The Literary Structure Of Hosea 1-3 -- By: Charles H. Silva

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 164:654 (Apr 2007)
Article: The Literary Structure Of Hosea 1-3
Author: Charles H. Silva

The Literary Structure Of Hosea 1-3

Charles H. Silva

Charles H. Silva is Pastor, Horizon Christian Church, Branson, Missouri.

* This is the second article in a four-part series “A Literary Analysis of the Book of Hosea.”

The Book of Hosea may be outlined as follows, with a major twofold division (chaps. 1–3 and 4–14) that is supported by the majority of Hosea scholars, past and present.1

Prologue: Superscription (1:1)


Hosea’s Marriage and Family (1:2–3:5)

Cycle A (1:2–2:1)

Cycle B (2:2–23)

Cycle C (3:1–5)


Hosea’s Prophetic Oracles (4:1–14:8)

Cycle D (4:1–6:3)

Cycle E (6:4–11:11)

Cycle F (11:12–14:8)

Epilogue: Wisdom Saying (14:9)

The book records the Lord’s message of judgment against Israel for egregious covenant violation. Each of the book’s cycles begins with a prophetic judgment speech (accusations and judgment) and concludes with the Lord’s gracious promise to provide future restoration. The first section recounts Hosea’s obedience to the

Lord’s command to take “a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry” (

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