Hosea was the son of Beeri (1:2) and was the author of the book of Hosea. It is thought he was a citizen of northern Israel. The name Hosea means “salvation”. In obedience to God's command, Hosea married a prostitute named Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim (1:2-3). He fathered three children [Rose Publishing]. According to Bob Utley, the consensus has always been that Hosea was the author, although little is known about him.
Hosea is not mentioned in the Old Testament outside of two times in the book of Hosea (1:1,2). However, the Apostle Paul mentions the book of Hosea in Romans 9:25.
It is said that Hosea started his prophetic career during the reign of King Jeroboam II (793-746 B.C.) [Rose Publishing]. Norman Geisler states that some of the book of Hosea seems to be written before the death of Jeroboam II, since chapter one regars the end of Jehu's dynasty as yet the future. He further suggests that the final product of the book of Hosea no doubt was completed around 720 B.C. “His Ministry extended from at least 760 to 710 B.C. (2 Kgs. 14:17).” [Norman Geisler]
“Ephraim” or “the northern ten tribes of Israel.”
Historically, even though Israel was unfaithful, God still illustrated His love. Doctrinally, Hosea makes three points important – God"s love is undying, formalism is useless, and man is depraved. He wrote this book to remind the Israelites that we have a loving God whose loyalty to his covenant people is unwavering. In spite of Israel's continual turning to false gods. God's stedfast love is portrayed in the long-suffering husband of the unfaithful wife. Hosea's message is also one of warning to those who would turn their backs on God's love. Through the symbolic presentation of the marriage of Gomer and Hosea, God's love for the idolatrous nation of Israel is displayed in a rich metaphor in the themes of sin, judgment and forgiving love (Got questions).
The book of Hosea contains two main points. “Personal affection” and “national refection” are the two main points. In chapters 1-3 the “personal affection” is seen in the wife’s unfaithfulness and the husband’s faithfulness. Even though the wife was unfaithful, Hosea’s marriage with this woman was what God commanded. This meant being faithful, loving her, and buying her from slavery at God’s command. Second, the Lord was faithful but Israel was not. This is the “national reflection” which is divided in three parts. First, Israel’s many transgressions included idolatry. Even though God was loving and faithful, the Israelites showed abandonment and depravity. Second, the signal of judgment is received by Israel’s visitation. Finally, God will, for last time, restore His people.
One of the pictures of Hosea is God’s love for us. He loved us so much, that He also bought us out of slavery by dying on the cross for us.