The Book of Hosea

I. Title

       The title is the same in both Hebrew and in Greek and English translations. Hosea is a variant form of the name "Joshua"; "Jesus" is the Anglicized Greek form of the same name, which means "salvation."

II. Author and Setting

A. Author

       Very little is known about Hosea, since he is never mentioned outside this book that bears his name.

B. Setting

       The prophesies of Hosea cover a time period from about 753 BC to 715 BC, during the reigns of Jeroboam II and Uzziah, through that of Hezekiah. Jereboam II died about 753 and Hezekiah began his reign about 715.
       The golden age of prosperity for Israel was ending with Jeroboam II. Following his death would come years of chaos, ending finally with the destruction of the nation in 722 BC. A total of six kings reigned in the Northern Kingdom of Israel between Jeroboam II and the end; most of the reigns were cut short by assassination.
       During this period of political unrest, the Northern Kingdom was in a bad way both spiritually and morally. Although they continued to worship Yahweh, they mixed the worship of other gods with it, and performed child sacrifice and involved themselves in sacred prostitution.
       Hosea's prophesies were directed to the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
       Prophets contemporary with Hosea were Amos and perhaps Jonah, in Israel; in Judah, Micah and Isaiah were prophesying.

III. An Outline of Hosea

I. The Prologue -- Hosea and the Prostitute 1-3
II. Israel's Sin Described 4-7
III. Israel's Sin Punished 8-10
IV. Israel Restored 11-14

Questions on Hosea

1. When did Hosea prophesy?
2. To which kingdom did he prophesy?
3. What were the names of Hosea's children and what did each name mean?
4. What did Hosea's marriage illustrate?
5. What sins is Israel guilty of?
6. What judgments are prophesied against Israel?
7. What does Hosea say about the priests who lack knowledge?
8. Does God want to judge his people?