The children of Judah and the children of Israel
will be gathered together,
and they will appoint themselves one head,
and will flourish in the land;
for great will be the day of Jezreel.” Bible see other translations

“Jezreel.” The name has a double meaning that God uses very effectively in Hosea 1. It refers to the act of sowing, which involves both scattering, the scattering of seed, and the planting of seed by means of scattering it on the ground, and by extension, also the act of gathering. So Jezreel can mean “to scatter” or “to plant” depending on the context.

In Hosea 1:4, God uses “Jezreel” with the meaning of “scatter,” because Israel was about to be scattered by the Assyrians. During the reign of Hoshea, the last king of Israel, the Assyrians conquered Israel and carried the people away captive and scattered them in different places around the Assyrian Empire (cp. 2 Kings 17:6). However, in Hosea 1:11 God used “Jezreel” to refer to God’s “sowing” or planting Israel in its own land, bringing it back from captivity. There are many verses that prophesy Israel’s return to the land of Israel, the Promised Land and Hosea 1:11 is one of them. [For more information on Israel’s return to the Promised Land, see commentary on Jeremiah 32:37].

“flourish in the land.” The Hebrew text is unclear, and one of the common translations, “go up from the land” does not fit the context or the many other prophecies about the restoration of Israel. J. Andrew Dearman writes, “The verb may be used here in an agricultural sense, however, as in ‘growing up’ or ‘increasing/flourishing’ (Deut. 29:23 [MT22]), rather than in its more common geographical sense of departing” (J. Andrew Dearman, The Book of Hosea, NICOT, p. 105-106). Other similar translations include the CEB, GWN, NET, NIRV, NLT, cp. NRSV.

Commentary for: Hosea 1:11