Photo by Jakub Kapusnak

Fish play an Important role in both Joseph Descans’ novel and the biblical account in Hosea.

Joseph Descans, author of Hosea: The Prophet Who Married a Prostitute, has written a modern take on the prophet Hosea’s story in the Bible. Hosea’s tale has been a point of controversy for many years, particularly regarding its moral challenges. But regardless of its scandalous nature, the story’s main point remains: God loves us no matter who we are or what we’ve done.

However, we won’t look at the story’s main point today. Instead, we will focus on the fish’s role in Joseph’s novel and in the Bible story.

Hosea’s Story as First Described in the Bible

The book of Hosea tells the story of God’s loving relationship with his chosen people. A relationship in which God remains faithful even in the face of sin, which prompts God to judge the whole country when they worship other gods and mistreat one another.

The book of Hosea constitutes a compilation of narrative accounts of Hosea’s marriage and childbirth (1:2-2:1; 3:1–5) and prophetic messages from the prophet Hosea. In many Bible commentaries you see, Hosea’s story has been entirely dissected and closely studied for years.

What Is the use of the Fish in the Bible?

Here is Hosea 4:1 – 4:6; in the bible:

“Hear the word of the LORD,
You children of Israel,
For the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land:
There is no truth or mercy
Or knowledge of God in the land.
By swearing and lying,
Killing and stealing and committing adultery,
They break all restraint,
With bloodshed upon bloodshed.
Therefore the land will mourn;
And everyone who dwells there will waste away
With the beasts of the field
And the birds of the air;
Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.”

What these verses explain is the startling assertion that sin has an impact on every element of God’s creation. The animals, the lands, and even the fish are impacted by Israel’s transgressions. Even the fish of the sea are taken away, according to Hosea.

This serves as a broad reminder of the significance of our role as custodians of creation. Creation itself is impacted whenever the head of creation (humanity) commits sin. Others are always impacted by sin.

The fish in Hosea’s story suffer quite a grim consequence of God’s judgement. Joseph Descans also uses fish motif in his book, but in a different manner. 

The Fish’s Role in Hosea: The Prophet Who Married a Prostitute

Candace is fascinated by the large fish tank the moment she sees it, but the fish take on a more substantial purpose in Chapter 26 of the novel Hosea: The Prophet Who Married a Prostitute. Here, Candace (Gomer) can be seen sitting on a couch, staring at fish in the tank. She is tired from another sleepless night of watching over her and Daniel’s (Hosea) baby named DJ. Candace falls asleep from sheer exhaustion and has a crazy dream.

Fish play a significant part in the story from that point on; driving her focus on her nefarious plans.

Candace ends up believing that her situation is now something positive, not because she’s overcome by motherly love. Instead, she interprets her dream as a sign for her to escape the life she’s currently in and that she will execute her plan to leave once DJ reaches two years old. One could say that the different fishes in the aquarium remind Candace of her goals and invigorate her to always keep her eyes on the prize, which is freedom from her perceived maternal prison.

Readers will see Candace becoming more caring, loving, and patient in her new pursuit, but it’s not for the right reasons. As the book puts it:

“Candice didn’t carry the pure, joyful presence that Daniel had, but her newfound goal and optimistic determination that she would fulfill it, made her a very enjoyable person to be around; she was fake but convincingly genuine at the same time.”

The fish in Hosea’s story are just mere appetizers.

If you think the fish’s role in the biblical story is interesting, wait until you read Joseph Descans novel. Readers will enjoy reading this excellent modern take on Hosea’s intriguing story.

Go ahead and buy a copy of the book today, and don’t forget to check out our other articles to discover the facets of unconditional love!

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