“And she gradually weaned Lo-ruhamah, and she proceeded to become pregnant and give birth to a son. So He [Jehovah] said: ‘Call his name Lo-ammi, because you men are not my people and I myself shall prove to be not yours.’” (Hos. 1:8, 9) With those words the first chapter of Hosea’s prophetic book ends in Jewish Bible translations and in editions of the Greek Septuagint Version of Hosea.
17. Why was Lo-ammi a fitting name for Gomer’s second son, and so what did Jehovah say to the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel in that connection?
17 The second son of Hosea’s wife Gomer is also understood to be not of Hosea’s fatherhood, but a child of Gomer’s adultery. Hosea does not say that Gomer bore this second son to him. So there was good reason for Jehovah to have the boy called Lo-ammi, for the name means “Not My People.” It had prophetic meaning. In explaining his reason for giving the boy such an ominous name, Jehovah addressed himself to the ten-tribe “house of Israel,” when he said: “Because you men are not my people and I myself shall prove to be not yours.” With such words Jehovah declared himself to be no longer the Heavenly Husband of the covenant-breaking “house of Israel.”
18. When and how did Jehovah let it be known that the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel was not his people?
18 Jehovah let it plainly be known that he was no longer the God and spiritual Husband of the apostate “house of Israel.” This Jehovah did when he permitted the capture of Israel’s capital city Samaria by the Assyrians in 740 B.C.E. Thus that “house of Israel” was no longer His people; it was, as he said, Lo-ammi, or, “Not My People.” Like a divorced wife, that people went off into exile in Assyria. That spiritually adulterous “house of Israel” had despised the opportunity offered to it in the Mosaic Law covenant of becoming to Jehovah a “kingdom of priests.”—Ex. 19:5, 6.
22. A typical fulfillment of that prophecy took place when, and how did the “day of Jezreel” become “great” for them?
22 A typical fulfillment of that merciful prophecy took place in 537 B.C.E., when Babylon’s conqueror, Cyrus the Persian, let a faithful remnant of “the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah” leave, “go up out of the land” of Babylonian exile. In unity they went, under orders by Jehovah’s servant Cyrus, to rebuild Jehovah’s temple at Jerusalem. (2 Chron. 36:20-23; Ezra 1:1-11) Then, on their own land, the remnant could become populous again, like the unmeasured, unnumbered grains of sand on the seashore. In that way ‘great would be the day of Jezreel.’ Here the name Jezreel, meaning “God Will Sow,” is to be fulfilled in a favorable manner. God sows the sons of his restored people like seed, multiplying them.
23. (a) After rejecting whom, and by what action of Jehovah, did the nation of Israel cease to be His people? (b) Upon whom of that rejected nation did Jehovah show mercy, and how?
23 So, no longer would Jehovah say to them, Lo-ammi, or, “Not My People.” In a typical way they would be called “The sons of the living God.” With reference to the antitypical fulfillment of this in the realm of Christianity, the apostles Paul and Peter wrote in Romans 9:25, 26 and; 1 Peter 2:9, 10. After the natural sons of Israel rejected Jesus as the Messiah in 33 C.E., they ceased to be Jehovah’s people. He abolished his Law covenant by means of which he had been married to the twelve-tribe nation of Israel in Moses’ day. But he mercifully accepted a believing remnant of the nation of natural Israel and brought them into the new covenant mediated by his Son, Jesus the Messiah. In such a way he founded a new nation, a spiritual Israel.—Gal. 6:16; Jas. 1:1; Rom. 2:28, 29; Rev. 7:4-8.
24. Why and when did Jehovah turn to those who had never been his people, and how did he make them his people?
24 Unhappily, not enough natural Israelites became Christians to make up the full “seed of Abraham” in whom all earthly nations are to be blessed. So Jehovah turned to those who had never been His people, persons “Not My People,” Lo-ammi. He opened the way in 36 C.E. for such non-Israelite believers to become part of the spiritual Israel in the new covenant. These were made part of “Abraham’s seed,” which was to become like the sands upon the seashore.—Gal. 3:8-29; Gen. 22:18.