The Bible

The Book of Hosea, Harlots, and Priests: An Exegetical Commentary on 4:1-10 College

There is no other prophet that portrays the compassion, yet suffering heart of God in all the Old Testament like the prophet Hosea. By use of marriage metaphors, laments and love notes, and ultimately idolatry and intimacy, this prophet uncovers the love-torn soul of the Great I AM. While other prophets rave and rebuke, correct and chastise, weep and wail, none capture the image of a betrayed deity. Israel had fallen away and broken the sacred covenant, leaving not only a holy separation between the creator and creation, but the very essence of love had been lost. Hosea speaks not merely to a nation void of justice or peace, but to a nation who had lost their innocence and first love. There is a sense of turmoil, of sadness, and of genuine loss as a result of the sacred defilement of the marriage covenant. Hosea gives language to this feeling, by experiencing adultery, or from God’s perspective, idolatry. The prophet points the people of Israel to the divine pathos of God like no other prophet in his time or in the times that would follow.


Unlike many prophets who spoke in times of desperate need and uncertainty for the nation of Israel, Hosea finds himself prophesying to a prosperous northern kingdom. J Gordon...

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