Author: Probably Hosea himself, though the text is in both the first and the third person.
Date: Sometime between 750 (approximately when Hosea began ministering) and 722 BC (when Assyria overran Israel).
In Ten Words or Less: Prophet’s marriage to prostitute reflects God’s relationship with Israel.
Details: God gives Hosea a strange command: “Take unto thee a wife of whoredoms” (1:2). The marriage pictures God’s relationship to Israel - an honorable, loving husband paired with an unfaithful wife. Hosea marries an adulteress named Gomer and starts a family with her. When Gomer returns to her life of sin, Hosea - again picturing God’s faithfulness - buys her back from the slave market. The book contains God’s warnings for disobedience but also His promises of blessing for repentance.
From Know Your Bible, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.