Hebrew Prophets I
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Gerald Wilson
October 29, 2002
"Introduction to Hosea"

I.   Background story of Hosea
A.   Question: is the marriage real or just allegorical
B.   He was an Israelite - he prophesied to his own people
C.   Demonstrates definite compassion towards the people
D.   Hosea could have been a priest
1.   He definitely seems to want to nail the priests for their corruption (4:5-11)
E.   Dating of this book: between 753-722 BC
F.   Kingship
1.   Menahem
a.   752-742
b.   Epidemy of Evil
c.   Became a vassal of Assyria
2.   Pekah (752-732)
3.   Hoshea (732-722)
G.   Desperate time in which Hosea is confronting
II.   Marriage symbolism used to illustrate God's relationship
A.   Imagery is very dense
1.   Not very verbose
2.   Have to use a lot of imagination
B.   Actual vs. Allegory
1.   Problems of the Marriage
a.   Why would God command him to do this
b.   Two pictures of the marriage
i.   Chapter 1
ii.   Chapter 3
c.   What kind of woman originally when Hosea marries her
i.   Prostitute when Hosea found her (1:2)
ii.   "Religious Prostitute" - means of idolatry
iii.   Looking at it retrospect - she was not a prostitute until they married
iv.   She had a predisposition towards promiscuity
v.   Participation in Canaanite fertility initiation
vi.   Cult prostitute
vii.   Most of these theories because of a need to remove the problem of a prophet engaging with a woman of known immorality
III.   Chapter 1
A.   V.1-2 - What we understand from Hosea and his wife, is the same understanding between God and his people
B.   Jezreel
1.   lit. meaning - "God will plant/sow"
2.   Indicates God's judgment is coming
3.   Naming this kid Jezreel would be the equivalent to naming a Jewish child today Auschwitz
4.   Story of Jezreel
a.   Biblical Reference
i.   1Kings 19:16-ff
ii.   2Kings 9:1-3, 6-10, 10:6-11
b.   Reference to Jehu, in which he killed Ahab, Jezebel, all of Ahab's sons (throne replacers), and his supporters
i.   Wipes out Baal worship
ii.   Kills the kings of Judah
c.   All at the instigation of Elisha coming from the prophecy of Elijah
d.   Possible theories
i.   Jehu went overboard
ii.   Continues sin of Jerobom - worship at the temple
C.   Lo-ruhama
1.   You are not my loved ones
2.   I will have compassion on you no more
D.   Lo-ammi
1.   You are not my people
2.   I have revoked my covenant
E.   In the end of the chapter, God will return it to the Jezreel of old
1.   Very fertile, agricultural area
2.   Play on words to the original name "God will plant/sow" - lit. means God will replant Israel so they return to be his people
IV.   Chapter 2
A.   Notice the Lo has been dropped from there names (Lo means not in Hebrew)
B.   Indicates that children are not necessarily Hosea
C.   V. 5 - Indicates that Israel looked to other sources of "income" and provision
D.   Husband language
1.   ba'al - lord = husband (v. 16)
2.   Ôish - man = husband (verse 7, 16)
3.   Ba'al was also a name for the pagan god
E.   Gomer (Israel) gets tied up (imagery of a Dog in heat) so that she will remain with her husband (God)
F.   V. 9-13 - Crops are going to fail, famine is going to take place, to draw Israel back to the one who truly provided
1.   It was this wealth that they thought they didn't need God
2.   Could be allusion to exile - take her out of the things that comfort her and she finds security in
G.   The end of the chapter shows a "natural" form of restoration
V.   Chapter 3
A.   Again, go love a woman who has loved others &
B.   Raisin cakes deal with delicacies of the day that represented idolatrous worship the Israelites
C.   Must see two events
1.   After marrying a woman -> she commits adultery -> had bastard children -> He returns to her and takes her again -> puts her in quarantine (exile) -> no sex for either for many days (no traditional worship)
2.   Parallel breaks down because Hosea buys back Gomer, but God waits for Israel to return to him
D.   Eventually they will return in the later days