(Heb. the same name as "Hosea," q.v.), the name of several persons.
1. The original name (De 32:44, Sept. Ι᾿ησοῦς, Vulg. Josue; A.V. in Nu 13:8,16, "Oshea," Sept. Αὐσὴ,Vulg. Osee) of the son of Nun, afterwards called JOSHUA SEE JOSHUA (q.v.), by the more distinct recognition of the divine name Jah.
2. (Sept. ᾿Ωσή; Vulg. Osee). A son of Azariah in the time of David; also an Ephraimite and prince of his people (1Ch 27:20). B.C. 1014.
3. The prophet Hosea (q.v.).
4. Hosea (Sept. ᾿Ωσηέ, Vulg. Osee), the son of Elah, and last king of Israel. In the twentieth (posthumous) year of Jotham (2Ki 15:30), i.e. B.C. 737-6, he conspired against and slew his predecessor Pekah, thereby fulfilling a prophecy of Isaiah (Isa 7:16). Although Josephus calls Hoshea a friend of Pekah (φίλου τινὸς ἐπβουλεύσαντος αὐτῷ, Ant. 9, 13, 1), we have no ground for calling this "a treacherous murder" (Prideaux, 1, 16). But he did not become established on the throne he had thus usurped till after an interregnum of warfare for eight years, namely, in the twelfth year of Ahaz (2Ki 17:1), i.e. B.C. 729-8. "He did evil in the sight of the Lord." but not in the same degree as his predecessors (2Ki 17:2). According to the Rabbis, this superiority consisted in his removing from the frontier cities the guards placed there by his predecessors to prevent their subjects from worshipping at Jerusalem (Seder Olam Rabba, cap. 22, quoted by Prideaux, 1, 16), and in his not hindering the Israelites from accepting the invitation of Hezekiah (2Ch 30:10), nor checking their zeal against idolatry (2Ch 31:1). The compulsory cessation of the calf-worship may have removed his greatest temptation, for Tiglath Pileser had carried off the golden calf from Dan some years before (Sed. 01. Rab. 22), and that at Bethel was taken away by Shalmaneser in his first invasion (2Ki 17:3; Ho 10:14). Shortly after his accession (B.C. 728) he submitted to the supremacy of Shalmaneser, who appears to have entered his territory with the intention of subduing it by force if resisted (2Ki 17:3), and, indeed, seems to have stormed the strong caves of Beth-arbel (Ho 10:14), but who retired pacified with a present. This peaceable temper, however, appears not to have continued long. The intelligence that Hosea, encouraged perhaps by the revolt of Hezekiah, had entered into a confederacy with So, king of Egypt, with the view of shaking off the Assyrian yoke, caused Shalmaneser to return and punish the rebellious king of Israel by imprisonment for withholding the tribute for several years exacted from his country (2Ki 17:4), B.C. cir. 725. He appears to have been again released, probably appeasing the conqueror by a large ransom; but a second relapse into revolt soon afterwards provoked the king of Assyria to march an army into the land of Israel, B.C. 723; and after a three-years' siege Samaria was taken and destroyed, and the ten tribes were sent into the countries beyond the Euphrates, B.C. 720 (2Ki 17:5-6; 2Ki 18:9-12). The king no doubt perished in the sack of the city by the enraged victor, or was only spared for the torture of an Assyrian triumph. He was apparently treated with the utmost indignity (Mic 5:1). That he disappeared very suddenly, like "foam upon the water," we may infer from Ho 13:11; Ho 10:7. His name occurs on the Assyrian monuments. The length of the siege was owing to the fact that this "glorious and beautiful" city was strongly situated, like "a crown of pride" among her hills (Isa 28:1-5). During the course of the siege Shalmaneser must have died, for it is certain that Samaria was taken by his successor Sargon, who thus laconically describes the event in his annals: "Samaria I looked at, I captured; 27,280 men (families?) who dwelt in it I carried away, I constructed fifty chariots in their country ... I appointed a governor over them, and continued upon them the tribute of the former people" (Botta, p. 145, 11, quoted by Dr. Hincks, Journ. of Sacr. Lit. Oct. 1858; Layard, Nin. and Bab. 1, 148). For an account of the subsequent fortunes of the unhappy Ephraimites, the places to which they were transplanted by the policy of their conqueror and his officer, "the great and noble Asnapper" (Ezr 4:10), and the nations by which they were superseded, SEE SAMARIA. Hoshea came to the throne too late, and governed a kingdom torn to pieces by foreign invasion and intestine broils. Sovereign after sovereign had fallen by the dagger of the assassin; and we see from the dark and terrible delineations of the contemporary prophets, SEE HOSEA; SEE MICAH; SEE ISAIAH, that murder and idolatry, drunkenness and lust, had eaten like "an incurable wound" (Mic 1:9) into the inmost heart of the national morality. Ephraim was dogged to its ruin by the apostate policy of the renegade who had asserted its independence (2 Kings 17; Joseph. Ant. 9,14; Prideaux, 1, 15 sq.; Keil, On Kings, 2, 50 sq., English ed.; Jahn, Hebr. Corn. § 40; Ewald, Gesch. 3. 607-613; Rosenmüller, Bibl. Geogr. chap. 1, English translated; Rawlinson, Herod. 1, 149). SEE ISRAEL, KINGDOM OF.
5. HOSHEA (Sept. ᾿Ωσηέ, Vulg. Osee), one of the chief Israelites who joined in the sacred covenant after the Captivity (Ne 10:23). B.C. cir. 410.