Composition of the Book of Hosea


Approximate date: 755-715 B.C.E. (Right, conservative-moderate); 700s-600s B.C.E. (Left)

Time period: impending calamity on the Northern Kingdom via Assyria

Author(s): Hosea and/or a close associate (Right, conservative-moderate); followers of Hosea, writers and editors (Left)

Location of prophet/author(s): Northern Kingdom of Israel (Right, some conservative-moderate); somewhere in the Land of Israel (some conservative-moderate, Left)

Target audience and their location: Northern Kingdom Israelites prior to the Assyrian exile (Right, conservative-moderate; some Left); Southern Kingdom Israelites after the conquering of the Northern Kingdom (some Left)

Theological Summary: The Book of Hosea is the first text among the Twelve Prophets in the Jewish order of the Tanach, because among these books it is probably one of the oldest (b.Bava Batra 14b). In the Christian division of the Bible, Hosea is placed as the first of the Minor Prophets.

The name of the Prophet Hosea or Hoshea is derived from the root yasha, meaning “to save,” and even though the Book of Hosea details many of the problems of Ancient Israel, redemption is a major theme. Hosea prophesied to the Northern Kingdom of Israel after the period of Amos, who himself prophesied judgment upon the Northern Kingdom via an unnamed enemy. Hosea names this enemy as Assyria (7:11; 8:9; 10:6; 11:11). Most scholars agree that Hosea was from the Northern Kingdom of Israel/Ephraim, even though we cannot know for certain. If indeed Hosea came from the Northern Kingdom, then his is one of only two prophetic works originating from it.

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reproduced from A Survey of the Tanach for the Practical Messianic

One of the major reasons that today’s Messianic movement has grown in the past decade is a significant interest by Believers in the Torah and the Tanach. In too many cases, the Tanach Scriptures were not probed in that great a detail in a Jewish Believer’s traditional Synagogue upbringing—and perhaps more serious, a non-Jewish Believer’s Christian experience often witnessed the Old Testament taking a back seat to the New Testament in the Church. With many of the ethical and moral controversies the greater Judeo-Christian religious community is experiencing in our age, a need for God’s people to return to a foundational grounding in the Tanach Scriptures is absolutely imperative. The Old Testament cannot simply be disregarded any more.

Many have stayed away from consulting the Tanach not because of a lack of interest, but because few want to have to deal with the controversies it addresses. Unlike the Apostolic Scriptures, constrained to the First Century C.E., the period of the Tanach stretches back all the way to the beginning of the universe itself. Questions like: Who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus? Did God actually condone the genocide of the Canaanites? and Am I the only one who thinks the Prophets are mentally disturbed? are debates that many people do not want to enter into. Even more significant is the effect of critical scholarship which has attempted to divide the Torah into non-Mosaic sources, question the inspiration and historical reliability of the text, and even regard much of the Tanach as Ancient Israel’s mythology. For a Messianic movement that claims to place a high value on the Tanach, it is time that we join in to these conversations.

A Survey of the Tanach for the Practical Messianic takes you through the Old Testament from a distinct Messianic point of view. It presents a theologically conservative perspective of the books of the Tanach, but one that does not avoid some of the controversies that have existed in Biblical scholarship for over one hundred and fifty years. The student, in company with his or her study Bible, is asked to read through each text of the Tanach, jotting down characters, place names, key ideas, and reflective questions. Each book of the Old Testament is then summarized for its compositional data and asks you questions to get a good Messianic feel for the text. This workbook can be used for both personal and group study, and will be a valuable aid for any Messianic Believer wanting to study the whole Bible on a consistent basis.

290 pages