The Book of Hosea and Hosea, the Person

Summary of the Book of Hosea

The book of Hosea is a Narrative History and Prophetic Oracle. Hosea is the first book in the sections of Minor Prophets.

They are called Minor Prophets not because their material is less important or insignificant, but because of the size of the book they wrote was shorter in length.

The prophet Hosea wrote it at approximately 715 B.C. It records the events from 753-715 B.C. including the fall of the Northern Kingdom in 722. The key personalities are Hosea, Gomer, and their children.

Its purpose was to illustrate the spiritual adultery of Israel and God’s boundless love for His sinful people. Hosea brings God’s message to the wicked Northern Kingdom.

During this time, they are active in oppressing the poor in slavery and worshipping idols. God, because of His grace, sent another opportunity for Israel to repent and turn to Him. Shortly thereafter, the Northern Kingdom went into permanent captivity.

Chapters 1-3 – God gives Hosea instructions to marry an unfaithful woman and he obeys. His unfaithful wife Gomer leaves him and finds another man. Hosea is faithful; he finds her, redeems her and brings her back home to him.

And I said to her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee (3:3).

Chapters 4-14 – Hosea describes how Israel has been unfaithful to God. God wants Israel to repent and turn from their wickedness. He wants to restore Israel however, they continue to disobey and follow their own ways.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God (4:6).

Hosea

Hosea, according to the Bible’s book of Hosea, Hosea prophesied about 2750 years ago, during the reigns of the last two kings of Israel, shortly before Israel was conquered and destroyed by the Assyrian Empire.

Hosea’s prophecies spoke of the desolations that would result from being unfaithful to God, and of God’s promise to later restore Israel.

Hosea was a native of Israel. His father’s name was Beeri. Hosea regarded Israel, which at that time referred to the northern part of the Jewish homeland, as being corrupt and evil.

Hosea prophesied during the concluding years of Jeroboam II (about 783 – 743 BC). He was more tender-hearted than the stern Amos. It is easy to see from his writing that he loved the people whom he was compelled to condemn.

Hosea’s home life is described and it is a mirror to the nation of Israel and its relationship to God at that time.

Hosea’s wife had left home for a life of prostitution, and Israel had turned away from God and pursued false gods.

But Hosea continued to love his wife, and finally brought her home again, so God would also continue to love Israel and one day again restore favor to Israel.

Hosea, means “May the Lord save”. His book is the first of the Minor Prophets and the longest, 14 chapters.