Hosea (prophet)

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Hosea (Hebrew: הוֹשֵׁעַ Hoshea "Salvation/deliverance is the Lord") was a Hebrew prophet and author of the Biblical Book of Hosea. He is identified only as the "son of Beeri." Hosea served as the Lord's prophet during the reigns of King Uzzia, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah of Judah and Jereboam II of Israel in the late 9th and early 8th centuries B.C. Prophets of the same period include Amos, Isaiah and Micah.

Hosea was almost certainly a subject of the ten-tribe northern kingdom of Israel, as this is the principal focus of his declarations: while there are 40 references to Israel, 37 to Ephraim (Israel's dominant tribe) and 6 to Samaria (capital of the northern kingdom), Judah has only 15, and Jerusalem none. Paradoxically, Hosea treats the kings of Judah with primary importance, writing of all four who reigned during his ministry, while mentioning only the king who ruled Israel at the beginning of his work. However, some scholars view this as an indication that Hosea, in common with many other prophets, regarded only the Judean kings of David's line as the rightful kings over the chosen people.

The listing of the kings has also enabled accurate dating of Hosea's ministry.