Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Religion, Old Testament Studies PhD

First Advisor

Richard M. Davidson

Second Advisor

Jon Paulien

Third Advisor

Randall W. Younker


This study provides an investigation of the occurrences of the designation "Israel," the related names "Judah," "Jacob," "Joseph," "Isaac," "David," "Ephraim," and their combinations in the books of Amos and Hosea in order to find out their referents and the reasons for their usages. Chapter 1 provides a statement of the problem, pointing out the considerable divergence of opinions regarding the etymology, origin, and usage of the designation "Israel." Chapter 2 begins with a review of etymological and historical points of view in order to provide a background for the study. Then follows a review of the literature that addresses the issue of the name "Israel" in the books of Amos and Hosea. In spite of the valuable contributions made by a few scholars for the understanding of these names in the books of Amos and Hosea, these contributions are only partial and incomplete. Chapters 3 and 4 provide an exegetical and theological treatment of every occurrence of the designation "Israel" and related expressions in Amos and Hosea. Chapter 5 summarizes the research and sets forth some conclusions that may be drawn from it. A major conclusion of this dissertation is that the name "Israel" in the books of Amos and Hosea is not a monolithic designation, but that it is used in reference both to individuals and to groups. Depending on the context, "Israel" and related expressions have a variety of connotations— tribal, socio-political, religious/cultic, or even geographical. This research has revealed that by use of the related expressions, both Amos and Hosea reinvest the designation "Israel" with its intended theological content. Both prophets restore the covenantal connotation of the name "Israel." Going back before the institution of the monarchy, they use individual heroes of faith (namely, the patriarchs) in order to delineate the ideal identity and mission of God's people. The use of the tribal language ("sons of," "house of," "family") and of the covenant concept ("my people") provides the distinctive and unique features that characterize "Israel." Finally, the name "Israel" is theologically related to the destiny of non-Israelite peoples. The existence of "Israel" as a tribal society that co-existed with the state during the monarchy allowed the vision of a reunion of one people of God that would consist of persons of both Israelite and non-Israelite descent. From the perspective of the books of Amos and Hosea, the ultimate leadership of the Messiah is a key concept for such a reunion or for any definition of a future "Israel."

Subject Area

Jews -- History -- To 586 B.C., Bible, Amos--Criticism, interpretation, etc., Bible, Hosea--Criticism, interpretation, etc.


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