Word of the LORD, the customary term for prophetic verbal revelation (Jer 18.18
). For similar introductions to prophetic books, see Joel 1.1, Mic 1.1, Zeph 1.1, and Mal 1.1
. Hosea (= Hoshea) is also the name for other persons in the Hebrew Bible (e.g., Num 13.8; 2 Kings 15.3; 1 Chr 27.20; Neh 10.23
) and means “salvation” or “deliverance.” Days of Kings Uzziah …, these kings of Judah reigned in Jerusalem in the last half of the eighth century BCE. Uzziah was a contemporary of Jeroboam II, who ruled 788–747 in Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom, and Ahaz was king in Judah when Samaria fell. Presumably
Hosea prophesied late in Jeroboam's reign and after his death.
The prophetic acts of Hosea, detailed in two sections (
), exemplify God's relationship with Israel in allegorical fashion. Between the narrative sections, a prophetic speech (
) indicts Israel for unfaithfulness and offers hope for restoration after a period of punishment.
The marital states of Jeremiah (Jer 16.1–2
) and Ezekiel (Ezek 24
) also took on prophetic significance; Isaiah gave children symbolic names (Isa 7.3,10,14; 8.1,3
Wife of whoredom, a promiscuous woman. Children of whoredom, children born of promiscuity.
Birth of three children, each with symbolic names.
Jezreel (“God sows”), the site where Jehu's bloody coup d'etat began (2 Kings 9–10
). House of Jehu, the Israelite dynasty founded by Jehu in 842 BCE extended for a century, ending with Jeroboam II.
Lo‐ruhamah, “Not loved;” cf. Ezek 16.4–5.
Judah, Hosea's prophecies, originally addressed to Israel (Ephraim), were subsequently extended to the Southern Kingdom, whether
by the prophet or later followers.
Weaned the child, probably at age three (1 Sam 1.22; 2 Chr 31.16
Lo‐ammi, “No‐kin‐of‐mine.” I am not your God can also be read, “I am not I AM” (see note d), as if God now withdraws the intimacy extended to Moses through revelation of the divine name (Ex 3.14
Jezreel's exaltation (
) and the renaming of Lo‐ruhamah (
, Ruhamah, “Loved”) and Lo‐ammi (
, Ammi, “My‐kin”) signal restoration.
For the sand of the sea, see the divine promise to Abraham (Gen 22.17
) and Jacob (Gen 32.12
); cf. Gen 15.5; 16.10; 1 Kings 3.8
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