Hosea predicted the demise of the northern ten-tribe kingdom of Israel because of their repeated unfaithfulness toward God. Using a striking real-world acted parable of human marriage, Hosea marries a prostitute on God's instruction, and suffers the emotional consequences of her unfaithfulness. Ultimately it seems that Hosea and his children are deserted (just as Israel goes into captivity in 721BC), although the precise details of how Hosea's marriage unfolds are not certain. It seems that he is encouraged to take back his wife, despite the pain she has caused him, and the family is to be one once more. In this way the book tells not only of this judgment and of God's estrangement from His bride, but also of His longsuffering and His plan ultimately to be reconciled to her again.

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