The Book of Hosea
Introduction to the Book of Hosea in the Bible
Hosea 8:7-9 - For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein [is] no pleasure. For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.
Hosea 14:9 - Who [is] wise, and he shall understand these [things]? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD [are] right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.
The Old Testament - A Brief Overview
Bible Survey - Hosea
Quick Overview of Hosea. – – 1 – – Hosea's marriage to a harlot illustrates Israel and their sin – – 2 – – Israel suffers for their harlotry – – 3 – – Israel's future restoration – – 4 – – Ephraim's idolatry – – 5-6 – – God's chastisement and future mercy – – 7-13 – – the Lord's judgment upon Israel – – 14 – – the restoration of Israel.
The prophet Hosea had a real-life situation that God used to illustrate his problem with the nation of Israel. Hosea's adulterous wife had broken his heart, and this is exactly what the children of Israel had done to God when they played the harlot with other gods. Later when her adulterous affairs had led her to be sold on the slave block, Hosea was willing to buy her back for he could not give her up. This dramatically illustrated Israel's situation for soon they would be conquered by the Assyrians and then sold into slavery because they had forgotten their God. The prophet Hosea spoke about a future blessing in which God will restore Israel.
My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, none at all exalt Him. "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? . . . My heart churns within Me; my sympathy is stirred. . . "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him." Hosea 11:7-8, 14:4
The prophet Hosea was commanded by God to marry a wife of harlotry because Israel hath committed great harlotry. He was sent by God to prophesy about the northern King of Israel. Hosea ministered to Israel for a great length of time (over 50 years), and they were his primary target although he does mention four kings of Judah (Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah). The northern kingdom of Israel was enjoying tremendous prosperity during the reign of Jeroboam II, yet when he died various kings came to the throne for a brief period of time and then many were assassinated. The problem with the northern kingdom was that they were idolaters, and every one of their kings were evil whether they prospered or not. The people were making sacrifices on heathen altars, adultery was prevalent, and ritualistic prostitution abounded. Hosea attributed their wretchedness to a lack of knowledge, not a lack of intellectual knowledge, but lacking a relationship with the living God. Yet God loves his people with an everlasting love in spite of their corruption.
The contents of the book may be analyzed further as follows :
Outline of the Book of Hosea
In Hosea 1-3, the faithless actions of Israel toward God are illustrated by the relationship between Hosea and his adultress wife, Gomer. The names of his children indicate the attitude of God toward Israel. The first is named "Jezreel" after the city which was the scene of Jehu's brutality and which signified that God would punish his people. Lo-Ruhamah (Not pitied) and Lo-Ammi (Not my people) are the names given to the two other children, signifying the estrangement which was the inevitable result of the actions of Israel. God's love is illustrated in Hosea's willingness to buy his wife back from the practice of harlotry - though she could not continue in her harlotry while he was with her.
The second division of the prophecy, found in Hosea 4-14, presents a detailed picture of the depths of depravity to which Israel had gone, with alternating passages of reproof, threats of punishment, and assurances of restoration.Read Hosea
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