There is little agreement as to the overall structure of the book. Many would divide it into two segments: chs. 1-3 and chs. 4-14, but few agree on how to differentiate the content of the two sections. It is tempting to call chs. 1-3 the parable and chs. 4-14 the interpretation. However, ch. 2 is as much interpretation as is anything after ch. 3. From this uncertainty, the points of agreement become even fewer, for the materials in chs. 4-14 show no clear organizing principle. Therefore, the following suggestions should be taken as suggestions only.
Chs. 1-3 may be seen as an introduction, setting the stage for the rest of the book, both by means of Hosea's experience and by means of an explanation of the parallels between Hosea and God. Then chs. 4-14 expand upon the basic points already made. This expansion does not seem to follow any particular order, as noted above. However, there are three points at which offers of restoration seem to coincide with the end of a previous discussion. These occur at 6:1-3; 11:8-11; and 14:1-9. On this basis, it may be possible to subdivide chs. 4-14 into three segments: 4:1-6:3; 6:4-11:11; 11:12-14:9. The first segment dwells on the causes of Israel's sin: the corruption of the leaders; the second details the rebelliousness of Israel; and the third emphasizes their failure to learn the lessons of the past.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!