Hosea Commentaries & Sermons


Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals

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Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Hosea Chart from Charles Swindoll
Another Hosea Chart

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Be a Berean - Not Always Literal especially in prophetic passages. Almost 300 pages of anecdotes, illustrations, etc

Calvary Chapel
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Resources that Reference Hosea

Related to Hosea

Commentary on Hosea

Note: Calvin's prayers are excellent, and are very convicting - Suggestion: Read them aloud, very slowly and as a sincere prayer to the Almighty God. On the other hand the careful Berean (Acts 17:11-note) should be cautious when reading Calvin's comments, for he often interprets passages that in context clearly relate to the literal nation of Israel as if they spoke of the Church. Furthermore, he makes no mention of a future Millennial Reign of Messiah. (See disclaimer)

Commentary Notes on Hosea
T K Cheyne, 1884

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture literally and sometimes replaces Israel with the Church (note)

Commentary on Hosea

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture literally and sometimes replaces Israel with the Church (note)

Expository Notes on Hosea
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Commentary on Hosea

Commentary on Hosea

Sermon Notes on Hosea
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Israelology - Commentary on Israel

Note: This resource is listed because it has numerous commentary notes that relate to the OT Prophetic Books

Commentary on Hosea
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

I. The Rejection of Israel as an Adulterous Wife and Her Future Reception and Restoration - Hosea 1-3

Hosea 1 Commentary

  • Hosea 1 - Israel's Sin and Promise of Restoration
  • Hosea 1:1 The Introduction
  • Hosea 1:2-5 The Prophet's Marriage and Birth of Jezreel
  • Hosea 1:6-7 The Birth of Lo-Ruhamah
  • Hosea 1:8-9 The Birth of Lo-Ammi
  • Hosea 1:10-11 The Future Restoration

Hosea 2 Commentary

  • Hosea 2 - Appeal and Punishment for Unfaithfulness the Resumed Relationship
  • Hosea 2:1-5 The Appeal and Complaint
  • Hosea 2:6-13 The Punishment for Unfaithfulness
  • Hosea 2:14-23 The Resumed Relationship and Its Great Blessing

Hosea 3 Commentary

  • Hosea 3 - Israel's Past, Present and Future
  • Hosea 3:1-3 The Past
  • Hosea 3:4 The Present
  • Hosea 3:5 The Future

II. The Messages of Expostulation, Judgment and Mercy - Hosea 4–14

Hosea 4 Commentary

  • Hosea 4 - The Lord's Controversy with His People
  • Hosea 4:1-5 The Condition of the People
  • Hosea 4:6-11 The Loss of Their Relation
  • Hosea 4:12-19 Israel's Idolatry

Hosea 5 Commentary

  • Hosea 5-6:3 - The Message to the Priests, the People and the Royal House. Judgment, Affliction and the Future Return
  • Hosea 5:1-7 The Message of Rebuke
  • Hosea 5:8-15 The Judgment Announced
  • Hosea 6:1-3 The Future Return and the Blessing

Hosea 6 Commentary

  • Hosea 6:4-11 Divine Mourning Over Ephraim and Judah
  • Hosea 6:4-6 What Shall I Do to Thee?
  • Hosea 6:7-11 Their Transgressions

Hosea 7 Commentary

  • Hosea 7: The Moral Depravity of Israel
  • Hosea 7:1-7 Their Moral Depravity
  • Hosea 7:8-16 Mingling with Heathen Nations

Hosea 8 Commentary

  • Hosea 8-9:9: The Apostasy is Followed by Judgment
  • Hosea 8:1-7 The Judgment Announced
  • Hosea 8:8-14 The Apostasy Which Resulted in Judgment
  • Hosea 9:1-9 Warning Against Self Security

Hosea 9-10 Commentary

  • Hosea 9:10-11:11: Retrospect. Israel's Failure and Ruin
  • Hosea 9:10-17 Israel Once Beloved Now Fugitive Wanderers
  • Hosea 10:1-11 Their Guilt and Punishment
  • Hosea 10:12-15 Exhortation and Rebuke
  • Hosea 11:1-11 The Mercy of a Merciful God

Hosea 11-12 Commentary

  • Hosea 11:12-12:2: The Indictment
  • Hosea 11:12-12:2 Ephraim's Indictment
  • Hosea 12:3-6 Remembrance of the Past
  • Hosea 12:7-14 What Israel Had Become

Hosea 13 Commentary

  • Hosea 13: Ephraim's Ruin and Judgment
  • Hosea 13:1-8 Ruin and Judgment
  • Hosea 13:9-11 It is Thy Destruction, O Israel
  • Hosea 13:12-14 Mercy to Follow Wrath
  • Hosea 13:15-16 The Desolation of the Nearing Judgment

Hosea 14 Commentary

  • Hosea 14: The Return and the Glorious Redemption
  • Hosea 14:1-3 The Exhortation to Return
  • Hosea 14:5-9 The Glorious Redemption

Commentary on Hosea

Caution is advised (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture literally and all too often spiritualizes the text and replaces Israel with the Church (note)

Comments on the Commentary: John Gill unfortunately all too often offers a non-literal interpretation in the Old Testament (especially the prophetic books) as shown in the following example from Hosea 14:6 where "his" ("his shadow...his renown") from the context of the preceding verse (Hos 14:5) clearly refers to the literal nation of Israel. Gill writes that in Ho 14:6 "his shoots will sprout" refers to "the propagation of the church of God and the interest of Christ in the world". Yet there is nothing in the context that allows for the identification of "his" as the "church of God" (See Tony Garland's article on the Rise of Allegorical Interpretation). Comments of this ilk can be very misleading and cause one to completely miss God's one intended meaning of the passage! John Calvin, Matthew Henry and Adam Clarke are other older commentators who exhibit a similar propensity to allegorize the OT references to the literal nation of Israel as references to the New Testament church. These commentaries have some good material (Gill frequently injects interesting comments by Jewish writers) but clearly must be approached with a Berean mindset (Acts 17:11-note). The best rule to apply to the interpretation of these OT passages is to remember the maxim that if the plain sense of the text (the literal sense) makes good sense, seek to make no other sense lest it turn out to be nonsense!

Sermons on Hosea
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Commentary on Hosea
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

to Hosea


  • Hosea 1:10 Numberless as the Sands
  • Hosea 3:5 Behold, the Heathen Waits to Know
  • Hosea 4:1 Our Guilt Do We Confess Today
  • Hosea 4:6 Long Have I Sat Beneath the Sound
  • Hosea 6:2 Kindly Spring Again Is Here
  • Hosea 6:3 Follow On
  • Hosea 9:13 God Made Me for Him­self
  • Hosea 10:12 Here from the World We Turn
  • Hosea 10:12 Sowing with Song and Prayer
  • Hosea 11:4 Blest Be the Tie That Binds
  • Hosea 11:4 I’ve Found a Friend
  • Hosea 11:4 Keep Me Ever Close to Thee
  • Hosea 13:14 Father of Heaven
  • Hosea 13:14 There’s a Hill Lone and Grey
  • Hosea 14:9 Oh, It Is Hard to Work for God

Commentary on Hosea

James Rosscup writes "This 1858 work supplies much help on matters of the text, word meaning, resolving some problems, etc. Some have found it one of the most contributive sources in getting at what a text means." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

Commentary on Hosea

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture literally and sometimes replaces Israel with the Church (note) (Click example of his interpretative approach which is often allegorical) (Or another example)

Commentary on Hosea
Conservative, Literal

Commentary Critical and Explanatory

One of the more literal older commentaries


Sermon/Commentary Notes on Hosea
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Commentary on the Old Testament on Hosea

See caveat regarding this commentary

James Rosscup writes that "This is the best older, overall treatment of a critical nature on the Old Testament Hebrew text verse by verse and is a good standard work to buy. The student can buy parts or the whole of this series. Sometimes it is evangelical, at other times liberal ideas enter." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

Commentary on Hosea

Not Always Literal Interpretation

Commentary on Hosea
People Who Forgot God

Sermons on Hosea

Who is Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910)?

Thru the Bible
Commentary on Hosea

Mp3 Audio, Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Complete Commentary of Hosea on one zip file

Our Daily Homily
Devotional Commentary
on Hosea

Defender's Study Bible Notes
Conservative, Literal, Futuristic Interpretation

Hosea is the first in the list of Minor Prophets, so-called mainly because their inspired books are shorter than those of the Major Prophets. Hosea probably was not the first of these prophets chronologically. More likely Amos, Obadiah, or Jonah was first. Hosea evidently was placed first among the Minor Prophets because his book was the longest of these. Because of the sad experiences in his own personal life, Hosea has occasionally been called "the broken-hearted prophet," just as Jeremiah has been called "the weeping prophet." The name Hosea in the Hebrew was very similar to that of "Joshua," meaning, "Jehovah is Salvation." Hosea was almost unique among the writing prophets because he both lived in the northern kingdom of Israel and directed his prophecy mostly against Israel. He warned against the coming Assyrian invasion of Israel, just as Jeremiah later warned Judah about Babylon. His prophecies against Israel were all during the forty-one year reign of Jeroboam II in Israel (2 Kings 14:23; Hosea 1:1). Hosea was concerned also about Judah, of course, and mentioned that his ministry coincided with the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah in Judah. Some think Hosea resided in Judah in his later years when it began to be dangerous for him to remain in Israel. Hosea's prophecy centers largely about the divinely inspired parallel between Hosea's love for his unfaithful wife Gomer and Jehovah's love for unfaithful Israel. In connection with his prophecies concerning Israel, a number of remarkable fulfillments in the long-range experiences of Israel (Hosea 3:4, 5) have verified the supernatural nature of these prophecies.

Hosea 1

Hosea 1:2
Hosea. Hosea (meaning "salvation," essentially the same name as that of Joshua, or Jesus) is, in his prophetic actions, to be made essentially a living type of Christ, especially in His nature as Jehovah, the spiritual "husband" of Israel. Hosea's prophecy was directed especially toward unfaithful Israel, the ten-tribe northern kingdom, but continued even after Israel was carried into captivity, warning Judah as well.
wife of whoredoms. In his real-life portrayal of the relation of Jehovah to Israel, Hosea was led by God to love and marry Gomer, who was a harlot both before and after her marriage. Gomer thus typifies the spiritual harlotry of Israel, serving other gods instead of the true God. As always, spiritual adultery first countenances, then promotes, physical immorality. God's chosen people had descended into the same moral morass as the pagan nations whose gods they had begun to follow.

Hosea 1:3
Gomer. Hosea's wife had the same name as the first son of Noah's youngest son, Japheth (Genesis 10:2) and of the nation descended from him (Ezekiel 38:6). The name is said to mean "complete." The connection between the two, if any, is elusive.

Hosea 1:5
valley of Jezreel. Jezreel (meaning "God scatters") was of the tribe of Judah (1 Chronicles 4:3). However, there was more than one region called Jezreel in Israel. This particular prophecy was fulfilled first when Jehu slew the sons of Ahab in Jezreel (2 Kings 10:1-14), and then when Shallum slew Zachariah, the descendant of Jehu, eliminating the dynasty of Jehu after four generations (note 2 Kings 10:30; 15:10-12), thus finally "aveng[ing] the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu (Hosea 1:4)."

Hosea 1:6
Lo-ruhamah. Hosea's first son by his "wife of whoredoms" was Jezreel, named after the bloody slaughter at Jezreel which had initiated the dynasty of Jehu, soon to be ended. His daughter then was named Lo-ruhamah, meaning "Not to be pitied," symbolizing God's imminent judgment on unfaithful Israel.

Hosea 1:9
Lo-ammi. Gomer's second son was Lo-ammi, meaning "Not my people," indicating the coming exile of Israel to Assyria and ultimately all over the world.

Hosea 1:10
numbered. God's original promise to Abraham (Genesis 22:17) must still be fulfilled, and both the "children of Judah and the children of Israel" will be gathered together in the last days (Hosea 1:11).

Hosea 2

Hosea 2:1
Ru-hamah. Gomer's son and daughter had been named Lo-ammi ("Not my people") and Lo-ruhammah ("Not-pitied), but finally, in the last days, God will call their brothers and sisters Ammi and Ruhammah ("My people have been pitied" and "belong to me once more").

Hosea 2:14
the wilderness. This may be a precursive reference to the end-time wilderness experience of Israel, when God will both protect her from the Beast and prepare her for the returning Messiah (Revelation 12:6-17).

Hosea 2:16
Ishi. Ishi means "husband"; in that day, Israel will never again turn away from the true God.
Baali. Baali means "lord," but in the sense of idol-worship. Baal was the name of the God of the Phoenicians, introduced into Israel by Queen Jezebel.

Hosea 2:18
beasts of the field. When Israel is restored, God will also restore the primeval relationships among the animals (compare Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25).
lie down safely. At the same time, world peace will be enforced by the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 5:1-5; Isaiah 9:6-7).

Hosea 2:19
betroth thee unto me. Israel will indeed be restored as the wife of Jehovah. This promise is eternal, not conditional, though its implementation must await the national repentance and acceptance of Messiah when He returns, after His long absence and Her long affliction (Hosea 5:5; Matthew 23:37-39).

Hosea 3

Hosea 3:1
adulteress. Evidently the harlot Gomer, in spite of Hosea's love for her, in spite of their marriage, and even after bearing him two sons and a daughter, had again committed adultery. She left her husband, just as Israel had again and again departed from the love of God on her behalf. Nevertheless, Hosea was instructed to love and redeem Gomer yet again, in order to illustrate God's undying love for His own people. "If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself" (2 Timothy 2:13).

Hosea 3:2
fifteen pieces of silver. This is half the price of a slave (see Exodus 21:32), an indication of the depth to which Gomer had sunk in her harlotry.
an homer. One-and-a-half homers is roughly ten bushels, barley being considered only as animal food.

Hosea 3:4
many days. The "many days" thus prophesied have continued now for almost two thousand years. The children of Israel have been without a king and a prince ever since Nebuchadnezzar deposed and blinded King Zedekiah, after slaying his sons before his eyes (2 Kings 25:7). So far as known, the children of Israel also abandoned their pagan images and teraphim when the Babylonians took them into captivity about 590 b.c. Furthermore, they have been without sacrifices and priestly ephods ever since the Romans destroyed the temple in a.d. 70.
ephod. The embroidered outer vest worn by the Israelite priests.
teraphim. Small images, representing gods; also used as tokens of ownership.

Hosea 3:5
children of Israel return. After these "many days," during which the "times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24) run their course, and "the fulness of the Gentiles" (Romans 11:25) is "[taken] out of them [as] a people for His name" (Acts 15:14), then the children of Israel will return to seek the Lord in the latter days.
David their king. Not only will they seek God as they had known Him in ancient times, but also will acknowledge "David" as their king. That is, they will recognize Jesus as the long-awaited "son of David," who was also the Son of God whose "throne shall be established for ever" (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Luke 1:31-33; Matthew 22:41-45). In a secondary application, it may also be that David himself, resurrected with all Old Testament saints, will again rule over earthly Israel during the millennium, when the apostles also will be "judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (note Matthew 19:28; 27:52-53; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 20:4; Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:23-24).

Hosea 4

Hosea 4:6
lack of knowledge. When people lack the knowledge of God, it is because they have rejected the knowledge already received, which could have led them to God. "Unto you that hear shall more be given" (Mark 4:24).

Hosea 4:9
like people, like priest. One of the great tragedies in the long war against God has been the defection of so many religious leaders from the true Word of God, leading their people into compromise and apostasy. This, sadly, is as true in modern Christendom as in ancient Israel.

Hosea 4:12
their stocks, and their staff. The stocks were idols made of wood (compare Jeremiah 2:27). The "staff" may be a divining rod, such as many have used since ancient times to "witch" for water or metals in the earth. Perhaps more likely, it is synonymous with "stock."

Hosea 4:15
Beth-aven. The town of Beth-aven (meaning "house of vanities") had long been a center of idol worship and immorality. The northern kingdom had become enamored of it, and Hosea was warning Judah not to do the same. The same had become true of Gilgal.

Hosea 4:17
Ephraim. Ephraim, as the largest and strongest of the ten tribes in the northern kingdom of Israel, is referred to as synonymous with all Israel. By this time, all ten of these tribes were so consumed by idolatry that they were beyond hope of revival. As a result, God instructed Hosea and other prophets to quit trying (compare Genesis 6:3). Their remaining burden was to call Judah to retain her faith in the true God (Hosea 4:15) rather than following Israel.

Hosea 5

Hosea 5:2
the revolters. The leaders of Israel, both secular and religious, had led the people into compromise and then into regular participation in pagan idolatry, rebelling against God and His word. The parallel with the modern situation in so-called Christendom is very real.

Hosea 5:10
remove the bound. To remove landmarks was a means of stealing land. The leaders of Judah were causing the distinction between Israel and Judah to be removed, so that Judah—like Israel before her—was going away from God.

Hosea 5:15
acknowledge their offence. Because of the sin of both Israel and Judah, God will "go away" (Hosea 5:14). When Israel finally acknowledges her great offense in rejecting Messiah, then He will return and establish His kingdom in Jerusalem (note Psalm 110:1-3; Matthew 23:39; Zechariah 12:10-13:1; etc.).

Hosea 6

Hosea 6:1
return unto the Lord. Following God's pronouncement in the preceding verse that He is awaiting Israel's confession and repentance, the prophet puts himself in the place of returning Israel in the last days, prophetically anticipating her confession and resultant restoration.

Hosea 6:2
the third day. Two prophetic mysteries are suggested here. Jesus Christ, representing the true Israel in His death, was raised the third day. The earthly nation of Israel, seemingly "dead" for about two thousand years, will be raised for her thousand-year millennial reign, when she returns to Messiah, and He to her at the end of this present age (Ezekiel 37:12-14). On the divine equation that "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years," see the note on 2 Peter 3:8.

Hosea 6:6
mercy, and not sacrifice. The Lord Jesus quoted this verse in Matthew 9:13, affirming the eternal principle that religious rituals were meaningless without the obedience in heart and life that they were supposed to express.

Hosea 7

Hosea 7:4
as an oven heated. The leaders of Israel are compared in Hosea 7:4-8 to dough in a heated oven, inflamed with wickedness.

Hosea 7:7
their kings are fallen. During the period of Hosea's ministry, he had seen King Zachariah assassinated (2 Kings 15:10), then King Shallum (2 Kings 15:14), later, King Pekahiah (2 Kings 15:25) and finally, King Pekah (2 Kings 15:30).

Hosea 7:8
cake not turned. Ephraim, representing all the northern kingdom (along with Israel's capital, Samaria—Hosea 7:1) is called "a cake not turned" in the oven, and also "a silly dove without heart" (Hosea 7:11). Hot in wickedness, yet cool toward God, they were trusting in Egypt to save them from Assyria.

Hosea 7:9
yet he knoweth not. It is sad when leaders have lost their ability to lead, but don't realize it. Like mighty Samson, who "wist not that the Lord was departed from him" (Judges 16:20), and like Jerusalem collaborating in Christ's crucifixion because "thou knewest not the time of thy visitation" (Luke 19:44), and like the Laodicean church that "knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Revelation 3:16-17). Professing Christians today need to guard urgently against the tragedy of arrogant ignorance.

Hosea 7:14
howled upon their beds. This "wailing in their beds" of wickedness, calling for help by their pagan gods, was as futile as that of the prophets of Baal when "they cried aloud" to Baal against Elijah on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:28).

Hosea 8

Hosea 8:1
as an eagle. Literally, "like a vulture," the Assyrians were about to swoop down on Israel to devour her spiritually dead body. She would cry out to God for deliverance (Hosea 8:2), but still depended on her idols.

Hosea 8:6
calf of Samaria. The "calf of Samaria" refers to Israel's idols. Samaria was the capital of Israel and, like "Ephraim," the term "Samaria" is often used to refer to all ten tribes of the northern kingdom. When the ten tribes first separated from Jerusalem and the true temple, their leader Jeroboam led Israel into idolatry. He made "two calves of gold" and said: "Behold thy gods, O Israel," the idols supposedly representing the true God who "brought thee up out of the land of Egypt" (1 Kings 12:28). This reflected the much earlier time when the children of Israel, encamped at Mount Sinai to receive God's law, made a golden calf and attributed deity and their deliverance to it (Exodus 32:4). The worship of the calf idol incurred God's wrath at both the beginning and ending of Israel's history in the land.

Hosea 8:7
reap the whirlwind. Reaping follows sowing. "He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption" (Galatians 6:8). This principle was applied with great fury to ancient Israel, and a similar time of reaping awaits other nations that forget God (Psalm 9:17).

Hosea 8:12
a strange thing. God judged Israel for rejecting the great things of His law. How great must be his anger at those modern "Christian" nations that not only count His law "strange," but also the whole Bible and God's great work of creation and redemption!

Hosea 9

Hosea 9:3
shall return to Egypt. Although a few refugees, especially from Judah, did flee to Egypt, the Israelites as a whole were taken to Assyria. Thus Assyria became their new "Egypt." God had delivered them from slavery in Egypt: now they were once again in slavery under even crueler taskmasters than those their fathers had escaped in Egypt.

Hosea 9:17
wanderers among the nations. The "wandering Jew" has been a living legend for two thousand years. Unlike other dispersed nations of antiquity, however, the Jews continued to retain their distinct national identity through all those centuries of wanderings.

Hosea 10

Hosea 10:4
hemlock. A poisonous plant.

Hosea 10:6
Jareb. Jareb ("the contentious one") is probably an epithet applied by Hosea to the Assyrian king Shalmanezer, who resented King Hoshea of Israel because he "brought no present to the king of Assyria" (2 Kings 17:4). Therefore, Shalmanezer carried Israel into captivity "for a present" to the contentious king.

Hosea 10:9
battle in Gibeah. The reference is apparently to the gruesome events described in Judges 20 and 21, with the battle in Gibeah almost resulting in the extinction of the tribe of Benjamin.

Hosea 10:12
reap in mercy. Compare Hosea 8:7. Sowing the wind is about to reap a whirlwind of judgment in Israel, whereas sowing in righteousness would have reaped mercy. This is apparently a last call to repent and seek the Lord before final judgment.

Hosea 11

Hosea 11:1
called my son. This verse was appropriated and modified by the Holy Spirit through Matthew, and applied to the child Jesus. When Joseph and Mary fled with Him to Egypt to escape Herod's slaughter of the children, He "was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son" (Matthew 2:15). Israel, as the national "son" of the Father, was thus taken as a type of God's only begotten Son, who was Himself Israel's substitute to endure the wrath of God, thus assuring Israel's ultimate repentance and restoration.

Hosea 11:5
shall not return. In the context of this chapter, Israel had been once-for-all called "out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1). Because of their long-continued rebellion against God, however, they were to be cast out of their land—this time into Assyria, rather than Egypt. However, Hosea had said shortly before this (Hosea 8:13) that "they shall return to Egypt." By this he meant the pagan ways and practices of Egypt, not the actual land of Egypt. See also Hosea 9:3, where it says that "Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria." The one is metaphorical, the other literal. In Revelation 11:8, once again "the great city" (that is, Jerusalem) is "spiritually … called Sodom and Egypt."

Hosea 12

Hosea 12:3
power with God. This reference to Genesis 25:26 points up the natural spiritual strength of Jacob, which was evident in his conflict with his twin elder brother Esau even before their birth.

Hosea 12:4
prevailed. When Jacob wrestled with the angel, just before meeting Esau again, he once again showed "power with God and with men, and hast prevailed" (Genesis 32:28).
Beth-el. Beth-el (the house of God) became also Allon-bachuth (the oak of weeping) when the aged Deborah died there. Following this, Jacob was again named Israel (a prince with God), and so Hosea again looks forward to the ultimate preservation and restoration of Israel (Hosea 12:13).

Hosea 13

Hosea 13:4
no god but me. There is no true God but the Creator, and there is no Savior but that same Creator. Israel was reminded here—as we should be today—that the only God who is real is both Creator and Savior. No other imagined deity or force of nature can accomplish either creation or salvation.

Hosea 13:14
power of the grave. This is one of the Old Testament promises of future bodily resurrection. See also Job 19:25-27; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2; etc.

Hosea 14

Hosea 14:9
Who is wise. True wisdom exists only in those whose minds have been redeemed and are focused on God (2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 11:33-36; 1 Corinthians 2:6-8; Colossians 2:3).
ways of the Lord. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 16:25). I

on the Minor prophets
Commentary on Hosea
Multiple Contributors (Spurgeon, Luther, Gurnall, Trapp, etc)
Homiletics , Illustrations

Interesting Resource (eg, 24 pages of notes on Hosea 2)
Be a Berean - Not Always Literal


Hosea 1 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 1:1 The First Communication
  • Hosea 1:2 The Symbolic Language
  • Hosea 1:3-9 The Three Judgments
  • Hosea 1:6-7 Judgment and Mercy
  • Hosea 1:8-9 A Cast Off People
  • Hosea 1:10-11 The Good Time Coming
  • Hosea 1 Illustrations to Chapter 1

Hosea 2 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 2:1-5 Filial Expostulation
  • Hosea 2:6-7 The Unsuccessful Pursuit
  • Hosea 2:5-7 The Backslider's Way Hedged Up
  • Hosea 2:8,9 God Dishonored in His Gifts to Men
  • Hosea 2:10 The Exposure of Folly
  • Hosea 2:11 Mirth Turned into Mourning
  • Hosea 2:12, 13 Prosperity Turned into Adversity
  • Hosea 2:14-16 Restoration to God
  • Hosea 2:17-20 The Good Time Coming
  • Hosea 2:21-23 The Universe Governed in the Interests of Humanity
  • Hosea 2 Illustrations to Chapter 2

Hosea 3 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 3:1-5 The Wondrous Love
  • Hosea 3 Fear the Lord and His Goodness
  • Hosea 3 Illustrations to Chapter 3

Hosea 4 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 4:1-5 God's Controversy with a Guilty People
  • Hosea 4:3-5 A Terrible Deprivation
  • Hosea 4:6 Ignorance of God: A Warning to the People & the Priests
  • Hosea 4:7-9 The Danger of Worldly Prosperity
  • Hosea 4:10-14 Sinful Indulgence
  • Hosea 4:15-17 The Doom of Some a Warning to Others
  • Hosea 4:18,19 The Bitterness and the Punishment of Sin
  • Hosea 4 Illustrations to Chapter 4

Hosea 5 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 5:1-3 National Sins and Divine Detection
  • Hosea 5:4 The Power of Evil Habits
  • Hosea 5:5-7 God Testifying Against Man
  • Hosea 5:8-11 An Earnest Ministry the Want of the Times
  • Hosea 5:12 Destruction Slow and Sure
  • Hosea 5:13 National Sickness and Spurious Remedies
  • Hosea 5:14,15 Destruction Open and Violent
  • Hosea 5 Illustrations to Chapter 5

Hosea 6 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 6:1-3 National Amendment
  • Hosea 6:1 Man's Highest Social Action
  • Hosea 6:4,5 Justice or Mercy?
  • Hosea 6:6 Mercy Not Sacrifice
  • Hosea 6:7 Covenant Breakers
  • Hosea 6:8-11 A Sad Transformation
  • Hosea 6 Illustrations to Chapter 6

Hosea 7 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 7:1 A Sad Discovery
  • Hosea 7:2 Encircled in Sin
  • Hosea 7:4-7 Sin a Furnace of Fire
  • Hosea 7:8, 9 The Church Endangered and Injured by Worldly Association
  • Hosea 7:11-13 The Silliness of the Sinner
  • Hosea 7:12 The Fowler of Retribution
  • Hosea 7:13 Man's Weal and Woe
  • Hosea 7:14 The Howling of Distress
  • Hosea 7:15, 16 The Ungrateful Return
  • Hosea 7 Illustrations to Chapter 7

Hosea 8 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 8:1 A Corrupt Church
  • Hosea 8:2 Vain Religion
  • Hosea 8:3-5 Forsaking Good and Pursuing Evil the Surest Way to Ruin!
  • Hosea 8:5,6 Idolatry: Its Origin, Effects and Destiny
  • Hosea 8:7,8 A Picture of Ungodly Life
  • Hosea 8:9, 10 The Folly of Worldly Alliance
  • Hosea 8:11-13 Aggravated Guilt
  • Hosea 8:11-12 Perversion of Worship
  • Hosea 8:14 Castles of False Security
  • Hosea 8 Illustrations to Chapter 8

Hosea 9 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 9:1-4 The Sinner's Life a Joyless Life
  • Hosea 9:5 The Solemn Days of Life
  • Hosea 9:6, 7 A Sad Picture
  • Hosea 9:7-9 Days of Visitation
  • Hosea 9:10 Honoured and Dishonoured
  • Hosea 9:10 Separated Unto Shame
  • Hosea 9:11-14 The Glory and Grief of a People
  • Hosea 9:15-17 Great Wickedness and Great Punishment
  • Hosea 9 Illustrations to Chapter 9

Hosea 10 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 10:1-4 The Abuse of Outward Prosperity
  • Hosea 10:4 Perjury Joined to Hypocrisy
  • Hosea 10:5-8 The Vanity of Earthly Glory
  • Hosea 10:9 Death Sometimes Preferable to Life
  • Hosea 10:9,10 Imitating the Sins and Suffering the Punishment of Others
  • Hosea 10:11 Seeking to Enjoy the Comforts and Refusing the Duties of Religion
  • Hosea 10:12, 13 The Call to Reformation of Life
  • Hosea 10:14, 15 The Evil of Evils
  • Hosea 10 Illustrations to Chapter 10

Hosea 11 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 11:1-4 God's Paternal Care and Man's Ungrateful Return
  • Hosea 11:5,6 The Short-Sighted Policy of Sinners
  • Hosea 11:7 Bent on Backsliding
  • Hosea 11:8, 9 Divine Justice and Divine Mercy in Apparent Conflict for the Sinner
  • Hosea 11:10, 11 The Penitent's Return to God
  • Hosea 11:12 The True and the False Worshippers
  • Hosea 11 Illustrations to Chapter 11

Hosea 12 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 12:1 Feeding Upon the Wind!
  • Hosea 12:3, 4 Imitating Examples of Progenitors
  • Hosea 12:5 The Memorial Name
  • Hosea 12:6 True Conversion to God
  • Hosea 12:7-9 Prosperity Unlawfully Gained and Abused Will Be Taken Away by God
  • Hosea 12:10 God's Method of Teaching the People
  • Hosea 12:11-14 Sins Reproved by the Virtues of Progenitors and Punished by the Providence of God
  • Hosea 12 Illustrations to Chapter 12

Hosea 13 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 13:1-3 Self-Estimation the Measure of Religious Influence
  • Hosea 13:4 God the Only Saviour
  • Hosea 13:4 No Saviour Beside God
  • Hosea 13:5 Help in the Exigencies of Life
  • Hosea 13:5-8 Divine Goodness Turned Into Divine Wrath
  • Hosea 13:9 Moral Suicide and Divine Help
  • Hosea 13:10, 11 God the Only King
  • Hosea 13:12, 13 Iniquity Reserved for Future Punishment
  • Hosea 13:14 The Great Conquest
  • Hosea 13:15, 16 Earthly Fountains of Enjoyments Fail
  • Hosea 13 Illustrations to Chapter 13

Hosea 14 Critical Notes - scroll down as notes are divided by verse or verses.

Scroll down for following homilies

  • Hosea 14:1-3 Real Conversion to God Described
  • Hosea 14:4 Health and Divine Favor
  • Hosea 14:4 Grace Abounding
  • Hosea 14:5-7 Reviving Grace
  • Hosea 14:8 God in Relation to a Converted People
  • Hosea 14:9 The Ways of God and the Destinies of Man
  • Hosea 14 Illustrations to Chapter 14

Commentaries, Sermons, Devotionals
on Hosea



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Excerpt: Interpretive Challenges - That the faithless wife, Gomer, is symbolic of faithless Israel is without doubt; but questions remain. First, some suggest that the marital scenes in chaps. 1–3 should be taken only as allegory. However, there is nothing in the narrative, presented in simple prose, which would even question its literal occurrence. Much of its impact would be lost if not literal. When non-literal elements within the book are introduced, they are prefaced with “saw” (Hos 5:13; 9:10,13), the normal Hebraic means of introducing non-literal scenes. Furthermore, there is no account of a prophet ever making himself the subject of an allegory or parable.

Second, what are the moral implications of God’s command for Hosea to marry a prostitute? It appears best to see Gomer as chaste at the time of marriage to Hosea, only later having become an immoral woman. The words “take yourself a wife of harlotry” are to be understood proleptically, i.e., looking to the future. An immoral woman could not serve as a picture of Israel coming out of Egypt (Hos 2:15; 9:10), who then later wandered away from God (Hos 11:1). Chapter 3 describes Hosea taking back his wife, who had been rejected because of adultery, a rejection that was unjustifiable if Hosea had married a prostitute with full knowledge of her character.

A third question arises concerning the relationship between chap. 1 and chap. 3 and whether the woman of chap. 3 is Gomer or another woman. There are a number of factors which suggest that the woman of chap. 3 is Gomer. In Hos 1:2, God’s command is to “Go, take;” in 3:1, however, His command is to “Go again, love,” suggesting that Hosea’s love was to be renewed to the same woman. Furthermore, within the analogy of chap. 1, Gomer represents Israel. As God renews His love toward faithless Israel, so Hosea is to renew his love toward faithless Gomer. For Hos. 3 to denote a different woman would confuse the analogy.









  • The Messianic Hope of Israel - The Witness of Hosea (see page 1)
    The Witness of Hosea Following the order in which the writing prophets are placed in the canon, we begin with the prophet who accompanied the northern Kingdom of Israel to its grave, and who was permitted to see the resurrection of the nation in the latter days.

    What must have lain as a heavy burden on his heart was the fact that the covenant nation was divided into two rival kingdoms. He dated his prophecy therefore both in the days of the Kings of the house of David, as well as in that of Jeroboam II, under which the northern Kingdom enjoyed its brightest and most prosperous period, just on the eve of its tragic downfall: "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" (Hosea 1:1). His prophecy is divided into four parts, running parallel with each other, covering the same period, and ending with a glory vision of the Messianic age.

    - Chapter 1 forms a complete prophecy, from the downfall of Israel to the final re-gathering.
    - Chapter 2, from the divorce of Israel as an unfaithful wife, to the re-marriage.
    - Chapter 3, the "many days" of Israel's being nationally set aside, till their conversion to the Messiah, whom they will seek in the latter days.

    Then the fourth section, the largest, from Chapters 5 and 14, Israel's backsliding in detail, till the final recovery, when the divine discipline has accomplished its end.

    The first vision of the future in the Book of Hosea was that of the re-union of the divided nation, when they shall "appoint themselves one Head," and will under His leadership come out of the land of their exile. That is to say, they will choose the One whom the LORD has already chosen for them. They will at last ratify the divine selection. The other prophets were also concerned along this line. Thus Ezekiel: "And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things; nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their GOD. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them" (Ezekiel 37:22-24). GOD is still waiting for Israel to fall into line with Him respecting the One in and under whom alone unity and harmony is possible, whether for that nation or for His new-covenant people.

    Chapter 3 presents a new feature. The tribulated nation will be finally betrothed to Him whom it has sinned against. The LORD speaks of Himself as Israel's true husband. He has never ceased to love her, and that in her deepest shame. Surely it is the heart of the heavenly Bridegroom of souls who speaks in this chapter!

    Chapter 3, brief as it is, composed of only five sentences, covers the entire period of Israel's long exile till the kingdom of the Messiah. He is the true David. Till they turn to Him, they will be without King, prince and religious status in a state of suspense. The false gods may have been abandoned, but the true is not yet known. But there is a blessed "afterward." In the latter days the people will seek the LORD their GOD and David their King. In the loss of the Messiah, they lost the GOD of their fathers also. In recovering Him, they will find GOD also.

    Chapter 6 is very suggestive. It begins with the spiritual as well as national revival of Israel. Then we see how this revival will be brought about. The Messiah will be apprehended, both in His outward appearing, as bringing in a new day, and by His inward and spiritual appearing, like the rain from Heaven, by the coming of His SPIRIT to indwell the heart that loves Him.

    It is a wonderful Messianic picture! The Coming One is spoken of as One whose coming had been long prepared for as a new morning for humanity as well as for Israel. And that He would also come to man as the rain comes from Heaven to refresh and fertilize the parched garden unto GOD.

    Thus we see the two stages of the Lord’s appearing: His personal and outward coming, which introduced a new day for the world in history; and His spiritual and inward coming, which changes men. In the first He came to be with men, Immanuel, "God with us." In the second He comes to be in men. In the first He did a mighty work for man. In the second He came to apply the benefits of that work to men.

    These two comings are DIFFERENT and yet SIMILAR:

    a. They have the same heavenly origin. The light comes from above, and the rain descends from the sky also. It is not by man's contrivance. The morning and the rain are entirely by the gift of grace of GOD.

    b. Both are expressions of the universality and impartiality of the divine goodness. The sun shines on evil and good alike. The rain descends on the fields of the thankful and unthankful. "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45).

    c. Both sun and rain are gentle and silent in their operations. The thunder and lightning may precede the rain, but the rain itself is a gentle touch. So CHRIST came outwardly, all Heaven was moved, but on earth, it was a lone star that guided seekers to CHRIST. So also the SPIRIT comes. We must find CHRIST within.

    d. Both come without money and without price. And no day has less, because millions of others share the same. "A whole sun for me!" So CHRIST is abundantly able to save and satisfy. He went to Heaven in a cloud, and then that cloud broke in a shower of blessings on the disciples ten days after. CHRIST thus came back in the clouds of Heaven, only in this sense, spiritually.

    e. Both have the same end in view, the transformation of death into life; of winter into summer. The morning sun makes a tremendous change, and the rain transforms nature into loveliness. Light and Life are the results of sunshine and rain.

    a. The sun comes with a wonderful breadth. The rain comes in drops. So CHRIST has reconciled the world by His first coming, but He must quicken the individual soul by His personal approach in the SPIRIT. He comes to each individual in an individual way. As on the day of the SPIRIT's coming every man heard the message told out in his own language, so the SPIRIT speaks to every man in a way he can understand.

    b. Then again, the morning is sure, but the rain has its own seasons. So with the visitations of the SPIRIT. Woe to him who neglects them when they come!

    The fourth section of Hosea makes sad reading; it is a detailed recital, like a succession of sobs, of the moral and religious decadence of Israel, though sovereign mercy will triumph in the end. But in the midst of it we have one more illuminating Messianic reference: "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1). That the Messiah is seen in this statement, the New Testament tells in Matthew 2:15. He is seen as One who had identified Himself with the nation in grace, and who loves their history over again in His own person.

    Before passing from this, we note that Scripture, like man, is tripartite. It has an outer, or lettermeaning. This is the historical sense. "Modernists" seldom get beyond this. There is an inner, or prophetical sense; this is the soul of Scripture. There is also an inmost or spiritual sense.

    In Hosea 11:1, the letter meaning refers to the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt.

    The prophetical, as given in Matthew 2:15, refers to the Messiah.

    The spiritual, or mystical sense, refers to an "Egypt" in which many are in spiritual bondage, and out of which the LORD would redeem them: "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our LORD was crucified" (Rev. 11:8).

    So, of old, the LORD brought them out (Exodus 12:51). Israel went out (Exodus 12:41); and Egypt thrust them out (Exodus 12:33). Through the death and resurrection of CHRIST, we are brought out. Through reckoning ourselves as having died unto sin, baptized into His death, we go out. But in the divine dealings with us, all kinds of difficulties frequently arise, by which we are thrust out.



Excerpt: What's the big idea? - Structured around five cycles of judgment and restoration, the book of Hosea makes clear its repetitious theme: though God will bring judgment on sin, He will always bring His people back to Himself. God’s love for Israel, a nation of people more interested in themselves than in God’s direction for their lives, shines through clearly against the darkness of their idolatry and injustice (Hosea 14:4). Throughout the book, Hosea pictured the people turning away from the Lord and turning toward other gods (Hos 4:12–3; 8:5–6). This propensity for idolatry meant that the Israelites lived as if they were not God’s people. And though God told them as much through the birth of Hosea’s third child, Lo-ammi, He also reminded them that He would ultimately restore their relationship with Him, using the intimate and personal language of “sons” to describe His wayward people (Hos 1:9–10; 11:1).

How do I apply this? - Do you know the saving power of God, now offered to us through His Son, Jesus? If so, as a redeemed child of God, have you offered “redemption” or forgiveness to those in your life who were once under your judgment? Not only does the book of Hosea provide an example of God’s love to a people who have left God behind, but it also shows us what forgiveness and restoration look like in a close relationship. The book of Hosea illustrates that no one is beyond the offer of our forgiveness because no one sits outside God’s offer of forgiveness. Certainly, God brings judgment on those who turn from Him, but Hosea’s powerful act of restoration within his own marriage set the bar high for those of us seeking godliness in our lives.



A number of useful lessons may be learned from a study of this book.

  • Worldliness in God's people, whenever it occurs, is designated by God with the word of Hosea 1:2 as ''harlotry'' [''whoredom'']. In his epistle, James calls it spiritual ''adultery'' (James 4:4).
  • God's Word is always revealing. ''Hear the word of the Lord'' is Hosea's constant plea. The psalmist said, ''Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word.'' (Psalm 119:9).
  • Israel's failure is a picture of the church's sin. The church has forgotten that she is espoused to God, and her committing of spiritual adultery is evident in many realms.
  • The heart cry of God for the backslider and spiritual adulterer is expressed in the words, ''How shall I give thee up, Ephraim?'' (Hos 11:8).
  • A final view of God's mercy to the repentant and returning one is found in His promise: ''I will be as the dew unto Israel'' (Hos 14:5). Truly, God's mercy endures forever.








RICH CATHERS - frequent use of illustrations

2013 Study

2006 Study


  • Be a Berean - Not always a literal interpretation. Caveat Emptor!



  • Hosea 1:1-3;Christ's Spotless Bride: As believers who have been chosen by God, we are to become more and more like Christ until we are presented to Him at the marriage of the Lamb. Video
  • Hosea 4:1-14;Our Knowledge of God: To grow spiritually, we must have an increasing and deepening knowledge of God--who He is and what He has done for us. Video
  • Hosea 4:15-5:15;Maintaining a Clear Conscience: We are to maintain a clear conscience that does not become hardened by persistent sinful attitudes and actions. Video
  • Hosea 6:1-3; God's Forgiveness: No matter what our human condition, we are to seek God's forgiveness, realizing that the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. Video
  • Hosea 6:4-7:16; Becoming Like Christ: We are to be progressively transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ, not conformed to this world. Video
  • Hosea 8:1-4; Choosing Godly Leaders: When we install leaders in our churches, we should first and foremost make the selection based on God's approval. Video
  • Hosea 8:5-14; True Worship: When we worship we must remember that what pleases God the most are lives lived in harmony with His will. Video
  • Hosea 9:1-9; Verbal Persecution: When we share God's truth with those who have deliberately turned their backs on God, we should not be surprised if we are identified as stupid and crazy. Video
  • Hosea 10:1-8; False Assumptions: We must never interpret material prosperity as a sign that God is pleased with actions that are out of harmony with His revealed will. Video
  • Hosea 10:9-12;Proper Priorities: We are to determine in our hearts to do what is right according to God's will, trusting Him to meet all of our needs. Video
  • Hosea 11:1-11; God's Faithfulness: We are to be assured that God will never disown us if we have truly become His children through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Video
  • Hosea 14:1-9; A Call to Repentance: Regardless of who we are, to experience eternal life we must acknowledge our sinfulness and receive God's free gift of salvation. Video




  • Hosea Commentary - here is an excerpt

    Hosea prophesied during the reign of seven kings. Of these seven kings, five of them are listed here in our passage. A couple of the ones that followed Jeroboam didn't reign very long, so that may be why he left them out. Five of these seven kings are said to have continued in the sin of the first Jeroboam. 2 Kings 14:24, 15:9, 15:18, 24, 28, 17:21-23 all say the same thing about these kings:

    “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not depart all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin.”

    What was this terrible sin that Jeroboam committed? We need to turn to 1 Kings 12:26-29 for an explanation. The context: After death of Solomon, the nation divided. (931 BC) Rehoboam was king of Judah in the south and Jeroboam was king Israel in the north. Jeroboam is thinking to himself that he will lose power if people are allowed to go back to Jerusalem to worship God. I think Jeroboam knew that God did not want a divided kingdom, but he didn't care. Hosea 1:11 talks about future restoration and shows that God will one day reunite Israel and Judah. In 1 Kings 12:28 we see that Jeroboam devised a way to stop that. He gave the Israelites a new god--golden calves. So is this the sin of Jeroboam--starting national idol worship in Israel? Well, yes, but how does that apply to us. Since we don't worship golden calves, does that let us off the hook? What is the timeless principle that we can conclude from this? The sin of Jeroboam was that he sought to achieve his own personal agenda. He put himself and his desires before God and distorted God in order to do so. Then he avoided having to face how wrong he was by changing his understanding of God.

    PRINCIPLE: Encountering God as He is invariably changes our personal agendas
    If Jeroboam had really been worshipping God, he would have seen God's glory and his own sinfulness and wanted to do God's will, even if that meant reuniting the kingdom. And as mentioned earlier, Hosea 1:11 shows that that was God’s will. So Jeroboam never really encountered God during his required temple worship times. He didn't have a relationship with God, and to keep the rest of the nation from having a relationship with God he set up idol worship. Jeroboam wanted the power for himself. And to make matters worse, he took a whole nation down with him. That is what makes his sin so great. Isaiah 6:1-8 gives us a great contrast to Jeroboam and a great example of someone who was changed because of his encounter with God. After Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord, he recognized his sinfulness and when God asked, “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah said, “Here am I. Send me!” So, when Hosea lists these kings at the beginning of his book, I think it is more than a way to place the chronological occurrence of his book. It is a way to emphasize the spiritual climate in which he is ministering. It is also foundational to understanding the problems Hosea will deal with in his book.

    Application: Are our own agendas more important than God? We need to recognize that we usually have internal agendas that are deeper than our worship experience. How often do we sit in church and think about other things?

    For that matter, why do you go to church? For some people church is just a social club, for some it might be a place to make business contacts. Real estate and insurance folks find lots of people in the church that trust them because they go to their church. Some might go to maintain a certain reputation. I know from my past Air Force experience that Wing Commanders went to the chapel to set the example. They didn't dare stay home nor did they dare go to a church off base. And some people went to the chapel because the Wing CC went and they wanted to rub shoulders with him there.

    Can you think of any other hidden agendas that are more important than God?

    What is amazing is that we can come to church and pretend to worship and the whole time we really don't get in tune with God. We don't really worship God. We just go through the motions. We don't change our personal agendas, we just leave this building and go back to our same old lifestyle.

    DO WE DISTORT OUR CONCEPT OF GOD? If we cling to these agendas, we emphasize whatever about God fits our purposes. And we lose an accurate picture of who God is. This can be seen in 1 Kings 12:27 - Jeroboam knew that if the people had worshipped God then they would have done what God wanted and re-united the kingdom. Jeroboam and the Jews changed God into a calf so that He was no longer a Holy God, but just some impotent object that sanctioned their own agendas of pursuing wealth and pleasure. We have a tendency to pursue our own agendas and our own well-being by changing God into something that we think will help us meet our goals. Maybe we don't turn God into a golden calf, but we have other images of God that do the same thing:

    Some people think of God as a higher power. Star Wars made it popular by calling it “the Force.” The New Age movement just refers to it as a higher power, but what is significant is that God has been changed into this higher power which is just there to help people achieve their own goals. All you have to do is “tap into that higher power” to do whatever you want. Just visualize it and it will happen.

    Or maybe our concept of God is not so obviously wrong. Instead we make God into the grandfather image. What do I mean by the grandfather image? God is seen as the kind, loving grandfather, sitting in heaven and not really concerned with what his grandchildren are doing. You know that typically it is the grandparents who spoil the children and let them do what they want and it is the parents who have to discipline them. We want a grandfather God who will indulge and spoil us and not make us obey the rules.

    Maybe we have a genie image of God. This is one that makes God into someone who we can pray to for things we want.

    Can you think of other images of God? What kind of a God do you have?










  • Undying Love— The Story of Hosea and Gomer
    Excerpt -

    We cannot escape the message of his undying love. Hosea wanted to see Gomer restored to his side as his faithful wife. And he believed that God was great enough to do it. One day word came by way of the grapevine gossips that Gomer had been deserted by her lover. She had sold herself into slavery and had hit bottom. This was the last straw. Certainly now Hosea would forget her. But his heart said “No.” He could not give her up. And then God spoke to him: “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods” (Hos. 3:1).

    Gomer was still beloved of Hosea even though she was an adulteress, and God wanted him to seek her out and prove his love to her. How could anyone love that deeply? The answer was right there in God’s instructions to Hosea, “even as the Lord loves.” Only one who knows the love and forgiveness of God can ever love this perfectly. And one who has experienced His loving forgiveness cannot help but love and forgive others. Christian husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:25), and Hosea is an outstanding biblical example of that kind of love.

    So he began his search, driven by that indestructible divine love, love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, love that never ends. And he found her, ragged, torn, sick, dirty, disheveled, destitute, chained to an auction block in a filthy slave market, a repulsive shadow of the woman she once was. We wonder how anyone could love her now. But Hosea bought her from her slavery for fifteen shekels of silver and thirteen bushels of barley (Hos. 3:2). Then he said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you” (Hos. 3:3). He actually paid for her, brought her home, and eventually restored her to her position as his wife. While we do not find anything else in Scripture about their relationship with each other, we assume that God used Hosea’s supreme act of forgiving love to melt her heart and change her life.

    How many times should a husband or wife forgive? Some contend, “If I keep forgiving I simply affirm him in his pattern of sin.” Or “If I keep forgiving, she’ll think she can get away with anything she wants.” Others say, “If I keep forgiving, it’s like putting my seal of approval on his behavior.” Or “I can’t take another hurt like that. If he does that one more time, I’m leaving.” Those are human responses. Listen to the response of the Lord Jesus. You see, Peter had asked the Lord this same question: “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” The Lord’s answer was, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21, 22). That is a great deal of forgiveness. In fact, Christ was simply saying in a captivating way that there is no end to forgiveness.

    Sometimes it’s just the little slights and daily agitations that need forgiveness, the occasional sharp word or angry accusation. But we harbor it, let it eat at us, and build up bitterness and resentment which erodes our relationship. Maybe it’s a major offense, like Gomer’s, and we can never forget it. We stew on it and fret over it, and we keep bringing it up in a subconscious attempt to punish our mates for the hurts we have suffered. We try to forgive, but a few days later it’s right there again, preying on our consciousness. Big wounds sometimes take longer to heal. They will come back to our minds. There is no way to avoid it. But every time they do, we must first remind ourselves that we really did forgive, then rehearse how much God has forgiven us, then ask Him to take the destructive, unforgiving thoughts out of our minds.

    Forgiveness does not necessarily mean that we must suffer in silence. The need for open and honest communication would demand that we share what we think and how we feel, what the wrong has done to us, and how our mates can help us get over it. God tells us how much our sin grieves Him. Gomer certainly knew how her affairs were tearing at Hosea’s heart. What we say must be said lovingly and kindly, but we have both the need and the obligation to share what is on our hearts.

    Neither does forgiveness necessarily mean we cannot take positive steps to guard against the sin recurring. That might require some extended counseling; it might demand an honest reappraisal of our personalities or habit patterns; it might mean a change in our life-style or a relocation. God takes positive steps to help us want to please Him. That is what divine discipline is all about. We do not discipline each other, but we can discuss steps that will help us avoid these same pitfalls in the future.

    Forgiveness does mean, however, that we will pay for the other person’s offenses. We will refuse to retaliate in any way to make the guilty person pay. We will absolve him of all guilt. God can use that forgiving love to melt hardened hearts and change callused lives quicker than anything else in this whole wide world. That is the lesson of Hosea and Gomer, the lesson of forgiveness. God’s love and forgiveness pervade Hosea’s entire prophecy. Please do not misunderstand it. God hates sin; it grieves His heart; He cannot condone it; His perfect righteousness and justice demand that He deal with it. But He still loves sinners and diligently seeks them out and offers them His loving forgiveness.

    God’s ancient people Israel kept going back to their sins. “What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud, and like the dew which goes away early” (Hos. 6:4). But God never stopped loving them. “When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son” (Hos. 11:1). “I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love” (Hos. 11:4). “How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel?” (Hos. 11:8). And because He never stopped loving them, He never stopped pleading with them: “Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity” (Hos. 14:1).

    We need to love like that. We need to forgive like that. We need to drag the festering hurts we have been harboring in our hearts to the cross of Christ—where we laid our own burden of guilt one day and where we found God’s loving forgiveness—and we must leave them all there. When we fully forgive, our minds will be released from the bondage of resentment that has been building a wall between us, and we shall be free to grow in our relationship with each other.


  • Amos, Hosea, Jonah and Micah - Be very discerning: Utley is Amillennial and replaces Israel with the Church. Why listed? Because he has well done grammatical (word and phrase studies) and interesting historical comments (eg, see page 45 "Fertility Worship of the Ancient Near East")
  • See Related Resources: Millennium; Israel of God





































Hosea Commentary Notes
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Includes technical notes (text), translation notes and study notes

Excerpts from the Study Notes - 

Hosea 1:9 - This is an allusion to Yahweh’s promise to Moses אֶהְיֶה עִמָּךְ (’ehyeh ’immakh, “I will be with you”; Exod 3:12, 14). In effect, it is a negation of Exod 3:12, 14 and a cancellation of Israel’s status as vassal of Yahweh in the conditional Mosaic covenant.

Hosea 1:10 - Beginning with 1:10, the verse numbers through 2:23 in the English Bible differ by two from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with Hos 1:10 ET = 2:1 HT, 1:11 ET = 2:2 HT, 2:1 ET = 2:3 HT, etc., through 2:23 ET = 2:25 HT. Beginning with 3:1 the verse numbers in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible are again the same.

Hosea 2:2 - The reason that Hosea (representing the LORD) calls upon his children (representing the children of Israel) to plead with Gomer (representing the nation as a whole), rather than pleading directly with her himself, is because Hosea (the LORD) has turned his back on his unfaithful wife (Israel). He no longer has a relationship with her (“for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband”) because she abandoned him for her lovers.

Hosea 2:5 - This statement alludes to the practice of sexual rites in the Canaanite fertility cult which attempted to secure agricultural fertility from the Canaanite gods (note the following reference to wool, flax, olive oil, and wine).

Hosea 2:8 - The third person plural here is an obvious reference to the Israelites who had been unfaithful to the LORD in spite of all that he had done for them. To maintain the imagery of Israel as the prostitute, a third person feminine singular would be called for; in the interest of literary consistency this has been supplied in some English translations (e.g., NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

Hosea 2:9 - This announcement of judgment is extremely ironic and forcefully communicates poetic justice: The punishment will fit the crime. The Israelites were literally uncovering their nakedness in temple prostitution in the Baal fertility cult rituals. Yahweh will, in effect, give them what they wanted (nakedness) but not in the way they wanted it: Yahweh will withhold the agricultural fertility they sought from Baal which would lead to nakedness caused by impoverishment.

Hosea 3:5 - It is not clear whether Hosea was predicting a restoration of Davidic kingship over Israel and Judah (e.g., Jer 17:25; 22:2) (Ed: I interpret the text literally and this is surely the resurrected David in the Millennium - that would also explain Jesus' title as "King of kings," one of those kings being David) or referring to the ultimate Davidic king, namely, the Messiah, who will fulfill the conditions of the Davidic covenant and inaugurate/fulfill the blessings of the Davidic covenant for Israel. The Messiah is frequently pictured as the “New David” because he would fulfill the ideals of the Davidic covenant and be everything that David and his descendants were commissioned to be (e.g., Isa 9:7[6]; 16:5; Jer 23:5–6; 30:9; 33:15–16; Ezek 34:23–24; 37:24–25).

Hosea 4:15 - Beth Aven means “house of wickedness” in Hebrew; it is a polemic reference to “Bethel,” which means “house of God.” Cf. CEV “at sinful Bethel.”

Hosea 5:1 - The noun פַּח (pakh, “trap”) is used (1) literally of a bird-trap, used in similes and metaphors (Amos 3:5; Prov 7:23; Eccl 9:12), and (2) figuratively to refer to (a) calamities and plots (Job 18:9; 22:10; Pss 91:3; 119:110; 124:7; 140:6; 141:9; 142:4; Prov 22:5; Isa 24:17–18; Jer 18:22; 48:43–44; Hos 9:8) and (b) a source of calamity (Josh 23:13; Pss 11:6; 69:23; Isa 8:14; Hos 5:1; BDB 809 s.v. פַּח).....The noun רֶשֶׁת (reshet, “net”) is used (1) literally of a net used to catch birds (Prov 1:17) and (2) in figurative descriptions of the wicked plotting to ensnare their victims (Prov 29:5; Pss 9:16; 10:9; 25:15; 31:5; 35:7; 57:7; 140:6; Job 18:8; BDB 440 s.v. רֶשֶׁת).

Hosea 5:6 - The terms flocks and herds are used figuratively for animal sacrifices (metonymy of association). Hosea describes the futility of seeking God’s favor with mere ritual sacrifice without the prerequisite moral obedience (e.g., 1 Sam 15:24; Ps 50:6–8; 51:17–18; Isa 1:12; Mic 6:6–8).

Hosea 5:11 - The term רְצוּץ (rétsuts, “crushed”) is a metaphor for weakness (e.g., 2 Kgs 18:21; Isa 36:6; 42:3) and oppression (e.g., Deut 28:33; 1 Sam 12:3, 4; Amos 4:1; Isa 58:6). Here it is used as a figure to describe the devastating effects of the LORD’s judgment.

Hosea 5:13 - Hosea personifies Ephraim’s “wound” as if it could depart from the sickly Ephraim (see the formal equivalent rendering in the preceding tn). Ephraim’s sinful action in relying upon an Assyrian treaty for protection will not dispense with its problems.

Hosea 6:4 - The Hebrew poets and prophets frequently refer to the morning clouds as a simile for transitoriness (e.g., Job 7:9; Isa 44:22; Hos 6:4; 13:3; BDB 778 s.v. עָנָן 1.c). For discussion of this phenomena in Palestine, see Chaplin, PEQ (1883): 19.

Hosea 6:5 - In Hos  6:3 unrepentant Israel uttered an over-confident boast that the LORD would rescue the nation from calamity as certainly as the “light of the dawn” (שַׁחַר, shakhar) “comes forth” (יֵצֵא, yetse’) every morning. Playing upon the early morning imagery, the LORD responded in Hos 6:4 that Israel’s prerequisite repentance was as fleeting as the early morning dew. Now in Hos 6:5, the LORD announces that he will indeed appear as certainly as the morning; however, it will not be to rescue but to punish Israel: punishment will “come forth” (יֵצֵא) like the “light of the dawn” (אוֹר).

Hosea 6:6 - Contrary to popular misunderstanding, Hosea does not reject animal sacrifice nor cultic ritual, and advocate instead obedience only. Rather, God does not delight in ritual sacrifice without the accompanying prerequisite moral obedience (1 Sam 15:22; Ps 40:6–8; 51:16–17; Prov 21:3; Isa 1:11–17; Jer 7:21–23; Hos 6:6; Mic 6:6–8). However, if prerequisite moral obedience is present, he delights in sacrificial worship as an outward expression (Ps 51:19). Presented by a repentant obedient worshiper, whole burnt offerings were “an aroma pleasing” to the LORD (Lev 1:9, 13).

Hosea 12:9 - The LORD answers Ephraim’s self-assertion (“I am rich!”) with the self-introduction formula (“I am the LORD your God!”) which introduces judgment oracles and ethical instructions.

Hosea 13:1 - In Hosea the name “Ephraim” does not refer to the tribe, but to the region of Mount Ephraim where the royal residence of Samaria was located. It functions as a synecdoche of location (Mount Ephraim) for its inhabitants (the king of Samaria; e.g., 5:13; 8:8, 10).

Hosea 13:14 The two rhetorical questions in Hosea 13:14b function as words of encouragement, inviting personified Death and Sheol to draw near like foreign invading armies to attack and kill Israel (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).

Hosea 14:2 - The repetition of the root לָקַח (laqakh) creates a striking wordplay in 14:2. If Israel will bring (לָקַח) its confession to God, he will accept (לָקַח) repentant Israel and completely forgive its sin.

Hosea 14:4 - The noun מְשׁוּבָתָה (méshuvatah, “waywardness”; cf. KJV “backsliding”) is from the same root as שׁוּבָה (shuvah, “return!”) in 14:1[2]. This repetition of שׁוּב (shuv) creates a wordplay which emphasizes reciprocity: if Israel will return (שׁוּבָה, shuvah) to the LORD, he will cure her of the tendency to turn away (מְשׁוּבָתָה) from him......The verb שָׁב, shav, “will turn” (Qal perfect 3rd person masculine singular from שׁוּב, shuv, “to turn”) continues the wordplay on שׁוּב in 14:1–4[2–5]. If Israel will “return” (שׁוּב) to the LORD, he will heal Israel’s tendency to “turn away” (מְשׁוּבָתָה, méshuvatah) and “turn” (שָׁב) from his anger.

Hosea Commentary Notes
Conservative, Literal Interpretation
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Devotionals on Hosea
Radio Bible Class

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An Exegetical Commentary: Hosea
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Well Done! Recommended

Commentary Notes on Hosea
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Hosea Commentary

Hosea Commentary

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture literally and sometimes replaces Israel with the Church (note)

Commentary on Hosea
The Minor Prophets"
(originally published 1860)

James Rosscup writes "This work originally appeared in 1860. The present publication is set up in two columns to the page with the text of the Authorized Version reproduced at the top. Scripture references, Hebrew words, and other citations are relegated to the bottom of the page. The work is detailed and analytical in nature. Introduction, background and explanation of the Hebrew are quite helpful. Pusey holds to the grammatical-historical type of interpretation until he gets into sections dealing with the future of Israel, and here Israel becomes the church in the amillennial vein." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

The Prophet Hosea
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Brief Commentary Notes on Hosea
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Sermon on Hosea
Horae Homileticae
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

NOTE: If you are not familiar with the great saint Charles Simeon see Dr John Piper's discussion of Simeon's life - you will want to read Simeon's sermons after meeting him! - click Brothers We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering (Mp3 even better)

Sermon/Commentary Notes on Hosea
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Commentary on Hosea

Commentary on Hosea
The Expositor's Bible

James Rosscup writes "Though old this is well-written and often cited, with many good statements on spiritual truths. Users will find much that is worthwhile, and sometimes may disagree, as when he sees the Jonah account as allegorical (Ed: See Tony Garland's article on the Rise of Allegorical Interpretation)." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

Note: This source is difficult to link to as the exposition is not always by discrete chapters

Commentary on Hosea

Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture literally and sometimes replaces Israel with the Church (note)















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Morning and Evening
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on Hosea
Moody Bible Institute
Conservative, Literal Interpretation



DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).