Hosea 12-13

From John:

There’s a paper under Prophets on these chapters that studies them as
a curated compilation of short prophetic messages, assembled as a
series of units that critique Israel for its treachery and
waywardness, warn Israel of trouble that Yahweh will bring to it as a
consequence, and recollect events from Israel’s story that push it
towards reflection and change. In pressing it in this direction, Hosea
makes systematic use of ambiguity, allusiveness, and paronomasia as he
seeks to drive Israel to work out what his messages mean and what they
imply for it. His recollections of events related in the Torah and
Former Prophets also contribute to that agenda; in this respect his
recollection of Jacob’s story in 12:4–5 [3–4] is especially
significant. It is not clear whether he would have known the Genesis
story in the form we have it, but this uncertainty does not inhibit
comparison of his version of Jacob’s story and the Genesis version.
Both are sparing in their judgments on a person such as Jacob, which
contributes to the way Hosea makes the story a repository of ambiguity
and allusiveness that in this respect matches the rest of the two
chapters in contributing to an encouragement of reflection and change
on Israel’s part.