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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible CommentaryHaydock's Catholic Commentary

- Hosea

by George Leo Haydock



Osee, or Hosea, whose name signifies a saviour, was the first in the order of time among those who are commonly called lesser prophets, because their prophecies are short. He prophesied in the kingdom of Israel, (that is, of the ten tribes) about the same time that Isaias prophesied in the kingdom of Juda. (Challoner) --- The chronological order is not observed in any edition. The Septuagint very from the rest. They place the less before the greater prophets, and read some of the names rather differently, as Protestants do also, though they have nothing but novelty to recommend the change. We shall here specify the Protestant names, (Haydock) in the order in which these prophets appeared: (Calmet) 1. Hosea, 2. Amos, 3. Jonah, 4. Micah, 5. Nahum, 6. Joel, 7. Zephaniah, 8. Habakkuk, 9. Obadiah, 10. Haggai, 11. Zechariah, 12. Malachi. (Haydock) --- It is not known who collected them into one volume. but the book of Ecclesiasticus (xlix. 12.) speaks of the twelve; and 4 Esdras i. 39., specifies them as they are found in the Septuagint: Osee, Amos, Micheas, Joel, Abdias, Jonas, Nahum, &c., as in the Vulgate. (Calmet) --- Many other prophets appeared before these, (Worthington) but Osee is the first of the sixteen whose works are extant. He must have continued his ministry about eighty-five years, and lived above one hundred and ten, if the first verse speaks of him alone. But some take it to regard the whole collection, and may be added by another hand. (Calmet) --- The style of Osee is sententious and very hard to be understood, (St. Jerome) as but little is known of the last kings of Israel, in whose dominions he lived, and to whom he chiefly refers, though he speaks sometimes of Juda, &c. (Calmet) --- By taking a wife, and other parables, he shews their criminal conduct and chastisment, and foretells their future deliverance and the benefits to be conferred by Christ. We must observe that the prophets often style the kingdom of the two tribes, Juda, Benjamin, Jerusalem, or the house of David; and that of the ten tribes, Ephraim, Joseph, Samaria, Jezrahel, Bethel, or Bethaven; and often Israel or Jacob till after the captivity of these tribes, when the latter titles refer to Juda, who imitated the virtues of Jacob better than the other kingdom. (Worthington) --- Then all distinction of this nature was at an end. (Haydock)

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