The twenty-eighth book of the Old Testament.

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Everything King James Bible
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
Book: Hosea
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Hosea is supposed to have been of the Kingdom of Israel. He
lived and prophesied during a long period. The scope of his
predictions appears to be, to detect, reprove, and convince the
Jewish nation in general, and the Israelites in particular, of
their many sins, particularly their Idolatry: the corrupt state
of the kingdom is also noticed. But he invites them to
Repentance, with promises of Mercy, and Gospel predictions of
the future restoration of the Israelites and of the Jews, and
their final Conversion to Christianity.

Hosea’s Difference

Hosea was a man of Israel and a prophet through whom God spoke. His predictions were coded in thin metaphors, and mainly dealt with showing Israel their sins (particularly idolatry). Hosea does have some hope, for mercy is promised. Shared by all prophetic books, including Hosea, is the predictions and prophecies. Hosea may be yet another prophetic book, yet it is different because of the story of Gomer and Hosea.

The book of Hosea is very similar to the other prophetic books, because well, it is one of prophecy. It does differ in the intimate and personal manner in which prophecy is foretold. In the second line Hosea is told, by God, to take an “adulterous wife.”(1:2) From this marriage comes progeny who are used as a symbol for people, lands and events. The first son of Hosea and Gomer, Jezreel was named as to predict the destruction of Israel in “the Valley of Jezreel”(1:5). The next child is a daughter whose names means not loved; God will “no longer show love to the house of Israel”(1:6). Whereas in other prophetic books the prophecies are told, Hosea and his family are used for symbols of prophecies.

Hosea’s kids: Jezreel, for the end of the kingdom of Israel; Lo-Ruhamah, for the end of love of Israel; and Lo-Ammi, for “you are not my people, and I am not your God.”(1:9) Hosea’s children are further used to illustrate how Israel will fall in the second chapter, describing the relationships and how God will deal with them. Hope is brought when God declares that he will be called “husband”(2:16) not “master”(3:16) ( a more intimate relationship with God), and things will be set right. Jezreel will be accepted, Lo-Ruhamah will be loved, and Lo-Ammi will say, “’You are my God.’”(2:23) Obviously not the actual children themselves, but the people and the symbols for which they represent. The fact that God takes Hosea and gives him children to reveal prophecy presents a difference from other prophetic books.

Again the intimacy of Hosea is intertwined in the book, with “Hosea’s Reconciliation.”(3) Hosea does not appreciate that his wife is adulterous, but God tells him to “love her.”(3:1) God uses their renewed love to show that the Israelites will “return and seek the Lord.”(3:5)

The metaphor of Hosea’s family is then dropped, and the book becomes just like any other prophecy; Israel sins, but will be forgiven. It is clear that Hosea is different for an extended metaphor is present pertaining to faithfulness. A more personal feeling of God is felt, for he deals with Hosea on an intimate, family basis (perhaps a view to the God of the New Testament). Adultery is used as the symbolic idolatry of Israel. The level at which Hosea begins sets it apart from other books. God changes Hosea’s life to present prophecy, a notion quite different from other prophetic books, which sets the book of Hosea apart.

Quotes and references to the New International Version Bible (NIV)

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