Category: A group of biblical books that have a similar literary genre or main themes and have been placed together as a major section of the Bible.
Prophets: The books of Israel’s prophets who announced the downfall of Israel’s kingdom and the hope of its restoration after the exile.
Literary Style: A unique style of writing that follows recognized literary conventions and language patterns.
Poetry: A condensed form of writing that uses metaphorical imagery and creative language to engage the reader’s imagination and emotions.
Prophetic: A type of Israelite poetry employed by the prophets to warn and accuse Israel of covenant violation, and to announce future hope.
Hosea accuses Israel of breaking their covenant with God, and warns them of the tragic consequences to follow.
Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Hosea, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Hosea, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how they work within the Bible’s overall framework.
The Northern Kingdom of Israel enjoyed moderate success from conquering neighboring kingdoms, but they were spiritually bankrupt on the inside. In the Book of Hosea, God sends Hosea to Israel during King Jeroboam II's reign to admonish them of their wrongs in perpetual idol worship and dependence on outside nations.
King Jeroboam II, one of the worst kings in Israel's history, grew apathetic and allowed idol worship to run amok in the nation, opening the doorway for Israelites to cheat, steal, have unlawful sex with, and even murder each other on a constant basis. Growing cold and distant, they had forgotten about knowing God as their intimate first love, ushering in a disaster that would imminently strike through Assyria's siege. But God does not forget Israel even in their self-destruction, and He teaches us that love is the strongest force of all, even over sin.
Hope would still come through God's Messiah.
Hosea prophesies against the corruption of Israel's priests, who led Israel away from knowing God and into idol worship. Judah, too, is warned against their sins.
God's relationship with Israel is demonstrated through Hosea's marriage with the prostitute Gomer. Like Gomer, Israel has committed adultery against God by worshipping foreign gods.
Though adulterous Israel worships idols, God's never-ending love will buy them back. He will restore Israel again and bring a Messianic King from David's family.
God Cries Out
In a moving allegory of a father and son, God expresses His love and heartbreak for Israel and their constant rebellion, pleading for them to repent.
Even though God confronts Israel's wrongdoings, He longs to restore them. God will heal their faithlessness if they choose to repent. Sadly, Israel doesn't listen.