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The Prophets Before the Exile

(Category 8 of 16)

Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Hosea, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Hosea, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how they work within the Bible’s overall framework.

In this book, Hosea accuses Israel of breaking their covenant with God and warns them of the tragic consequences to follow.

Explore Hosea



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The Book of


HOSEA, whose name means “Salvation,” ministers to the northern kingdom of
Israel (also called Ephraim, after its largest tribe). Outwardly, the nation is
enjoying a time of prosperity and growth; but inwardly, moral corruption and spiritual
adultery permeate the people. Hosea, instructed by God to marry a woman
named Gomer, finds his domestic life to be an accurate and tragic dramatization
of the unfaithfulness of God’s people. During his half century of prophetic ministry,
Hosea repeatedly echoes his threefold message: God abhors the sins of His
people; judgment is certain; but God’s loyal love stands firm.
The names Hosea, Joshua, and Jesus are all derived from the same Hebrew root
word. The word hoshea means “salvation,” but “Joshua” and “Jesus” include an
additional idea: “Yahweh Is Salvation.” As God’s messenger, Hosea offers the possibility
of salvation if only the nation will turn from idolatry back to God.
Israel’s last king, Hoshea, has the same name as the prophet even though the
English Bible spells them differently. Hosea in the Greek and Latin is Osee.


1 THE word of the LORD that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of aUzziah, bJotham, cAhaz, and dHezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of eJeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.

The Family of Hosea

2 When the LORD began to speak by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea:

a“Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For bthe land has committed great 1harlotry By departing from the LORD.”

3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
4 Then the LORD said to him:

“Call his name Jezreel, For in a little while aI will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, bAnd bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.
5 aIt shall come to pass in that day That I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”

CHAPTER 1 References

1 aAmos 1:1
b2 Chr. 27
c2 Chr. 28
d2 Chr.
e2 Kin. 13:13;
2 aHos. 3:1
bJer. 2:13
4 a2 Kin. 10:11
b2 Kin.
15:8–10; 17:6,
23; 18:11
5 a2 Kin. 15:29
6 a2 Kin. 17:6
1Lit. No-
Mercy 2Or
That I may
forgive them
at all
7 a2 Kin.
b[Zech. 4:6] 9 1Lit. Not-
10 aGen. 22:17;
32:12 b1 Pet.

6 And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him:

“Call her name 1Lo-Ruhamah, aFor I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, 2But I will utterly take them away.
7 aYet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, Will save them by the LORD their God, And bwill not save them by bow, Nor by sword or battle, By horses or horsemen.”

8 Now when she had weaned Lo- Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son.
9 Then God said:

Call his name 1Lo-Ammi, For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.

The Restoration of Israel

10 “Yet athe number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. bAnd it shall come to pass

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In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are 1not My cpeople,’ There it shall be said to them, ‘You are dsons of the living God.’
11 aThen the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out of the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel!


1 Say to your brethren, 1‘My people,’ And to your sisters, 2‘Mercy is shown.’

God’s Unfaithful People

2 “Bring1 charges against your mother, 2bring charges; For ashe is not My wife, nor am I her Husband! Let her put away her bharlotries from her sight, And her adulteries from between her breasts;
3 Lest aI strip her naked And expose her, as in the day she was bborn, And make her like a wilderness, And set her like a dry land, And slay her with cthirst.

4 “I will not have mercy on her children, For they are the achildren of harlotry.
5 For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has behaved shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, aWho give me my bread and my water, My wool and my linen, My oil and my drink.’

6 “Therefore, behold, aI will hedge up your way with thorns, And 1wall her in, So that she cannot find her paths.
7 She will 1chase her lovers, But not overtake them; Yes, she will seek them, but not find them. Then she will say, a‘I will go and return to my bfirst husband, For then it was better for me than now.’
8 For she did not aknow That I gave her grain, new wine, and oil,

10 cRom. 9:26
d[John 1:12] 1Heb. loammi,
v. 9
11 aIs.

CHAPTER 2 References

1 1Heb. Ammi,
Hos. 1:9, 10
Hos. 1:6
2 aIs. 50:1
bEzek. 16:25
1Or Contend
with 2Or contend
3 aJer. 13:22,
26 bEzek.
16:4–7, 22
4 aJohn 8:41
5 aHos. 2:8, 12
6 aLam. 3:7, 9
1Lit. wall up
her wall
7 aLuke 15:17,
18 bEzek.
16:8; 23:4 1Or
8 aIs. 1:3
10 aEzek.
11 aAmos 5:21;
14 1Lit. to her
15 aJosh. 7:26
cEx. 15:1
16 1Heb. Ishi
2Heb. Baali
17 aEx. 23:13
18 aJob 5:23

HOSEA 2:18

And multiplied her silver and gold— Which they prepared for Baal.

9 “Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time And My new wine in its season, And will take back My wool and My linen, Given to cover her nakedness.
10 Now aI will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, And no one shall deliver her from My hand.
11 aI will also cause all her mirth to cease, Her feast days, Her New Moons, Her Sabbaths— All her appointed feasts.

12 “And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, Of which she has said, ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me.’ So I will make them a forest, And the beasts of the field shall eat them.
13 I will punish her For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot,” says the LORD.

God’s Mercy on His People

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak 1comfort to her.
15 I will give her her vineyards from there, And athe Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, As in bthe days of her youth, cAs in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

16 “And it shall be, in that day,” Says the LORD, “That you will call Me 1‘My Husband,’ And no longer call Me 2‘My Master,’
17 For aI will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more.
18 In that day I will make a acovenant for them With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground.

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HOSEA 2:19

Bow and sword of battle bI will shatter from the earth, To make them clie down safely.

19 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy;
20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And ayou shall know the LORD.

21 “It shall come to pass in that day That aI will answer,” says the LORD; “I will answer the heavens, And they shall answer the earth.
22 The earth shall answer With grain, With new wine, And with oil; They shall answer 1Jezreel.
23 Then aI will sow her for Myself in the earth, bAnd I will have mercy on her who had 1not obtained mercy; Then cI will say to those who were 2not My people, ‘You are 3My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’ ”

Israel Will Return to God


1 Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a alover1 and is committing adultery, just like the love of the LORD for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.”
2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley.
3 And I said to her, “You shall astay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man—so, too, will I be toward you.”
4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days awithout king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without bephod or cteraphim.
5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and aseek the LORD their God and bDavid their king. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the clatter days.

God’s Charge Against Israel


1 Hear the word of the LORD, You children of Israel, For the LORD brings a acharge1 against the inhabitants of the land:

“There is no truth or mercy Or bknowledge of God in the land.
2 By swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery,

18 bIs. 2:4
cLev. 26:5
20 a[Jer. 31:33,
34] 21 aZech. 8:12
22 1Lit. God
Will Sow
23 aJer. 31:27
bHos. 1:6
cHos. 1:10
1Heb. loruhamah
2Heb. lo-ammi
3Heb. ammi

CHAPTER 3 References

1 aJer. 3:20
1Lit. friend or
3 aDeut. 21:13
4 aHos. 10:3
bEx. 28:4–12
cJudg. 17:5;
18:14, 17
5 aJer. 50:4
bJer. 30:9 c[Is.
2:2, 3]

CHAPTER 4 References

1 aIs. 1:18 bJer.
4:22 1A legal
2 1Lit. touching
3 aAmos 5:16;
8:8 bZeph. 1:3
4 aDeut. 17:12
5 aJer. 15:8
6 aIs. 5:13
bEzek. 22:26
7 a1 Sam. 2:30
1So with MT,
scribal tradition,
Syr., Tg.
They will
change 2So
with MT,
LXX, Syr.,
scribal tradition
My glory
8 1Desires
9 aIs. 24:2
10 aLev. 26:26
11 aIs. 5:12;
12 aJer. 2:27
bIs. 44:19, 20
1Diviner’s rod
13 aIs. 1:29;
57:5, 7 bAmos

They break all restraint, With bloodshed 1upon bloodshed.
3 Therefore athe land will mourn; And beveryone who dwells there will waste away With the beasts of the field And the birds of the air; Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.

4 “Now let no man contend, or rebuke another; For your people are like those awho contend with the priest.
5 Therefore you shall stumble ain the day; The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night; And I will destroy your mother.
6 aMy people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; bBecause you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

7 “The more they increased, The more they sinned against Me; aI1 will change 2their glory into shame.
8 They eat up the sin of My people; They set their 1heart on their iniquity.
9 And it shall be: alike people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, And 1reward them for their deeds.
10 For athey shall eat, but not have enough; They shall commit harlotry, but not increase; Because they have ceased obeying the LORD.

The Idolatry of Israel

11 “Harlotry, wine, and new wine aenslave the heart.
12 My people ask counsel from their awooden idols, And their 1staff informs them. For bthe spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray, And they have played the harlot against their God.
13 aThey offer sacrifices on the mountaintops, And burn incense on the hills, Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths, Because their shade is good. bTherefore your daughters commit harlotry, And your brides commit adultery.

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14 “I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry, Nor your brides when they commit adultery; For the men themselves go apart with harlots, And offer sacrifices with a aritual harlot. Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled.

15 “Though you, Israel, play the harlot, Let not Judah offend. aDo not come up to Gilgal, Nor go up to bBeth1 Aven, cNor swear an oath, saying, ‘As the LORD lives’—

16 “For Israel ais stubborn Like a stubborn calf; Now the LORD will let them forage Like a lamb in 1open country.

17 “Ephraim is joined to idols, aLet him alone.
18 Their drink 1is rebellion, They commit harlotry continually. aHer 2rulers 3dearly love dishonor.
19 aThe wind has wrapped her up in its wings, And bthey shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

Impending Judgment on Israel and Judah


1 “Hear this, O priests! Take heed, O house of Israel! Give ear, O house of the king! For 1yours is the judgment, Because ayou have been a snare to Mizpah And a net spread on Tabor.
2 The revolters are adeeply involved in slaughter, Though I rebuke them all.
3 aI know Ephraim, And Israel is not hidden from Me; For now, O Ephraim, byou commit harlotry; Israel is defiled.

4 “They1 do not direct their deeds Toward turning to their God, For athe spirit of harlotry is in their midst, And they do not know the LORD.
5 The apride of Israel testifies to his face; Therefore Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also stumbles with them.

6 “With their flocks and herds aThey shall go to seek the LORD, But they will not find Him;

14 aDeut.
15 aHos. 9:15;
12:11 b1 Kin.
12:29 cAmos
8:14 1Lit.
House of Idolatry
16 aJer. 3:6;
7:24; 8:5 1Lit.
a large place
17 aMatt. 15:14
18 aMic. 3:11
1Or has
turned aside
2Lit. shields
3Heb. difficult;
a Jewish
love, ‘Give!’
19 aJer. 51:1
bIs. 1:29

CHAPTER 5 References

1 aHos. 6:9
1Or to you
2 aIs. 29:15
3 aAmos 3:2;
5:12 bHos.
4 aHos. 4:12
1Or Their
deeds will not
allow them to
5 aHos. 7:10
6 aProv. 1:28
7 aJer. 3:20
1Lit. strange
8 aJoel 2:1 bIs.
10:30 cJosh.
10 aDeut.
19:14; 27:17
11 aDeut.
28:33 bMic.
12 aProv. 12:4
13 aJer. 30:12–
15 b2 Kin.
14 aLam. 3:10
bPs. 50:22
15 1Lit.
become guilty
or bear punishment

He has withdrawn Himself from them.
7 They have adealt treacherously with the LORD, For they have begotten 1pagan children. Now a New Moon shall devour them and their heritage.

8 “Blowa the ram’s horn in Gibeah, The trumpet in Ramah! bCry aloud at cBeth Aven, ‘Look behind you, O Benjamin!’
9 Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure.

10 “The princes of Judah are like those who aremove a landmark; I will pour out My wrath on them like water.
11 Ephraim is aoppressed and broken in judgment, Because he willingly walked by bhuman precept.
12 Therefore I will be to Ephraim like a moth, And to the house of Judah alike rottenness.

13 “When Ephraim saw his sickness, And Judah saw his awound, Then Ephraim went bto Assyria And sent to King Jareb; Yet he cannot cure you, Nor heal you of your wound.
14 For aI will be like a lion to Ephraim, And like a young lion to the house of Judah. bI, even I, will tear them and go away; I will take them away, and no one shall rescue.
15 I will return again to My place Till they 1acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”

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The Joy of Going to the House of the LORD

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

1 I WAS glad when they said to me, a“Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
2 Our feet have been standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem!

3 Jerusalem is built As a city that is acompact together,
4 aWhere the tribes go up, The tribes of the LORD, 1To bthe Testimony of Israel, To give thanks to the name of the LORD.

PSALM 122 References

1 a[Is. 2:3; Mic.
4:2]; Zech.
3 a2 Sam. 5:9
4 aEx. 23:17;
Deut. 16:16
bEx. 16:34 1Or
As a testimony
5 aDeut. 17:8;
2 Chr. 19:8
6 aPs. 51:18
9 aNeh. 2:10;
Esth. 10:3

5 aFor thrones are set there for judgment, The thrones of the house of David.

6 aPray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.
7 Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.”
8 For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.”
9 Because of the house of the LORD our God I will aseek your good.




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