Israel’s broken-hearted prophet

Hosea’s prophecy: an introduction and concise commentary Malcolm C. Davis Paperback, 96 pages, Published by John Ritchie Ltd., 40 Beansburn, Kilmarnock, KA3 1RH. ISBN: 978-1-910513-73-6.

As Fraser Munro writes in the Foreword to this book, ‘Those who have benefitted from previous commentaries by Malcolm Davis will be grateful to him for turning his attention to Hosea’. Although the Minor Prophets may be a neglected area of scripture, Davis establishes the importance of this book early on. Its message, he writes, ‘can … be summarized in three words: sin, judgement, and salvation’. Apart from the appropriateness of these words in a gospel context, the application of the truths of this book for today is also considered. Indeed, the writer uses every opportunity to remind the reader that, if it is to be profitable, scripture needs to be applied.

The commentary on the text is accessible on a number of levels. A summary of the content of each chapter is given, together with a useful analysis, before considering some of the detail of the verses. In this way, it enables the busy reader to get to the nub of what they want to know. It may be titled ‘concise’ but it is not shallow!

There is also a willingness on the part of the author to tackle the problems of Hosea. For example, in chapter 1, Davis states his belief that Hosea’s wife Gomer ‘was sexually pure at the time of their marriage’ and that her moral waywardness came later. Davis also establishes his clear pre-millennial, pre-tribulational interpretation of the text, stating his view on the glorious hope of Israel’s future restoration, and the role of David in the administration of Christ’s kingdom.

To those who are prepared to spend time with it, this book will prove useful in enabling the reader to gain a better understanding of Hosea, the man and his ministry for God.


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