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An Argument of the Book of Hosea

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MESSAGE STATEMENT:

The reason (Judah and especially) israel are going to be judged by the God of loyal love is because they have not been faithful to the covenant and thus need to repent in order to receive a future restoration to the land

I. Setting: The word of the LORD came to Hosea the son of Beeri during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel 1:1

II. The LORD’s loyal love for the idolatrous, northern kingdom of Israel is demonstrated through Hosea’s marriage to Gomer1 1:2--3:5

A. Hosea’s family is to reflect and foreshadow the northern kingdom of Israel relationship to the LORD 1:2--2:1

1. Hosea is to take a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry in order to picture the LORD’s relationship to Israel who have forsaken their covenant with the LORD 1:2

2. Hosea married Gomer the daughter of Diblaim 1:3a

3. Hosea’s wife gave birth to a son named Jezreel to picture the coming judgment which the LORD is going to bring upon the house of Jehu at Jezreel for his evil murder of the sons of Ahab 1:3b-5

4. Hosea’s wife gave birth to a daughter named Lo-ruhamah in order to picture the nation’s plight because the Lord was not going to have compassion upon Israel as He would upon Judah 1:6-7

5. Hosea’s wife gave birth to a son named Lo-ammi in order to picture the broken covenant relationship with Israel and the LORD 1:8-9

6. The LORD speaks of a time after judgment when the brokenness of Israel’s relationship with Him will be restored--they will be His people and receive compassion 1:10--2:1

a. There will come a time when Israel will greatly multiply, and be the people of God again 1:10

b. After the judgment, the two kingdoms will be united under one leader 1:11

c. Israel will again experience God’s covenant relationship and compassion which are lost for a time 2:1

B. Through the image of an adulterous wife, the LORD indicts the nation of its faithlessness toward Him and promises to restore her after she experiences judgment 2:2-23

1. The nation’s covenant relationship with the LORD has been violated through adultery requiring that the LORD bring about difficulty until she turns back to Him 2:2-7

a. The LORD accuses the nation of breaking her covenant relationship with Him 2:2a

b. The LORD threatens to chastise the nation if it does not relent from its spiritual adultery 2:2b-3

c. The LORD threatens to chastise the nation’s children too because the nation has sought out adulterous relations 2:4-5

d. The LORD threatens to chastise the nation until it returns to Him 2:6-7

2. Because the nation did not realize that it was the LORD who gave to her what good she had, it will be taken away from her in discipline 2:8-13

a. The nation did not realize that her blessing, expended upon Baal, was from the LORD 2:8

b. The LORD declares that the nation will be punished through judgment for its use of His blessing to worship the Baals 2:9-13

3. The LORD declares that after judgment He will bring His faithless wife back to Him in a time of blessing restoring the covenant 2:14-23

a. The LORD promises to bring the nation back to Him as His committed wife after her judgment 2:14-17

b. The LORD promises to make a covenant with the nation (and creation) providing for a relationship of righteousness, lovingkindness, compassion, and faithfulness 2:18-20

c. The Lord promises to restore the land in blessing and the nation to the land in her covenant relationship 2:21-23

C. Hosea’s redemption and seclusion of his wife Gomer is symbolic of the LORD’s redemption and captivity of the nation Israel in order to turn her back to Him 3:1-5

1. Hosea is to go and love Gomer even though she is an adulteress to picture the LORD’s love for Israel who is an idolatress people 3:1

2. Hosea redeems Gomer (from whoever owns her at the time) for fifteen shekels of silver and some barley 3:2

3. Hosea was to prohibit Gomer from any relations with a man as a picture of the coming captivity of the nation Israel so that the nation will return with a desire for the LORD 3:3-5

III. The LORD directly indicts the nation Israel (and Judah) for their breaking of their covenantal relationship with Him in three specific areas: (1) their lack and rejection of the knowledge of the LORD, (2) their lack of loyal love, and (3) their faithlessness--in order to reveal the reason for their coming judgment which ultimately will lead to restoration2 4:1--13:6

A. In a summary statement the LORD indicts the nation of Israel for their lack of faithfulness, kindness and knowledge of God which results in judgment in the land3 4:1-3

B. The First Indictment: The LORD indicts the nation for a lack of knowledge and a rejection of knowledge of the LORD so that they will understand the coming affliction which will cause them to turn to Him and be restored 4:4-19

1. The LORD indicts the people of the nation for having no knowledge of Him since they will not listen to His teaching and are given over to idolatry 4:4-19

a. The nation has rejected knowledge, and forgotten the Law and will thus be rejected and forgotten by the LORD 4:4-6

b. The the people sin against one another and direct one another into more sin, therefore they will be judged 4:7-10

c. The people of Israel are without understanding in that they are given over to idolatry 4:11-14

d. The people of Israel are warned not to go to holy cities and pollute them with their idolatry, but to remain alone unto their own judgment 4:15-19

2. The LORD indicts the leaders of Israel and Judah for their evil leadership which has led the people into the deep sin of idolatry and no knowledge of the LORD 5:1-

a. The LORD sees that the spiritual and political leaders of Israel have led the people on both sides of the Jordan and Judah into the sin of idolatry without knowledge of the LORD which will result in judgment 5:1-7

b. The LORD will bring about judgment in Israel and in Judah for their political crimes (in going to Assyria) against Him 5:8-15

3. The LORD exhorts the people to return to Him in a desire to know Him after their experience of judgment because He will bring them the refreshment of blessing 6:1-3

C. The Second Indictment: The LORD indicts Israel and Judah for having a lack of loyal love ( dsj ) in order that they might understand the coming purifying judgment and possible repent to their loyal God who will restore them to the Land 6:4--11:11

1. Summary statement: Israel and Judah have demonstrated their disloyalty by transgressing their covenant with the LORD in evil actions which will lead to judgment for both nations 6:4-11

2. Israel is demonstrated to be a wicked, disloyal nation both internally and externally before the LORD who is loyal to her 7:1-16

a. Israel is internally evil before the LORD 7:1-7

1) The nation is full of thieves and bandits 7:1

2) The nation does not consider that the LORD sees what they are doing 7:2

3) The rulers join in with the people in their evil 7:3

4) The rulers are extremely evil and do not call upon the LORD 7:4-7

b. Israel is externally evil before the LORD 7:8-

1) Israel has become weak through her fickle alliances with other nations but she does not see it and will be captured by the LORD 7:8-12

2) Israel will receive the judgment of captivity because they have turned away from the LORD who made them prosperous for other nations 7:13-16

3. Because Israel has broken her covenant with the LORD and not shown loyal love, judgment is coming but He will love them as God and one day restore them to the land 8:1--11:11

a. Summary statement: Judgment is coming against Israel because they have transgressed the LORD’s covenant and rebelled against His Law 8:1

b. Judgment is coming against Israel because they have rebelled against the LORD whom they claim to know and be in covenant relation (no loyal love) 8:2--9:17

1) Judgment is coming against Israel because she speaks of knowing the LORD but chooses her leaders without consulting Him 8:2-4a

2) Judgment is coming against Israel because she has entered into idolatrous worship at Samaria 8:4b-7

3) Judgment is coming against Israel even though she has entered into alliances with other nations (Assyria) 8:8-10

4) Captivity in Egypt is coming upon Israel for her lawless, idolatrous practices and destruction upon Judah for her godless self sufficiency 8:11-14

5) Israel is going to be taken into an “unclean” captivity in Egypt and Assyria for her idolatrous ways 9:1-6

6) Israel’s time of punishment and retribution through captivity has come because of the deepness of her rebellious sin against God 9:7-9

7) Although the initial days of the nation were refreshing to the LORD, they showed their nature at Beth-peor and have fulfilled that at Gilgal in their idolatrous activities requiring judgment from the hand of the LORD 9:10-17

a) God found the foundations of the nation to be refreshing like grapes and figs 9:10a

b) At Baal-peor Israel became detestable to the LORD for their idolatry (Num. 25) 9:10b

c) The greatness of Israel will fail as the LORD destroys their heritage 9:11-14

d) Israel will receive a debilitating judgment from the LORD because of their idolatrous sin at Gilgal 9:15-17

c. Even though Israel must be judged for her wicked idolatry, she is exhorted to use the discipline as a time to seek the LORD until He returns with blessing 10:1-15

1) In Israel’s fruitful prosperity, she turned inward in her idolatrous desires and from God to the point that she must now be judged by the LORD 10:1-2

2) The nation makes empty covenants with the LORD and kings because of their own desires 10:3-4

3) When Israel is taken captive the people will grieve and mourn for their pagan calf which will also be taken captive to Assyria to shame them 10:5-6

4) Israel and her high places will be destroyed to their dismay 10:7-8

5) Israel will receive judgment from the LORD for her sensual sinfulness since the days of Gibeah (Judges 19) 10:9-10

6) Israel is exhorted to seek the LORD in her judgment so that He might bless her, but her judgment is still certain by Shalmanaser V of Assyria because of her wickedness 10:11-15

d. Although judgment will occur because of Israel’s constant turning from the LORD, He will love them as God and one day restore them to the land 11:1-11

1) From Israel’s youth, the LORD has loved them and provided for their well being, but they have turned away from Him 11:1-4

2) Israel will go in to captivity under Assyria, rather than Egypt, because they speak of the “One on High” but continually turn away from Him 11:5-7

3) Although judgment is imminent, God will not abandon His people Israel because He is God and not man in his love; He will one day call them from captivity to dwell together again in the land 11:8-11

D. The Third Indictment:4 The LORD indicts Israel for having a lack of faithfulness so that they will understand their coming judgment and return to Him who will not completely destroy them due to His faithfulness 11:12--13:16

1. Summary statement: Israel and Judah are unfaithful (lie and are deceitful) against God who is faithful) 11:12

2. Israel and Judah are unfaithful with their covenants to Egypt and Assyria 12:1

3. The nation has been like Jacob in their manipulative self-protection, but is urged to also be like Jacob in their return to the LORD after they have fought with Him 12:2-6

a. The LORD has a dispute with Israel and Judah because of their ways 12:2

b. Jacob, the nation’s father wrestled to protect himself only to return to the LORD after he wrestled with Him therefore Israel should also return to the LORD 12:3-6

4. Unlike Jacob, Israel has become like the Canaanites who do evil and yet do not see it; The LORD sees and will judge them for it 12:7-11

a. God loves to oppress the ungodly (Canaanites) who oppress others 12:7

b. Unlike Jacob, Israel has become like the Canaanites in that she does not recognize the evil of her ways 12:8

c. God who has spoken the truth through His prophets has seen and sees the idolatrous evil of Israel and will judge her for it 12:9-11

5. Although the father of the nation had to leave the land, the nation was brought back to the land by the LORD, but Israel’s sin is so great that the LORD will again bring about a departure 12:12-14

6. Israel exalted herself through idolatrous worship and will disappear because of it 13:1-3

7. Even though it was the LORD who cared for Israel, they forgot Him, and thus He became their adversary 13:4-8

a. The LORD has been Israel’s only God who cared for them, but they became satisfied and proud in the land and forgot Him 13:4-6

b. Because Israel has forgotten the LORD he will become their adversary 13:7-8

8. The LORD proclaims that Israel will suffer a brutal judgment from which she cannot be delivered because she rebelled and would not repent before God 13:9-16

a. Israel’s choice to be against the LORD is the reason for her upcoming destruction 13:9

b. Israel has no king or princes to protect them because they were given by the LORD in His anger and taken away in His wrath 13:10-11

c. The LORD notes that Israel will not be spared because she would not repent, but the LORD will not completely destroy the nation forever 13:12-13

d. The LORD proclaims that although Israel appears to be flourishing, she will be taken brutally judged by the LORD’s instrument--Assyria 13:14-16

IV. The LORD calls upon the nation to repent and turn to Him for restoration5 14:1-8

A. The LORD exhorts the nation to repent from their trust in other nations and to seek His gracious and merciful restoration 14:1-3

B. The LORD promises to heal, love and bless the nation abundantly 14:4-7

C. The LORD calls upon Israel to recognize that blessing does not come through idols but through Him alone 14:8

V. Conclusion: The reader is exhorted to be wise unto life by understanding who the LORD is and obeying Him rather than being foolish and disobeying Him which would result in death 14:9


1 This illustration is placed at the front of the book to function as an introduction to the book's message, as a picture which will illumine the remainder of the book (4--14). Every element of the remainder of the book can be found in this illustration (i.e., the nations faithlessness, God's faithfulness, the nation's coming judgment, future repentance, and hope of restoration). Therefore, this unit illustrates the content of the rest of the book, and encourages the nation on an emotional level to repent to their loving God.

2 Hosea seems to work from the general to the specific throughout the book. Looking at the book as a whole this literary development can be seen in the general illustration of the message of the book which is now followed by a detailed expression of the same information but now in the form of a lawsuit against the nation. Within these two larger divisions the principle is again seen in that there is a summary in the illustration section followed by detail (cf. 1:1--2:1 and 2:2--3:5) and there is a summary in this section of the lawsuit followed by a detailed discussion (cf. 4:1-3 and 4:4--13:16). Therefore, this section is placed after the illustration of Hosea and his family to more specifically indict the nation for their unfaithfulness in three specific areas so that they will understand why it is that punishment is coming.

3 Having illustrated his topic, the Lord now expands upon it by expressing the nation's violation of the covenant in summary form. This will be developed extensively in the three section in an inverted order from its presentation in this summary. Concerning the order of the topics, there may well be a cause-effect relationship in that knowledge leads to love which leads ultimately to a faithful commitment. The inverted order in the summary is probably given because the summary is an expression of the entire argument and thus is begins with the final effect or result of the progression (e.g. no faithfulness) and then traces backward its development. However in the discussion proper (4:4--13:16) the development is unveiled in its natural progression of cause to effect to effect.

4 This is the last of the LORD's three areas of indictment being the result of the former two. The purpose of this section is to show the complete unreliability of both Israel and Judah, not only with God, but with other men as well. Therefore the LORD has no choice but to purify the nation through judgment, but He will not completely destroy them, thus showing His faithfulness.

5 This section is the climax of the book for it is the hidden purpose in the previous two sections (hidden in that it is not emphasized) which now rises as the reason for the preceding indictments. It is as though that first two sections were the cause and this last is the desired effect of them. Hosea has been arguing for the people to repent, but before that was possible it was necessary to reveal their sin and its consequence (e.g., judgment). Now, having done this, the LORD calls upon them for repentance wherein He will demonstrate His faithfulness to them in restoring them. The illustration of Hosea and his redemptive love for Gomer is seen here and thus the cycle is complete as it was originally given in the opening illustration in its offer of restoration. The reality of restoration is yet to come based upon the nation's repentance.

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines