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  • The Minor Prophets are composed of twelve books, from Hosea to Malachi. In ancient times these books might have been considered one book. “The book of the prophets” mentioned by Stephen in Acts 7:42, in his quoting of Amos 5:25-27, might refer to this collective book. These twelve books complete the divine revelation concerning God’s economy in His dealings with His elect (Israel) and the nations, which is covered in detail in the books of the Major Prophets — Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. All the books of both the Major Prophets and the Minor Prophets were called by the Lord Jesus “the Prophets,” in which things were written concerning Him (Luke 24:44). Thus, the central point of all the Prophets is Christ (cf. Luke 24:27; John 5:39).

    Like the Major Prophets, the Minor Prophets unveil that God’s economy in His loving chastisement of Israel, in His governmental dealing with Israel, and in His judgment upon the nations issues in the manifestation of Christ as the centrality and universality in God’s economy to bring in the kingdom, the age of restoration (Matt. 19:28; Acts 3:21), which will usher the old and ruined universe into the new heaven and new earth with the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-2).

  • Meaning salvation, or deliverance (cf. Num. 13:16). The object of Hosea’s ministry was the adulterous and apostate kingdom of Israel. As to Israel’s condition, they were adulterous; as to their position, they were apostate. This book reveals that regardless of how adulterous Israel is as the wife to Jehovah and how apostate Israel is as the people to Him, He still desires that she would return to Him. If she would return to Him, He would still receive her, bring her back, and restore her.

  • Meaning God sows, or God will sow. The day of Jezreel is the day for the people of Israel to be sown in the Holy Land by God (v. 11; 2:22-23). Today God has sown the children of Israel back in their fathers’ land, and no one can pluck them out again.

  • Sons of the living God indicates regeneration. When God fulfills His new covenant with Israel (Jer. 31:31-34 and note Jer. 31:311a), He will regenerate them, putting Himself into them as their life to make them the sons of God. Thus, Israel will be not merely the people of God but also the sons of God.

  • The word in Hosea 1:10-11; 2:1 is God’s promise of restoration to the children of Israel. This promise is a matter of grace. Grace follows sin. Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more (Rom. 5:20).

  • Meaning not My people and symbolizing that Israel was not God’s people and God would not belong to her.

  • Meaning she has not obtained compassion and symbolizing that God would no longer have compassion on the house of Israel.

  • Or, visit (i.e., in order to avenge).

  • Symbolizing that God would avenge the bloodshed at Jezreel (2 Kings 10:1-11) upon the house of Jehu and would bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel (2 Kings 15:10-12).

  • The prophet Hosea took Gomer, a wife of harlotries (vv. 2-3). This symbolized that God took Israel as His wife, one who gave herself to harlotries and who departed from Jehovah. God told Hosea to do what He Himself had done, and Hosea did what God commanded him.

  • The crucial emphasis of the revelation released by all the prophets from Isaiah to Malachi is that God wants to have an organic union with His chosen people. In this union God is His people’s life and they are His expression. In this way God and His chosen people become a universal couple (Rev. 22:17 and note Rev. 22:171a, par. 2). Because this is God’s intention in His eternal economy, both the Major Prophets and the Minor Prophets speak of God as the Husband and of God’s chosen people as the wife. This thought is fully developed in the New Testament. See note Exo. 20:62, par. 2.

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