The first in the traditional listing by our sages of the group of Prophets known as the "Twelve," he prophesied in the final century of the First Temple, approximately 2600 years ago. According to Maimonides, Hoshea was also a significant link in the chain of the "Transmission of the Oral Law"; he received from King Zechariah and his court, and taught it to the prophet Amos and his court.

Hoshea passed away in Babylonia. But, since the roads to Palestine were dangerous, he did not want to burden anyone with the task of burying him in the Holy Land. He therefore instructed his disciples as follows: When he passed away, immediately insert his body into an "aron," a casket, and tie it onto a camel. Then let the camel go unguided. Wherever the camel would stop, let the Jewish community there bury him, as per a letter that he would write. The camel left and traveled, undisturbed, and arrived (according to "Shalshelet Hakabbalah") at the ancient Jewish cemetery of Tzefat. There the Jewish community found the casket, read the letter and buried the Prophet, in accordance with his wishes, amidst great honor.