Course Hero. "Old Testament Study Guide." Course Hero. 27 Apr. 2018. Web. 25 May 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Old-Testament/>.
Course Hero. (2018, April 27). Old Testament Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 25, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Old-Testament/
(Course Hero, 2018)
Course Hero. "Old Testament Study Guide." April 27, 2018. Accessed May 25, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Old-Testament/.
Course Hero, "Old Testament Study Guide," April 27, 2018, accessed May 25, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Old-Testament/.
Hosea is best remembered for the prophet's symbolic marriage to an adulterous woman (a "wife of whoredom"). A major question for readers has been whether a prophet would actually have entered such a scandalous marriage just to illustrate Israel's unfaithfulness. However, the central metaphor of marital infidelity defines Hosea's messages against the kingdom of Israel throughout the book. At times the rhetoric of this metaphor becomes truly shocking, as when Yahweh declares that the promiscuous woman will be stripped naked and publicly shamed for her affairs (2:3, 10). As offensive as this image certainly is, the ultimate point of this metaphor in Hosea is that Yahweh desires reunification with wayward Israel in spite of the people's many mistakes.
In Hosea, Israel's principal crime against Yahweh is the worship of other deities, particularly the Canaanite god Baal (2:8; 13:1). Hosea refers to a plurality of "Baals" rather than a singular deity, reflecting the worship of multiple local deities identified by the name/title Baal (literally, "lord") throughout the region. A striking statement in Hosea 2:16 suggests that some were blending the identity of these Baal deities with Yahweh. Hosea also specifically rebukes the worship of calf idols in the shrines at Samaria (8:5–6) and Bethel (10:5). The heretical religious practices Hosea condemns are understood by the prophet to coincide with pervasive moral depravity. Forceful rhetoric about all these failings is meant to persuade Israel toward repentance.