So Hosea was a contemporary of Isaiah and Amos, and probably saw the northern kingdom invaded and taken into captivity by the Assyrians.
Hosea 1:2 - Hosea was told by God that he should marry an immoral woman, perhaps even a religious prostitute (one who used sexual intercourse as part of a worship ritual). Hosea's relationship with her and her children was to be an "acted prophecy". The relationship of Israel to God was often pictured as being like that of a bride to her husband - God was asking Hosea to show the people that by their joining in pagan worship they were doing the equivalent of committing adultery against God.
Hosea 1:4 - Jezreel was the valley overlooked by Megiddo in the northern kingdon of Israel. Naboth's vinyard was in Jezreel, and he was mudered there on the orders of queen Jezebel (I Kings 21:1-23). Then Jezebel and her son king Jehoram were killed there by Jehu (II Kings 9:16-37) and Jehu had seventy of Ahab's sons beheaded there ( II Kings 10:1-11 )
Hosea 1:6 - Lo-ruhamah means "Not obtaining mercy". The child was named as a warning to Israel that they had gone too far in apostacy, and had used up their last chance for mercy.
Hosea 1:9 - Lo-ammi means "Not my people" - God was saying that He would disown His people.
Hosea 2:1 - The promise that God would restore the relationship with His people - they would once again obtain mercy and be His people.
Hosea 2:16 - Ishi means "my man", "my husband". Baali means "my lord" and was used by a wife to her husband, but also as a form of address to the Canaanite storm/fertility god "Baal".
Hosea 3:4 - the Jews were without king or Temple for seventy years during the Exile in Babylon.
Hosea 4 - the fall of the northern kingdom is foretold.
Hosea 4:17 - Ephraim was one of the chief of the northern tribes.
Hosea 7:11 - Egypt and Assyria were the two great military powers at that time. Israel kept making and breaking political alliances with one or other of them, trusting in military and political strength rather than in God.
Hosea 7:12 - in those days birds were often caught for food by throwing a net to entangle them and bring them to earth.
Hosea 7:16 - a deceitful bow was one that was warped and could not shoot an arrow in a straight line.
Hosea 8:5 - Samaria was one of the capitals of the northern kingdom. Statues of bull calves had been set up as idols at various places in the kingdom.
Hosea 9:3 - the people were going to be taken as captives to Egypt and Assyria (and also, later, to Babylon).
Hosea 12:3 - God reminds the Israelites of their forefather Israel (originally called Jacob), and how he supplanted his brother Esau, and had a vision of heaven at Bethel (Genesis 25:21-26 & 28:10-19)
Hosea 14:3 - Asshur was another name for Assyria.
Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved
Department of Religion
Portales, NM 88130
Last Updated: April 9, 2008