Hosea’s World


Hosea lived in Northern Israel, or what would be refered to as Samaria from approximately 780 – 722 BC.  His birth-year coincides with a historic solar eclipse in China (780). 

The 8th Century BC, Hosea’s time, was a period of great changes in civilizations.  In Egypt, the 23rd and 24th dynasties led to rule from Nubia in the 25 Dynasty.  Rome was founded in 753 BC and Greece was colonizing other regions of the Mediterranean and Black Seas.  The Neo-Assyrian Empire, which we will talk more about tonight, reached the peak of its power, conquering the Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC.  However, through a series of alliances, some with Assyria itself, the Kingdom of Judah is able to resist conquest.  In 727 BC, just 5 years before the northern kingdom falls, Babylonia, which was later to conquer the Kingdom of Judah, made itself independent of the Assyrian Empire.  So you have this tension in the region.  Another interesting note is that in 704, the capital of the Assyrian Empire is moved to Ninevah.  As many here know, this ministry was founded on the walls of Ninevah.

Apart from conquest, a number of culturally important events are recorded during Hosea’s time:

             -While the Olympic Games is believed to reach as far back as the 13th century BC, the year 776   is retrospectively set as the first Olympiad.

            -June 15, 763 BC: A solar eclipse recorded on this date is used to fix the chronology of the           Ancient Near    East.

            -April 21, 753 BC is traditionally thought to be the date that Romulus founded Rome.  This         marks the beginning of the Roman ‘Ab urbe condita’ calendar.        

            So you have two civilizations setting their calendars during Hosea’s time.

             -Near the end of the 8th Century BC, the Upanishads, which are a sacred text of Hinduism, are     written.

            -Homer’s life and his epics are dated to the 8th Century BC as well.

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