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Meaning and etymology of the name Hosea




Hosea Hosea


The names Hosea and Hoshea are really the same, but for some reason people have chosen to pronounce the name of the prophet Hosea slightly different than the name of the others of the same name (perhaps out of reverence; perhaps Hosea's father had a speech impediment, we don't know). That difference is preserved in the masoretic symbols but not in the letters of the name. Hosea would be spelled Hosea (see the dot over the w-shaped letter) or even Hosea, but it isn't. The name is always spelled Hoshea; Hoshea.

Besides the prophet Hosea, the son of Beeri, there are four Hoshea's mentioned in the Bible. First of all there is Hoshea the son of Nun, whom Moses renamed Joshua (Numbers 13:16). Then there is a chief of Ephraim named Hoshea (1 Chronicles 27:20). The last king of Israel is called Hoshea (2 Kings 15:30). And among the signers of the covenant of Ezra is also a Hoshea (Nehemiah 10:23).

The name Hoshea comes from the root yasha (yasha), meaning be saved, delivered. Derivations yasha (yesha) and yeshua (yeshua) both mean salvation. Derivation shoa (shoa) indicates a 'free man,' an independent person.

Where the heh at the beginning of the name comes from is hard to establish. It maybe the definite article, The Salvation, suggesting that even though there are other salvations, this is the right one. It may be a remnant of ho (ho), which is a kind of exclamation like 'alas!' or 'aye!'. It is used only once in the Bible and that in a negative way, in Amos 5:16. But perhaps it can also be used positively. That way the name Hoshea would mean: Yo! Saved!

For the meaning of the name Hosea, NOBS Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names both read Salvation.

Other names that are formed from the word yasha are Abishua, Bathshua, Elisha, Hoshaiah, Isaiah, Ishi, Jeshaiah, Jesus, Joshua, Mesha and Shoa / Shua(h). And also related is the word Hosanna.






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