Old Testament Survey - Lesson 26

Amos and Hosea

In this lesson, you explore the pivotal roles of the prophets Amos and Hosea during the mid-eighth century, primarily focusing on their ministries within the context of Israel's divided kingdoms. Amos delivers stark warnings issued to a wayward Israel, emphasizing imminent judgment yet offering glimpses of hope for repentance and restoration. His life as a herdsman and non-professional prophet underscores his messages of divine insistence on justice and righteousness, resisting the established religious norms. Hosea’s life, marked by personal turmoil, mirrors the betrayal of Israel with poignant symbolism through his marriage to Gomer. His prophecies call for a return to covenant love (hesed), highlighting the persistent lack of knowledge, fidelity, and devotion to God among the people. 

Daniel Block
Old Testament Survey
Lesson 26
Watching Now
Amos and Hosea

I. Introduction to Prophets

A. Overview of Prophetic Books

1. Distinction between non-writing and writing prophets

2. Introduction to the concept of prophetic scrolls

B. Focus on Mid-Eighth Century Prophets

1. Amos and Hosea as primary figures

2. Chronological and non-chronological study of prophets

II. Amos: The Prophet and His Context

A. Historical Context

1. Political landscape of the northern and southern kingdoms

2. Omri's political achievements and Ahab's international alliances

B. Amos's Personal Background

1. Amos’s profession and lack of formal prophetic training

2. His status as an outsider from Tekoa

C. Themes and Theological Messages

1. Judgment and the need to "prepare to meet your God"

2. Social justice and divine retribution

3. Hope beyond judgment - restoration promises

III. Hosea: The Prophet and His Message

A. Context of Hosea’s Ministry

1. His prophetic role during the reign of Jeroboam II

2. Dialectical features reflecting his northern origins

B. Personal and Symbolic Actions

1. Marriage to Gomer to symbolize Israel’s unfaithfulness

2. The naming of his children and their symbolic meanings

C. Themes and Emphases

1. Call to covenantal loyalty and renewal

2. Legal metaphor as a rhetorical strategy

3. Lack of knowledge of God as a central issue

IV. Comparative Analysis of Amos and Hosea

A. Common Themes

1. Judgment and hope

2. Divine calls for repentance and renewal

B. Differences in Approach and Style

1. Amos’s focus on justice vs. Hosea’s focus on fidelity

2. Amos as an outsider vs. Hosea’s native perspective

V. Concluding Remarks

A. Significance of Prophetic Messages

1. Relevance to contemporary issues of faith and social justice

2. Lessons on divine grace and human responsibility

  • Learning about the First Testament's language, geographical, and cultural contexts, and how these factors contribute to its frequent misinterpretation and underappreciation in modern times.
  • Gain insights into the literary and cosmic foundations of grace and glory in the Torah, understanding its role as more than law.
  • Learn that to be made in God's image entails embodying divine qualities and functioning as His representative on Earth, which extends a universal dignity upon all humans and shapes a theological ethic that influences how you treat others.
  • Genesis 1-3 frames human response to divine creation, emphasizing human dignity, work's moral role, free will's consequences, and the persistent grace amid sin.
  • This lesson reviews the Israelite covenant, understanding its stages, implications, and its role in God's redemptive plan.
  • Gain insights into Abraham's covenant with God, exploring his faith and God's promises.
  • Learn how the Exodus from Egypt marked Israel's transformation from a family to a nation under Yahweh.
  • Understand how the covenant at Sinai transforms Israel from slaves into a treasured nation destined for a divine mission, fulfilling God's ancient promises.
  • This lesson covers the covenantal expectations at Sinai. The covenantal agreement provided a constitutional and ethical framework for societal living, focusing on community rights and responsibilities.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into how the tabernacle was both a physical manifestation of God's presence and a profound symbol of His grace, emphasizing the holiness and detailed guidance He provided to the Israelites for worship and daily life.
  • Gain insights into Deuteronomy, recognizing its focus on teaching rather than legislation, and understanding Moses' role as an instructor of Yahweh's will.
  • In this lesson, you explore how to interpret the First Testament's historiographic writings, emphasizing the divine inspiration and literary artistry that guide the selective storytelling and theological themes.
  • Learn how the books of Joshua and Judges illustrate the fulfillment and failure of Israel's covenant with Yahweh, highlighting divine promise, cultural assimilation, and the cyclical nature of faith and apostasy.
  • The Book of Ruth, highlights divine providence, social justice, and personal righteousness while exploring the role of Boaz as a pivotal figure in maintaining the lineage of King David.
  • Samuel had a significant yet complex role in Israel's history; judge, priest, prophet, and crucial figure in establishing monarchy.
  • Learn of David's central role in the Bible, understanding his unique portrayal and the extensive attention he receives compared to other figures.
  • Learn about the Davidic covenant's role in shaping biblical history and theology, emphasizing its eternal impact on Israel and beyond.
  • The books of Kings and Chronicles use historical events to underline theological themes, highlighting the role of scribes in documenting Israel’s history.
  • In this lesson on 1 and 2 Kings, review the downfall of Israel through kings' forgetfulness of God's covenants.
  • Learn about Solomon's temple's historical and theological significance, its divine design and purpose, and its role in Israelite worship and communal life.
  • Gain insights into the transformation and resilience of the Judean people during their exile in Babylon from 586-539 BC, exploring their struggles and adaptations in a new socio-political and religious context.
  • Learn about Daniel's exemplary life in Babylon, his integrity, and his prophetic visions, which highlight divine sovereignty and the vindication of the faithful amidst calamities.
  • Review the Persian period's impact on the Jewish diaspora, analyze the Book of Esther's literary and theological significance, and reflect on divine providence and cultural identity.
  • Explore the crucial roles of Ezra and Nehemiah in reconstructing the Jewish community and faith post-exile, understanding their historical significance, source materials, and theological insights.
  • Gain insight into the roles and significance of prophets in ancient Israel, learning about their historical context, and their critical function in guiding and correcting the nation through direct communication from Yahweh.
  • Learn about the lives and ministries of prophets Amos and Hosea, their calls for justice and return to divine covenant amidst Israel's political and spiritual turmoil, through prophetic books that blend personal biography with national prophecy.
  • This lesson reviews Jonah's struggle with divine grace and Micah's advocacy for justice and the messianic hope.
  • In this lesson, you learn how Isaiah's vision portrays the Messiah as king, servant, and conqueror, emphasizing his divine roles and global mission.
  • Learn of the political and social contexts of Jeremiah and Ezekiel's exile, including Babylon's rise, Jerusalem's fall, and the crisis of faith portrayed in Lamentations, emphasizing hope amid despair through God's faithfulness.
  • Learn about Jeremiah's life and prophetic ministry, navigating challenges with kings, themes in the Book of Jeremiah, and profound passages on true religion and a future covenant, offering lessons on prophetic burdens, God's faithfulness, and spiritual transformation.
  • Explore Ezekiel's life as a priest in exile, his bizarre actions, and profound messages revealing Yahweh's passion and eternal promises of judgment and restoration.
  • Learn about Nahum and Joel's prophecies on judgment, hope, and Yahweh's character. Explore the day of the Lord and the expansion of the covenant community.
  • Explore Obadiah, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah's prophecies. Discover themes of judgment, faith, and restoration in God's plan.
  • Gain insight into Haggai's role in motivating temple rebuilding during the Persian rule. His brief yet impactful ministry fosters hope and action amid community disillusionment, recoginizing God's presence and reign.
  • Gain deep insight into Hebrew poetry: its forms, parallelism, acrostics, and emotional depth. Explore its celebration and lamentation of Yahweh's glory.
  • Gain insight into Psalms which reflect diverse emotions and experiences. Structured into five divisions, attributed to various authors, their interpretation involves understanding Torah context, literary devices, and applying timeless principles to life.
  • Explore biblical wisdom's depth: from practical skill to moral insight, rooted in the fear of Yahweh. It contrasts with secular knowledge, emphasizing God's order and universal application.
  • Engage with Proverbs to unravel its diverse wisdom, from aphorisms to discourses. Understand its practical guidance for righteous living and leadership.
  • Discover the Song of Songs, a rich exploration of love's nature. From its allegorical interpretations to its celebration of covenantal love, it examines human relationships with wisdom and depth.
  • The book of Job offers insights into faith and suffering, exploring theological themes and character dynamics. It emphasizes trust in God amid life's most difficult trials.
  • Uncover Ecclesiastes' profound journey from despair to hope. Koheleth's existential ponderings contrast with the narrator's faith, urging a shift from worldly pursuits to finding fulfillment in God's sovereignty.

This Old Testament Survey course offers a deep exploration of the Old Testament's literary structure, divine covenants, and historical context. Lessons cover the Pentateuch, emphasizing its narrative over legalistic interpretations, and extend through key biblical figures like Abraham and Moses. Topics such as the covenant at Sinai, the concept of imago Dei, and the tabernacle rituals highlight the continuity of God's grace and the ethical implications of divine laws. The course critically addresses common misconceptions, the role of the Torah as instruction, and the portrayal of God’s plan, underscoring the relevance and complexity of these ancient texts.

Dr. Daniel Block 
Old Testament Survey
Amos and Hosea
Lesson Transcript


We are now launching into discussions of each of the prophets individually, each of them as heralds of Yahweh's glory and grace, and we're going to begin with two mid-eighth century prophets. The order in which I will be working with these prophets is largely chronological, but not exclusively so. The two mid-eighth century prophets that we begin with are Amos and Hosea.

Of course, there have been prophets earlier. We had Nathan, and we had Samuel, and we had Elijah and Elisha, but we're concerned now about the books of the prophets. Those prophets didn't leave us any books.

Others wrote about them. We've talked about that, but these are the ones that have left books. Actually, we need to be more precise.

Books hadn't been invented for another half a millennium by the time Amos and Hosea were on the scene. We really should be talking about scrolls of the prophets. Well, let's begin with Amos.

Of the prophetic books in our First Testament, Amos is probably the earliest prophet. Let's begin with simply announcing the theme of Amos. In my mind, prepare to meet your God.

We'll see how that works out in the book. But to understand Amos, we have to understand the context of his ministry. By the time the writing prophets first appeared on the scene, the northern and southern kingdoms had been going their separate ways for one and a half centuries.

931, and now we're in the middle of the 700s. While the historian allows for some bright spots in the story of Judah, the course of northern history is portrayed in consistently negative terms. After a period of political instability, under Omri, Samaria was established as the capital of the north, and a political alliance was forged with Tyre, sealed by the marriage of Ahab to Jezebel.

The territory of the northern kingdom included large tracts of land in the Transjordan, some of which was later claimed by Moabites. In fact, Omri's reign was so impressive to the outside world that the Assyrians came to speak of the northern kingdom as the house of Omri. Interestingly, it wasn't the house of Jeroboam, the first king of the north.

It was about the fourth or fifth king down the road, and they came to the throne, these guys did, on their own. They did not inherit it. They usurped it.

In Assyrian texts, the northern kingdom of Israel is called the house of Omri, but students of scripture are more familiar with Omri's, ornery Omri's son, Ahab, whose apostasies led to the dramatic clash with Elijah on Mount Carmel. Evidence of Ahab's position in the international sphere is found in an inscription of the Assyrian emperor Shalmaneser III, 854 to 824, which reports that Ahab contributed 2,000 chariots and 10,000 foot soldiers in a military alliance of Syrian and Palestinian nations against the Assyrian invader. But Israel's political zenith, that is the northern kingdom, was achieved during the reign of Jeroboam II, no actual relation to the first Jeroboam, but he had the same name, 786 to 46 BC.

This was a 40-year reign, though the narrator of Kings quickly passes over his reign in a mere 10 verses, II Kings 23, 14 to 23. Obviously, the historian's interest is theological and spiritual rather than political. In spite of the achievements of this Jeroboam, it was only a matter of decades, and I should say here, he extended the authority of the Israelite territory even farther than it had been for a while because they had been in decline.

But in spite of the achievements of Jeroboam, it was only a matter of decades before the northern kingdom disappeared from history. Despite the work of prophets like Elijah and Elisha in the 9th and 8th centuries BC, there was no sign of spiritual revival ever in the northern kingdom. By the 8th century, the course that had been set by Jeroboam I, 931 to 910 BC, was so deeply entrenched that no amount of prophetic activity was able to change it.

The historian's analysis of northern history is summarized in II Kings 17. The nation was destroyed for persistently rejecting the message of Yahweh's servants, the prophets. Not a single northern king receives the approval of the biblical historian.

Even so, in a remarkable demonstration of grace immediately prior to the fall of Samaria, 722, the Lord issued a series of appeals for repentance to avoid the otherwise inevitable doom by sending a new cadre of prophets to Israel and Judah. From this period you have Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah, the big guns of 8th century prophecy. This period has come to be known as the classical period of Israelite prophecy.

As I've already noted, Amos was not the first of these special servants of Yahweh. He was merely the first to have his message recorded and preserved for posterity. What can we say about Amos the prophet? The book of Amos offers a limited amount of biographical information on this prophet.

His name means burden bearer. According to 710 to 717, he disclaimed the professional title prophet. Don't call me a prophet.

I'm neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, and he denied any links with the professional prophetic guild. He claimed to be simply a herdsman, a farmer, a dresser of sycamore figs from Tekoa, which is not a northern site. It's in Judah, which probably is another reason why the northerners didn't want to listen to him.

He was a foreign missionary up in the northern kingdom of Israel, but he was a farmer whom Yahweh arrested and sent out as a foreign missionary to Israel. We read about his encounter in chapter 7. Amaziah, his adversary, sent orders to Amos, get out of here, you prophet. Go on back to the land of Judah and earn your living by prophesying there.

Don't bother us with your prophecies here in Bethel. This is the king's sanctuary and the national place of worship. But Amos replied, I'm not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one.

I'm just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore figs. But Yahweh has called me away from my flock and told me, go and prophesy to my people Israel. Now that's curious.

Why would he say, my people Israel? Well, it's a reminder to us, and it should have been a reminder to them, that Yahweh had not yet totally disowned this people. The covenant people, the covenant applied to all 12 tribes, and theoretically, they are part of that. And he continues, now then, listen to this message from Yahweh.

You say, don't prophesy against Israel. Stop preaching against my people. But this is what Yahweh says.

Your wife will become a prostitute in this city. Your sons and daughters will be killed. Your land will be divided up, and you yourself will die in a foreign land, and the people of Israel will certainly become captives in exile, far from their homeland.

That's modified New Living translation. Amos claimed to be simply a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. He's from Tekoa in Judah, but he is one whom Yahweh has arrested and sent out.

Now, tending sycamore figs, Amos 7, 4, involved apparently slitting the top of each piece of fruit to hastening its ripening to produce a sweeter and more edible fruit. We've also learned that fruit infested with insects might be discarded at this time as well, and Amos's job was to look out for the fig fruit, sycamore fig fruit, and see that it's developing properly. But the significance of his trade is twofold.

He was a prophet solely because of the call of God, not because of training in a prophetic school. Second, contrary to the action of the priest Amaziah, Amos did not actually earn his living by prophesying. His non-professional background, his alien status, his Yahwistic orthodoxy undoubtedly all contributed to his rejection by the religious and political establishment of Samaria.

According to the superscription 1.1, the editors of his prophecies recognized an ominous link between his preaching and the earthquake that had rocked the land two years earlier. What else can we say about this book? What about its themes and emphases? Although we have no idea who recorded, collected, or arranged Amos's prophecies in their present canonical form, the editor was deliberate and intentional in the work, as is reflected in the clear structure of the book. The messages all develop some aspect of the general theme announced in 4.12. Prepare to meet your God.

Let me read a bit of this. I brought hunger to every city and famine to every town, but still you would not return to me, says the Lord. I kept the rain from falling when your crops needed it the most.

I sent rain on one town but withheld it from another. Rain fell on one field while another field withered away. People straggled from town to town looking for water, but there was never enough, but still you would not return to me.

I struck your farms and vineyards with blight and milled you. Locusts devoured all your fig and olive trees, but still you would not return to me, says the Lord. I sent plagues on you like the plagues I sent on Egypt long ago.

I killed your young men in war and led all your horses away. The stench of death filled the air, but still you would not return to me, says the Lord. I destroyed some of your cities.

I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. As I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, those of you who survived were like charred sticks pulled from the fire, but still you would not listen or return to me, says the Lord. Therefore, I will bring upon you all the disasters I have announced.

Now what does he mean by that? And now go back and read the curses in Leviticus 26, and especially from verses 15 to 68 in Deuteronomy 28. They're all coming. Prepare to meet your God in judgment, you people of Israel.

But notice also his hopeful conclusion to the book. The judgment would not be the last word. Are you Israelites more important to me than the Ethiopians, asks Yahweh? I brought Israel out of Egypt, but I also brought the Philistines from Crete and led the Arameans out of Kir.

I, Adonai Yahweh, am watching this sinful nation of Israel. I will destroy it from the face of the earth, but I will never completely destroy the family of Israel, the declaration of Yahweh. We call that the signatory formula.

In oral speech, this is equivalent to the stamp that a person puts documenting this text as his own. For I will give the command and will shake Israel along with other nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, yet not one true kernel will be lost, but all the sinners will die by the sword. All those who say nothing bad will happen to us.

I'm okay. You're okay. When in actual fact, we're all a mess.

In that day, I will restore the fallen house of David, booth of David actually. I will repair its damaged walls. From the ruins, I will rebuild it and restore its former glory, and Israel will possess what is left of Edom and all the nations I have called to be mine, the declaration of Yahweh, and he will do these things.

The time will come, the declaration of Yahweh, when the grain and the grape will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine, and I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens.

They will eat their crops and drink their wine. I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them, the declaration of Yahweh your God.

Another stamp. Did you hear that over and over and again? In our translations, it's usually simply a verb, declares the Lord your God. But here, it's the declaration.

It's an oral stamp, a verbal stamp of an oral declaration. God is talking. Well, if you look more closely at the book of Amos, it's helpful sometimes to use colorized diagrams to highlight the different sections.

The book of Amos divides into three main parts as we see it in this diagram. You have the beginning, the superscription, but the first main part is the indictment of Israel, 1-2-2-16. There's an announcement of judgment, then a declaration of his judgment upon the nations, ending with a message for Israel herself.

That's the opening. Second, that's the announcement of judgment. Now he develops the case in chapters 3-6, and these are divided into two parts.

In the first instance, you've got three sections opening with the words of Yahweh. Here, the words of the Lord. But then, in the second part, chapters 5-6, you have the woes of Yahweh, the day of the Lord is near.

Watch out. Get ready. It's about to happen.

In this section, he presents his case against Israel, of course, based upon the Torah, the Scriptures, the Mosaic revelation. And then we have the verdict in chapter 7-9, verse 10, the visions of Yahweh, and then you've got visions of disaster, locusts, fire, a plumb line, and Isaiah says, or Amos says, stop, stop, stop. They can't endure this.

But then, after the first and second one, Amos says that, but after he's seen that vision of the plumb line, Amos will not intercede or intervene anymore. After that plumb line thing, he knows these people are so far off course, there is no help. Then there's a biographical interlude on the theme of a prophet for profit.

And finally, the more visions of Yahweh, the vision of summer fruit, and then the vision of above the altar. But this text ends on a glorious note of the restoration of Israel. In remembrance of both Deuteronomy 28-30 and Leviticus 26, the judgment cannot be the last word.

The promise of covenant is eternal, God's covenant with Israel. He will not retract it. He is keeping the covenant when he brings on the people the curses.

He said he would do this. I am Yahweh. I have spoken.

This is the oracle of the Lord, and that was the earlier word that God will keep. That's the book of Amos. Now let's move to the book of Hosea, a call to covenant love.

Should we say hesed? Remember our explanation of this word? It wraps up into itself all the positive attributes of God. Love, kindness, gentleness, grace, mercy, loyalty, fidelity, faithfulness, it's all in there. Now we have from Hosea a call to the people to respond to God with the same covenant love that he has demonstrated for them.

First of all, the context of Hosea's ministry. Like Amos, Hosea prophesied in the northern kingdom during the reign of Jeroboam II. Unlike Amos, he was a native northerner, a fact reflected in several dialectical features in this book.

If you read it in Hebrew, there are words here that are a little different from what we find in other books from this period that come from Judah. The dialects have gone their different ways in some respects. What can we say about Hosea the prophet apart from this dialect issue? The name Hosea is derived from the same root as Joshua, Jesus.

That is Yasha, to deliver, to save. In this instance, it seems to express his parents longing for divine deliverance from some threat. We don't know what that is.

Maybe his mother, it hadn't been a good pregnancy. Maybe there have been problems with neighbors and whatever else, and so they name him Hosea, hoping for salvation, rescue, deliverance from God from some threat. With the exception of Ezekiel, none of the writing prophets experienced more grief because of their calling than Hosea.

Yahweh not only called upon him to proclaim his message, he demanded of his servant that he embody the message in his own painful personal experience. Yahweh commanded the prophet to marry a prostitute, Gomer, who bore him three children, the names of each of whom carried an ominous message for Israel. The first, Jezreel, God sows.

Well, what does he sow? Lo rucham ma, the daughter, no compassion, and lo ami, not my people. There's a message in each of them. True to character, his wife left him, and to get her back, the prophet went to the slave auction house, and he bought her at the slave auction.

Hosea's experiences present a powerful picture of Yahweh's perspective on Israel's fidelity to himself. Now what can we say about the theme and emphases of this book? Although Hosea was a northern prophet, his ministry must have found greater acceptance in the south. We may only speculate about how the book was produced, but it was undoubtedly the faithful believers in Judah who treasured his prophecies and preserved them for posterity, though it retains some northern features that has come to us through the filter of Judean editors' hands.

This book is less clearly organized than Amos, but in style and substance, it reflects much greater Deuteronomic influence. In fact, the overarching theme of his ministry seems to have been deliberately a call to covenantal renewal along the lines laid out by Moses centuries earlier. But let's look at the rhetorical strategy of Hosea based on Hosea 4, verse 1. Here's what we read.

He is calling the people to court. Hear the word of Yahweh, O descendants of Israel, because Yahweh has a case against the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness, or we could translate that fidelity, often rendered also truth, mf.

This means faithfulness, steadfastness, or devotion, commitment to one's word, and to the people to whom we are responsible. There's no faithfulness. There's no steadfast love or unfailing love.

That's the word chesed, and there is no knowledge of God in the land. Notice the three themes. No faithfulness, no chesed, no knowledge of God.

If you look at the book and its outline, you can see that the book develops these themes only in reverse order. The book of Hosea, in the text that I have just read, and in the biographical introduction on Hosea's marriage, you have here setting the stage for the actual message that then begins with the announcement that we just read in 3, 1 to 5. There is no truth or fidelity. There's no chesed, unfailing love, and there is no knowledge of God in the land.

Let's now reverse these and see how he works with them. In chapter 4, 1 to chapter 6, verse 3, he deals with the problem of no knowledge of God in the land as he takes Israel to court. This is a very legal process that is being envisioned here.

In biblical terms, we call this a reed oracle, a legally contested case against the people, beginning with the summons and then the accusation, no knowledge of God in the land. He starts in chapter 4, verses 4 to 10, by talking about the consequences of forgetting God, then in verses 11 to 19, the signs of forgetfulness, and then in 5, 1 to 15, the warning to the forgetful, and then in 6, 1 to 3, the appeal to forgetful. Respond, please.

You've got a problem. You have forgotten God. There's no knowledge of God.

Where have the Levites been? Out of their Levitical towns, they were supposed to be teaching the people. Where have the parents been? They're supposed to be teaching their children, but they are not. Nobody's learning.

Apparently, nobody's teaching. Well, the second part of this book is about no chesed, no unfailing loyalty, love in the land. This takes us from 6, 4, all the way through 11.

He starts by describing the hypocrisy of Israel in the rest of chapter 6, then the blindness of Israel in chapter 7, then the inevitable consequences for Israel in 8, verse 8 to 11, and it's interesting how he talks about this as he lays out the case with a bunch of analogies, metaphors, comparisons. He speaks of Israel as a wild donkey, wild grapes, or then a luxuriant vine, or a trained heifer, or a beloved son, but in each case, the Israelites have betrayed God in the role that they were supposed to play. And the book ends then with there is no truth, or should we say fidelity, in the land.

It begins with an announcement, 11, verse 12, then an analogy, Israel the son of Jacob, whose name means deceit. That's exactly what's been happening here. Then a warning and a final appeal.

This is the book of Hosea. It is a simple structure. It's a fascinating book.

You cannot understand this book without reading Deuteronomy first, because the echoes of Moses' sermons in Deuteronomy are just pervasive all over the place. It's a fascinating book. For books like this, all of the prophetic books, we need to read them aloud, or should we say, get together as a group and have somebody read them all, the whole book in one sitting or standing, aloud.

And I would encourage you to try and learn to read what I call expositorily, so that in the hearing, you reflect the tone of the message, and you also capture the rhetoric. The people capture the rhetoric of it, and they are impressed. They'll say, I've never heard that before, because they have finally heard it read expositorily.

These prophets must all be read and heard aloud.