Hosea accuses Israel of breaking their covenant with God

The northern kingdom of Israel enjoyed moderate success from conquering neighboring kingdoms, but they were spiritually bankrupt. King Jeroboam II, one of the worst kings in Israel's history, grew apathetic and allowed idol worship in the nation, opening the doorway for Israelites to cheat, steal, have unlawful sex, and even murder each other. Growing cold and distant, they had forgotten about God’s unending love for them, ushering in tragic consequences.

But God does not forget Israel even in their self-destruction. There is still hope. God will send a Messiah to restore Israel to covenant faithfulness and relationship with him.

God Is Forever Faithful

In the book of Hosea, God sends Hosea to Israel during the reign of King Jeroboam II to communicate God’s despair over their perpetual idol worship and dependence on outside nations. Though the people have failed to be faithful covenant partners to God, his commitment to them remains.

At a Glance


NIV Bible Hosea Introduction

The prophet Hosea spoke to the northern kingdom of Israel in the turbulent period of the 8th century BC. Following the death of Jeroboam II, Israel had six different kings in just over twenty years; four were assassinated and the last was forcibly removed from the throne. The rising empire of Assyria invaded Israel, and by 722 BC had completely conquered the nation and carried off much of its population into exile.

Israel had made the mistake of identifying the Lord with Baal, a Canaanite nature god. This identification may have begun innocently enough, since baal simply means “master.” But by the time of Hosea, the people were visiting shrine prostitutes, and had adopted the magical practices of fertility cults. Hosea repeatedly denounces this corrupted worship as spiritual prostitution. He also condemns the nation’s foolish foreign intrigues, its rejection of the moral law, and its callous greed. The people dismissed Hosea’s warnings, however, and simply mocked him.

The book is structured into two main parts. The shorter first part tells how God commanded Hosea to marry the unfaithful woman Gomer. She is symbolic of Israel’s wavering faithfulness to the Lord. The prophet’s own life thus provided a picture of God’s intentions toward wayward Israel. The longer second part contains oracles delivered during the decline after King Jeroboam, alternating hope and doom as Hosea both threatens and pleads with the kingdom of Israel in the last years before its exile.

Bible Project

Hosea Introduction

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Spoken Gospel

Hosea Series

Cornerstone Chapel

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