- Hosea, book of
- In the past, some commentators have ascribed chs. 1–3 and 4–14 to two different authors on account of the change of content and style. (The Hebrew text of the book is beset with problems, which the ingenuity of translators conceals.) This view may, however, be unnecessary, though it is true that the second part of the book changes gear into denunciations of Israel's religious, social, and political life. Israel's idolatry leads Hosea to nostalgic reflections on the faithfulness of the wilderness experience of the Exodus (Hos. 2:14–15) and to hope for its repetition. The chaotic situation depicted seems to be that of the northern kingdom soon after the death of Jeroboam Ⅱ in 745 BCE. Hosea anticipates divine punishment through conquest by the Assyrians (9:3) but there is hope of an end to deportations (11:11) and a return to the great days of David (3:5)—which is a rather unexpected hope for a northerner, suggesting that it may be a later addition to the book.
Dictionary of the Bible.