Name means Salvation, Joshua – The Lord is Salvation
Hosea’s life is a picture of how the Northern Kingdom of Israel is in its relationship with God. Israel needed to repent of their sins, particularly their idolatry, but they would not repent, so God would send them into exile in Assyria, with promises of return and repentance. God is shown as sovereign over the repentance of His people.
- Kings in Judah – Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.
- King in Israel – Jeroboam II
- Other contemporaneous prophets/books – Isaiah and Micah
Famous verses and fragments
2:23, 4:6, 6:1-3, 6:6, 8:7, 10:8, 10:12, 11:1, 13:4, 13:14
- Puzzle – God wouldn’t command someone to do evil – nonetheless he wants Hosea to be a visible sign of how God is abused as a husband of Israel.
- He identifies Gomer
- Gomer means to end (in the sense of completion or failure)
- Jezreel – dispersion, sowing
- 2Ki 10:30 – Jehu did God’s will partly, and for his own reasons.
- Lo-Ruhamah No Mercy
- Lo-Ammi Not My People
- Vv 10-11 & 2:1 Promise of redemption – reunification of the people of God.
Other places in Scripture where Israel is pictured as an unfaithful wife – Jer 2-3, Eze 16 & 23 (Is 50, 54 – marriage). Adultery frequently compared to idolatry.
- Vv 2-13 The reality
- What God would do vv 14-23
- v 16 Husband vs Baal (slave-lord)
- vv 22-23 scatter vs sow
- Ch3 – redeeming her. V 4 – exile. Note David in v 5.
Chapter 4 – The point made
- Lists their many sins against God vv 1-3
- Vv 4-6 all are rotten – Priest, prophet, average person
- Vv 7-end Adultery, spiritual and actual is the rule in Israel for leaders and average people.
Chapter 5 – Priests and Princes can’t help
- Vv 1-9 – Beth Aven – Bethel, home of the calf-idol – sacrifice is not enough
- V 10 Judah also rebuked
- V 11 – human rules inadequate, as is Assyria (King Jareb – great/contending)
- God’s wounds are intended to make us seek him for healing
Chapters 6-7 Mostly on Continued Impenitence
- Vv 1-3 Repentance – allusion to Christ
- V 5 – death from the prophetic word
- V 6 – mercy not sacrifice
- V 7 – men/Adam – both tell us something
- Ch 7:1-10 – do you see yourself properly? Analogy of a baker and an oven, and growing weak
- Corruption of leaders and people
- Vv 11-16 reliance on foreign nations rather than God. (Who to favor? Assyria or Egypt? See 9:3)
Chapters 8-10 No more Calf-Idols, or reliance on Foreign nations
- God at war with the Calf-Idols, and Idolatry of the Temple, and the line of Jeroboam vv 1-6
- Rejection of their worship, and Judah’s strongholds (v14)
- Ch 9 – Egypt or Assyria? Playing the harlot.
- Vv 7-17 Punishment is coming – falling on the children, exile
- Ch 10 – prosperity only led to more disobedience & idols – the calf-idols to be taken to Assyria.
- V 10-12 God’s plan for repentance.
- Vv 13-15 and the kingdom will be ended. (Shalmanezer, king of Assyria)
Chapters 11–13 The Historical Appeal for Repentance
- Vv 1-7 Analogy to a child, teaching and rebellion, exile
- Vv 8-11 Compassion and return
- 11:12-12:6 Complaint against Ephraim/Judah, and comparison to Jacob who found God at Bethel
- Vv 7-14 Rich Ephraim vs the God who sends prophets (10,13)
- Ch 13:1-3 Idolatry
- V 4 Rescue from Egypt
- Vv 10-11 Giving a king, taking it away – God is king.
- Vv 12-16 The exile will come suddenly (& a special promise in v 14)
Chapter 14 God has the Last Word – Ultimate Repentance
- Not Assyria
- Not Idols
- Not our many sins
- Not our might
- God will restore and strengthen
Final note: this book is mostly on the Northern Kingdom Israel, but Judah gets rebuked in 4:15, 5:5, 5:10-14, 6:4, 8:14, & 12:2.