Encountering the Old Testament, 3rd Edition

A Christian Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies


32. Hosea, Joel, and Amos: A Call for Repentance and a Promise for Blessing

Chapter Intro Video

Chapter Objectives

  • Summarize the basic content of the books of Hosea, Joel, and Amos
  • Outline the books of Hosea, Joel, and Amos
  • List the major themes of each book

Chapter Summary

  1. The prophet Hosea had great courage and prophesied in spite of the humiliation he suffered because of his wife Gomer’s adultery.
  2. The book of Hosea was written shortly before Samaria’s fall.
  3. The major themes of Hosea are spiritual adultery, knowledge of God, and God’s frustrated love.
  4. Hosea compared Israel to a bunch of choice green grapes in the wilderness that had been spoiled, a vine that grew according to his plan, a trained heifer who loved to thresh grain, and a toddling son.
  5. The prophet Joel probably prophesied about 500–450 BC.
  6. Amos worked among the sheepherders of Tekoa and earned part of his living tending sycamore trees.
  7. Amos spoke out against other nations but especially against Israel.
  8. Amos used a variety of oratorical methods to make his prophetic points.
  9. God showed Amos visions to help Amos understand what he was going to do to Israel.

Study Questions

  1. How did Hosea’s marriage and family background shape his prophetic ministry? In what sense does your family background affect your perception of life?
  2. Hosea described the people’s spiritual adultery. Why did idolatry and harlotry occur together in Israel?
  3. What major event of Joel’s day shaped his message? To what extent did his message apply to his generation, and to what extent did it have a future application?
  4. Describe Amos’s background and calling.
  5. What were some examples of social injustice against which Amos prophesied? How should our faith in God relate to our actions toward other people?