Hosea (History 4)

Read Hosea 12

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Why does Hosea use a collage of Jacob’s life events in his preaching to the northern kingdom of Israel? Ref. Genesis 25, 28, 32, 35.

  1. Bethel, once a place where Jacob met with God and was promised blessings (as were all his descendants) has now become a place of idolatry (golden calf) and the people, because of their rebellion, are cursed, to be slaughtered and the land made desolate.
  2. God’s speech (Gen.28:14-15) of covenant blessing which applies to us also.
  3. Jacob’s godliness. Everything said about the patriarch is positive—he sought and received the blessing. Compare this with rebellious Israel who with duplicity have made an alliance with Assyria and also sought help from Egypt. These ten tribes turned from their rightful king and priests (the Levites). Hosea is in effect saying they are not the true children of Jacob.
  4. The names of God—Jehovah, Elohim, El Shaddai all abandoned for Baal. Jacob, the heel holder who is a prince and has power with God has succumbed to idolatry and his descendants become fraudster Canaanites (marginal rendering of merchant v7).
  5. Hosea on behalf of Jehovah demands from Israel repentance and keeping of the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
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