Exegetical Paper on Hosea (Focus on Hosea 11:1-11) HTML version

Brief Background on the Person and Book of Hosea
Right at the beginning of the book, Hosea is identified as the son of Beeri. Due to his
fathers name many assert that he may be from the tribe of Rueben. Non the less, as there is no
substantial evidence to support this. The book was probably, written out in Judah, when the
prophet had been sent away. It is undoubtable that Hosea was a citizen of the Northern Kingdo m,
as we find him very acquainted with the historical conditions of the land and the foreign interest
of the North.1
Understanding the message of Hosea consist of understanding the Sinai covenant that
God had made with the Israelites. Hosea depicts this by announcing a series of blessing and
cures by God, each cures or blessing based on the Mosaic law. Hosea’s task was mainly to warn
the people that Yahweh intended to enforce the terms of his contract. Due to the nature of the
state of the northern kingdom (their continued cycle of covenant-breaking), it was evident that
Gods word to them could have hardly been positive. The book contains hope to the faithful that
someday God would again bring prosperity to Israel. But the majority of the book containes
oracles of woes against the nation for breaking the covenant.2
Though various dates are submitted for various reasons by various scholars, most agree to
the dates 785-745 BC, the chronological dates of Jeroboam II. The names of the kings listed in
the first verse of the first chapter suggest that Hosea’s mission continued to commence through
S. R. Driver, A Plummber, C.A Briggs, eds., The International Critical Commentary: Hosea (Edinburgh: T & T
Clark LTD., 1979) cxl.
David Hybbard, Glenn Barke, eds., Word Biblical Commentary: Hosea – Jonah (Waco: Word Books Publisher,
1987) 6-7.