In the 8th Century BCE, Assyria was advancing upon the northern Kingdom of Israel. In order to save their kingdom from the Assyrians, the northerners were debating or had already made alliances with other countries including Egypt. Hosea, a northerner and prophet, railed against allying with a foreign country and culture. Hosea feels that if the northern kingdom makes alliances with other foreign countries for the purpose of self-preservation, the Israelite's will lose their faithfulness to God and thus God's benevolence towards them.
Hosea compares these alliances with foreign countries to an adulterous wife or whore. Israel would be the adulterous wife forsaking their faithfulness to God. Hosea explains that Israel would be like a whore that is only interested in money from the foreign countries. Israel would be like an adulterous wife that is easily tempted by jewellery; Israel would leave a loving relationship with God for mere trinkets. Hosea warns Israel to cease worshiping the bull and the calves of Baal of the foreign countries. He demands Israel to return to the ever faithful Yahweh. God is the faithful husband who loves Israel. Israel is God's love for it was God that led the Israelites out of Egypt and slavery. The final chapter of Hosea states "Return, O Isreal, to the Lord your God., for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
For Hosea, preservation of religion and the covenant with God takes precedence over preservation of a nation. For Hosea, losing one's identification with God and one's tenants of the religion are worse than losing one's identification with one's country or kingdom.