Book of the Twelve Prophets of the Tanakh Old Testament
|Names after the ÖVBE|
Hosea (also: Hoschea , Hebrew הושע, in the Septuagint Ωσηε , in the Vulgate Osee ; " YHWH saves") refers to a historical scriptural prophet (750-725 BC) in the northern kingdom of Israel and the book ascribed to him. The book of the Twelve Prophets begins with him in the Hebrew Tanakh . It tells of Hosea's struggle against idolatry in metaphors of a love affair.
Structure and content
In its current form, the book is divided into three parts, around which the opening and closing words 1.1 EU and 14.10 EU stand as a framework. The division into 14 chapters was only made in the Middle Ages .
First part: Hosea 1.2 to 3.5
- Hos 1,2 EU to 2,3 EU reports in the third person about Hosea's marriage to Gomer , Diblajim's daughter . The actual act of the sign is the naming of their children, who show that God is taking back his covenant with Israel and that this people is no longer his people: The first son is to be called Jezreel , the daughter Lo-Ruhama ("No mercy") and the other son Lo-Ammi ("Not my people").
- The middle part is a two-part speech from God ( Hos 2,4–17 EU ), which takes up the topic of Israel's infidelity. This divine speech is framed by the contrasting announcements of salvation ( Hos 2.1–3 EU and 2.18–25 EU ), which reverse the judgment and announce a new covenant of God with the purified people of God.
- In Hos 3 EU , Hosea reports that he has to marry an unfaithful woman again in order to biographically depict God's suffering from Israel's unfaithfulness. This time he did not father children with her, but lived celibacy to show the people: So you too will live without a king, sacrificial cult and religion until YHWH accepts you again. The final verse reads:
“After that the sons of Israel will repent and seek the Lord their God and their king David. Trembling they will come to the Lord and seek his kindness at the end of days. "
This eschatological outlook points to a composition of this main part towards the end of the exile, when hopes arose among the exiles for a descendant of David who would reunite Israel and Judah and thus usher in the messianic dispensation. Hosea's acute present-day announcement of doom, which left no more excuse, was historicized as a call of penance, to which past events were interpreted in order to gain new perspectives for the future. Hosea knows nothing else about King David, a Messiah and the Jerusalem temple cult.
The two contradicting marriage reports have given exegesis many riddles: Which of the two reports is authentic? Was it the same or a new marriage? Was this only to be understood metaphorically or was it real? Nothing is reported about a divorce from Gomer. Walther Zimmerli assumed that she was a temple prostitute, as Hosea sharply criticized this practice and was persecuted for his court sermon ( Hos 9,7b-8 EU ). His loyalty to the adulteress, however, already expressed YHWH's loyalty to Israel precisely in his inevitable judicial act.
Second part: Hosea 4.1 to 11.11
From the fourth chapter onwards, God's and prophetic speeches are lined up and sometimes address the whole people of Israel, then again their priests and the king or describe their guilt in the third person.
A big accusation speech like in a court case outlines the subject of the whole book in Hos 4,1-3 EU , introduced with: "Hear the word of the Lord, you sons of Israel!" (4,1a EU ) It enumerates the offenses of the people : “For the Lord brings a complaint against the inhabitants of the land: There is no loyalty and no love and no knowledge of God in the land. No, curse and deceit, murder, theft and adultery are spreading, bloody deed is lined up with bloody deed. "(4.1b-2 EU ) The standard here are the Ten Commandments , whereby the breach of the 1st commandment to love God alone all further legal violations result. This has fatal consequences for everyone: "Therefore the land should wither, everyone who lives in it should wither, [...]" (4,3 EU )
This presentation of the “horizon of interpretation” ( Jörg Jeremias ) as YHWH's trial against his people is followed by two well-composed paragraphs, each with five sections (structure: 1 + 2/3 + 4/5 ).
Paragraph 4.4 to 9.9
Now the two main sins of Israel are presented.
- The forgetting of God in the cult (4.4-19 EU and 5.1-7 EU as sections 1 and 2): The actual corrupters of the people are the officiating priests who forget God's Torah (4.6 EU ) and are corruptible: " They feed on the sin of my people and are greedy for their nefarious victims. ”(4.8 EU ). The bad example of their temple prostitution (4.14 EU ) - which was common in Canaanite fertility rites - incited the rest of the population to apostate from God. Since the law is entrusted to them, their apostasy must inevitably be followed by the fall of all; then the search for God with sacrifices will come too late (5.6 EU ).
- Forgetting God in politics (5.8 EU to 7.16 EU and 8.1-14 EU as sections 3 and 4):
- The speech 5.8 EU to 6.6 EU supplements the cult criticism with sharp criticism of Israel's foreign policy during the time of the fratricidal war between Israel and Judah. The illusory alliances with Assyria did not bring security, and the superficial readiness of the people to repent, which followed the first humiliating defeats, passed away "like the dew that will soon pass" (6.4b EU ). God uses the prophets to "kill" Israel through their mouths ( Hos 6,5 EU ) until they finally understand: "I want love, not sacrifices, knowledge of God instead of burnt offerings." ( Hos 6,6 EU ). The false diplomacy towards the outside was for Hosea only the downside of a fundamentally wrong religious practice within. Not only sacrificing for foreign gods, but also sacrificing at the places of worship of YHWH himself was the root of all evil for him.
- The speech 6.7 EU to 7.16 EU attacks the priests again: They are the robbers, murderers and adulterers who only speak to the king by the mouth, concocting evil plans and causing the downfall of the state. The king's foolish "running back and forth" between the great powers does not change anything in the judgment that awaits everyone, because the talk of repentance and self-mortification - "they cut themselves sore for grain and wine" ( Hos 7,14 EU ) - is nothing but a lie, behind it is only the wish to harness God for one's own purposes: "That is why they will be mocked in Egypt [from where YHWH freed the forefathers]" (7.16b EU ).
- All of this culminates in Israel's rejection of prophecy and an entanglement in guilt "as in the days of Gibeah" ( Hosea 9.9 EU ).
Paragraph 9.10 to 11.11
- In four historical reviews (9.10-17 EU , 10.1-8 EU , 10.9-15 EU and 11.1-7 EU ), each of which follows the structure of indictment - announcement of punishment, the contrast between YHWH's loving actions and Israel's incomprehensible turning away.
- This court speech closes, instead of a verdict, but now with a word of salvation, Hos 11,8–11 EU , in which YHWH promises a new exodus in maternal love, albeit through the judgment. Some exegetes suspect here a former end of the book.
Third part: Hosea 12.1 to 14.9
Chapters 12-14 are a kind of summary of the Hosean court proclamation with a concluding character and an invitation to repent after the fall of Samaria. It may have been an appendix to chapters 4–11 at an earlier stage of editing, a kind of final discussion by Hosea's followers.
Hos 14,2-14,10 is interpreted as an exilic prophecy of salvation and as an appendix.
The text stock of the book Hosea belongs to the biblical books with the longest history of transmission along with the book of Amos . Correspondingly, historical-critical biblical research is divided on its possible origin and tradition. Four conceivable development models are discussed:
- The book comes largely from Hosea himself or from speech sketches of his students.
- Chapters 4–14 were written down by Hosea's students after 722 and later supplemented selectively. Chapters 1–3 have had their own growth story and were introduced in exile at the earliest.
- Half of Hosea's collected speeches go back to a post-exilic Deuteronomic editorial staff who had an early Deuteronomic collection of Hosea's words. Only a few sayings came from Hosea herself.
- The book is the result of a rolling corpus (William McCane), i. H. A few short, authentic words by Hosea and his students had triggered an unmanageable commenting process, with comment following comment right up into exile.
What is certain is that some of the prophetic sayings collected here go back to a Judean editing in or after the Babylonian exile (586-539 BC), the words of doom for the northern kingdom related to the southern kingdom and supplemented accordingly. This is shown by individual verses scattered throughout the book, which interpret Israel's fate of 722 as a warning to Judah (4.15 EU ; 5.5 EU ; 6.1–3 EU ; 7.10 EU ; 8.14 EU ; 10.11 EU ; 11.10f EU ).
However, this editorial office may already have had a long-standing collection of Hosea's prophecy, which probably began in the southern kingdom soon after 722. It is possible that salvation announcements were already placed there unconnected next to the older, authentic words of Hosea's doom, since after 586 Judean prophecy was supplemented and interpreted in this way ( Hans Walter Wolff , Otto Kaiser ).
Author and contemporary history
Hos 1,1 EU introduces Hosea as the son of Beeris . You don't find out more about your origins. However, it probably came from the northern kingdom, because it referred exclusively to its traditions and appeared mainly in the capital Samaria , possibly also other Israeli places of worship such as Bethel and Gilgal , which are mentioned.
He is said to have worked in the reign of the Judean kings from Uzziah (approx. 787–736) to Hezekiah (approx. 728–700) and under the Israeli king Jeroboam II (787–747). At first he succeeded in recapturing the territories lost to the Arameans ( 2 Kings 14.25 EU ). But soon afterwards Israel and Judah were increasingly threatened by the new great power Assyria ; In 722 their king Shalmaneser V conquered Samaria and ended the kingship of the northern kingdom.
A few allusions allow Hosea's period of activity to be narrowed down:
- According to Hos 1,4 EU , Hosea should name his first son " Jezreel " as a sign that YHWH would soon atone for the "bloodshed of Jezreel ". That was the name of the royal city in which the military leader Jehu had the descendants of King Ahab exterminated and seized the throne himself ( 2 Kings 10 : 1–11 EU ). According to 2 Kings 15 EU, Jehu's dynasty ended with the overthrow of his great-great-grandson Zechariah (747 BC). Accordingly, Hosea began to appear in the years before, when Israel under Jeroboam II experienced an interim period of peace and prosperity. Hosea's clear reference to the bloody massacre on which the pseudo peace was built, and its inevitable consequences, came true in 733 BC. When the Assyrian king Tiglat-Pileser III. Robbed large parts of the State of Israel, including the Jezreel plain .
- In Hos 7.11f EU and 12.2 EU , the prophet criticizes the alliance policy of the northern kingdom , which fluctuates between the Assyrians and Egypt : This refers to the late period of the last northern Israeli king Hoschea (731–723), who conquered the Assyrians through tribute tried to stop and then provoked by secretly allying himself with the rival great power Egypt against Assyria ( 2 Kings 17.3f EU ).
- The prophet repeatedly announces the fall of the northern empire, which came in 722 after three years of siege Samaria ( 2 Kings 17.5f EU ). Hosea does not report anything about this, so he apparently no longer witnessed the Assyrian victory. Therefore one assumes a period of action between 750 (Jeroboam II.) To about 725 (beginning of the siege).
In contrast to the prophet Amos ( Am 7,14 EU ), who appeared around the same time, no explicit calling is reported from Hosea . His prophecy is predominantly cult criticism, reveals precise knowledge of the practice of sacrifice and puts the Exodus tradition in the foreground. It has therefore been assumed that Hosea was connected with opposition priests in the northern kingdom who fought syncretism and - similar to the previous prophets Elijah and Elisha - tried to enforce the exclusive veneration of YHWH against a compensatory religious policy of the kings that included the Canaanite cult of Baal. In the Deuteronomistic History, this policy is stereotyped as the "sin of Jeroboam" responsible for the downfall of the northern empire.
Hosea's own love story was a tale of suffering. He married a woman who was repeatedly unfaithful to him. He summoned her, even locked her up to prevent further meetings with her lovers. He called her a whore or tried pedagogical punitive measures.
“I have no mercy on their children either; because they are prostitutes. Yes, her mother was a prostitute, the woman who bore her did shameful things. She said: I want to follow my lovers; they give me bread and water, wool and linen, oil and drink. That's why I block her way with thorn bushes and block it with a wall so that she can no longer find her path. Then she runs after her lovers, but does not catch up with them. She looks for them but doesn't find them. Then she will say: I will turn back and go back to my first husband; because I felt better then than now. "
This catastrophic marriage, in which the betrayed cannot leave his beloved despite her infidelity, was taken as a symbol for Israel, whose people worshiped several gods like a whore. Hosea's patience, which neither gives up his wife nor the hope of her return, testifies to a great, touching passion.
“How can I give you up, Ephraim, how can I give you up, Israel? How could I reveal you like Adma, treat you like Zebojim? My heart turns against me, my pity flares up. I do not want to exercise my fiery anger or destroy Ephraim again. Because I am God, not a person, the holy one in your midst. That's why I don't come in the heat of anger. "
As a prophet of the northern kingdom, Hosea referred exclusively to its traditions, especially the exodus from Egypt , the desert wandering and the 1st commandment ( Hos 13.4 EU ). His court sermon was as radical as that of his contemporary Amos. Hosea also called for social justice and social change ( Hos 10,12f EU ), but placed criticism of the sacrificial cult and the priests in the foreground. In doing so, he took up the older written prophecy of Elijah, who also rejected any synthesis of Baal and YHWH as a fatal apostasy for Israel ( 1 Kings 18 EU ).
Hosea referred this criticism not only to the Baal cult (2.11 EU ; 9.10 EU ; 11.2 EU ), which continued alongside the worship of YHWH , but also to the traditional animal sacrifices for YHWH himself, which Israel's God and Baal guarantee the Abused welfare:
Even in the places and under the pretext of worshiping YHWH, “ idolatry ” was hidden for him . The as in Ex 32 blasphemy condemned bull calf of gold was probably not a foreign idol, but an acquired from Canaan symbol for the expected YHWH fertility of the land ( Hos 8.5 EU ; 10.5 EU ), were sacrificed to the bulls ( Hos 12, 12 EU ). In the name of the god so worshiped, Hosea rejected the sacrificial cult altogether:
"I want love, not sacrifice, knowledge of God instead of burnt offering."
Hosea's political criticism was in no way inferior to this. He applied it not only to the violent coups and the vacillating foreign policy of the kings of Israel, but to kingship in general:
"All their malice was revealed in Gilgal, there I learned to hate them."
In Gilgal Saul was elected the first king of Israel at that time ( 1 Sam 11 EU ). Instead of cheering a new king as the bringer of salvation as expected by priests and prophets, Hosea saw succession and confusion of the throne as a sign of divine judgment:
"In my anger I gave you a king, in my resentment I took him away."
The unfaithfulness of the people, visible in their dependence on kingship and priesthood, leads to their certain downfall (13.9 EU ), but does not undermine God's loyalty to them (11.8 EU ). In the political catastrophes of Israel, Hosea saw God acting again as he had acted in Israel's early days: only the return to "Egypt" ( Hos 8,13 EU ; 11,1 EU ) and into the desert ( Hos 5, 9 EU ; 12.10 EU ), i.e. a new foreign rule that deprived Israel's unauthorized institutions and leading authorities ( Hos 7.16 EU ; 11.5 EU ), will teach this people to follow their calling and trust their God alone ( Hos 10.2-3 EU ).
"My heart is of a different mind [which can also be translated as: turns around in me , pains me ], all my mercy is kindled."
Hosea saw precisely this ability to repent and to show renewed mercy towards the fickleness and unfaithfulness of the human ally as the unmistakable identity of this God ( Hos 11,9 EU ): "[...] Because I am God, not a person [...]" .
Theologians like Jürgen Moltmann and Wilfried Härle see in this prophetic theology of God's compassionate pain a necessary correction of a one-sided image of God, which defines God's being only as love without inner movement, without change and drama. Judgment, anger, repudiation and renewed acceptance of loved ones are inseparable and inescapable parts of this love and make up its reality content in the historical experience of Israel.
In synagogal practice, the Haftara from the 14th chapter of the book of Hoschea (verse 2) is recited on the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur . The reading begins with the Hebrew words Shuwa Yisrael : "Repent, Yisrael, to the Eternal, your God." Because of this prophetic reading, this Shabbat was given its special name Shabbat Shuwa = "Shabbat of conversion" and thus fits into the ten days of repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Lexicon articles, bibliographies and introductions
- Michael Hanst: Hosea. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 2, Bautz, Hamm 1990, ISBN 3-88309-032-8 , Sp. 1069-1071.
- Jean-Georges Heintz, Lison Millot: Le livre prophétique d'Osée. Texto-bibliographie du XXème siècle. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1999, ISBN 3-447-04113-7 .
- Jörg Jeremias : Hosea / Hoseabuch. In: Theologische Realenzyklopädie 15 (1986), pp. 586-598 (overview and further literature).
- Watson E. Mills: Hosea, Joel. Bibliographies for biblical research Old Testament Series 21A. Mellen Biblical Press, Lewiston, NY 2002, ISBN 0-7734-2490-3 .
- Erich Zenger u. a .: Introduction to the Old Testament. 5th edition. W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-17-018332-X , pp. 521-528 (overview and further literature).
- Jörg Jeremias : The Prophet Hosea. ATD 24/1, Göttingen 1983.
- Hellmuth Frey : The book of God's courtship for his church. The Prophet Hosea. The Old Testament Message 23.2. 4th edition Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart 1990, ISBN 3-7668-0053-1 .
- Eleonore Beck: God's dream - a human world. Hosea - Amos - Micha. Stuttgart small commentary Old Testament 14th 3rd ed. Verlag Kath. Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-460-05141-8 .
- Eberhard Bons : The book Hosea. New Stuttgart comment. Old Testament 23.1. Verl. Kath. Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-460-07231-8 .
- AA Macintosh: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Hosea. ICC. T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh 1997, ISBN 0-567-08545-7 .
- Martin Holland : The Prophet Hosea. Wuppertal Study Bible.AT. 4th edition Brockhaus, Wuppertal 1997, ISBN 3-417-25203-2 .
- Hans Walter Wolff : Hosea. Biblical commentary, 14th 5th ed., Studienausg. Neukirchener Verl., Neukirchen-Vluyn 2004, ISBN 3-7887-2024-7 .
- Ehud Ben Zvi: Hosea. FOTL 21, A, 1. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich. u. a. 2005, ISBN 0-8028-0795-X .
- Thomas Naumann: Hosea's heirs. Structures of the post-interpretation in the book of Hosea. BWANT 131. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart a. a. 1991, ISBN 3-17-011579-0 .
- Jörg Jeremias: Hosea and Amos. Studies on the beginnings of the dodecapropheton. Research on the Old Testament 13. Mohr, Tübingen 1996, ISBN 3-16-146477-X .
- Martin Schulz-Rauch: Hosea and Jeremia. On the history of the impact of the Hoseabuch. Calwer theological monographs A / 16. Calwer, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-7668-3381-2 .
- Henrik Pfeiffer : The sanctuary of Bethel in the mirror of the Hosea book. FRLANT 183. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1999, ISBN 3-525-53867-7 .
- Barbara Fuß: "This is the time that is written about ...". The explicit quotations from the Book of Hosea in the Qumran and New Testament manuscripts. New Testament treatises NF Vol. 37. Aschendorff, Münster 2000, ISBN 3-402-04785-3 .
- Wolfgang Schütte: "Sow yourselves justice!" Addressees and concerns of the trouser script. Contributions to the science of the New and Old Testament 179. Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-17-020355-6 .
- David-Christopher Böhme, Johannes Müller, Heinz-Dieter Neef : Hosea's message as prophecy. Targum Jonathan to Hosea 1-3. Biblical Notes NF 131, 2006, 17-38, .
- Katrin Keita: God's country. Exegetical studies on land issues in the Hoseabuch from a canonical perspective. Theological texts and studies 13. Olms, Hildesheim 2007, ISBN 978-3-487-13587-8 .
- Walter Gisin: Hosea. A literary network proves its authenticity. Biblical contributions from Bonn 139. Philo, Berlin a. a. 2002, ISBN 3-8257-0320-7 .
- Martin Mulzer: Alarm for Benjamin. Text, structure and meaning in Hos 5,8-8,14. Work on text and language in the Old Testament 74th EOS-Verl., St. Ottilien 2003, ISBN 3-8306-7162-8 .
- Edgar W. Conrad: Reading the Latter Prophets. Toward a New Canonical Criticism. JSOTSup 376. T. & T. Clark International, London 2003, ISBN 0-8264-6652-4 .
- Roman Vielhauer: The Becoming of the Book Hosea. An editorial history investigation. Supplements to the journal for Old Testament science 349. de Gruyter, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-11-018242-4 .
- Hans Walter Wolff: The wedding of the whore. Hosea today. Christian Kaiser Verlag, Munich 1979, ISBN 3-459-01233-1 .
- Marie-Theres Wacker : Figurations of the feminine in the Hosea book (= Herder's Biblical Studies, Volume 8). Herder, 1995, ISBN 3-451-23951-5
- Heinz-Dieter Neef: Hosea / Hoseabuch. In: Michaela Bauks, Klaus Koenen, Stefan Alkier (Eds.): The Scientific Biblical Lexicon on the Internet (WiBiLex), Stuttgart 2006 ff.
- Article about Hosea from: Martin Rösel (AT), Klaus-Michael Bull (NT): Electronic Bible Studies
- Horacio Simian-Yofre: Amos and Hosea on the monarchy, the priesthood and the cult.
- Erich Zenger u. a .: Introduction to the Old Testament. 5th edition. W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-17-018332-X , p. 522
- See Erich Zenger et al. a .: Introduction to the Old Testament , p. 523
- Cf. Erich Zenger u. a .: Introduction to the Old Testament , p. 526
- Cf. Marie-Theres Wacker: Figurations of the Feminine in the Hoseabuch (= Herders Biblical Studies, Volume 8). Herder, 1995, ISBN 3-451-23951-5
- Cf. Erich Zenger u. a .: Introduction to the Old Testament , p. 524
- See Erich Zenger et al. a .: Introduction to the Old Testament , p. 525 f.
- Hoschea chap. 14 V. 2 in the translation by Ludwig Philippson . Quoted from: Walter Homolka u. a. (Ed.): The Torah. Herder, Freiburg - Basel - Vienna 2015, ISBN 978-3-451-33334-7 , p. 859
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Hoschea; Osee; Osea|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Israeli prophet|
|DATE OF BIRTH||8th century BC Chr.|
|DATE OF DEATH||8th century BC Chr.|