Hosea

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Hosea
Hosea.jpg
An 18th-century Russian icon of the prophet Hosea (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi monastery, Karelia, Russia)
Prophet
Venerated in Judaism
Christianity
Islam
Major shrine Safed, Israel
Feast October 17 (Orthodox Christianity)
Attributes Prophet
Major works Book of Hosea
Illustration of Hosea and Gomer from the Bible Historiale, 1372 Hosea and Gomer.jpg
Illustration of Hosea and Gomer from the Bible Historiale, 1372
The Prophet Hosea, by Duccio di Buoninsegna, in the Siena Cathedral (c. 1309-1311) Duccio di Buoninsegna 063.jpg
The Prophet Hosea, by Duccio di Buoninsegna, in the Siena Cathedral (c. 1309–1311)

In the Hebrew Bible, Hosea ( /ˌhˈzə/ or /hˈzə/ ; Hebrew : הוֹשֵׁעַHōšēaʿ, 'Salvation'; Greek : ὩσηέHōsēé), son of Beeri, was an 8th-century BC prophet in Israel and the nominal primary author of the Book of Hosea. He is the first of the Twelve Minor Prophets, whose collective writings were aggregated and organized into a single book in the Jewish Tanakh by the Second Temple period, forming the last book of the Nevi'im; but which writings are distinguished as individual books in Christianity. [1] Hosea is often seen as a "prophet of doom", but underneath his message of destruction is a promise of restoration. The Talmud claims that he was the greatest prophet of his generation. [2] The period of Hosea's ministry extended to some sixty years, and he was the only prophet of Israel of his time who left any written prophecy.

Contents

Name

The name Hosea (meaning 'salvation', 'he saves' or 'he helps'), seems to have been common, being derived from a related verb meaning salvation. Numbers 13:16 states that Hosea was the original name of Joshua, son of Nun until Moses gave him the longer, theophoric name Yehoshua (Hebrew : יְהוֹשֻֽׁעַ) incorporating an abbreviated form of the Tetragrammaton. Rashi writes in Sotah 34b that Joshua is a compound name of יה (Yah) and הושע (Hosea, "God may save"). [3]

Location

Although it is not expressly stated in the Book of Hosea, it is apparent from the level of detail and familiarity focused on northern geography, that Hosea conducted his prophetic ministries in the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), of which he was a native. [4] In Hosea 5:8 ff., there seems to be a reference to the Syro-Ephraimite War which led to the capture of the kingdom by the Assyrians (c. 734–732 BC). Hosea's long ministry, from the reign of Jeroboam II (787-747) to the reign of Hoshea (731-722), [5] seems to have ended before the fall of Samaria in 722/721. [6]

Family

Little is known about the life or social status of Hosea. According to the Book of Hosea, he married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, [1] but she proved to be unfaithful. Hosea knew she would be unfaithful, as God says this to him immediately in the opening statements of the book. This marriage was arranged in order to serve to the prophet as a symbol of Israel's unfaithfulness to the Lord. [4] His marriage will dramatize the breakdown in the relationship between God and His people Israel. [7] Hosea's family life reflected the "adulterous" relationship which Israel had built with other gods.

Similarly, his children's names represent God's estrangement from Israel. [7] They are prophetic of the fall of the ruling dynasty and the severed covenant with God much like the prophet Isaiah a generation later. The name of Hosea's daughter, Lo-ruhamah, which translates as 'not pitied', is chosen as a sign of displeasure with the people of Israel for following false gods. [8] The name of Hosea's son, Lo-ammi, which translates as 'not my people', is chosen as a sign of the Lord's displeasure with the people of Israel for following those false gods. [9]

Christian thought

One of the early writing prophets, Hosea used his own experience as a symbolic representation of God and Israel. The relationship between Hosea and Gomer parallels the relationship between God and Israel. Even though Gomer runs away from Hosea and sleeps with another man, he loves her anyway and forgives her. Likewise, even though the people of Israel worshipped false gods, God continued to love them and did not abandon his covenant with them. [6]

The Book of Hosea was a severe warning to the northern kingdom against the growing idolatry being practiced there; the book was a dramatic call to repentance. Christians extend the analogy of Hosea to Christ and the church: Christ the husband, his church the bride. Christians see in this book a comparable call to the church not to forsake the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians also take the buying back of Gomer as the redemptive qualities of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

Other preachers, like Charles Spurgeon, saw Hosea as a striking presentation of the mercy of God in his sermon on Hosea 1:7 titled The LORD's Own Salvation. “But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.” – Bible, Hosea 1:7 [10] [11]

Islamic literature

The Qur'an mentions only some prophets by name but makes it clear that many were sent who are not mentioned. [12] Therefore, many Muslim scholars, such as Ibn Ishaq, speak of Hosea as one of the true Hebrew prophets of Israel. The Book of Hosea has also been used in Qur'anic exegesis by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, especially in reference to Qur'anic verses which speak of the backsliding of Israel. [13]

Observances

He is commemorated with the other Minor prophets in the Calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31. He is commemorated on the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar, with a feast day on October 17 (for those churches which follow the Julian Calendar, October 17 currently falls on October 30 of the modern Gregorian Calendar). He is also commemorated on the Sunday of the Holy Fathers (the Sunday before the Nativity of the Lord).

Several haftarot are taken from Hosea, including those for Vayetze, Vayishlach, Bamidbar, Naso, Shabbat Shuvah, and (Sephardic only) Tisha B'Av.

Tomb of Hosea

The structure at the cemetery in Safed known as the Tomb of Hosea Hosea's tomb.jpg
The structure at the cemetery in Safed known as the Tomb of Hosea

Jewish tradition holds that the tomb of Hosea is a structure located in the Jewish cemetery of Safed; [14] however, Emil G. Hirsch and Victor Ryssel, writing in The Jewish Encyclopedia, say that this tradition is "historically worthless". [4]

Related Research Articles

Book of Amos

The Book of Amos is the third of the Twelve Minor Prophets in the Tanakh/Old Testament and the second in the Greek Septuagint tradition. Amos, an older contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah, was active c. 750 BC during the reign of Jeroboam II, making Amos the first prophetic book of the Bible to be written. Amos lived in the kingdom of Judah but preached in the northern kingdom of Israel. His major themes of social justice, God's omnipotence, and divine judgment became staples of prophecy.

Book of Joel Book of the Bible

The Book of Joel is part of the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament, one of twelve prophetic books known as the Twelve Minor Prophets.

Book of Hosea Book of the Hebrew Bible

The Book of Hosea is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. According to the traditional order of most Hebrew Bibles, it is the first of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Book of Micah Book in the Hebrew Bible

The Book of Micah is the sixth of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible. Ostensibly, it records the sayings of Micah, whose name is Mikayahu, meaning "Who is like Yahweh?", an 8th-century BCE prophet from the village of Moresheth in Judah.

Elijah Biblical prophet

Elijah or Greek form Elias was, according to the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible, a prophet and a miracle worker who lived in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Ahab. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah defended the worship of the Hebrew God over that of the Canaanite deity Baal. God also performed many miracles through Elijah, including resurrection, bringing fire down from the sky, and entering heaven alive "by fire". He is also portrayed as leading a school of prophets known as "the sons of the prophets". Following his ascension, Elisha, his disciple and most devoted assistant, took over his role as leader of this school. The Book of Malachi prophesies Elijah's return "before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD", making him a harbinger of the Messiah and of the eschaton in various faiths that revere the Hebrew Bible. References to Elijah appear in Ecclesiasticus, the New Testament, the Mishnah and Talmud, the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and Baháʼí writings.

Ezekiel Prophet in the Abrahamic religions

Ezekiel is the central protagonist of the Book of Ezekiel in the Hebrew Bible.

Habakkuk Prophet of the Hebrew Bible

Habakkuk, who was active around 612 BC, was a prophet whose oracles and prayer are recorded in the Book of Habakkuk, the eighth of the collected twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible. He is revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Isaiah Israelite prophet

Isaiah was the 8th-century BC Israelite prophet after whom the Book of Isaiah is named.

Samuel Biblical figure

Samuel is a figure who, in the narratives of the Hebrew Bible, plays a key role in the transition from the period of the biblical judges to the institution of a kingdom under Saul, and again in the transition from Saul to David. He is venerated as a prophet by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. In addition to his role in the Hebrew Scriptures, Samuel is mentioned in the New Testament, in rabbinical literature, and in the second chapter of the Qur'an. He is also treated in the fifth through seventh books of Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews, written in the first century CE (AD). He is first called the Seer in 1 Samuel 9:9.

Job (biblical figure) Biblical figure

Job is the central figure of the Book of Job in the Bible. In rabbinical literature, Job is called one of the prophets of the Gentiles. In Islam, Job is also considered a prophet.

Amos (prophet) Hebrew prophet

In the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament, Amos was one of the Twelve Minor Prophets. An older contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah, Amos was active c. 760–755 BCE during the rule of kings Jeroboam II and Uzziah. He was from the southern Kingdom of Judah but preached in the northern Kingdom of Israel. Amos wrote at a time of relative peace and prosperity but also of neglect of God's laws. He spoke against an increased disparity between the very wealthy and the very poor. His major themes of justice, God's omnipotence, and divine judgment became staples of prophecy. The Book of Amos is attributed to him.

Micah (prophet) Prophet in Judaism

According to the Hebrew Bible, Micah was a prophet in Judaism and is the author of the Book of Micah. He is considered one of the Twelve Minor Prophets of the Hebrew Bible and was a contemporary of the prophets Isaiah, Amos and Hosea. Micah was from Moresheth-Gath, in southwest Judah. He prophesied during the reigns of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah.

Gomer (wife of Hosea)

Gomer (go'-mer) was the wife of the prophet Hosea, mentioned in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Hosea (1:3). Hosea 1:2 refers to her alternatively as a "promiscuous woman" (NIV), a "harlot" (NASB), and a "whore" (KJV) but Hosea is told to marry her according to Divine appointment. She is also described as the daughter of Diblaim.

According to Rashi, there were 48 prophets and 7 prophetesses of Judaism. The last Jewish prophet is believed to have been Malachi. In Jewish tradition it is believed that the period of prophecy, called Nevuah, ended with Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi at which time the "Shechinah departed from Israel".

Hosea 1

Hosea 1 is the first chapter of the Book of Hosea in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Hosea son of Beeri, and this chapter especially set forth the spiritual whoredom of Israel by symbolical acts. It is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.

Hosea 2

Hosea 2 is the second chapter of the Book of Hosea in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Hosea son of Beeri and this chapter contains the application of the symbols in the first chapter. It is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.

Hosea 3

Hosea 3 is the third chapter of the Book of Hosea in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Hosea son of Beeri and this chapter is about the symbol of Israel's condition in their present dispersion, subsequent to their return from Babylon. It is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.

Hosea 12 Chapter 12 of the Book of Hosea

Hosea 12 is the twelfth chapter of the Book of Hosea in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This chapter contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Hosea son of Beeri, and was delivered about the time of Israel's seeking the aid of the Egyptian king So, in violation of their covenant with Assyria. He exhorts them to follow their father Jacob's persevering prayerfulness, which brought God's favor upon him. As God is unchangeable, He will show the same favor to Jacob's posterity as He did to Jacob, if, like him, they seek God. It is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.

Hosea 13 Chapter 13 of the Book of Hosea

Hosea 13 is the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Hosea in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Hosea son of Beeri. This chapter and the next one may belong to the troubled times that followed Pekah's murder by Hoshea. The subject is the idolatry of Ephraim, notwithstanding God's past benefits, destined to be his ruin. It is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.

Ezekiel 23

Ezekiel 23 is the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Ezekiel in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet/priest Ezekiel, and is one of the Books of the Prophets. This chapter forms part of a series of "predictions regarding the fall of Jerusalem", and is written in the form of a message delivered by God to Ezekiel. It presents an extended metaphor in which Samaria and Jerusalem are compared to sisters named Oholah (Samaria) and Oholibah (Jerusalem), who are the wives of God and accused of "playing the whore" in Egypt then cuckolding her husband while he watched.

References

  1. 1 2 Smith, William Robertson; Robinson, Henry Wheeler (1911). "Hosea"  . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica . 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 784–786.
  2. Pesachim 87a
  3. Rosenbaum, M.; Silbermann, A.M. "Pentateuch with Rashi's commentary: Rashi on Numbers 13:16". Sefaria. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  4. 1 2 3 "HOSEA, THE PROPHET - JewishEncyclopedia.com". www.jewishencyclopedia.com.
  5. Day, J., Hosea in Barton, J. and Muddiman, J. (2001), The Oxford Bible Commentary, p. 751
  6. 1 2 "Hosea - Introduction". www.usccb.org.
  7. 1 2 "Hosea & Amos: Prophets to the North".
  8. In Bible, Hosea 2:23 she is redeemed, shown mercy with the term Ruhamah.
  9. see Bible, Hosea 1:89
  10. Hosea 1:7
  11. Spurgeon, in his sermon NO. 2057, December 16, 1888.
  12. Qur'an 40:78
  13. Abdullah Yusuf Ali refers to Hosea 8:14 for his notes on Q. 5:60
  14. Woodall, Chris (2018). Minor Prophets in a Major Key. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers. p. 5. ISBN   9781532642180.