Was Hosea prophesying about Jesus?
Matt 2:15; Hosea 11:1
v15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. (KJV)
v1 When Israel was a
child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. Hos 11:2 As
they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and
burned incense to graven images. (KJV)
I feel embarrassed for Matthew when I read the scripture that he quotes in Hosea as fulfillment of prophecy. If only he could hear what modern Christians say about taking passages in the bible out of context, and how they strongly object to taking one Verse and ignoring the immediate context…. Oh perhaps modern Christians should realize that maybe it is okay to read the bible allegorically and not take it too literally, just maybe…
When one reads the whole chapter of Hosea 11, the subject of that chapter is Israel and not the messiah. The passage is speaking of Israel’s idolatry, how they shunned the observance of the Law and followed the worship of the baals and graven images of their neighboring nations around them. Throughout that chapter, God is complaining that Israel is a bad and rebellious son. As a matter of fact the first verse of chapter 11 states that when Israel was young, God loved him and out of Egypt he called his son. This is not the first verse in the bible where Israel is addressed as God’s son. Another such example is the passage quoted below and Hosea was probably referencing the same.
v22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: v23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. (KJV)
Therefore, the passage that Matthew cites is not a prophecy, much less a messianic prophecy. It was taken out of context, misapplied and made to seem as if it’s talking about the messiah. The verse clearly speaks of the Egyptian exodus and not Jesus flight to Egypt. Even if we assume Israel being the son of God is an arch-type of Jesus who is the only unique Son of God, the passage talks about this son of God as an idolater in the next verse. Are Christians willing to accept that Jesus was an idolater? You will probably be branded a heretic for that one.
And even if we replace Israel with Jesus the passage will read as follows including the next verse:
v1 When Jesus was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. v2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. (KJV)
As you can see when you connect and read verse 2, Jesus does not simply fit. The passage is talking about Israel’s exodus from Egypt and subsequent idolatry. In fact Hosea switches his language from a singular entity in verse 1 to plural in verse 2 implying that this son of God is a group of people. How Matthew made this a fulfillment of prophecy I will never understand, it’s beyond me but, I digress.