Gomer in the Bible was the unfaithful wife of Hosea the prophet. The Lord used Hosea and Gomer’s relationship as an object lesson to show how Israel had sinned against Him by following other gods and how God remains faithful even when His people don’t.
God gave Hosea an unusual command: “The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.” Hosea 1:2
Hosea obeyed by marrying Gomer, and the couple had two sons and a daughter (Hosea 1:3–8). Some believe that Gomer was a prostitute or that she had been guilty of repeated sexual sin before she married Hosea. Others believe that God’s description of Gomer as “promiscuous” is prophetic—that is, God’s command anticipated her infidelity, and only later did she become an adulteress.
We do know that, after bearing three children, Gomer left Hosea to live with another man (or, if she was originally a prostitute, to return to her former lifestyle). God then gave Hosea another command:
“Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.” Hosea 3:1
Hosea obeyed, buying his wife back with fifteen shekels of silver and some barley (Hosea 3:2). Undeterred by Gomer’s unfaithfulness, God meant this as a picture of His own love for His wayward, idolatrous people.
Hosea prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezkiah in Judah and the last six kings in Israel. Isaiah was a contemporary prophet, and he used some very strong language to describe Judah’s unfaithfulness. Through Isaiah, God calls Jerusalem “a whore” (Isaiah 1:21) because of her spiritual unfaithfulness. The people were interested only in pleasure (Isaiah 5:11–12) and had forgotten things like justice and righteousness in favor of violence and chaos (Isaiah 5:7). Through Isaiah, God speaks passionately about His love for Judah, calling them a vineyard that should have yielded a beautiful crop but instead yielded only “wild grapes” (Isaiah 5:1–2), nothing of value.
God says through Hosea that Israel had left Him to cherish “prostitution, wine and new wine” (Hosea 4:11), and He makes it clear that both the men and the women were committing adultery with cultic prostitutes in worship of false gods (verse 12). Gomer was a fitting symbol of Israel because of the sexual nature of the idolatry that the people were practicing. Their spiritual adultery was resulting in actual, physical adultery. Such ritual prostitution was a common method of worshiping Baal.
Hosea says that God will remove the names of the Baals from Israel’s mouth and betroth her to Him forever, in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love and mercy (Hosea 2:17, 19). God will heal them by His own power (Hosea 14:4–7). These passages foreshadow the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit dwelling in us is who keeps us from following Israel’s bad example and straying from the Lord.
The metaphors of prostitution and adultery are used repeatedly throughout Scripture to describe unfaithfulness to the Lord. Many of the prophets used sexual immorality as a picture of spiritual unfaithfulness to the Lord to whom the people belonged (Ezekiel 16:32; 23:27; Jeremiah 13:27). In the New Testament, similar language is employed in James 4:4 and Revelation 17:2.
Gomer’s infidelity was a symbol of Israel’s spiritual unfaithfulness, but Hosea’s marriage to and redemption of Gomer is an enduring symbol of God’s faithfulness and provisional redemption of His unfaithful people, then and now, through Jesus the Christ.
“And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.” Hosea 2:19–20
Ashkenazi Jews, also called Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim, comprise a subculture of European Judaism. In ancient times, as the Jewish people spread out from the land of Israel, many settled in Europe. Ashkenazi Jews are descended from the Jews of the Middle Ages who settled in Germany, Poland, Austria, and Eastern Europe. Ashkenaz is a traditional Hebrew word for “Germany” (Genesis 10:3, Jeremiah 51:27) and in particular, to the area along the Rhine River. The Ashkenazi Jews are often referred to in distinction to Sephardic Jews, who inhabited medieval Spain and Portugal.
In the 20th century, the Holocaust in Germany took a heavy toll on the Ashkenazi population. Many Ashkenazi Jews emigrated to other countries such as France, the United States, and Israel. When the nation of Israel was established in 1948, Ashkenazi Jews were the largest group of Jews to settle there. Nearly half of the Jews living in Israel today are Ashkenazic, and it’s estimated that 80 percent of Jews worldwide are Ashkenazic.
The Ashkenazi Jews developed the Yiddish language (a mix of German and Hebrew) and some unique customs that set them apart from other Jewish subcultures. The Ashkenazim have long had an impact in the world by making major contributions in science (Albert Einstein was Ashkenazic), literature, economics, and the arts.
Some people promote a theory that Ashkenazi Jews are not really Jews at all; rather, they are descendants of the Khazars, a nomadic collection of peoples in the Turkish Empire. This politically motivated theory attempts to suggest that the Jews now in Israel have no historical claim to the land. There are also many conspiracy theories that link the Ashkenazi Jews with the Illuminati and a one-world government. What all these theories have in common is a lack of documentation or other credible evidence. The Ashkenazim are not Asiatic Gentiles, and they are not behind the New World Order. Any such assertions are filled with odd historical claims, speculation, and myths in the guise of science.
Regardless of what countries the Ashkenazi Jews have lived in through the centuries, the Bible teaches that an Israeliteis a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Bible also declares the Jews to be God’s chosen people. Moses said to the children of Israel..
“For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 7:6–8