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Hosea-Detailed Outline
A. Hosea's Married Life
Hosea 1:1-1:9 His Marriage to Gomer
Hosea 1:1 Introduction:
Hosea 1:2 The command to marry a woman of harlotry (Gomer) is given to Hosea.
Hosea 1:3-9 Hosea’s children are born. The first child: Son named Jezreel…place where Omri had been massacred by the house of Jehu. The second child: Daughter named “Not pitied”. The third child: Son named “Not my people”. Names indicate progression of judgment.
Hosea 1:10-2:1 A Message of Hope
Word of hope for the future is given. “Not my people” will be called “Sons of the living God”. Destruction would not be the final word.
Hosea 2:2-13 Judgment on Faithless Israel
Hosea begins with a formal statement of divorce. “She is not my wife; I am not her husband”. Reason for divorce was Gomer’s persistent unfaithfulness. Threats of disgrace and violence are said against Gomer. Whole scene functions as an allegory of God’s relationship to Israel. A description of Israel’s sins is given. God reiterates willingness to bring them back to himself.
Hosea 2:14-23 the Restoration of Faithless Israel
The hope of a new Covenant is told. Salvation will once again be known. There will be a “new marriage”. Love and intimacy will be restored. The result will be a new covenant, complete with promises of abundance. Weapons of war would be eliminated; peace would reign. Names of Hosea’s children would be overturned. Jezreel would become God will sow. Not Pitied would become Pitied. Not my people would become My people. People will acknowledge: “Thou art my God”.
Hosea 3:1-5 Hosea’s Redemption of His Faithless Wife
Remarriage to Gomer is recounted. Hosea is told to love a woman of harlotry. He had to buy her back (fifteen shekels was amount need to redeem from slavery). They lived in seclusion; attempting to restore their love, trust in each other
B. Israel's Unfaithfulness and Judgment
Hosea 4:1-3 The Guilt of the People
Case against Israel is made. A list of transgressions is seen.
Hosea 4:4-19 The Guilt of the Priests
A condemnation of the Priests is given. The priests had failed in their task. They no longer taught about God. Rather than condemn apostasy, they encouraged it and prospered from it. They delighted in practicing pagan rites. Priestly failings in no way absolved the people from their own responsibility. They made choices and followed the leadings of the priests. They chose the easy path.
Hosea 5:1-7 Judgment on Kings and Priests for Leading the People Astray
A message for Priests and Officials is given. Hunting images were used to describe the actions of the priests. A net, a snare, and a pit…Priests used these methods: people lost their freedom. Their chastisement awaited them. Some people tried to worship both God and Baal in order to cover all bases. That didn’t work either. Such people will seek the Lord, but they will not find him. Chastisement is a word meaning “discipline intended to instruct”. It, too, embodied an element of hope.
Hosea 5:8-15 Disastrous Foreign Policies of Ephraim and Judah
Sound the alarm. Ephraim will become a desolation. The Lord is sure of that.
Hosea 6:1-6:6 Israel’s Plea and God’s Rejoinder
Love that’s like a morning cloud is described. Love is like a morning mist; it dissipates as the day wears on. Words are easy to say; people refuse to accept underlying significance of words. Hide behind rituals and sacrifice. These are no substitutes for what is really in one’s heart.
Hosea 6:7-7:7 The Crimes of Israel
Hosea 6:7-11 List of crimes showing hypocritical nature of worship. Covenant was broken; blood was shed; priests plotted murder. Inhabitants probably knew of these events. Therefore, Israel had become a defiled nation. Judah was no better; a “harvest” of judgment awaited her, too.
Hosea 7:1-7 Part political comment and part religious critique is seen in the beginning of this chapter. God longed to heal Ephraim, sent prophets to warn them. God could see their sins. Kings and princes were delighted with sad situation. Sin of adultery mentioned. Might have had links to Baal worship, sexual activity. Used image of hot oven, hot passion. Result was assassination of king during festival. (Four kings were assassinated during Hosea’s time).
Hosea 7:8-8:3 Israel’s Disastrous Foreign Policy
Foreign policy fared no better. Israel was oblivious to inroads made by foreigners. They accepted and incorporated foreign worship into their own culture. Used image of a dove…easily deceived and senseless . Israel sought first one national power, then another, thus they were very fickle. God will be the fowler and will permit chastisement. Chaos will reign; people will not know what to do. They will say meaningless words; God will not respond.
Hosea 8:4-14 Israel’s Idolatry and Wicked Alliances
Words of approaching judgment are given. A description of consequences of their many sins is seen. Again, time to sound the alarm, blow the trumpet. Israel will cry out, but in desperation, not sincerity. They have chosen kings without consulting God. They worship idols, possible reference to calf-idols at Dan and Bethel. They will reap what they have sown. They will fly away like the chaff, be consumed by others. A reference is made to the loss of Israel’s national identity. They have become “worthless”. The people had forgotten God; they would be returned to “Egypt”. Assyria actually “took” them. Final word included judgment on Judah is imminent as well.
Hosea 9:1-9 The Exile of Israel Foretold
More specifics about growing threat of Assyria are given. The people would soon be taken, had no reason to rejoice. They would eat “unclean” food; would have no temple for sacrifice. They would not have proper worship or the ability to celebrate festivals. Hosea recognizes they think him a fool for delivering this message.
Hosea 9:10-17 Israel’s Apostacy
The fleeting glory of Israel is seen. Exultation over Ephraim’s earliest days. God was delighted to find them. God made of them a fine nation, only to have them sin incessantly. Now their population would diminish and they would become “wanderers among the nations”.
Hosea 10:1-8 Destruction of the Baal Cult Prophesied
Reasons for impending captivity are seen. References are made to their earlier history when they were a “luxuriant vine”. Inverse relationship between increase in prosperity and decrease in spirituality is seen. As a result, they will be carried to Assyria as “tribute for the great king”. High places would be destroyed. The people would be disgraced.
Hosea 10:9-15 Sin and Punishment
A mention is made of earlier sin, never repented. Nations will gather against Israel. Hosea exhorted the people to sow righteousness. Changing is hard work, but they must do it. Righteousness brings the fruit of unfailing love. Instead the people planted wickedness. Outcome will be the roar of battle; fortresses will be destroyed.
Hosea 11:1-7 God’s Love; Israel’s Ingratitude
God remembers how they were in the beginning. Showered them with blessings, led them with “cords of human kindness”. He tenderly taught them to walk, cared for them and fed them. Despite God’s grace, they turned to other nations. Assyria will rule over them.
Hosea 11:8-11 God’s Pity For His People
In the last days, there will be restoration. Words look beyond chastisement to re-establishment as God’s people. Glimpse into the heart of God. God can never let them go; all his “compassion is aroused”. After destruction, people will return. Then they will be resettled in their homes.
Hosea 11:12-12 The Sins of Jacob
Israel’s unfaithfulness to God is recounted. They have surrounded God with deceit and dishonesty. Israel has become worthless; Judah will also face retribution. Example of how Jacob struggled for God. They should be doing that now; instead they chase the wind. The Lord blessed Jacob, wants to bless Israel now. An example of wicked merchants is seen. People see themselves above reproach. They are so self sufficient, they have no need of God. God spoke through his prophets; people cannot use ignorance as excuse. Punishment will soon come
Hosea 13:1-16 Historical Transgressions
At one time Ephraim was respected in all Israel. But Baal worship led to spiritual death. Recollections of how God cared for them in history. Should have brought them to God in humility. Instead, people became proud and had no need for God. Chose kings that could not lead. Sons were born “without wisdom”. Still, one day God will ransom them from death. For a while, they will thrive, but time of reckoning awaits.
C. Israel's Conversion and Renewal
Hosea 14:1-9 The Call to Repentance and God’s Blessing
Words of promise – Like a rainbow after a storm. Invitation to Israel to return is given; admission of sins. People will ask for forgiveness, will recognize that Assyria cannot save them. God will have compassion and shower them with blessings. Used images of trees, flowers to illustrate blessings. Israel will finally understand idols are nothing. “The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.”

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