The Bible Book by Book
The Prophet. He is called the "Prophet of Divine Love." His name, Hosea, means "Deliverance." He was a native and citizen of Israel and followed Amos whom he may have heard in Bethel. He was a contemporary with Isaiah and bore faithful testimony to corrupt Israel in the North while Isaiah prophesied at Jerusalem and was to Israel what Jeremiah became to Judah. He was prepared for his work through the lessons which he learned from the sins of his unfaithful wife. (1) Through the suffering which he endured because of her sins, he understood how God was grieved at the wickedness of Israel and how her sins were not only against God's law but an insult to divine love. (2) In love and at great cost he restored his wayward wife and in that act saw a hope of the restoration and forgiveness of Israel. His ministry extended over more than sixty years and was perhaps the longest of any on record. It continued 786-726 B. C., covering the last few years of the reign of Jereboam II, to which Chs. 1-3 belong and the period of anarchy following.

The Style and Method. His style is "abrupt, uneven, inelegant," but also poetical, figurative and abounding in metaphors. His writings must be interpreted with great care to get what is meant by his symbolic speech. He reminds one of modern reformers and revivalists. Through all the anger which the book reveals we see also the surpassing beauty of reconciling love. One sees everywhere that the supreme goal to which Hosea moves is the re-establishment of Israel's fellowship of life and love with Jehovah.

Conditions of Israel. Outwardly there was prosperity. Syria and Moab had been conquered; commerce had greatly increased; the borders of the land had been extended and the temple offerings were ample. Inwardly there was decay. Gross immoralities were being introduced; worship was being polluted and the masses of the people crushed, while the Assyrian Empire was advancing and ready to crush Israel, whom, because of her sins, God had abandoned to her fate.

They countenanced oppression, murder, lying, stealing, swearing, etc. They had forgotten the law and their covenant to keep it and had substituted the worship of Baal for that of Jehovah, thereby becoming idolaters. They no longer looked to God in their distress but turned to Egypt and Assyria for help, and thereby put security and prosperity on a basis of human strength and wisdom instead of resting them upon a hope of divine favor.


I. Israel's Sin. illustrated by the tragedy of Hosea's unfortunate marriage, Chs. 1-3.

1. His evil wife and their children, Ch. 1.

2. Israel's unfaithfulness and return to God seen in the evil women, Ch. 2.

3. God's love restores Israel as Hosea does his wife, Ch. 3.

II. The Prophetic Discourses, Chs. 4-14.

1. Israel's sin, Chs. 4-8.

2. Israel's coming punishment, Chs. 9-11.

3. Israel's repentance and restoration, Chs. 12-14.

For Study and Discussion. (1) Make a list of all the exhortations to penitence and reformation and study them. (2) Point out the different utterances of judgment upon the people. (3) Make a list of all the different sins condemned. (4) Make a list of the expressions of tender love for the wayward and backsliding one. (5) Make a list of all passages indicating grief and suffering because of the sin and danger of the one loved. (6) Political and religious apostacy. (7) Sin as infidelity to love-as spiritual adultery. (8) The invitations of the book.

For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Hosea 1. Hosea Takes Gomer as Wife to Show Israel's Unfaithfulness

1. Hosea, to show God's judgment for spiritual unfaithfulness, takes Gomer,
4. and has by her Jezreel;
6. Loruhamah;
8. and Lo-Ammi.
10. The restoration of Judah and Israel under one head.

Hosea 2. Israel's Unfaithfulness Condemned; Reconciliation Promised

1. The idolatry of the people.
6. God's judgments against them.
14. His promises of reconciliation with them.

Hosea 3. Hosea Redeems His Wife to Show the Lord's Reconciliation to Israel

1. The Lord's intended future kindness to Israel, not withstanding their wickedness,
2. illustrated by the emblem of Hosea's conduct toward his adulterous wife.
4. The desolation of Israel before their restoration.

Hosea 4. God Pronounces Judgments for Israel's Sins

1. God denounces judgments on Israel, for their aggravated impieties and iniquities.
12. He exposes the ignorance and wickedness of the priests,
13. and moral dissolution of the people,
14. he will leave their wives and daughters to commit lewdness, without present punishment.
15. He warns Judah, not to imitate Israel's crimes, which are still further reproved.

Hosea 5. Judgments against the Priests, People, and Princes for Their Manifold Sins

1. The judgments of God are denounced against the priests, people, and princes,
9. both of Israel and Judah, for their manifold sins.
15. An intimation is given of mercy on their repentance.

Hosea 6. Exhortations to Repent; Israel's Refusal

1. Exhortations to repent and hope in God.
4. A lamentation over those who had sinned after conviction.
5. Reproofs of obstinate sinners, and threats against them.

Hosea 7. Ephraim's Iniquity

1. A reproof of manifold sins.
11. God's wrath against them for their hypocrisy.

Hosea 8. Israel Will Reap the Whirlwind

1. Destruction is threatened both to Israel and Judah for their impiety and idolatry.

Hosea 9. The Distress and Captivity of Israel for Their Sins

1. The distress and captivity of Israel for their sins.

Hosea 10. Retribution for Israel's Sin; Exhortation to Repentance

1. Israel is reproved and threatened for their impiety and idolatry,
12. and exhorted to repentance.

Hosea 11. The Ingratitude of Israel; God's Mercy; Israel's Sin and Judah's Infidelity

1. The ingratitude of Israel unto God for his benefits.
5. His judgment.
8. God's mercy toward them.
12. Israel's falsehood and Judah's fidelity.

Hosea 12. Ephraim's Sins Provoke God

1. A reproof of Ephraim, Judah, and Jacob.
3. By former favors he exhorts to repentance.
7. Ephraim's sins provoke God.

Hosea 13. Ephraim's Idolatry; God's Anger and Judgment

1. Ephraim's glory vanishes.
4. God's anger.
9. God's mercy.
15. The judgment of Samaria.

Hosea 14. Exhortation to Repentance and Promise of God's Blessing

1. An exhortation to repentance.
4. A promise of God's blessing.
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