Updated: May 3
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I. Hosea’s name means “Salvation” or “Deliverance.”
II. Hosea probably wrote this book during the early years of Hezekiah, which means
his ministry stretched from about 755 B.C. to about 710 B.C.
A. When Hosea began his work, Jeroboam II (782–753 B.C.) was still reigning in Israel. His work spanned the reigns of the last six kings of Israel from Zechariah (753–752 B.C.) to Hoshea (732–722 B.C.).
B. “The Assyrian aggression got under way anew with the accession of Tiglath Pileser III in 745 B.C. and the handwriting was on the wall for Israel. While Amos did not name the enemy who threatened, Hosea is specific that it is Assyria (7:11; 11:5,11; 12:1; 14:3). The Indian Summer period of the reign of Jeroboam II gave way to the instability of the final days as kings were cut off ‘like a chip (foam: KJV) on water’ (Hos. 10:7). Kings were given in anger and taken away in wrath (Hos. 13:11), blood touched blood (Hos. 4:2). 2 Kings 15:8–17:41 summarizes this tragic period of 25 years in which six kings reigned: Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, and Hoshea. Four of these were murdered in office by their successors and one was captured in battle. Only one (Menahem) was succeeded on the throne by his son. Terms of office were as brief as one month. In one short year Zechariah, Shallum, and Menahem succeeded each other. The dismemberment of the northern kingdom got under way in 735 when Tiglath Pileser III of Assyria took Gilead and carried off the people of Naphtali. Shortly afterward Hoshea conspired with So, king of Egypt, against Assyria. Hoshea was arrested by Shalmaneser V and the city of Samaria was besieged three years until its capitulation. Sargon claims to have carried off 27,290 people in 721 B.C. and foreigners were settled in Samaria in their place (2 Kings 17:24). The exile had set in; Israel was no more.” (Jack Lewis, Minor Prophets, pgs. 16,17).
III. Message of the book: The story of the one-sided love and faithfulness represented the relationship between Israel and Jehovah. The phrase “loving kindness” is found throughout the book.
IV. What can we learn from the book of Hosea? Israel had been unfaithful to her covenant commitments, as illustrated by the marriage vow. God’s “loving kindness” would not permit Him to easily divorce His people.