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Book of Hosea

(hoh - zay' - uh)

General Information

The Book of Hosea is one of the books of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament of the Bible. Its name is taken from the prophet Hosea, who lived in the northern kingdom between 755 and 725 BC. The book is divided into two parts. The first part (chaps. 1 - 3) tells the story of Hosea's marriage to an unfaithful wife. Hosea used this personal tragedy as a parable of the relationship between God and Israel. In the second part (chaps. 4 - 14) the theme of unfaithfulness is developed. The prophet rebukes corrupt leaders and priests and chastises the Israelites for their superstition and idolatry. Hosea was the first biblical writer to use the imagery of marriage as an illustration of the relationship between God and his people.

George W Coats

J L Mays, Hosea, A Commentary (1969); G Cohen, and H R Vandermey, eds., Hosea and Amos (1981); J M Ward, Hosea, A Theological Commentary (1966).

Book of Hosea

Brief Outline

  1. Hosea's unhappy marriage and its results (1-3)
  2. Priests condone immorality (4)
  3. Israel's sin will be punished unless she repents (5)
  4. Israel's sin is thoroughgoing; her repentance half-hearted (6)
  5. Inner depravity and outward decay (7)
  6. Nearness of Judgment (8)
  7. Impending calamity (9)
  8. Israel's guilt and punishment (10)
  9. God pursues Israel with Love (11)
  10. Exhortation to repentance, with promised restoration (12-14)


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