The book Of The Bible Hosea
The book of Hosea is first in order of the works known as the Twelve Minor Prophets. Hosea lived and prophesied in the Northern Kingdom during the eighth century BCE (ca. 780-710). He was a contemporary of Isaiah, who preached in the south. It was a difficult and devastating time for the Northern Kingdom as the Assyrians were about to overtake Samaria and carry the people off into captivity. The image used by Hosea to communicate his message to Israel came from his own life circumstance, his marriage to Gomer. Despite the prophet’s love for his wife, she was not faithful to him. So it is with God and Israel.
Israel had fallen into idolatry, becoming a prostitute like Gomer. Hosea’s prophecy is a declaration of God’s steadfast love for Israel despite, her infidelities. Hlosea pleads for the repentance of Israel and foretells the impending destruction of the kingdom at the hands of the Assyrians as punishment for its idolatries. Hosea is the first to use the metaphor of marriage in describing God’s covenant with his people.
This metaphor influenced later prophets including Jeremiah. Hosea’s teaching that steadfast love and loyalty are more important to God than empty ritual is read during the liturgy on Saturday of the Third Week of Lent (6.1-6). The same text is read on the Tenth Sunday of the Year of Cycle A. The passage from Hosea about the Lord taking Israel for his wife forever (2.14-15, 19-20)is read on various occasions: on the Eighth Sunday of Year B, on Monday of the Fourteenth Week of Year II, at the Common of Virgins, and at the Celebration of Religious Profession.