[some Ru, 'hamah] (Heb. Ruchamah', רֻחָמָה, finding mercy; part. of רָחִ ם, to be merciful; Sept. translates ἐλεημένη, and so Vulg. misericordium consecuta), a figurative title of Israel. When God directed Hosea to prophesy against the wickedness of Israel and Judah, he commanded him to take to wife a harlot, the symbol of idolatry, the spiritual harlotry of the Jews; and of her were born a daughter, named, after God's direction, Lo-ruhamah, "Not obtaining mercy," and a son named Lo-ammi, "Not my people" (Ho 1:6,9). Israel is represented by Lo-ruhamah, Judah by Lo-ammi. Perhaps Israel is typified by the female because that kingdom was the weaker of the two, and the more completely overthrown; and Judah by the male because from Judah the Messiah was to descend according to the flesh. Subsequently Hosea says (ii, 1), "Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi [my people]; and to your sisters, Ruhamah" [having obtained mercy], thus promising God's reconciliation to the people on their repenting and seeking him; saying that he will have mercy, and they shall be his people, thus indicating the restoration of the Jewish nation after much affliction. As the promises of grace to the obstinate Jews are transferred meanwhile to the believing Christians, Peter applied them to the Gentile proselytes, to whom he addresses his first epistle, telling them that in time past they "were not a people, but are now the people of God, which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy" (1Pe 2:10). Paul also distinctly applies the prophecy not to the Jews only, but to the Gentiles: "That he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy... even on us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people which were not my people, and her beloved which was not beloved" (Ro 9:23-25). The wording in Ho 1:2 indicates the admission of the Gentiles into the participation of the promises made to the Jews. In the first instance, in the threats against Israel and Judah, it is a son, Lo-ammi, and a daughter, Lo-ruhamah. When the promises are given, the plural number is used; then it is brethren and sisters: not Jew only, but Jew and Gentile. SEE LO-RUHAMAH.