Book of Hosea

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The Book of Hosea is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. It stands first in order among what are known as the twelve Minor Prophets.

Contents

Background and Content

Hosea (הושֵעַ) prophesied during a dark and melancholic era of Israel's history, the period of the Northern Kingdom's decline and fall in the 8th century BC. The apostasy of the people was rampant, having turned away from God in order to serve the calves of Jeroboam II, Hosea 8:4-6 and Baal, a Canaanite god.[1]

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During Hosea's lifetime, the kings of the Northern Kingdom, their aristocratic supporters, and the priests had led the people away from the Law of God, as given in the Pentateuch. Forsaking the worship of God, they worshiped other gods, especially Baal, the Canaanite fertility god. Other sins followed, including homicide, perjury, theft, and sexual sin Hosea 4:1-2. Hosea declares that unless they repent of these sins, God will allow their nation to be destroyed, and the people will be taken into captivity by Assyria Hosea 9:3, the greatest nation of the time.

The prophesy of Hosea centers around God's unending love towards a sinful Israel. In this text, God's agony is expressed over the betrayal of Israel Hosea 3:1,Hosea 11:1,Hosea 14:4. Stephen Cook asserts that the prophetic efforts of this book can be summed up in this passage "I have been the Lord your God ever since the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior" Hosea 13:4 Hosea's job was to speak these words during a time when that had been essentially forgotten.[1]

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