Hosea

J. B. Hewitt, Chesterfield

Part 2 of 14 of the series Outline Studies in the Minor Prophets

Category: Young Believer's Section

2. HOSEA

Title.

This is taken from the name of the writer, which means “salvation” or “deliverance”. He is described as the son of Beeri and was a prophet of the Northern Kingdom. He could be described as the John of the O.T. He was in a very real sense “the prophet of the sorrowful heart”.

Date.

The reigns of the kings named in 1. 1 cover over one hundred years. From the death of Jeroboam II in 792 b.c. until the accession of Hezekiah in 722 b.c., some 70 years may well have been spanned by Hosea’s ministry. His was the longest prophetic ministry of all. His contemporaries were Amos, Isaiah, and Micah and perhaps Jonah.

Setting.

His ministry is directed mainly to his own people Israel in the Northern Kingdom. This was probably the darkest period in Israel’s history. The first verse of the prophecy indicates the true setting: four of the kings mentioned belonged to Judah, and only one to Israel. The historical background of Hosea’s ministry is contained in 2 Kings 14-20.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Read 2 Kings 14. 23-27; 15-17. Jeroboam II was a brilliant and victorious man, yet wicked in the extreme and in spite of the apparent external prosperity of his kingdom, there was internal moral corruption. After his death his son Zachariah came to the thone, only to be murdered within six months, 2 Kings 15. 8-10. The murderer, Shallum, reigned one month and was in turn murdered, 2 Kings 15. 10-15. Later another king, Pekahiah who reigned two years was assassinated by Pekah, who in turn was slain by Hoshea after two years. These conditions are referred to in Hosea 4.2; 5.10-11; 7.3-7; 8. 8; 10. 7. They sought help from Assyria and Egypt instead of from Jehovah, 2 Kings 16. 7-9; Hos. 5.13; 7.11; 12. 1.

SOCIAL CONDITIONS

were even worse. Moral degeneracy, caused by the introduction of idolatrous customs and rites, was everywhere manifest. The land was full of idolatry and harlotry, Hos. 1. 2; 2. 4, 5; with Amos. 2. 7-8; 5. 7-12; 6. 4-6. The rulers and the priests were as corrupt as the common people.

RELIGIOUS CONDITIONS

were detestable and vile. The worship of the gods of the heathen nations with whom they had formed alliances was rampant and culminated in their dispersal in 719 b.c. In Hosea, Israel is referred to under the designation either of Samaria or Ephraim. The former was the capital city, and had been since the beginning of Omri’s dynasty, hence its use to designate the nation, 1 Kings 16. 24-27; Isa. 7. 9. Study the references to Ephraim in this book. Here is a nation morally rotten, politically doomed and spiritually adulterous, Hos. 6. 7-10; 13. 1-2. To bring home to the nation her sin, God caused the prophet to enact a living representation of Israel’s failure and shame, 1-3. The children born to Hosea received symbolic names setting forth God’s thoughts regarding His people. He would “scatter them”, “have no mercy”, and treat them as “not my people” ending in their being disowned.

Spiritual Application

Read this book with 2 Timothy 3 and Revelation 2-3, for the pattern is still with us. God will judge sin in His people, 1 Pet. 4.17, yet when there is repentance and confession there is a reversal of judgment and the enjoyment of divine love; see Hos. 14. Messianic references are 1. 11; 2. 15-23; 3. 5; 11. 10-11; 14. 4-8; and Hosea in his willing obedience, forgiving love, unswerving fidelity, and yearnings for the nation all portray our blessed Lord.

An Analysis

  1. Israel’s insincerity illustrated, chs. 1-3.
    1. Their Ungodliness, ch. 1. a. The Proposal, 1-2; b. The Partnership, 4-5; c. The Product, 6-9; d. The Promise, 10-11.
    2. Their Unfaithfulness, ch. 2. a. The Sorrow of Love, 1-5; b. The Severity of Love, 6-13; c. The Shelter of Love, 14-17; d. The Sympathy of Love, 18-23.
    3. Their Unworthiness, ch. 3. a. Personal Instruction, 1; b. Humble Submission, 2-3; c. National Interpretation, 4-5-
  2. Israel’s iniquity investigated, chs. 4-7.
    1. Their Ignorance, 4. 1-11. a. Their Shame and Sorrow, 1-3; b. Their Stumbling and Sinning, 4-8; c. Their Selfishness, 9-11.
    2. Their Idolatry, 4. 12 to 5. 15. a. Disgusting, 4. 12-14; b. Defiant, 4. 15; c. Deluding, 4. 16-19; d. Defiling, 5. 1-8; e. Desolating, 5. 9-15.
    3. Their Impenitence, 6. 1 to 7. 16. a. The Cry, 6. 1-3; b. The Complaint, 6. 4; c. The Chastisement, 6. 5-6; d. The Crimes, 6. 7-11; e. The Chiding, 7. 1-5; f. The Condemnation, 7. 6-16.
  3. Israel’s indifference entreated, chs. 8-10.
    1. Their Foolishness, ch. 8. a. Disregard, 1-3; b. Defiance, 5-6; c. Defeat, 7-14.
    2. Their Fickleness, ch. 9. a. Bankruptcy, 1-3; b. Bondage; 4-6; c. Bitterness, 7-10; d. Barrenness, 11-14; e. Banishment, 15-17.
    3. Their Faithlessness, ch. 10. a. The Vine Valueless, 1-2; b. The Vows Void, 3-8; c. The Verdict Voiced, 9-13; d. The Victim of Vengeance, 14-15.
  4. Israel’s interests indicated, chs. 11-14.
    1. The Divine Review, ch. 11. a. The Divine Sovereignty, 1-4; b. The Divine Sorrow, 5-7; c. The Divine Sympathy, 8-9; d. The Divine Salvation, 10-11.
    2. The Divine Rebuke, ch. 12. a. The Divine Controversy, 1-2; b. The Divine Compassion, 3-6; c. The Divine Constancy, 7-11; d. The Divine Care, 12-14.
    3. The Divine Relation, 13. a. Israel’s Pride, 1-6; b. Israel’s Punishment, 7-14; c. Israel’s Perversity, 15-16.
    4. The Divine Restoration, ch. 14. a. The Prophet’s Appeal, 1-3: Conviction, 1; Contrition, 2; Confession, 2, 3a; Confidence, 3b; b. The People’s Acceptance, 4-9: Forgiveness, 4; Freshness, 5-6; Fulness, 7; Fruitfulness, 8.

Suggestions for Study

EVANGELICAL OUTLOOK

  1. “Sin” in chapters 4 and 5. How Defiling, Degrading, Devouring, Deadly and Destroying.
  2. Love. It Seeks, Serves, Survives, is Sympathetic. It Sustains, Suffers and Sacrifices, 2. 14 to 3. 5.
  3. N.T. Anticipation. The necessity of the knowledge of God, 4. 1-6; of repentance, 6. 15 14. 1-2; and the love of God, 3. 1; 11. 1-4.

Note: Love, Lovers - 14 times in the book; Return - 14 times; Know, Knowledge - 18 times; Mercy - 10 times; Iniquity - 11 times; Whore, Whoredom - 19 times; Ephraim -over 30 references.

HOMILETICAL MATERIAL

This book gives some rich matter.

  1. A lovely picture of the ways of God in love, 11. 1-4.
  2. The 59 “I wills” are a revealing study. Consider for example the “I will” of visitation, 1. 4; 2. 11; 7. 12; of devastation, 1. 5; 2. 12, 18; 8. 14; of consolation, 1. 7; 10. 11; of rejection, 1. 6, 9; 2. 4; of prevention, 2. 6; of correction, 2. 7; of retribution, 2. 13; 4. 9; 13. 7-9; of affection, 2. 14, 19; 14. 4; of recompense, 2. 15; of attention, 2. 21; of restoration, 2. 23; 14. 4; of destruction, 4. 5; 5. 14-15; and of redemption, 13. 14.
  3. The Valley of Achor, Josh. 7. 2, 4; Isa. 65. 10; Hos. 2. 15.

PRACTICAL AND PROPHETICAL

Hosea the man: his Troubles, Trials, Tenderness, Training, Teaching, and Triumph. These illustrate Israel’s life of departure from God, God’s method in restoration and His attitude to them in spite of backsliding. The “Day of the Lord” will finalise all for the nation of Israel.

To be followed by “Joel”.

There are 8 articles in
ISSUE (1966, Volume 17 Issue 4)

A Closer Look At Calvary

Be Ye Holy For I Am Holy

Crises in Creation (2)

Divine Evaluation - The Deep Things of God, 1 Cor. 2. 9 - 3. 3

Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities

Hosea

In A Christian Assembly - For What Purpose?

Our Hope

There are 14 articles in this series

Outline Studies in the Minor Prophets - Introduction

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

Glimpses of Christ

There are 59 articles by this author

Why I Believe the Bible

Glimpses of Christ

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Introduction

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 4 - 5

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 6-7

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 8 - 9

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 10

Outline Studies in the Pentateuch - Introduction

Genesis - Part 1

Genesis - Part 2

Suggested Analysis of Genesis

Exodus

Exodus: Its Message for Today

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Glimpses of Christ

Outline Studies in the Penteteuch

The Authority of Scripture in This Modern Age

Truth for the Times - Introduction

Controlled by Divine Truth, 2 Peter 3

The Peril of Apostasy, Jude 4-19

The Antidote to Apostasy, Jude 1-3; 17-23

Christ in the Prison Epistles - Introduction

Ephesians - Christ our Leader and our Lord

Philippians - Christ our Life

Colossians - Christ our Head

Philemon - Christ our Example

Help from Haggai - Introduction

Help from Haggai, Verses 2. 10-23

The Eight Men of James Chapter One

Meditation-a Lost Art

The Cross in Galatians

The Industrious Servant of Jehovah

Abraham - Friend of God

Living by Faith, Habakkuk

Help from Haggai, Verses 1. 1-11

Help from Haggai, Verses 1. 12-15; 2. 1-9

The Son of Consolation

The Lion-Hearted Amount the Lions - Daniel 6

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

1 Thessalonians - Some Suggestions for Study

Outline Studies in the Minor Prophets - Introduction

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 1

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 2-3

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 11

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 12

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 13