Hosea, Prophecies of

Hosea, Prophecies of [S]

This book stands first in order among the "Minor Prophets." "The probable cause of the location of Hosea may be the thoroughly national character of his oracles, their length, their earnest tone, and vivid representations." This was the longest of the prophetic books written before the Captivity. Hosea prophesied in a dark and melancholy period of Israel's history, the period of Israel's decline and fall. Their sins had brought upon them great national disasters. "Their homicides and fornication, their perjury and theft, their idolatry and impiety, are censured and satirized with a faithful severity." He was a contemporary of Isaiah. The book may be divided into two parts, the first containing chapters 1-3, and symbolically representing the idolatry of Israel under imagery borrowed from the matrimonial relation. The figures of marriage and adultery are common in the Old Testament writings to represent the spiritual relations between Jehovah and the people of Israel. Here we see the apostasy of Israel and their punishment, with their future repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.

The second part, containing 4-14, is a summary of Hosea's discourses, filled with denunciations, threatenings, exhortations, promises, and revelations of mercy.

Quotations from Hosea are found in Matthew 2:15 ; 9:15 ; 12:7 ; Romans 9:25 Romans 9:26 . There are, in addition, various allusions to it in other places ( Luke 23:30 ; Revelation 6:16 , Compare Hosea 10:8 ; Romans 9:25 Romans 9:26 ; 1 Peter 2:10 , Compare Hosea 1:10 , etc.).

As regards the style of this writer, it has been said that "each verse forms a whole for itself, like one heavy toll in a funeral knell." "Inversions ( 7:8 ; Hosea 9:11 Hosea 9:13 ; 12: : 8 ), anacolutha ( 9:6 ; 12:8 , etc.), ellipses ( 9:4 ; 13:9 , etc.), paranomasias, and plays upon words, are very characteristic of ( Hosea 8:7 ; 9:15 ; 10:5 ; 11:5 ; 12:11 )."

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Hosea, Prophecies of". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

Hosea, Prophecies of, [E]

This book consists of fourteen chapters. It is easy to recognize two great divisions in the book: (1) ch. 1 to 3; (2) ch. 4 to end. The subdivision of these several parts is a work of greater difficulty--

  1. The first division should probably be subdivided into three separate poems, each originating in a distinct aim, and each after its own fashion attempting to express the idolatry of Israel by imagery borrowed from the matrimonial relation.
  2. Attempts have been made to subdivide the second part of the book. These divisions are made either according to reigns of contemporary kings or according to the subject-matter of the poem. The prophecies were probably collected by Hosea himself toward the end of his career. Of his style Eichhorn says, "His discourse is like a garland woven of a multiplicity of flowers; images are woven upon images, metaphor strung upon metaphor. Like a bee he flies from one flower-bed to another, that he may suck his honey from the most varied pieces....Often he is prone to approach to allegory; often he sinks down in obscurity."
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Hosea, Prophecies of,'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.