Old Testament

The opening verse of Hosea names the kings who ruled Judah and Israel during the prophetic ministry of Hosea, thereby providing bookends for the time period within which the book must have been written. This time period within which the book was written falls between 750 and 715 BC. The prophet Hosea served in the Northern Kingdom of Israel and was a contemporary of Isaiah, Micah, and Amos. The focus of his prophecy was on the final days of the Northern Kingdom of Israel before it was destroyed by Assyria in about 722 BC. The Hebrew text of Hosea is difficult, so the translation is not always certain.
Hosea's Wife and Children
11The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Be'eri,[] in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, the kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash, the king of Israel.
2When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go. Take for yourself an immoral wife and children produced by sexual immorality,[] because the land has been committing flagrant immorality, turning away from the Lord.”
3So he went and took Gomer daughter of Diblaim. She conceived and gave birth to a son for him.
4The Lord said to him, “Name him Jezre'el,[] because in a little while I will inflict punishment on the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezre'el. I will destroy the ruling power of the house of Israel. 5In that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezre'el.”
6She conceived again and gave birth to a daughter.
The Lord said to him, “Name her Lo Ruhamah,[] because I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel. Indeed, I will certainly not forgive them. 7But I will have compassion on the house of Judah. I will save them by the Lord their God. I will not save them by bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen.”[]
8Gomer weaned Lo Ruhamah. Then she conceived and gave birth to a son.
9The Lord said, “Name him Lo Ammi,[] because you are not my people, and I will not be the Lord for you.”[]
A Promise of Future Blessing
10Nevertheless, the number of the people of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted. Then, in the place where they were told, “You are not my people,” they will be told, “You are children of the living God.” 11The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be gathered together. They will appoint one head for themselves, and they will go up from the land, for the day of Jezre'el will be great.[]


  • 1:1 The stop mark ' indicates that Be'er- should be pronounced as two syllables.
  • 1:2 Or prostitution. The Hebrew term includes paid prostitution, but it also includes promiscuous sexual immorality which is not done for money. It also includes sexual misconduct by perpetrators who pay their lovers instead of the other way around.
  • 1:4 Jezre'el means God sows, and it is the name of both a valley and a city in Israel. Ahab and Jezebel murdered Naboth at the city of Jezre'el, and Jehu destroyed the dynasty of Ahab there.
  • 1:6 The Hebrew name Lo Ruhamah means no compassion or no pity.
  • 1:7 Or charioteers
  • 1:9 The Hebrew name Lo Ammi means not my people.
  • 1:9 The Hebrew reads I am not I am for you, an allusion to the Lord's gracious name, I am.
  • 1:11 English verses 1:10–11 are verses 2:1–2 in the Hebrew text. All the subsequent verse numbers in chapter 2 are two numbers lower in English than they are in Hebrew.