Study of Hosea


The book of Hosea is named after its principal character and author, Hosea, whose name means, the Lord saves.

Hosea’s ministry began during Jeroboam II’s days as king of the Northern Kingdom and continued after the destruction of the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. Since Jeroboam II died around 753 B.C. and since Hezekiah’s reign began in around 715 B.C., Hosea’s ministry covered around 40 years. His prophecies were addressed exclusively to the Northern Kingdom. Hosea prophesied during the period when the Northern Kingdom was oppressed by Assyria. Samaria eventually fell to the Assyrians in 722 B.C.

Hosea was a contemporary of Amos in Israel and of Isaiah and Micah in Judah.

The theme of Hosea is the redeeming love of God. The unfaithfulness of Israel toward God is illustrated by the unfaithfulness of Hosea’s wife toward Hosea. The redeeming love of God toward His people is then illustrated by Hosea’s redeeming love for his wife.


    I.    The Training of the Prophet, 1:1 - 3:5


           A.  His home life symbolic for the nation: punishment and restoration, 1:1-2:1

                 1.   The marriage with Gomer, a potential adulteress, 1:2

                 2.   The children: Jezreel, Lo-Ruhamah; Lo-Ammi, 1:3-9

                 3.   The final triumph of grace, 1:10 - 2:1


           B.  His domestic tragedy a revelation of God’s redeeming love, 2:2-23


           C.  His dealing with Gomer: a command and a revelation, 3:1-5


   II.    The Teaching of the Prophet, 4:1 - 14:9


           A.  National pollution and its cause, 4:1 - 6:3

                 1.   The findings of the Judge and the pronouncement of sentence, 4:1-19

                 2.   Warning to priest, people and king: the snare of the shrines, 5:1-15

                 3.   Exhortation to repent, 6:1-3


                                           B.  Nation pollution and its punishment, 6:4 - 10:15

                                                 1.   Statement of God’s case against Israel, 6:4 - 7:16

                                                       a.   Fickleness, bloodguiltiness: the bloody harvest, 6:4-11

                                                       b.   Mercy prevented by persistent rebellion, adultery, winebibbing, 7:1-16

                                                 2.   Judgment pronounced, 8:1 - 9:17

                                                       a.   Reaping the whirlwind, devoured by the world they doted on, 8:1-14

                                                       b.   Bondage in exile, the withering away of Israel, 9:1-17

                                                 3.   Recapitulation and appeal: the empty vine, 10:1-15


                                           C.  The love of Jehovah, 11:1 - 14:9

                                                 1.   His inalienable love in dealing with wayward Israel, 11:1-11

                                                 2.   Exile God’s only alternative because of stubborn rebelliousness, 11:12 - 12:14

                                                 3.   Guiding principles and eventual outcome of exile, 13:1-16

                                                 4.   Final appeal to repent; promise of ultimate blessing, 14:1-9

This outline is from Gleason L. Archer’s A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, p. 309.