By Shlomoh Sherman

During the reign of Jeroboam II, when he sat on the throne of Israel, a vision from the lord YHVH came to me in the land of Judah.

He said to me, "Rise! Go to the house of Diblaim in the kingdom of Israel, and take his daughter Gomer as your wife."

But I said to Him, "Lord YHVH! How can I do this since I am a man who pursues that which is high and pure? Is it not known to you that the woman Gomer has given herself to prostitution in the house of Milcom and in the house of Ashtoreth and in the bouse of Baal?"

Then He said to me in the vision, "Gomer is a woman spurned in the House of Israel because she has given away her virginity in the houses of the gods of the peoples who dwell in the Land. Yet once she sought the same heights and purity that you seek, and she brought her passion to serve these ends, thinking to devote her passion to the upper realms by becoming the lover of the gods as Naamah, the wife of Solomon, bade him to do. Yet through his passion, Solomon the wisest of men, fell. And in like manner the woman Gomer has fallen. But you, Hosea ben Biairi, lift her up by binding her to you as a wife."

I looked up and saw dark clouds on the horizon, and I fell as though in a swoon. But before He caused my eyes to close, I looked to the north and saw the clouds racing towards me, driven by a great rushing wind. And the winds brought with them, not only the dark clouds but also a raging fire - so that there was a bright fire-light within the darkness, and yet darkness within the fire.

I fell, and as I fell, I was consumed by the cold of the dark and the heat of the fire.

And I beheld myself on the road north to the kingdom of Israel, although whether still in the same vision or in waking, I could not tell.

And so I spoke to Diblaim and got Gomer as my wife, and I brought her to my home in the land of Judah. And evening fell.

Gomer lay down in the bedroom waiting for me to approach her as a husband. Yet I remained outside on my knees, beseeching YHVH to enlighten me. And it seemed as though I fell into a trance. Or had I ever awakened from that first trance when He first spoke to me and commanded me to wed the whore?

Then the wind blew from the north again, and when it entered my house it extinguished the lamps. But the fire returned as well and came in the house, lighting my way.

As a drugged man I arose from off my knees and went to my wife, to bed. And I saw her for the first time in her nakedness, and my breath caught in my throat! She stood there wholly naked before me, and I saw what had aroused the gods with whom she had lain, seeking the heights and their hidden wisdom, but finding only the depths and losing her way.

The incredible beauty and lusciousness of her skin, the sensuousness of her long hair, her eyes and lips drew me to her, and I fell into her embrace, and we consumated our marriage.

Days, weeks, and months passed. I longed for the heights of my meditative trances in which I would commune with YHVH and become one with Him. In this meditative merging with my lord I would discover more wisdom.

But my new wife allured and distracted me with her body and her insatiable passion, and when I would ascend, I fell.

The dark north wind and the fire came again and again and engulfed us two as our bodies entwined and joined and locked, and as Adam and Eve had been commanded by God, we two "became one flesh."

And deep within the wind and the fire I tasted only flesh, and lips, and tongue, fingers and breasts, and thighs so unimaginably delicious that I surrendered my spirit and all my desires, and lived within those thighs, not wanting to emerge at all. And she drained my body and my will.

Then came a day when I awoke out of my concupiscent trance, and the dark and the wind and the fire were gone, and my wife was gone from my bed and from my house.

Frantically I searched for her all that day but she was not to be found.

That night I returned to my empty bedroom and fell on my knees once more to YHVH my lord, and I repeated His Name silently over and over ... and my mind emptied -- and He appeared to me in a vision, and I fell and swooned.

The voice of YHVH spoke softly to me, saying, "Arise Hosea ben Biairi, and go to the house of Diblaim your father in law, and there you shall find your wife, Gomer the harlot; for she has left you and committed unfaithfullness towards you, and the children that fall from her womb shall be the children of adultery. Arise now and take her back - for she shall be willing to return to you."

And I cried to my lord, weeping tears of anger and frustration, and I said, "My lord - I am ashamed, and all men will know my shame and will mock me. Why will You ask Your servant to bear this great humiliation?"

He said to me softly, "My People Israel has wished for the high and the pure, and to live in My commandments and in My Great Name. But they have fallen and will yet fall again; for that is the nature of mankind, and of nations - to rise and fall. Your ancestors, the illustrious men of Sumer, fell, and I spoke to Abraham, and called him and Sarah out of Sumerian Ur, and made them and their descendants My People. And now, how shall I take back My People who have prostituted themselves in the houses of the gods?"

I said to Him, "You will take them back again, lord?"

He said to me, "Again and again, I will. Though they be thrust down by the world and be humbled by nations and by their lack of wisdom, I will reclaim them, and desire them as a new groom desires his bride on the wedding night. And though they whore themselves with the gods of the nations I will not forsake them forever."

And further He said to me, "Now Hosea ben Biairi, you are as the Lord of Hosts, king of Israel, and Gomer your wife as the falen nation of God. Go and reclaim her so that all people shall read this allegory, and realize that I will never abandon My People. For when they fall, I will raise them up; even if they be as dead, I will resurrect them as I resurrected the dead men of Sumer through Abraham, and made them live again as My People Israel."

Then I awoke out of my trance and the vision left me.

And I knew that the dark north wind and the fire in the wind would come no more to me.

So I arose, according to the command of my lord YHVH, and I went up to the kingdom of Israel to bring back to my house Gomer my wife, and to forgive her for her adulteries and to love her unconditionally - as YHVH forgives and loves Israel.

The story of Hosea and Gomer is the tale of man's reach for the heights and his inevitable fall - as the wheel of history turns and turns. In essence, it encaptulates the whole of the Biblical epic of failure and man's constant refusal to accept that failure as his destiny by striving to once and for all time overcome it.

The imagery of the dark wind from the north, and the fire, are from the Book of Ezekial's vision of the Heavenly Chariot. They are metaphors for the prophet's reach to the higher powers through the meditative trance. It is through this trance meditation that communication between God and His prophets is achieved.

On Monday, November 1, 2004 at 12:26am, Kelly Fleming [magdalene-kelle@adelphia.ne], in the Priory-of-Sion discussion group, said:

Gomer means complete. The root word is gamar, and it is a verb. In addition to complete, gamar means to perfect or to finish.

There are 3 ways to look at the meaning behind Hosea and Gomer ...

1. Gomer represents the children of Israel - whoring after different Gods then YHVH. Pouring out libations to Baal and Astarte. Hosea represents the ever-forgiving love of YHVH, always bringing his children back to the love of him.
2. Loving the unloveable. Gomer represents a women who is "difficult" to love. A whore, a cheating adultress - one who turns her back on her family and husband. The story of Hosea and Gomer can be viewed as a lesson in how to love someone in your family that is an extremely difficult person to love.
3. YHVH has a soft spot for whoring sluts & gives bonus points for picking one.

Love + Light

On October 31, 2004, Kelly Fleming said:

Another way to view Gomer and Hosea ...

4th Thought. Gomer is the image of the Fallen Daughter in the Kabbalah - the task of Hosea is to raise her to the seat of the Divine Queen.

Links to images of Hosea

  Hosea, Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1308-11. Web Gallery of Art.

  Hosea, Hie vahet an das Register uber die bibeln des alten testaments, 1477. Pitts Theology Library Digital Image Archive.

  The Prophets Hosea and Jonah, Raphael, c 1510. National Gallery of Art.

  Catholic Geman Bible, Dietenberger, 1534. Pitts Theology Library Digital Image Archive:
     Hosea and Gomer

  Hosea, Gomer, & Three Children, Zurich Bible, 1536. Pitts Theology Library Digital Image Archive.

  The Prophet Hosea Commanded to Marry Gomer, Bibel : das ist alle Bacher Alts und News Testaments, 1550. Pitts Theology Library Digital Image Archive.

  Hosea and His Family, Biblia Sacra iuxta vulgat[am] quam dicvnt editionem, 1552. Pitts Theology Library Digital Image Archive.

  Hosea, Biblia, ad vetvstissima exemplaria : nvnc recens castigata, 1570. Pitts Theology Library Digital Image Archive.

  Mountain Landscape wiht River Valley and the Prophet Hosea, Gillis vanConinxloo, c. 1600. Web Gallery of Art.

  Hosea Weds a Harlot, Matthaeus Merian the Elder, 1625-30. Biblical Art on the WWW.

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