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Biblical Scholars Perspectives on the Content of Hosea

Hosea’s book is recognized as one of the prophetic books and Hosea himself falls under the category of the minor prophets. By the order of tradition, the book of Hosea in the Hebrew Bibles, is the first one under the twelve. Around the northern kingdom, the book of Hosea illustrates and denounces the worship of the Yehovah is referred to as the God of Israel. Israelites themselves tend to abandon the living Yahova where a woman becomes unfaithful to her husband. The description of the book narration brings about the various relationship in our daily lives also the relation between human beings and God.

According to the narration of the book, the relationship of Hosea and his unfaithful wife who is called Gomer is relatively compared with the relationship between Jehovah and the people of Israel who are unfaithful. However, through the fact that Hosea and his unfaithful wives were an illustration or metaphor to the people of Israel, there was reconciliation between him and his wife(Kelle et.al9). The reconciliation brought the sense that a good rapport was built between the people of Israel and God which led to eventual reconciliation with Jehovah. Before this, the book shows that the people of Israel were against the law of God where they worshipped other gods.

Throughout the twentieth century, there have been critical scholarship on the book of Hosea which is dominating on the metaphor of marriage. Biblical scholars had different perspectives and critics in terms of the content contained in the book of Hosea. Scholars often oversaw these particular chapters as introducing primary perspectives according to the message contained in the whole book. However one of the biblical scholars is Ehud Ben Zvi who describes to the readers the sociohistorical context where Hosea was involved (Smith 21). according to Bens’s critical observations about the great metaphor on Yahweh and Israel in the ancient period, Hosea chapters 1 and 2 elaborates on the significance of Gomer in Marriage metaphor which was one of the attributes of the ideological structure of human marriage. furthermore, ben describes this as for marriage to prosper there should be shared male authorship and male leadership in building blocks for the imagined relationship.

Tristan j. Connolly is another scholar who contributed to the critics and perspectives concerning the content of the book of Hosea. Through this he makes a very similar observation pronouncing the motif reflection of husband-wife in marriage as it was being understood at a particular time. Connolly according to his perspective suggests that the marriage sector in the metaphor shown, in the context, it is exemplifying the interaction between the people of Israel and the living God(Irvine 292). However, he concludes that the metaphor illustrated in the text fully describes the relationship between Yahweh and the Israelites and it was to be rectified later on to restore their relationship. Since the people of Israelite of Israelites according to their actions were not close to Yahweh.

Biblical scholar Michael D. Coogan on his perspective and views on the content in the book elaborates on the importance of understanding and practicing the covenant. Interpretation of Hosea indicates that the covenant between Hosea and his unfaithful wife shows that there was no existing good covenant between them. Likewise, to the people of Israel, the fact of not being g faithful to Yahweh shows that the covenant between them was broken due to disrespect and worshiping other gods. According to Michael, Hosea tends to fall under a different genre which is referred to as covenant lawsuit(Kelle et.al18) God accuses the people of Israel of disrespecting him because of breaking the covenant which was made and agreed upon. Hosea’s prophecy on this came to pass when the Israelites fully abandoned the living Yahweh despite them having an agreement before. Disappointment of God by the Israelites was expressed and displayed through the marriage covenant which was broken between wife and husband.

Another scholar who gave contributions to the interpretation in the book of Hosea’s content is Brad E. Kelle who referred to many of the scholars executing some of the references concerning g the cultic sexual practices in the Baal worship (Kelle 314 ). The chapter of Hosea 2 describes how the Israelites worshipped Yahweh and the god of Ball, however, the text according to Brad shows that the people of Israel were in mixed worship where some of them were worshiping Baal purely and others were mixing the worship of both Yahweh and Baal. Hosea’s reference to acts of sexual practices illustrates metaphors for the apostasy of the Israelites. Hosea 13:1-3 shows how the people of Israel are against Yahweh for them to worship Baal and being accused of using given images for idol worship.

According to Kai Nielsen, he is similarly different from other biblical scholars. Depending on his perspective he seems to be joining the people of Israelites where he asserts that there is a reason for one to be none Christian. However, he considers the rational efforts in the disapproval of the existence of God. he states that there is not even a slight reason to have a belief that a particular Christian is living according to the principle of reality while on the other hand non-Christians are however deluded in terms or accordance to, man’s estate of true(mark jack 76). Under this perspective, Nielsen denies the notion of religious truth which ascertains the existence and the worship of God. About the people of Israel, he claims that there should be a genuine reason for one to be a true Christian and a non-Christian. Furthermore, the Israelites have the option of either worshipping the living Yahweh or not.

Emmerson a biblical scholar tends to investigate the influence of the Judean territory in the establishment of the boo of Hosea. however, Emmerson tends to focus on three particular areas according to the context of the book of Hosea. This includes expression in terms of hope, by the kingdom of the south and the practices done in the northern kingdom. Through the focus on the major parts, Emerson tends to have exploration to the extent of Judean activities and the reduction that occurred throughout the text(Robinson 106). Theological implication according to her shows that the people of Israel had a great downfall in terms of faith due to the reason for breaking the covenant that they had made with God. However, through all the implications that came through during the period of prophet Hosea, it came to happen n that the Israelites came into the position of being closer to God since they realized that he was truly the living and trusted God unlike the idol worships which they are turned into.

The relationship between Hosea and Gomer is argued and criticized by a biblical scholar referred to as Sherwood who tends to unravel chapter three of the context of Hosea were examining different complexities and confronting the frictions which arose between the readers and the text. She saw problematic actions in the text like the quarrels between Gomer and Hosea, Bizarre sign language which brings about conscripts, and the emerging tensions between feminism(Towner 41). However, according to her, some problematic issues tend to break the covenant of marriage between husband and wife. On the other side, there should be a root cause for the reason why the Israelites broke the agreement they had made with Yahweh. Moreover, she argues that all the problematic actions that lead human life to fall into undesired places or actions should be approached whereby any disruption portrayed in the kingdom was an illustration to the people of Israel.

Duane Garratt a scholar gave a perspective portraying the message of prophet Hosea. He argues that Hosea’s message from God to the people of Israel was like a symbol to the Israelites. Through this, the people of Israel had to be very cautious since they were against the law of Yahweh. Through this according to Duane, the context was to implement and capture the hearts of the people of g to unfaithful wives to symbolically portray the unfaithfulness between Yahweh and the Israelites. His prophecies account for the idolatry and the judgment that the people of Israelites would face later on(Rom-Shiloni 20). After all that were done and prophesied by Hosea, he promised God’s ways of being faithful. According to Duane, the prophecy of Hosea was to conform to Israel as the god’s message to them which showed love and grace for his people. However, after the symbolism of the reconciliation between Hosea and his unfaithful wife which turned to God’s ways, the action was to address the people of Israel to go back to the worship of Yahweh and repent all their sins.

Keefe as a biblical scholar tends to dismantle all the assumptions of theology and the androcentric that have determined all the reading and concepts in the text of Hosea. The readings according to Keefe entail the metaphor of Hosea to the Israelites being the adulterous wife of God. Through this, it displays a projection of symbolic associations of nature surrounding the women, the temptation of sex. However, the text under the interpretation of Keefe shows that the sins of the people of Israel have determined the mentioned metaphor which has dominated all over In the context of Hosea(Buss 65). Consequently, the apostasy of this is referred to be fertility cult where against this reinstated statement, Keefe considers chapters 1 and 2 of Hosea to be the association of sexual transgression and violence in the literature of the bible. Hence the illustration of women being adulterous is upon the structural way in the society of Israel that accompanied various consolidations.

Prophesying the past focuses on the results of the tradition and history concerning the construction and development of the book of Hosea. Biblical scholar Holt tends to have an investigation into the background of the Israelites and how they lived all through the period of the prophecy of Hosea. Al through her work and biblical perspectives, she ascertains some of the views which were in the ext(Holt et al.3) . in particular for instance the redaction among the people of Israel. She argues that the background of living among the Israelites was in a good state since they had not been alienated from God. Prophet Hosea is a great failure where he redirected the Israelites in the wrong direction because he was to act as a good example to the people of Israel. Finally, Holt uses the techniques of theology to acquire the contrary meaning and interpretation of the text like referring to other biblical ideas About Hosea.

Moyer Guber as a biblical scholar tends to provide a commentary on the perspective on the context of Hosea. The myth of prostitution was built upon his work as asserted by Gruber, where he proceeds to elaborate that the bo ok of Hosea advocates under repetition of a single standard of fidelity actually for men and women where it shows the women the strength to fight back. However, Gruber holds the most precise statistics of the poetics to solve the problems and difficulties in the text and what the context of Hosea means (Small 17). However, the translation according to Gruber’s ideological sight tends to differ from the classical hence eliminating forms that are neither modern n nor ancient. About various events, in the Middle Ages of ninth Gruber tend to uncover the messages that give more about the book of Hosea. According to the previous case, the biblical scholar employs all the behavioral sights to uncover the forgotten definitions of metaphors used in the text. Besides all this the scholar has his perspective about the boo of Hosea, the Gruber himself needs all the metaphors that are covered to be uncovered for more findings and understanding.

David Allan is another biblical scholar who contributed to the interpretation of the context of Hosea. He asserts that an adulterous woman tends to spurn the love of her youth, which is a betrayal to the grieving of husband offers. Great bold imagery for elaborating the story of Yahweh and his people is of significance because God Himself uses His inspired people to pass a certain message o His people (Waterman 3,4). However, Allan argues that a Bolder is still when uses His people of prophecy or messengers to send or pass messages to his beloved ones to flesh his divine mission of delivering forgiveness in marriage like the instance of the people of Israel, Through the remarkable narration of the text, it sets a particular stage for Hosea’s message of enduring love despite the mistakes the Israelites did. However, the assertion of Allan’s argument on the critics shows that the context explores the theological dimension in the book of Hosea.

In conclusion, the book of Hosea contains various chapters which dwell on many ideas that have been viewed by different scholars according to their perspectives. Whereby the chapter one of the text illustrates the marriage of Hosea and gomer where the prophet marries intentionally an adult wife which was against the laws of Yahweh, being a metaphor. chapter two describes the divorce which seemed to be the end of the relationship between God and the people of the northern kingdom, where it was a sign of symbolism where on the other hand Hosea divorced Gomer and used the idea in the preaching of Gods rejection to the people of the northern kingdom. However, the text contains chapters with different themes but generally, the context explains that later on, the people of Israelites came back to build their relationship with God once again. Through this, the broken covenant between God and the Israelites was restored and they started living by God’s ways of living.

Works Cited

Buss, Martin J. “Mari Prophecy and Hosea.” Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 88, no. 3, Sept. 2020, p. 338, 10.2307/3263726. Accessed 16 June 2021.

Holt, Else K., et al. “Thematic Threads in the Book of the Twelve.” Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 123, no. 3, 2019, p. 550, 10.2307/3268053. Accessed 12 Mar. 2021.

Irvine, Stuart A. “Politics and Prophetic Commentary in Hosea 8:8-10.” Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 114, no. 2, 2017, p. 292, 10.2307/3266942. Accessed 20 Jan. 2020.

Kelle, Brad E. “Hosea 1—3 in Twentieth-Century Scholarship.” Currents in Biblical Research, vol. 7, no. 2, Feb. 2019, pp. 179–216, 10.1177/1476993×08099542.

—. “Hosea 4—14 in Twentieth-Century Scholarship.” Currents in Biblical Research, vol. 8, no. 3, 18 Mar. 2010, pp. 314–375, 10.1177/1476993×09346514. Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

—. “Hosea 4—14 in Twentieth-Century Scholarship.” Currents in Biblical Research, vol. 8, no. 3, 18 Mar. 2018, pp. 314–375, 10.1177/1476993×09346514.

mark jack. Critique on the Book of Hosea. 12 July 2020.

Robinson, T. H. “Book Review: The Message of Hosea.” Theology, vol. 5, no. 26, Aug. 2019, pp. 106–106, 10.1177/0040571×2200502615. Accessed 15 Nov. 2021.

Rom-Shiloni. “From Prophetic Words to Prophetic Literature: Challenging Paradigms That Control Our Academic Thought on Jeremiah and Ezekiel.” Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 138, no. 3, 2019, p. 565, 10.15699/jbl.1383.2019.658484. Accessed 19 Apr. 2020.

Small, Dwight Hervey. “The Prophet Hosea: God’s Alternative to Divorce for the Reason of Infidelity.” Journal of Psychology and Theology, vol. 7, no. 2, June 2017, pp. 133–140, 10.1177/009164717900700207. Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

Smith, Cooper. “The “Wilderness” in Hosea and Deuteronomy: A Case of Thematic Reappropriation.” Bulletin for Biblical Research, vol. 28, no. 2, 1 Sept. 2018, pp. 240–260, 10.5325/bullbiblrese.28.2.0240. Accessed 20 Feb. 2022.

Towner, W. Sibley. “Book Review: A Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Hosea.” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, vol. 30, no. 4, Oct. 2021, pp. 423–426, 10.1177/002096437603000412. Accessed 30 Aug. 2021.

Waterman, Leroy. “The Marriage of Hosea.” Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 37, no. 3/4, 2018, p. 193, 10.2307/3260035.


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