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Who wrote the book of Hosea? Who was the author of Hosea?

author of Hosea

The author of Hosea is identified within the opening line of the book: “The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri . . .” (Hosea 1:1). In the New Testament, the apostle Paul further supports Hosea’s authorship by referencing Hosea by name in Romans 9:25–26, quoting Hosea 1:10 and Hosea 2:23.

The prophet Hosea, whose name means “salvation,” ministered for 60 or 70 years in the northern kingdom of Israel, but little more is known of his background. He was a contemporary of both Isaiah and Micah. Following God’s direction, Hosea married Gomer, a prostitute (Hosea 1:2–3). His marriage and the resultant offspring served as an illustration of the troubling relationship between God and the Israelites.

The book of Hosea is the initial book of the Minor Prophets. Hosea addresses the northern kingdom of Israel, passionately calling its inhabitants to repentance. The kingdom succumbed to Assyria in 722 BC, a sad indication that the warnings of the prophets fell on deaf ears and hardened hearts. God’s impartial justice is seen in the judgment of His own people, but all is not lost. Using human marriage as a metaphor, the book of Hosea conveys messages of hope and restoration. God’s faithfulness endures amid rebellion and unrepentance.

While scholars generally accept Hosea as the author, debates exist regarding the possibility of later additions by Hosea’s disciples. Contested passages include Hosea 11:8–11 and 14:2–9. Some consider these words of salvation to be a late insertion. However, a closer examination of prophetic literature reveals that prophets often proclaim future blessings amidst warnings of judgment (see Isaiah 9:6–7; Jeremiah 23:5–6; Joel 2:28–32). Critics also highlight Hosea’s mention of Judah’s kings instead of Israelites kings as inconsistent with an Israelite prophet (Hosea 1:1). Nevertheless, it is plausible that Hosea included the kings of Judah as a nod to the Davidic lineage.

Hosea’s uniqueness lies in the integration of his personal life with his prophecies, emphasizing that Scripture should not be confined to abstract contemplation but should profoundly impact our lives. We are also offered a picture of God’s faithfulness despite the faithlessness of His people, ultimately displayed when Jesus laid down His life for the world.

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This page last updated: May 6, 2024