In the Hebrew Bible, Hosea (/ˌhoʊˈziːə/ or /hoʊˈzeɪə/; Hebrew: הוֹשֵׁעַHōšēaʿ, 'Salvation'; Greek: ὩσηέHōsēé), son of Beeri, was an 8th-century BC prophet in Israel who authored the book of prophecies bearing his name. He is one of the Twelve Prophets of the Jewish Hebrew Bible, also known as the Minor Prophets of the Christian Old Testament.[1] Hosea is often seen as a "prophet of doom", but underneath his message of destruction is a promise of restoration. The Talmud claims that he was the greatest prophet of his generation.[2] The period of Hosea's ministry extended to some sixty years and he was the only prophet of Israel of his time who left any written prophecy.

Russian icon of the prophet Hosea
An 18th-century Russian icon of the prophet Hosea (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi monastery, Karelia, Russia).
Venerated inJudaism
Major shrineSafed, Israel
FeastOctober 17 (Orthodox)
Major worksBook of Hosea
Hosea and Gomer
Illustration of Hosea and Gomer from the Bible Historiale, 1372.
Duccio di Buoninsegna 063
The Prophet Hosea, by Duccio di Buoninsegna, in the Siena Cathedral (c. 1309–1311)


The name "Hosea", meaning "salvation", or "He saves", or "He helps", seems to have been not uncommon, being derived from the auspicious verb from which we have the frequently recurring word "salvation". It may be a contraction of a larger form of which the divine name (YHWH) or its abbreviation formed a part, so as to signify "YHWH helps". According to the Bible Numbers 13:8, 13:16 that was the original name of Joshua, son of Nun, until Moses gave him the longer, theophoric name Yehoshua, "YHWH is salvation".


Although it is not expressly stated in the Book of Hosea, it is apparent from the level of detail and familiarity focused on northern geography, that Hosea conducted his prophetic ministries in the Northern Israel (Samaria) of which he was a native.[3] In Hosea 5:8 ff., there seems to be a reference to the Syro-Ephraimite War which led to the capture of the kingdom by the Assyrians (c. 734–732 BC). Hosea’s long ministry (ca. 750–725) seems to have ended before the fall of Samaria in 722/721.[4]


Little is known about the life or social status of Hosea. According to the Book of Hosea, he married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim,[1] but she proved to be unfaithful. Hosea knew she would be unfaithful, as God says this to him immediately in the opening statements of the book. This marriage was arranged in order to serve to the prophet as a symbol of Israel's unfaithfulness to the Lord.[3] His marriage will dramatize the breakdown in the relationship between God and His people Israel.[5] Hosea's family life reflected the "adulterous" relationship which Israel had built with polytheistic gods.

Similarly, his children's names represent God’s estrangement from Israel.[5] They are prophetic of the fall of the ruling dynasty and the severed covenant with God – much like the prophet Isaiah a generation later. The name of Hosea's daughter, Lo-ruhamah, which translates as "not pitied", is chosen as a sign of displeasure with the people of Israel for following false gods. (In Hosea 2:23 she is redeemed, shown mercy with the term Ruhamah.) The name of Hosea's son, Lo-ammi, which translates as "not my people", is chosen as a sign of the Lord's displeasure with the people of Israel for following those false gods (see Hosea 1:89).

Christian thought

One of the early writing prophets, Hosea used his own experience as a symbolic representation of God and Israel. The relationship between Hosea and Gomer parallels the relationship between God and Israel. Even though Gomer runs away from Hosea and sleeps with another man, he loves her anyway and forgives her. Likewise, even though the people of Israel worshipped false gods, God continued to love them and did not abandon his covenant with them.[4]

The Book of Hosea was a severe warning to the northern kingdom against the growing idolatry being practiced there; the book was a dramatic call to repentance. Christians extend the analogy of Hosea to Christ and the church: Christ the husband, his church the bride. Christians see in this book a comparable call to the church not to forsake the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians also take the buying back of Gomer as the redemptive qualities of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

Other preachers, like Charles Spurgeon, saw Hosea as a striking presentation of the mercy of God in his sermon on Hosea 1:7 titled The LORD's Own Salvation. “But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.” – Hosea 1:7 in his sermon NO. 2057, December 16TH, 1888.

Islamic literature

The Qur'an mentions only some prophets by name, but makes it clear that many were sent who are not mentioned.[6] Therefore, many Muslim scholars, such as Ibn Ishaq, speak of Hosea as one of the true Hebrew prophets of Israel. The Book of Hosea has also been used in Qur'anic exegesis by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, especially in reference to Qur'anic verses which speak of the backsliding of Israel.[7]


He is commemorated with the other Minor prophets in the Calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31. He is commemorated on the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar, with a feast day on October 17 (for those churches which follow the Julian Calendar, October 17 currently falls on October 30 of the modern Gregorian Calendar). He is also commemorated on the Sunday of the Holy Fathers (the Sunday before the Nativity of the Lord).

Tomb of Hosea

Hosea's tomb
The structure at the cemetery in Safed known as the Tomb of Hosea.

Jewish tradition holds that the tomb of Hosea is a structure located in the Jewish cemetery of Safed,[8] however, Emil G. Hirsch and Victor Ryssel, writing in the Jewish Encyclopedia, say that this tradition is "historically worthless".[3]


  1. ^ a b Wikisource Smith, William Robertson; Robinson, Henry Wheeler (1911). "Hosea" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 784–786.
  2. ^ Pesachim 87a
  3. ^ a b c "HOSEA, THE PROPHET - JewishEncyclopedia.com". www.jewishencyclopedia.com.
  4. ^ a b "scripture". www.usccb.org.
  5. ^ a b "Hosea & Amos: Prophets to the North".
  6. ^ Qur'an 40:78
  7. ^ Abdullah Yusuf Ali refers to Hosea 8:14 for his notes on Q. 5:60
  8. ^ Woodall, Chris (2018). Minor Prophets in a Major Key. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers. p. 5. ISBN 9781532642180.

External links


4Q166 (or 4QpHosa; Hosea Commentary; Pesher Hoshe`a), also known as The Hosea Commentary Scroll, is one of the Dead Sea Scrolls and was found in Cave 4 at Qumran in the West Bank. The parchment of 4Q166, 17.5 cm (6 7/8 in.) by 16.8 cm (6 5/8 in.) in size, is estimated from late first century B.C.E. The manuscript is the larger of two unrelated fragments of the Hosea Commentary found in Cave 4. The script, which is identical to that of a commentary on Psalms, belongs to the rustic, semiformal type of the Herodian era.


There are two biblical figures named 'Beeri.' The etymology of Beeri (Hebrew: בְּאֵרִי‎, Bə’êrî) is given as "belonging to a fountain" by Wilhelm Gesenius, but as "expounder" by the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia and "well" according to the Holman Bible Dictionary.According to the Book of Hosea, Beeri was the father of the prophet Hosea. Jewish tradition says that he only uttered a few words of prophecy, and as they were insufficient to be embodied in a book by themselves, they were incorporated in the Book of Isaiah, viz., verses 19 and 20 of the 8th chapter. As such, Beeri is considered a prophet in Judaism. Beeri was sometimes identified with Beerah (1 Chronicles 5:6), who was taken into exile by the Assyrians. He is also considered holy by Muslims.

The other Beeri was the father of Judith, one of the wives of Esau (Genesis 26:34).

Book of Hosea

The Book of Hosea is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. According to the traditional order of most Hebrew Bibles, it is the first of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Set around the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the Book of Hosea denounces the worship of gods other than Yahweh, metaphorically comparing Israel's abandonment of Yahweh to a woman being unfaithful to her husband. According to the book's narrative, the relationship between Hosea and his unfaithful wife Gomer is comparable to the relationship between Yahweh and his unfaithful people Israel. The eventual reconciliation of Hosea and Gomer is treated as a hopeful metaphor for the eventual reconciliation between Yahweh and Israel.

Book of Joel

The Book of Joel is part of the Hebrew Bible, one of twelve prophetic books known as the Twelve Minor Prophets. (The term indicates the short length of the text in relation to longer prophetic texts known as the Major Prophets.)

Four Prophets

Four Prophets: Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah and Micah: A Modern Translation from the Hebrew by J. B. Phillips is a modern translation from Hebrew sources of the books of Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah and Micah by scholar J. B. Phillips. The book was published in 1963 Macmillan in the US and Geoffrey Bles in the UK. Phillips also published The New Testament in Modern English. The remainder of the Old Testament was never completed by him.

Gerson Lwenge

Gerson Hosea Malangalila Lwenge (born 20 February 1951) is a Tanzanian CCM politician and Member of Parliament for Njombe West constituency since 2010.

Hosea, Eswatini

Hosea is an inkhundla of Swaziland, located in the Shiselweni District. Its population as of the 2007 census was 19,608.

Hosea 1

Hosea 1 is the first chapter of the Book of Hosea in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Hosea son of Beeri, especially the spiritual whoredom of Israel set forth by symbolical acts. It is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.

Hosea Ballou

Hosea Ballou (April 30, 1771 – June 7, 1852) was an American Universalist clergyman and theological writer.

Originally a Baptist, he converted to Universalism in 1789. He preached in a number of towns in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. From 1817, he was pastor of the Second Universalist Church of Boston. He wrote a number of influential theological works, as well as hymns, essays and sermons, and edited two Universalist journals. Ballou has been called one of the fathers of American Universalism.

Hosea Chanchez

Hosea Chanchez (born September 12, 1981), also credited as Hosea, is an American actor best known for his recurring role on For Your Love and the quarterback football player Malik Wright on The CW/BET sitcom, The Game.

Hosea Ehinlanwo

Hosea Oladapo Ehinlanwo (born 2 August 1938) was elected Senator for the Ondo South constituency of Ondo State, Nigeria, taking office on 29 May 2003, and was reelected in 2007. He is a member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).

Hosea Gear

Hosea Emiliano Gear (born 16 March 1984) is a New Zealand rugby union player. He plays for Clermont-Ferrand in the Top 14 as a wing. He has also played 14 international matches for New Zealand.

Hosea Kutako

Chief Hosea Komombumbi Kutako (born 1870 at Okahurimehi, near Kalkfeld), was an early Namibian nationalist leader and a founder member of Namibia's first nationalist party, the South West African National Union (SWANU).

Hosea Kutako International Airport

Hosea Kutako International Airport (IATA: WDH, ICAO: FYWH) is the main international airport of Namibia, serving the capital city Windhoek. Located well east of the city, 45 km (28 mi), it is Namibia's largest airport with international connections. The name of the airport comes from Namibian national hero Hosea Kutako.

Hosea Saumaki

Hosea Saumaki (ホセア・サマキ, Saumaki Hosea, born 10 May 1992) is a Tongan rugby union player who plays as a wing. He currently plays for Sunwolves in Super Rugby and Canon Eagles in Japan's domestic Top League.

Hosea Stout

Hosea Stout (September 18, 1810 – March 2, 1889) was an early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement, a Mormon pioneer, soldier, chief of police, lawyer, missionary, and politician in Utah Territory.

Stout was from Kentucky and one of the few early Mormons to come from The South. The Latter Day Saint Church occasionally opposed slavery which largely discouraged converts from this region of the U.S.

Hosea Townsend

Hosea Townsend (June 16, 1840 – March 4, 1909) was a U.S. Representative from Colorado.

Born in Greenwich, Ohio, Townsend attended the common schools and Western Reserve College, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1860.

Enlisted in the Second Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, in 1861.

He was promoted to lieutenant, but resigned in 1863 on account of disability.

He studied law.

He was admitted to the bar in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1864 and commenced practice in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1865.

He served as member of the State house of representatives in 1869.

He moved to Colorado in 1879 and settled in Silver Cliff in 1881.

Townsend was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-first and Fifty-second Congresses (March 4, 1889 – March 3, 1893).

He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1892.

He served as delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1892.

United States judge for the southern district of the Indian Territory 1897-1907.

He died in Ardmore, Oklahoma, March 4, 1909.

He was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery, Norwalk, Ohio.

Hosea Williams

Hosea Lorenzo Williams (January 5, 1926 – November 16, 2000), was an American civil rights leader, activist, ordained minister, businessman, philanthropist, scientist, and politician. He may be best known as a trusted member of fellow famed civil rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King, Jr.'s inner circle. Under the banner of their flagship organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, King depended on Williams to organize and stir masses of people into nonviolent direct action in myriad protest campaigns they waged against racial, political, economic, and social injustice. King alternately referred to Williams, his chief field lieutenant, as his "bull in a china closet" and his "Castro". Vowing to continue King's work for the poor, Williams is well known in his own right as the founding president of one of the largest social services organizations in North America, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless. His famous motto was "Unbought and Unbossed."

Twelve Minor Prophets

The Minor Prophets or Twelve Prophets (Aramaic: תרי עשר‎, Trei Asar, "Twelve"), occasionally Book of the Twelve, is the last book of the Nevi'im, the second main division of the Jewish Tanakh. The collection is broken up to form twelve individual books in the Christian Old Testament, one for each of the prophets. The terms "minor prophets" and "twelve prophets" can also refer to the twelve traditional authors of these works.

The term "Minor" relates to the length of each book (ranging from a single chapter to fourteen); even the longest is short compared to the three major prophets, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah. It is not known when these short works were collected and transferred to a single scroll, but the first extra-biblical evidence we have for the Twelve as a collection is c. 190 BCE in the writings of Jesus ben Sirach, and evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls suggests that the modern order was established by 150 BCE. It is believed that initially the first six were collected, and later the second six were added; the two groups seem to complement each other, with Hosea through Micah raising the question of iniquity, and Nahum through Malachi proposing resolutions.

Prophets in the Hebrew Bible
Patriarchs / Matriarchs
Israelite prophets
in the Torah
Mentioned in the
Former Prophets
Virgin Mary
See also
Extra-Quranic Prophets of Islam
In Stories of the Prophets
In Islamic tradition
In Quranic exegesis

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.