on Hosea 2 :16
Thou shalt call me Ishi - That is, my man, or my husband; a title of love and affection; and not Baali, my master, a title exciting fear and apprehension; which, howsoever good in itself, was now rendered improper to be applied to Jehovah, having been prostituted to false gods. This intimated that they should scrupulously avoid idolatry; and they had such a full proof of the inefficacy of their idolatrous worship that, after their captivity, they never more served idols.
on Hosea 2 :16
And it shall be ... thou shall call Me Ishi - (my Husband) and shalt call Me no more Baali (my Baal, Lord). "Baal," originally Lord, was a title sometimes given to the husband. "The lord of the woman," "her lord," "the heart of her lord," stand for "the husband," "her husband" (Exodus 21:22; 2 Samuel 11:26; Proverbs 31:11, ...). God says, "so wholly do I hate the name of idols, that on account of the likeness of the word Baal, "my Lord," I will not be so called even in a right meaning, lest, while she utter the one, she should think on the other, and calling Me her Husband, think on the idol." Yet, withal, God says that He will put into her mouth the tenderer name of love, אישׁ 'ı̂ysh, literally, "my man." In Christ, the returning soul, which would give herself wholly to God, however far she had wandered, should not call God so much her Lord, as her Husband. : "Every soul, although laden with sins, meshed in vices, snarcd by a captive in exile, imprisoned in the body, sticking fast in the mud, fixed in the mire, affixed to its earthly members, nailed down by cares, distracted by turmoils, narrowed by fears, prostrated by grief, wandering in errors, tossed by anxieties, restless through suspicions, in fine, a captive "in the land of the enemy, defiled with the dead, accounted with them who go down in the grave" (Baruch 3:10, 11), although she be thus condemned, in state thus desperate, yet she may perceive that in herself, from where she may not only respire to hope of pardon and of mercy, but from where she may dare to aspire to the nuptials of the Word, tremble not to enter into alliance with God, be not abashed to take on her the sweet yoke of love with the Lord of Angels. For what may she not safely dare with Him, with whose image she seeth herself stamped, and glorious with His likeness?
To this end God Himself, the Author of our being, willed that the ensign of our divine nobleness of birth should ever be maintained in the soul, that she may ever have that in herself from the Word, whereby she may ever be admonished, either to stand with the Word, or to return to Him, if she have been moved. Moved, not as though removing in space, or walking on foot, but moved (as a spiritual substance is moved) with its affections, yea, its defections, it goes away from itself, as it were, to a worse state, making itself unlike itself and degenerate from itself, through pravity of life and morals; which unlikeness, however, is the fault, not the destruction, of nature. Contrariwise, the return of the soul is its conversion to the Word, to be re-formed by Him, conformed to Him. Wherein? In love. For He saith, "be ye followers of me, as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us." Such conformity marries the soul to the Word, when she, having a likeness to Him by nature, also maketh herself like to Him in will, loving as she is loved. Wherefore, if she loveth perfectly, she is married. What sweeter than this conformity? What more desirable than this love? For by it, not content with human guidance, thou approachest, by thyself, O soul, confidentially to the Word; to the Word thou constantly cleavest; of the Word thou familiarly inquirest, and consultest as to all things, as capacious in understanding as emboldened in longing. This is contract of marriage, truly spiritual and holy. Contract! I have said too little. It is embrace. For embrace it is, when to will the same and nill the same, maketh of twain, one spirit."
on Hosea 2 :16
2:16 Thou shalt call - Both by words, affections, and obedience, shall own me as thy husband, and delight to call me so. Baali - That is, my Lord.