By Art Davison - Last updated: Thursday, March 4, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment
“Hosea was a contemporary of Amos in Israel, and of Isaiah and Micah in Judah, and his ministry continued after the first, or Assyrian, captivity of the northern kingdom 2 Kings 15:29. His style is abrupt, metaphorical, and figurative.
“Israel is Jehovah’s adulterous wife, repudiated, but ultimately to be purified and restored. This is Hosea’s distinctive message, which may be summed up in his two words, Lo-ammi, “not my people,” and Ammi, “my people.” Israel is not merely apostate and sinful—that is said also; but her sin takes its character from the exalted relationship into which she has been brought.”
The book is in three parts:
I. The dishonoured wife, 1:1—3:5.
II. The sinful people, 4:1—13:8.
III. The ultimate blessing and glory of Israel, 13:9—14:9.
The events recorded in Hosea cover a period of 60 years (Ussher). — Scofield.
Hosea’s “prophecy was before the prophecy of Isaiah; and yet he was not the first of these minor prophets, as to order of time; not only Jonah, but Joel and Amos, were before him (Isaiah). He began to prophesy about the year… 808 B.C.
His name is the same with Joshua and Jesus, and signifies a saviour; and he was not only, as all the true prophets of the Lord and faithful ministers of the word are, the means and instruments in the hand of God of saving people; but he was a type of Christ the Saviour, as well as prophesied concerning him, and salvation by him. — John Gill’s Expositor.
Special Fitness for His Task:
1) Hosea is supposed to have been a native of the North, and was familiar with the evil conditions existing in Israel. This gave a special weight to his message.
2) It would appear from the narrative that he married a wife who proved to be unfaithful. This enabled Hosea to vividly portray God’s attitude toward Israel, his adulterous spouse, Hosea 1:2-3; 2:1-5.
Spiritual Message: Apostasy from God is Spiritual Adultery.
1) God, the Husband, Hosea 2:20; Isaiah 54:5.
2) Israel, the unchaste Wife, Hosea 2:2.
A Brief Summary of the Book:
Section 1
Israel’s Apostasy is symbolized by the experience of the prophet in his marriage, Hosea 1:1–3:5.
Section 2
1) Prophetic Discourses, chiefly descriptions of the backsliding and idolatry of the people, mingled with threatening and exhortations, Hosea 4:1–13:16.
2) The formal call to repentance, and promises of future blessings, Hosea 14.
Illustrations of the highly figurative language used to express the evil conditions in Israel:
1) The Valley of Achor, for a door of Hope, Hosea 2:15; Joshua 7:24-26.
2) “Joined to idols,” Hosea 4:17. “Ephraim” refers to the northern 10 tribes of Israel because Jeroboam, by whom the revolt was made, was of that tribe.
3) “Mixed among the people” (no longer a separated and holy nation), Hosea 7:8.
4) “A cake not turned” (dough on one side, expressing half-heartedness), Hosea 7:8.
5) “Strangers have devoured his strength” (weakened by evil associations), Hosea 7:9.
6) “Grey hairs are here and there upon him” (premature old age, and unconscious deterioration), Hosea 7:9.
7) “Israel swallowed up” (national identity lost), Hosea 8:8.
8) “A vessel wherein there is no pleasure” (a marred and useless vessel unto the Lord), Hosea 8:8.
9) “The balances of deceit” (commercial trickery in business), Hosea 12:7.

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