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Hosea, Prophecies Of

This book consists of fourteen chapters. It is easy to recognize two great divisions in the book: (1) ch. 1 to 3; (2) ch. 4 to end. The subdivision of these several parts is a work of greater difficulty--

+ The first division should probably be subdivided into three separate poems, each originating in a distinct aim, and each after its own fashion attempting to express the idolatry of Israel by imagery borrowed from the matrimonial relation.

+ Attempts have been made to subdivide the second part of the book. These divisions are made either according to reigns of contemporary kings or according to the subject-matter of the poem. The prophecies were probably collected by Hosea himself toward the end of his career. Of his style Eichhorn says, "His discourse is like a garland woven of a multiplicity of flowers; images are woven upon images, metaphor strung upon metaphor. Like a bee he flies from one flower-bed to another, that he may suck his honey from the most varied pieces....Often he is prone to approach to allegory; often he sinks down in obscurity."