Old Testament
Lesson 34
“I Will Betroth Thee unto Me in Righteousness”

Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will help us understand that the Lord is loving and merciful and will forgive us when we repent and return to him.

Scripture references for study:  Hosea 1–3; Hosea 11; Hosea 13–14
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.

Lesson 34 Handout (PDF)

Historical Background

  1. Time frame:
  2. Hosea lived during the reign of the Israelite king Jeroboam II. It was under his reign that Israel reached its greatest size.
  3. Conditions during this period:
  4. Contemporary Prophets:
  5. The prophet Hosea:  "Hosea gives a more intimate view of his personal affairs in his writing than any of the other prophets except Jeremiah. He is a man who suffered many hardships to keep the Lord's commandments. His writing is highly emotional and less objective than the writing of his contemporaries." (Duane S. Crowther in Prophets & Prophecies of the Old Testament, p271)
  6. According to scholars this book has suffered in the process of transmission and is generally regarded as being more corrupt than any other Old Testament book. This does not seem to take away from its basic theme.
  7. Source for the information in this section:  Prophets & Prophecies of the Old Testament, pp270-281.

Hosea Describes The Relationship Between The Lord And Israel

  2. The book of Hosea compares the Lord's relationship with Israel (and the Church today) and the relationship between a husband and a wife.
  3. READ HOSEA 1:2-3. Hosea takes Gomer as wife.
  4. READ HOSEA 2:5,13. Gomer plays the harlot.
  5. READ HOSEA 2:8-9. Hosea to return and take away Gomer's goods.
  6. Consider the attitude of the husband towards his unfaithful wife:
  7. The husband promised his wife if she would return to him, "And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies" (v19).
  8. In Hosea 3:1-2, the husband purchased his wife from her lover, "So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley" (v2).

The Lord Continues To Invite Israel To Repent & Return To Him

  1. Throughout the book of Hosea, the Lord reproves the Israelites for great sins. Through Hosea, the Lord describes the captivity and destruction that will result from Israel's wickedness. He invites Israel to repent and return to him. Israel will be rewarded according to its faithfulness.
  2. READ HOSEA 11:4. The Lord raises the yoke.
  3. "And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt."
  4. (Hosea 12:13)
  5. Hosea's final words:  "Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein" (Hosea 14:9).

Gospel Doctrine Notebook

  1. The book of Hosea reminds us of the importance of being faithful to the commandments of the Lord. We are also reminded that if we sin, there is still a chance for us to be restored to our former blessings. If we repent and strive to live faithfully, we can still be redeemed through the atonement. What a wonderful blessing! It gives each of us hope.
  2. Record your thoughts on Hosea's comparison of Israel to the unfaithful wife. How might these principle apply to your life?

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Changes last made on:  14 August 2014