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Word Count: 661
osea The question Summarise this Old Testament book providing a description of the contents authorship date and main themes The essay One of the minor prophets son of Beeri near contemporary of Amos and of Isaiah He prophesied in the northern kingdom of Israel eg Samaria in the years preceding its decline and eventual fall to the Assyrians around 721 BCE Places mentioned in the book are mostly in Benjaminite or Ephraimite territory eg Samaria Bethel and Gilgal He seems to have been a countryman with his talk of morning mist and dew 133 fragrance of cedar trees 146 work of ploughing and harvest 1011-13 Shows a love of his own countryside and a strong nostalgia for the life of the desert 135 Contents Opening chapters 1-3 - relate incidents from Hoseas family life and draw a parallel between his relationship with his wife and Gods relationship with Israel Narratives and prophecies Prophecies 4-14 - of judgement and eventual restoration addressed to northern kingdom Condemns injustice and exploitation prevalent in Israels society Opposes syncretistic worship of the sanctuaries where Canaanite religious traditions esp those centring on fertility had overlaid or perhaps replaced the religion of Yahweh One alleged Canaanite practice relevant to book of Hosea is cultic prostitution Ritual sex with these prostitutes during New Year festival in October imitating relationship between storm-god Baal and goddess Anat was thought to bring fertility to land flocks and families Hosea describes Israels apostasy as adultery or prostitution Hoseas wife Gomer is sometimes interpreted as being one of these cultic or temple prostitutes Alternative interpretation is that she is sexually promiscuous Her adultery would be a first-class offence in a patrilinear society and would reflect badly on her husband bringing him loss of honour and threatening his authoritative position Hosea and Gomer had three children - each given symbolic names that would convey a message about the
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