The book of Hosea was considered as one of the Book of Twelve. The Septuagint also grouped the twelve together as they are traditionally understood to have been placed on one scroll.

Hosea is part of the first group of the twelve prophets. The three groups can be considered as follows:

  1. The period of Assyrian power: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah
  2. The period of rising Babylonian power: Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah
  3. Those post-Babylonian exile: Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Hosea and these other books are referred to as “minor prophets” strictly due to their brevity compared to Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. The latter three consider by Jews in the few centuries prior to Christ as parallel to the twelve prophets with respect to the prophetic nature and content. When adding Daniel to the mix, the sum becomes what might be referred to as the “Latter Prophets”. “Latter” being relative to the division of the kingdom of Israel after the death of Solomon.

In studying the book of Hosea, we need to remember the significance of the writing for Christians. First is the declaration by the Lord himself:

Luke 24:44  And He said to them, These are the Words which I spoke to you yet being with you, that all the things must be fulfilled having been written in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms, concerning Me.

Second is the fact that the book of Hosea is quoted multiple times in the New Testament, giving credit to the first two verses of the writing. This being the Godly and truthful revelation given to Hosea for sharing with Israel. Consider these citations in the New Testament:


Matthew 2:15  And he was there until the end of Herod, that might be fulfilled that spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I have called My Son."


Hosea 11:1  When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and I called My Son out of Egypt. 



Matthew 9:13  But going, learn what this is, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice." For I did not come to call righteous ones, but sinners to repentance.


Hosea 6:6  For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 



Luke 23:30  "Then they will begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us! And to the hills, Cover us!"


Hosea 10:8  Also, the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed. The thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars. And they shall say to the mountains, Cover us! and to the hills, Fall on us! 


Romans 9:25  As also He says in Hosea, I will call those Not My people, My people! And those not beloved, Beloved!


Hosea 2:23  And I will sow her to Me in the earth. And I will have mercy on No Mercy. And I will say to Not My People, You are My people! And they shall say, My God! 



Romans 9:26  "And it shall be, in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there they will be called, "Sons of the Living God."


Hosea 1:10  Yet the number of the sons of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which is not measured nor numbered. And it shall be, in the place where it is said to them, You are not My people, it shall be said to them, Sons of the Living God. 



1Corinthians 15:55  "O death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?"


Hosea 13:14  I will ransom them from the hand of Sheol; I will redeem them from death. O death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your ruin? Repentance is hidden from My eyes. 


The first verse gives the time of the writing. An acceptable range of dates for Hosea’s work is about 785 to 725 BC. That makes 60 years of work in service to the Lord. He preached to the people and appealed to the king of Israel to repent of sins. He must have been young as it goes for prophets in the beginning of his work. This is good for most preachers also, to start young. They can call on the strength of their youth to energetically toil through personnel mistakes and even bad decisions on the part of their audience. Through the repetition of their preaching and studying they gain the efficiency of steadfast experience which can help ease the associated stress due to Godly wisdom. But with the age and wisdom comes the opportunity for continued work and continued rejection as in the case of Hosea. Notice the list of Israelite and Judean kings that should have heard God’s message of love and repentance from sins through Hosea. Jeroboam would have been the immediate recipient of Hosea’s preaching. This Jeroboam is usually referred to as Jeroboam II.

2Kings 14:23  In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash the king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Jehoash the king of Israel reigned in Samaria, forty one years. 

Jeroboam II is believed to have reigned in Samaria from 789-749 BC, or about 41 years with the first two years in association with his father. In fact, Jeroboam II is stated to have committed all the acts of sin that Jeroboam the son of Nebat committed.

2Kings 14:24  And he did the evil in the eyes of Jehovah; he did not turn aside from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he caused Israel to sin. 

Jeroboam the son of Nebat was the first king of Israel (Northern Kingdom) after Solomon. He was the son of a servant to King Solomon. His reign is generally accepted as 931-910 BC. A reign of 21 years and about 121 years prior to Jeroboam II.

Jeroboam II set up idol worshipping centers in the traditional points of worship from the perspective of Israel’s history. The real problem was the effort in producing physical idols such as golden calves and anything necessary to honor the foreign cults. This was usually a method of maintaining treaties and alliances with the carnal and godless countries around them. They, of course, drafted the secular and religious practices that were promised by Jehovah to bring wrath and judgment. There were two main points of worship set up similarly to Jeroboam son of Nebat, one in Dan and the other in Beth-el. These were to persuade the people under Samaritan rule to remain loyal to Israel and not go south to Jerusalem to worship.

There were three other prophets noted to have preached in the days of Jeroboam II: Jonah, Amos, and Joel.

Following is a brief outline for the book:

Chapter 1


Marriage with an Unfaithful Wife

Chapter 2


Israel's Unfaithfulness




Chapter 3


Second Marriage/Triumph of Love

Chapter 4


Sins of Israel

Chapter 5


Guilt of the Leaders

Chapter 6


Israel and Judah Are Unrepentant

Chapter 7


Alliance with foreigners

Chapter 8


Consequence of unfaithful worship

Chapter 9


Punishment for idolatry

Chapter 10


Retribution for sins of Israel

Chapter 11


The Lord's Love for Israel

Chapter 12


Infidelity of Israel declared

Chapter 13


Punishment for Ingratitude

Chapter 14


The Sincere Conversion