More Information
ISBN: 9781783689026
Imprint: Langham Academic
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 19
Publication Date: 14/05/2015
Pages: 362
Series: Studies in Old Testament
Language: English

Responsibility, Chastisement and Restoration

Relational Justice in the Book of Hosea


Many Old Testament scholars have focused their studies of justice on the eighth-century BC prophets Isaiah, Amos and Micah, giving little or no attention to Hosea. Neglect of Hosea in relation to justice arises from the common notion that he was a prophet of love, and although some studies concede that parts of the book deal with justice, it is often overlooked or given secondary importance to other concerns and themes.

In this publication Ronald Laldinsuah addresses this misconception by demonstrating that Hosea was indeed a prophet of justice. Through careful analysis of the text as well as observing both the biblical concept and the secular notions of justice it is observed that justice must perpetuate right and true relationships. In ‘relational justice’ we see the inseparable relationship among humans, and between humans and God – emphasising Hosea’s message of responsibility, chastisement and restoration.

Author Bios

Ronald Laldinsuah

RONALD LALDINSUAH is Lecturer in Old Testament at Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (MEGST), Yangon. He is also the founding pastor of Hlainthayar Biblical Presbyterian Church, Yangon. He completed his PhD at the Australian College of Theology, through Ridley College, Melbourne and holds an MTh in Old Testament from SAIACS, India and an MDiv from MEGST. Ronald and his wife, Mary, have two sons and one daughter.


This is a fine, carefully argued book that restores Hosea to a central place in scholarship on the eighth-century prophets. Ronald Laldinsuah has shed new light on the relational aspects of justice and so shown that the theme of relational justice pervades all parts of the book.

Lindsay Wilson
Academic Dean, Senior Lecturer in Old Testament,
Ridley College, Melbourne

Ronald Laldinsuah has written a careful and thorough analysis, convincingly arguing that Hosea is a prophet of relational justice. . . This book is highly recommended for all students of Hosea, as well as those interested in eighth century Israel and the period of its destruction.

Paul A. Barker
Visiting Lecturer in Old Testament,
South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, India
Langham Preaching Coordinator, Asia

Table of Contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Chapter One
    1. Introductory Issues
      1. Statement of the Problem
      2. Elaboration of Problem
      3. The Scope and Nature of this Study
      4. Thesis Statement
      5. Procedure of this Study
  5. Chapter Two
    1. Research on the Book of Hosea
      1. Overview of Research
      2. Major Commentaries on Hosea
      3. Major Studies on Hosea
        1. Redactional, Synchronic, Final Form and Literary Analysis
        2. Feminist Criticism, Metaphorical Studies and Hosea as Part of the Twelve
        3. Summary Assessment
      4. Justice Studies in the Hebrew Bible
        1. Summary Assessment
  6. Chapter Three
    1. In Search of Principles: Toward a Relational Justice
      1. Justice in the Writings of Classical Philosophy
        1. Summary Assessment
      2. Contemporary Forms of Justice
        1. Commutative Justice
        2. Social Justice
        3. Distributive Justice
        4. Retributive Justice
        5. Restorative Justice
        6. Summary Assessment
      3. Integrating Different Types of Justice in Biblical Contexts
      4. Summary and Conclusion
  7. Chapter Four
    1. The Biblical Concept of Relational Justice
      1. Justice in Biblical Perspective
        1. צדק as Relational Faithfulness
        2. חסד as an extra Deed of one Person to another
        3. משׁפט/שׁפטas Sustaining Relationship
      2. Summary and Conclusion
  8. Chapter Five
    1. Hosea: The Socio-Political Background and His Message
      1. The Socio-political Background of Hosea
        1. Political Achievement: The Resurgence of Israel’s Imperialism
        2. From Stability to Chaos: the Aftermath of Jeroboam II
        3. Economic Situation: the Zenith of Prosperity
        4. Moral Sickness: The Impact of Political Expansion and Economic Growth
        5. Summary Assessment
      2. Hosea’s Message
        1. Responsibility
        2. Chastisement
        3. Restoration
        4. Summary Assessment
  9. Chapter Six
    1. Relational Justice: Responsibility, Chastisement and Restoration
        1. A Structure of Six Cycles
        2. Excursus: Remarks on Metaphor Studies and Feminist Readings
      1. Hosea and His Family (1:2–3:5)
        1. Structural Analysis of Hosea 1–3
      2. Responsibility (1:2b–3; 2:4–7 [2–5]; 3:1–2)
        1. Hosea as Relationally Faithful Father/Husband
        2. Gomer as Relationally Faithless Mother/Wife
        3. Yahweh as Israel’s Covenant Father/Husband
      3. Chastisements (1:4–9 [2–5]; 2:8–15 [6–13]; 3:3–4)
        1. Embryonic Names for Chastisement (1:4–9)
        2. Reaction from a Spurned Husband (2:8–15)
        3. Hosea’s Stricture to his Wife (3:3–4)
      4. Restoration (2:1–3 [1:10–2:1]; 2:16–25 [14–23]; 3:5)
        1. Reversals of Ill-omened Names (2:1–3)
        2. Images of Faithful Relationship (2:16–25)
        3. Chastised but Restored (3:5)
      5. Summary Assessment
  10. Chapter Seven
    1. Yahweh and His People (4:1-6:3)
      1. Structural Analysis of Hosea 4–11
      2. Responsibility (4:1–5:7)
        1. Yahweh’s Controversy against the People (4:1–3)
        2. The Irresponsible Priests, People and Rulers (4:4–19)
      3. Chastisement (5:8–15)
        1. An Urgent Warning of War (5:8)
        2. The Culpability of Judah and Ephraim (5:10–11)
        3. Yahweh as Illness and Ferocious Lion (5:12–15a)
      4. Restoration (5:15b–6:3)
        1. Exhortation to Return to Yahweh (6:1–2)
        2. A Pathway to Return (6:3)
      5. Summary Assessment
  11. Chapter Eight
    1. Yahweh and His People (6:4-11:11)
      1. Responsibility (6:4–8:14)
        1. The Fleeting Relational Virtues (6:4–6)
        2. Horrible Deeds Encompass the Entire House of Israel (6:7–7:2)
        3. Debauchery and Perfidy within the Royal Court (7:3–7)
        4. Ephraim is like an Unturned Cake, a Fooled Dove and a Faulty Bow (7:8–16)
        5. Israel is Rebellious, Rejecting what is Relationally Good (8:1–14)
      2. Chastisement (9:1–10:15)
        1. From Days of Celebrations to Days of Dispersion (9:1–9)
        2. From Grapes in the Desert to Barrenness (9:10–17)
        3. From Luxuriant Vines to Poisonous Weeds (10:1–8)
        4. A Trained Heifer who Ploughs for Wickedness (10:9–15)
      3. Restoration (11:1–11)
        1. Yahweh’s Consistent Unilateral Love (11:1–4)
        2. Corrective Measures for Rebellious Ephraim (11:5–7)
        3. A Compassion that Thwarts Human Logic (11:8–11)
      4. Summary Assessment
  12. Chapter Nine
    1. Yahweh and His People (12:1-14:10 [11:12-14:9])
      1. Structural Analysis of Hosea 12–14
      2. Responsibility (12:1–15 [11:12–12:14])
        1. Ephraim’s Socio-political Irresponsibility (12:1–3, 4–6)
        2. Ephraim’s Socio-economic/Ethical Violations (12:7, 8–10)
        3. Ephraim’s Socio-religious Infidelity (12:12, 13–15)
      3. Chastisement (13:1–14:1 [13:1–16])
        1. Ephraim’s Chastisement for Illegitimate Cult (13:1–3)
        2. Ephraim’s Chastisement for Moral Decay (13:4–10)
        3. Ephraim’s Chastisement for Political Folly (13:10–14:1 [13:10–16])
      4. Restoration (14:2–9 [14:1–8])
        1. A Final Prophetic Call to Return (14:2–4)
        2. Yahweh’s Express Will to Restore the Nation (14:5)
        3. The Consequences of the Restored Relationship (14:6–9)
        4. The Epilogue of the Book: A Wisdom Poem (14:10)
      5. Summary Assessment
  13. Chapter Ten
    1. Conclusions
    2. Relational Justice and Hosea
      1. Relational Justice in Hosea 1–3
      2. Relational Justice in Hosea 4:1–6:3
      3. Relational Justice in Hosea 6:4–11:11
      4. Relational Justice in Hosea 12:1–14:1
    3. Hosea’s Social Critique
  14. Bibliography