AUTHOR: Mark Throntveit, Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament • Fulfillment of prophecy.
Jeremiah had prophesied a seventy-year exile in Babylon (Jeremiah -12; ).
Since only sixty years have elapsed since the first deportation in 597 B. Ezra (7:6, 9, 28; , 22, 31) and Nehemiah (; 2:8, 18) both claim that "the hand of our God" was upon them, directing their missions.
The first chapter of Hosea is a biographical report of the prophet’s marriage to Gomer, a woman of harlotry; the third chapter is an autobiographical account of a marriage to an adulterous woman.
Whether the second account is Hosea’s own account of the marriage reported in chapter 1 or whether it refers to a second marriage (remarriage to Gomer? Whatever the answer, these two accounts are symbolic of Yahweh’s love for Israel, portraying Yahweh’s willingness to renew his covenantal relationship with his people despite their adulterous participation in the Canaanite religion.
This also becomes a fruitful way to speak of God's grace since "God's hand" is usually nudging those around the Jewish community to provide for them in caring ways.
In five of the above references the Hebrew wording ("according to the hand of") is a technical expression for royal benevolence in each of its other canonical occurrences (1 Kings ; Esther 1:7; ).