Religion 21 Professor Niditch Ancient Israel Chapin 114

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To Think About:

1. What is the prevailing image in Hos 1-3? How is it developed in these and other passages in Hosea?

2. How does Hos 2 fit the Deuteronomic blessings-and-curses theology found in Deut 28?

3. Review G.E. Wright's discussion of the "lawsuit form." This form exemplified by Deut 32 involves a court-scene pattern of a) a call to witnesses; b) a listing of the prosecution's accusations of wrongdoing; c) the sentencing by the judge. Thinking of Israel as the accused and Yahweh as the judge, can you find evidence of lawsuit in Hosea? Keep this form in mind for later work in prophetic literature.

4. Discuss imagery of sickness and healing used by Hosea.

5. Hos 2 describes the period in the desert as an ideal one. How do you explain this use of the wilderness motif, given that the 40 year trek from Egypt was marked by constant backsliding and sin? Recall our discussion of the wilderness motif for 1 Kgs 19. See also Hos 13:4-6.

6. What mythic motifs are found in Hos 2? Do you find evidence of a rising/dying god pattern?

7. Can you find holy war and divine warrior imagery in Hos 4:8, 14? Against whom is holy war directed and why? What is the historical reference at 5:13? How would you charaterize Hosea's suggested foreign policy?

8. What are the sins of the people and her kings as characterized in Hos 5-7? What images are used to convey Israel's faithlessness?

9. Discuss the possible historical background to passages such as Hos 7:8 and 8:8-10.

10. It has been suggested that the language of Hosea is reminiscent of language and imagery used in Deuteronomy. Discuss. (See for example Hos 11:1-4.)

11. Note the use of numerical patterns in Am 2. What do you think their function is?

12. An oracle against Israel herself follows the oracles against foreign nations (Am 1-2; the transition occurs at 2:4). What effect does this juxtaposition of foreign peoples with Israel have? (By Israel here I mean the people of Judah and Israel).

13. In 4:1 ff. how is the sin of the leaders of the people described? Are we dealing here merely with sins of idolatry and cult? How does Amos extend the notion of covenant-breaking? Which of the commandments concern him as much as the first?

14. Note the "day-of-the-Lord" material in Am 5:18-20. The notion of a great day of the Lord in which Israel would be saved and her enemies crushed lies behind this ironic oracle. What will the day of the Lord bring to Israel? The concept of the day of the Lord is one which develops in later biblical materials as we will see.

15. Compare 5:21-27 to 1 Sam 15:15-23. Are the prophets opposed to sacrifices in general or is the message more subtle?

16. In Am 7-8 you should notice a repeated pattern which describes the interaction between God and the prophet. Does a certain literary form emerge? In particular notice the pattern shared by Am 7:7-9 and 8:1-3.

17. What are the functions and implications of the rubric "behold days are coming."

X. December 5, 7

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