Salvation, the son of Beeri, and author of the book of prophecies bearing his name. He belonged to the kingdom of Israel. "His Israelitish origin is attested by the peculiar, rough, Aramaizing diction, pointing to the northern part of Palestine; by the intimate acquaintance he evinces with the localities of Ephraim (5:1; 6:8, 9; 12:12; 14:6, etc.); by passages like 1:2, where the kingdom is styled `the land', and 7:5, where the Israelitish king is designated as `our' king." The period of his ministry (extending to some sixty years) is indicated in the superscription (Hosea 1:1, 2). He is the only prophet of Israel who has left any written prophecy.
Hosea, Prophecies of
This book stands first in order among the "Minor Prophets." "The probable cause of the location of Hosea may be the thoroughly national character of his oracles, their length, their earnest tone, and vivid representations." This was the longest of the prophetic books written before the Captivity. Hosea prophesied in a dark and melancholy period of Israel's history, the period of Israel's decline and fall. Their sins had brought upon them great national disasters. "Their homicides and fornication, their perjury and theft, their idolatry and impiety, are censured and satirized with a faithful severity." He was a contemporary of Isaiah. The book may be divided into two parts, the first containing chapters 1-3, and symbolically representing the idolatry of Israel under imagery borrowed from the matrimonial relation. The figures of marriage and adultery are common in the Old Testament writings to represent the spiritual relations between Jehovah and the people of Israel. Here we see the apostasy of Israel and their punishment, with their future repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.
The second part, containing 4-14, is a summary of Hosea's discourses, filled with denunciations, threatenings, exhortations, promises, and revelations of mercy.
Quotations from Hosea are found in Matthew 2:15; 9:15; 12:7; Romans 9:25, 26. There are, in addition, various allusions to it in other places (Luke 23:30; Revelation 6:16, Comp. Hosea 10:8; Romans 9:25, 26; 1 Peter 2:10, Comp. Hosea 1:10, etc.).
As regards the style of this writer, it has been said that "each verse forms a whole for itself, like one heavy toll in a funeral knell." "Inversions (7:8; 9:11, 13; 12:8), anacolutha (9:6; 12:8, etc.), ellipses (9:4; 13:9, etc.), paranomasias, and plays upon words, are very characteristic of Hosea (8:7; 9:15; 10:5; 11:5; 12:11)."