderer name of love, אישׁ 'ı̂ysh, literally, “my man.” In Christ, the returning soul, which would give herself wholly to God, however far she had wandered, should not call God so much her Lord, as her Husband....

Let's also look at what John Gill has to say on the subject of the verse. (I have attempted to summarize to avoid a long quotation)

  • Gill interprets “that day” as a time in the future when the Jews and Gentiles will turn to the Messiah (Jesus Christ). This will be a time of spiritual blessings and hope.
  • The term “Ishi,” which means “my husband,” is used to express a loving relationship with Christ. Believers will not only see Christ as their husband but will also declare their faith in Him.
  • The term “Baali,” also means “my husband,” but it signifies a lordly and imperious husband. However, it’s also used for the idol Baal. To avoid confusion and negative connotations, this term should no longer be used of the Lord.
  • In this new covenant, believers will serve God out of love, not fear. They will have a spirit of adoption, seeing God as their Father and Christ as their husband.

The Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament also provides an interpretation of Hosea 2:16. Here’s a summary:

  • The verse, “And it comes to pass in that day, is the saying of Jehovah, thou wilt call, My husband; and thou wilt no more call to me, My Baal,” is interpreted as a prophecy about the church (or the people of God) entering once more into the right relationship with God.
  • It explains that the term “Baal” should not be understood in the general sense of “master” or “lord,” but rather as “owner” or “possessor.” It’s used interchangeably with 'ish, meaning “man” or “husband,” in certain contexts.
  • However, in this verse, the context requires that “Baal” be taken as a proper name, referring to the Canaanite god Baal.
  • The act of calling or naming is seen as a way of designating the nature or true relationship of a person or thing.
  • Therefore, when the church calls God her “husband,” it signifies that she is in the right relationship with Him, acknowledging, revering, and loving Him as the only true God.
  • Conversely, when the church calls God “Baal,” it signifies that she is equating the true God with the Baals, either by worshipping other gods alongside Jehovah or by blurring the essential distinction between Jehovah and the Baals, conflating the worship of God with idolatrous worship.

As for the relevance of Hosea 2:16 to Psalm 110:1 and Matthew 22, while Hosea 2:16 is not directly quoted in the New Testament, I believe that it can be seen as part of the Old Testament texts that point forward to the person and work of Christ. God’s sovereignty, the intimate relationship between God and His people, and the fulfillment of prophecy are seen in both the Old and New Testaments.

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Hosea 2:16 appears to be a prophecy of the "Church".

Romans 8:15 NIV

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Galatians 4:6-7 NIV

6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

The Song of Songs portrays a picture of beauty and romantic love, showcasing the deep affection shared between the bride and her bridegroom. The phrase "Do not arouse or awaken love until it pleases" repeated three times in SOS 2:7, 3:5 and 8:4. It suggests that "True love" should be spontaneous and allowed to rest until it awakens naturally.

This sentiment resonates with the prophecy articulated in Jeremiah 31:31-34, wherein God foretells the establishment of a new covenant. Unlike the Mosaic covenant which mandated adherence to the written law, the new covenant promises an intimate connection between God and His people. He pledges to inscribe His laws upon the hearts and minds of His children, fostering a natural, intrinsic understanding of His will.

In essence, believers are called to embrace a spontaneous love for Jesus, akin to the unbidden affection depicted in the Song of Songs. Together, they form a unified entity - the Church - symbolically represented as the bride of Jesus, mirroring the allegorical relationship between the nation of Israel and God as her husband.