Hosea 1

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Hosea 1
4Q166 "The Hosea Commentary Scroll", late first century B.C.
BookBook of Hosea
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part28

Hosea 1 is the first chapter of the Book of Hosea in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.[1][2] This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Hosea son of Beeri, and this chapter especially set forth the spiritual whoredom of Israel by symbolical acts.[3] It is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.[4][5]


The original text was written in Hebrew language. This chapter is divided into 11 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter in Hebrew are of the Masoretic Text tradition, which includes the Codex Cairensis (895), the Petersburg Codex of the Prophets (916), Aleppo Codex (10th century), Codex Leningradensis (1008).[6] Fragments containing parts of this chapter were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, including 4Q79 (4QXIId; 75–50 BCE) with extant verses 6–11 (verses 1:6-9, 2:1-5 in Hebrew Bible);[7][8][9][10] and 4Q82 (4QXIIg; 25 BCE) with extant verses 10–11 (verses 2:1-2 in Hebrew Bible).[8][9][11][12]

There is also a translation into Koine Greek known as the Septuagint, made in the last few centuries BCE. Extant ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint version include Codex Vaticanus (B; B; 4th century), Codex Alexandrinus (A; A; 5th century) and Codex Marchalianus (Q; Q; 6th century).[13][a]


NKJV groups this chapter into:

Superscription (1:1)[edit]

Verse 1[edit]

The word of the Lord that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri,
in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah,
and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.[15]
  • "Hosea": means "salvation" or "deliverance"; also "savior" or "deliverer".[16] Adding the prefix "Yah" ("Jah"), implying the name of "Yahweh", the name becomes "Joshua".[16] The original form of the name is closely related to "Hosanna" (hoshia na) or "save now" (cf. Psalm 118:25).[16]

The ministry of Hosea was mainly in the second half of the 8th century BCE, from the reign of Jeroboam (c. 787-747 BCE;[17] the last year of Jeroboam coincides with the 15th of Uzziah) to the reign of Hoshea (c. 731-722 BCE),[17] which may coincide with the first of Hezekiah, covering about 69 years,[b] or even probably to ninety as in the Jewish literature, so he began to prophesy at the age of 24 or 25 years, an age fit to marry, as appears by the prophecy.[18] In all probability he could have lived to see the Israel carried captive by Tiglath-Pileser III, or the entire destruction of the ten tribes by Shalmaneser, which he prophesied. Jeroboam king of Israel is mentioned last, though prior to these kings of Judah; because Hosea's prophecy is chiefly against Israel, and began in his reign, when they were in a flourishing condition.[18] It appears that Isaiah, Amos, and Micah, were contemporary with him (cf. Isaiah 1:1), as well as Lycurgus the lawgiver of the Lacedemonians, and Hesiod the Greek poet.[18] In his time, Rome began to be built.[18]

  • "In the days of Uzziah": Hosea, although a prophet of Israel, marks his prophecy by the names of the kings of Judah, because the kingdom of Judah was the kingdom of the theocracy, the line of David to which the promises of God were made.[19] As Elisha, to whose office he succeeded, turned away from Jehoram 2 Kings 3:13-14, saying, "get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother," and owned Jehoshaphat king of Judah only, Hosea expresses that the kingdom of Judah alone was legitimate. He adds the name of Jeroboam, partly as the last king of Israel whom, by virtue of His promise to Jehu, God helped; partly to show that God never left Israel unwarned.[19] Jeroboam I was warned first by the prophet 1 Kings 13, who by his own untimely death, as well as in his prophecy, was a witness to the strictness of God's judgments, and then by Ahijah 1 Kings 14; Baasha by Jehu, son of Hanani 1 Kings 16; Ahab, by Elijah and Micaiah son of Imla; Ahaziah by Elijah 2 Kings 1; Jehoram by Elisha who exercised his office until the days of Joash (2 Kings 13:14).[19]
  • "Jeroboam": this is Jeroboam II, who died in the fifteenth year of Uzziah's forty-one years' reign. From his time forth all Israel's kings worshipped false gods: Zachariah (2 Kings 15:9), Menahem (2 Kings 15:18), Pekahiah (2 Kings 15:24), Pekah (2 Kings 15:28), Hoshea (2 Kings 17:2). As Israel was most flourishing externally under Jeroboam II, who recovered the possessions seized on by Syria, Hosea's prophecy of its downfall at that time was the more striking as it could not have been foreseen by mere human sagacity. Jonah the prophet had promised success to Jeroboam II from God, not for the king's merit, but from God's mercy to Israel; so the coast of Israel was restored by Jeroboam II from the entering of Hamath to the sea of the plain (2 Kings 14:23-27).[3]

The children of Hosea's marriage with Gomer (1:2–9)[edit]

This part records the account of Hosea marrying Gomer and having three children 'bearing sign-names of judgement for Israel'.[20]

Verse 2[edit]

The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea.
And the Lord said to Hosea,
Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms:
for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.[21]
  • "A wife of whoredoms": this description of Hosea's wife is considered proleptic, describing her future behavior.[20]

Verse 3[edit]

So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim;
which conceived, and bare him a son.[22]
  • "Gomer the daughter of Diblaim": The fact that both names don't have apparent symbolic significance gives a support that these people exist in history and the account of Hosea's marriage is not just allegorical or visionary.[20]

Verse 4[edit]

And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel;
for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu,
and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.[23]

Verse 6[edit]

And she conceived again, and bare a daughter.
And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah:
for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel;
but I will utterly take them away.[24]
  • "Lo-ruhamah": the name of the second child, a daughter, means 'not pitied'.[20]

Verse 8[edit]

Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.[25]

Verse 9[edit]

Then said God, Call his name Loammi:
for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.[26]
  • "Loammi" ("Lo-ammi"): the name of the third child (the second son), means 'not my people'.[20]

Oracle of Salvation: The Reversal of Judgement (1:10-2:1)[edit]

These three verses reverse the negative meanings of the children's names and apply them to the nation of Israel.[20] The Masoretic Text numbers the verses as 2:1-3.[27]

Verse 10[edit]

Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea,
which cannot be measured nor numbered;
and it shall come to pass,
that in the place where it was said unto them,
Ye are not my people,
there it shall be said unto them,
Ye are the sons of the living God.[28]
  • "Cannot be measured nor numbered": The promise of numerous progeny echoes the promises given to the patriarchs (Genesis 22:17; 32:12).[20]
  • "Ye are not my people": translated from the Hebrew: lo-ammi, is to be reversed as "ye are the sons of the living God" (Hebrew: בני אל חי bə-nê ’êl-ḥāy;[29] cf. Hosea 2:23).[27]

Verse 11[edit]

Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together,
and appoint themselves one head,
and they shall come up out of the land:
for great shall be the day of Jezreel.[30]

Because Yahweh is one, then His people must also be one (see also Hosea 3:4; cf. Hosea 3:3, 8:4, 13:10-11), so the schism of north (Kingdom of Israel) and south (Kingdom of Judah) shall be healed (cf. Isaiah 11:13, Ezekiel 37:22).[27]

See also[edit]

  • Related Bible parts: 2 Kings 10


  1. ^ Book of Hosea is missing from the extant Codex Sinaiticus.[14]
  2. ^ The calculation of the time comprises Jeroboam's reign of 41 years, and in the 27th of his reign began Uzziah or Azariah to reign over Judah for 52 years,2 Kings 14:23, so that Uzziah reigned 37 years after the death of Jeroboam, and Jotham after Uzziah reigned 16 years, and Ahaz also reigned 16 years, 2 Kings 15:23, giving a total of 69 years[18]


  1. ^ Collins 2014.
  2. ^ Hayes 2015.
  3. ^ a b Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset; David Brown. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary On the Whole Bible. 1871.
  4. ^ Metzger, Bruce M., et al. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  5. ^ Keck, Leander E. 1996. The New Interpreter's Bible: Volume: VII. Nashville: Abingdon.
  6. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 35-37.
  7. ^ Ulrich 2010, p. 590.
  8. ^ a b Dead sea scrolls - Hosea
  9. ^ a b Fitzmyer 2008, p. 39.
  10. ^ 4Q79 at the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library
  11. ^ Ulrich 2010, pp. 590–591.
  12. ^ 4Q82 at the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library
  13. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 73-74.
  14. ^ Shepherd, Michael (2018). A Commentary on the Book of the Twelve: The Minor Prophets. Kregel Exegetical Library. Kregel Academic. p. 13. ISBN 978-0825444593.
  15. ^ Hosea 1:1 KJV
  16. ^ a b c Joseph S. Exell; Henry Donald Maurice Spence-Jones (Editors). The Pulpit Commentary. 23 volumes. First publication: 1890.
  17. ^ a b Day 2007, p. 571.
  18. ^ a b c d e John Gill. John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible. Exposition of the Old and New Testament. Published in 1746-1763.
  19. ^ a b c Barnes, Albert. Notes on the Old Testament. London, Blackie & Son, 1884. Reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h Day 2007, p. 572.
  21. ^ Hosea 1:2 KJV
  22. ^ Hosea 1:3 KJV
  23. ^ Hosea 1:4 KJV
  24. ^ Hosea 1:6 KJV
  25. ^ Hosea 1:8 KJV
  26. ^ Hosea 1:9
  27. ^ a b c Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Hosea 1. Accessed 28 April 2019.
  28. ^ Hosea 1:10 KJV
  29. ^ Hebrew Text Analysis: Hosea 1:10 Biblehub
  30. ^ Hosea 1:11 KJV


External links[edit]