Hosea the Prophet
According to some, Hosea, whose name means "God is help," was from the tribe of Issachar, or more likely, from that of Reuben; he was the son of Beeri. He is the first in order of the twelve minor Prophets and the most ancient of all. He prophesied in the days of the divided Kingdom; the Lord told him to take a harlot to wife (Hosea 1:2), and then an adulteress (ibid., 3:1). The harlot, a known sinner, was a figure of the Kingdom of Israel in Samaria, which openly worshipped idols; the adulteress, lawfully married yet sinning secretly with her lovers, was a figure of the Kingdom of Judah in Jerusalem, which, while having the Temple, and the priesthood, and the divine worship according to the Law, stealthily served the idols also. The Prophet Hosea prophesied for sixty years, and lived for some ninety years, from 810 to 720 B.C. His book is divided into fourteen chapters.
Apolytikion in the Second Tone
As we celebrate the memory of Thy Prophet Hosea, O Lord, through him we beseech Thee to save our souls.
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Initiated by divine illumination, thou wast deemed worthy of the lofty gift of prophecy and foretoldest of the promise of grace, O Prophet. O Hosea, since thou dwellest in God's glory now, do thou rescue from all manner of adversity us who cry to thee: Rejoice, thou vessel of grace divine.