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Book of Hosea

The book of Hosea is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh, written by Hosea.

This book stands first in order among the "Minor prophets." 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 various sins (homicide, fornication, perjury, theft, idolatry, impiety and others) are mentioned and criticized. 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 God 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.

Originally from Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897)