INTERESTING FACTS : Samuel Adams
"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. "[1
Daily Reading : HOSEA 1 - 7
TEXT : Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 5:6 They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them. 5:15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
THEME : OBEDIENCE
"The first of the twelve minor prophets in the order of the canon (called "minor," not as less in point of inspired authority, but simply in point of size). The twelve are first mentioned by Jesus, the son of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus 49:10). St. Stephen, in Act_7:42 (in referring to Amo_5:27), quotes them as forming one collective body of writings, "the book of the prophets." So Jerome and Melito, the first Greek father who has left us a catalogue of these books. The collection of the sacred books is by Jewish tradition attributed to the great synagogue of learned scribes formed by Ezra. Many think Nehemiah completed this collection by adding to the books already in the canon those of his own times. Malachi, the last in the series, probably aided him in determining with infallible authority what books were entitled to be ranked in the inspired canon. The chronological order differs from the canonical. Joel, about 810 b.c.; Jonah, about 810 b.c., or, as others, first, 862 b.c.; Amos, about 790 b.c.; Hosea, about 784 b.c. Hosea, the contemporary of Isaiah, Micah, and Amos, seems to have entered on his prophetical office in the last years of Jeroboam (contemporary in part with Uzziah), and to have ended it in the beginning of Hezekiah's reign, 722 b.c., that is, about sixty years in all, from 784 b.c. to 722 b.c. The prophets, however, were not uninterruptedly engaged in prophesying. Considerable intervals elapsed, though their office as divinely commissioned public teachers was never wholly laid aside. The Book of Hosea which we have constitutes only that portion of his public teachings which the Holy Spirit saw fit to preserve for the benefit of the Church.
The cause of his being placed first of the twelve was, probably, the length, the vivid earnestness, and patriotism of his prophecies, as well as their closer resemblance to those of the greater prophets. His style is abrupt, sententious, and unrounded; the connecting particles are few; there are changes of person, and anomalies of gender, number, and construction. His name means Salvation. He was son of Beeri, of the tribe of Issachar, born in Beth-shemesh [Jerome]. His mention, in the inscription, of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, is no proof that he belonged to Judah: for the prophets in Israel regarded its separation from Judah, civil as well as religious, as an apostasy from God, who promised the dominion of the theocracy to the line of David. Hence Elijah in Israel took twelve stones to represent Judah, as well as Israel (1Ki_18:31). Hence Hosea dates from Judah's kings, as well as from Jeroboam of Israel, though he belonged to Israel, with whose sins and fate his book is chiefly occupied. He, however, makes incidental references to Judah. His first prophecy foretells the overthrow of Jehu's house, fulfilled on the death of Jeroboam, Jehu's great-grandson (2Ki_15:12), in Zachariah, Jeroboam's son, the fourth and last from Jehu, conspired against by Shallum. This first prediction was doubtless in Jeroboam's life, as Zachariah, his son, was only suffered to reign six months; thus the inscription is verified that "the word of the Lord came unto him in the days of Jeroboam" (Hos_1:1). Again, in Hos_10:14, Shalmaneser's expedition against Israel is alluded to as past, that is, the first inroad against King Hoshea, who began to reign in the twelfth year of Ahaz; so that as Ahaz' whole reign was sixteen years, the prophecy seems to have been given about the beginning of Hezekiah's reign. Thus the inscription is confirmed that the exercise of his prophetical functions was of such a protracted duration.
Hosea (Hos_11:1) is quoted in Mat_2:15; also Hos_6:6 in Mat_9:13; Mat_12:7; compare Rom_9:25, Rom_9:26, quoting Hos_1:10; Hos_2:1, Hos_2:23; 1Co_15:55, quoting Hos_13:14; 1Pe_2:10, quoting Hos_1:9, Hos_1:10; Hos_2:23. Messianic references are not frequent; but the predictions of the future conversion of Israel to the Lord their God, and David their king, and of the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham that his spiritual seed should be as the sand of the sea (Hos_1:10; Hos_3:5), clearly refer to the New Testament dispensation. The first and third chapters are in prose, the rest of the book is rhythmical. [A.R.FAUSSETT][2
TRUTH FOR TODAY : "TO KNOW GOD YOU MUST SEEK HIM DILIGENTLY."
Hosea, the first of the twelve "minor" prophets in the Old Testaments, is a contemporary of Isaiah and Amos. [3
] As stated in Fausset's commentary, the minor prophets are so called due to the brevity of their writings as compared to the "major" prophets [Isaiah - Daniel] who wrote more. In the best sense, no prophet of God is "minor."
Like Isaiah, Hosea prophecies to Israel [that is, the ten northern tribes, as compared to Judah and Benjamin - the two southern tribes] who during this period is at the pinnacle of power, prestige, and prosperity. Among other criticisms, Hosea tersely states that Israel is [being] destroyed through a lack of the knowledge of the LORD. Ignorance, in this case, was not bliss. In fact, as we read in Isaiah, their ignorance of God's Law would eventually cause them to go into captivity to the Assyrians. So thorough was their expulsion from the land, that to this day these ten tribes collectively known as "Israel" are referred to as - "the ten lost tribes." Their exact identity and location in the world is not known.
"After the death of King Solomon, the Hebrew nation split into two kingdoms. Two tribes, including the tribe of Judah and the tribe of the Jacob's youngest son (Benjamin) formed the Southern Kingdom, and the other 10 tribes, centered around Samaria made up the Northern Kingdom of Israel. In the year 722 BC, the Assyrians conquered the Kingdom of Israel and sent the Ten Tribes into Exile. Since then, their fate has been cloaked in a shroud of mystery and legend."[4
To know God, one must seek Him diligently, faithfully. We see this principle in the Scriptures.
Jer_29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Heb_11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
The knowledge of God is not merely academic. That is, it is not enough to know what the Bible says. You must obey the LORD. In this way, and in this way only can anyone say they "know" the LORD. Again, we see this in the New Testament.
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Rom_2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Jas_1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Thus, you must be aware that to know God is equal to obeying Him. This is what it means to be a Christian. Reading the Bible is not enough. God must be sought for in a way that translates to obedience. He is certainly a rewarder of those who truly seek ["know"] Him. Those that trust in Him will never be ashamed!
Placed first of the minor prophets in the canon (one collective whole "the book of the prophets," Act_7:42), probably because of the length, vivid earnestness, and patriotism of his prophecies, as well as their resemblance to those of the greater prophets, Chronologically Jonah was before him, 862 B.C., Joel about 810 B.C., Amos 790 B.C., Hosea 784 to 722 B.C., more or less contemporary with Isaiah and Amos. Began prophesying in the last years of Jeroboam II, contemporary with Uzziah; ended at the beginning of Hezekiah's reign. The prophecies of his extant are only those portions of his public teachings which the Holy Spirit preserved, as designed for the benefit of the uuiversal church. His name means salvation. Son of Beeri, of Issachar; born in Bethshemesh.
His pictures of Israelite life, the rival factions calling in Egypt and Assyria, mostly apply to the interreign after Jeroboam's death and to the succeeding reigns, rather than to his able government. In Hos_2:8 he makes no allusion to Jehovah's restoration of Israel's coasts under Jeroboam among Jehovah's mercies to Israel. He mentions in the inscription, besides the reign of Jeroboam in Israel, the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, though his prophecies are addressed primarily to Israel and only incidentally to Judah; for all the prophets whether in Judah or Israel regarded Israel's separation from Judah, civil as well as religious, as an apostasy from God who promised the kingship of the theocracy to the line of David. Hence Elijah in Israel took twelve stones to represent Judah as well as Israel (1Ki_18:31). Eichhorn sees a Samaritanism in the masculine suffix of the second person (-ak).
STYLE AND SUBJECT. Abrupt, sententious, and unperiodic, he is the more weighty and impressive. Brevity causes obscurity, the obscurity being designed by the Spirit to call forth prayerful study. Connecting particles are few. Changes of person, and anomalies of gender, number, and construction, abound. Horsley points out the excessively local and individual tone of his prophecies. He specifies Ephraim, Mizpah, Tabor, Gilgal, Bethel or Bethaven, Jezreel, Gibeah, Ramah, Gilead, Shechem, Lebanon, Arbela. Israel's sin, chastisement, and restoration are his theme. His first prophecy announces the coming overthrow of Jehu's house, fulfilled after Jeroboam's death, which the prophecy precedes, in Zachariah, Jeroboam's son, who was the fourth and last in descent from Jehu, and conspired against by Shallum after a six months' reign (2Ki_15:12).
The allusion to Shalmaneser's expedition against Israel as past, i.e. the first inroad against Hoshea whose reign began only four years before Hezekiah's, accords with the inscription which extends his prophesying to the reign of Hezekiah (2Ki_17:1; 2Ki_17:3; 2Ki_18:9). He declares throughout that a return to Jehovah is the only remedy for the evils existing and impending: the calf worship at Bethel, established by Jeroboam, must be given up (Hos_8:5-6; Hos_10:5; Hos_13:2); unrighteousness toward men, the necessary consequence of impiety towards God, must cease, or sacrifices are worthless (Hos_4:2; Hos_6:6, based on Samuel's original maxim, 1Sa_15:22). The Pentateuch is the foundation of his prophecies.
Here as there God's past favors to Israel are made the incentive to loving obedience (Hos_2:8; Hos_11:1; Hos_12:9; Hos_13:4, compare Exo_20:2). Literal fornication and adultery follow close upon spiritual (Hos_4:12-14). Assyria, the great northern power, which Israel foolishly regards as her friend to save her from her acknowledged calamities, Hosea foresees will be her destroyer (Hos_5:13; Hos_7:11; Hos_8:9; Hos_12:1; Hos_14:3; Hos_3:4; Hos_10:6; Hos_11:11). Political makeshifts to remedy moral corruption only hasten the disaster which they seek to avert; when the church leans on the world in her distress, instead of turning to God, the world the instrument of her sin is made the instrument of her punishment.
Hosea is driven by the nation's evils, present and in prospect, to cling the more closely to God. Amidst his rugged abruptness soft and exquisite touches occur, where God's lovingkindness, balmy as the morning sun and genial as the rain, stands in contrast to Israel's goodness, evanescent as the cloud and the early dew (Hos_6:3-4; compare also Hos_13:3; Hos_14:5-7).
DIVISIONS. There are two leading ones: Hosea 1-3; Hosea 4-14. Hosea 1; Hosea 2; and Hosea 3 form three separate cantos or parts, for Hosea 1-3 are more prose than poetry. Probably Hosea himself under the Spirit combined his scattered prophecies into one collection. Hosea 4-14, are an expansion of Hosea 3. On his marriage to Gomer, Henderson thinks that there is no hint of its being in vision, and that she fell into lewdness after her union with Hosea, thus fitly symbolizing Israel who lapsed into spiritual whoredom after the marriage contract with God on Sinai. (See GOMER.) But an act revolting to a pure mind would hardly be ordained by God save in vision, which serves all the purposes of a vivid and as it were acted prophecy. So the command to Ezekiel (Hos_4:4-15).
Moreover it would require years for the birth of three children, which would weaken the force of the symbol. In order effectively to teach others Hosea must experimentally realize it himself (Hos_12:10). Gomer, daughter of Diblaim, was probably one associated with the lascivious rites of the prevalent idolatries. Hosea's union in vision with such an one in spite of his natural repugnance would vividly impress the people with God's amazing love in uniting Himself to so polluted a nation. Hosea's taking her back after adultery (Hosea 3), at the price of a slave, marks Israel's extreme degradation and Jehovah's unchangeable love yet about to restore her. The truth expressed by prophetic act in vision was Israel's idolatry (spiritual impurity, "a wife of whoredoms") before her call in Egypt and in Ur of the Chaldees (Jos_24:14) as well as after it.
So also the Saviour took out of an unholy world the church, that He might unite her in holiness to Himself. No more remarkable prophecy exists of Israel's anomalous and extraordinary state for thousands of years, and of her future restoration, than Hos_3:4-5; "Israel shall abide many days without a king (which they so craved for originally), without a sacrifice (which their law requires as essential to their religion), without an image ... ephod ... teraphim (which they were in Hosea's days so mad after). Afterward shall Israel return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king ... in the latter days." But first must come her spiritual probation in the wilderness of trial (Hos_2:14) and her return to the Egypt of affliction (Hos_8:13; Hos_9:3), not literal "Egypt" (Hos_11:5).
New Testament references: Hos_11:1 = Mat_2:15; Hos_6:6 = Mat_9:13; Mat_12:7; Hos_1:10; Hos_2:1-23 = Rom_9:25-26; Hos_13:14 = 1Co_15:55; Hos_1:9-10; Hos_2:23 = 1Pe_2:10; Hos_10:8 = Luk_23:30; Rev_6:16; Hos_6:2 = 1Co_15:4; Hos_14:2 = Heb_13:15. The later prophets also stamp with their inspired sanction Hosea's prophecies, which they quote. Compare Hos_1:11 with Isa_11:12-13; Hos_4:3 with Zep_1:3; Hos_4:6 with Isa_5:13; Hos_7:10 with Isa_9:12-13; Hos_10:12 with Jer_4:3. (See OSHEA.) [Easton's Bible Dictionary]
 Bibleprobe, http://bibleprobe.com/lost.htm, Accessed September 18, 2012,