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Bible Study: Hosea

by PastorMinton on April 25th, 2012

THE PROPHECY OF HOSEA

Prophet: Hosea, son of Beeri (1:1)

Date: reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah in Judah (767-687 BC)

reign of Jeroboam II in Israel (782-753 BC) – no mention of successive kings in Israel that would correlate to the reigns of the last three kings of Judah in the list (1:1)

Theme: God’s faithfulness and  Israel’s unfaithfulness

Chapter 1 – Hosea takes Gomer the prostitute as a wife. They had three children together: Jezreel (4-5); Lo-ruhama (6-7) – “No Mercy”; Lo-ammi (8-9) – “Not My People”. All three children were born with prophetic names for what was going to happen to Israel and Judah if they continued their unfaithfulness. However, the children of Israel and Judah would be gathered together again as a single nation (11).

Chapters 2-3 – Israel’s unfaithfulness to God continues to be seen as an unfaithful wife who turns to prostitution. Although she pursues her foreign gods, Israel will never be satisfied with them. After all the punishments for her unfaithfulness, God will still have mercy upon Israel. During this time of mercy, Hosea prophesies through his redemption of Gomer the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities and the return of the remnant under Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubbabel.

Chapters 4-10 – The bulk of Hosea’s prophecies are accusations and promises of punishment for Israel’s unfaithfulness. The imagery of whoredom continues throughout the prophecies to describe Israel’s spiritual wanderings. In chapters 6-7, Israel and Judah act as though they were coming back to God, but their hearts are far away from their words: “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings” (6:6). Chapter 8 names Assyria as the country who would take Israel captive (8-10). Their faithless words come to a head in 10:4.

Chapter 11 – “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son” (1) is quoted by St. Matthew as a prophecy concerning Jesus coming out of Egypt after Herod the Great’s death (2:13-15).

Chapters 12-13 – Israel is seen as inheriting Jacob’s usurping of Esau’s birthright. As Jacob grasped his brother’s heel when they were born, so also Israel has tried to keep hold of the heel of God’s desires.

Chapter 14 – Hosea ends his prophecies with a plea for repentance. If Israel would return and be faithful to God, God would bless them with all the great blessings that had been promised before through Moses and the rest of the Prophets.

From → Thru the Bible

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