The Agora
Bible Commentary

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Hosea 3

Hos 3:1

GO, SHOW YOUR LOVE TO YOUR WIFE AGAIN: "We are brought back to the current relationship of both husbands to their wives, and as far as Hosea is concerned the outcome is a happy one. The first verse reveals the profound spirit of love, pity and forgiveness that is so characteristic of God. It made Him send the prophet to do what He Himself had done throughout history: to love and to seek the sinner in order to restore her to favour. It was not an easy task for Hosea, even though it may have been in his heart, because Gomer had destroyed his happiness and ruined his marriage. Nevertheless he obeyed the divine command... There is a consistent divine logic behind this command: I love the sinner, therefore you must love your wife who has sinned; I pity the wayward, hence you must pity your wife who has betrayed you; I forgive the disobedient, so you must forgive your wife who disobeyed the marriage covenant; I am compassionate to the weak, thus you must show compassion to the wife who yielded to temptation. This is the divine way of Life" (JM, Xd 117:6).

THE LORD SAID TO ME, "GO, SHOW YOUR LOVE TO YOUR WIFE AGAIN...": "Whilst it is easy [and true] to say that Hosea and his relationship with Gomer is a pattern of God's relationship with wayward Israel we should not forget the suffering of the prophet in all this.

"Hosea had emotion, needs and feelings. If we could put ourselves in the place of Hosea and share his feelings about his wife we would be better able to appreciate the effect that our waywardness has on the Father.

"As a general point, we should not minimise the trauma of events in the lives of God's servants just because we are able to say they were types. We have an advantage over them when looking at the record. We know the end of the matter and we can read the details in a few minutes, but the actions spoken of can often spread over 50 years or more" (PF).

SACRED RAISIN CAKES: Sacrificial offerings to idols.

Hos 3:2

FIFTEEN SHEKELS: Only half the price of a slave (Exo 21:32).

BARLEY: The cheapest of grains.

Hos 3:3

YOU ARE TO LIVE WITH ME MANY DAYS: A period of probation: separation and discipline. "After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife" (Deu 21:13).

Hos 3:4

SACRED STONES: Heb "massebah" (from rt "standing", as an upright pillar or idol), representing idolatrous worship, adopted from Israel's neighbors (cf 2Ki 3:2; 10:26-28; 17:10).

EPHOD: A High Priest garment (Exo 28:6,15) which contained the Urim and Thummim, a divinely appointed method by which the High Priest could ask for and receive a divine revelation (see 1Sa 23:9; 30:7).

IDOL: "Teraphim". Images probably used for divination (cp Gen 31:19-34).

Hos 3:5

THE ISRAELITES WILL RETURN: Having forsaken their idols: Zech 9:9; 10:10-12; 12:6-10; 13:6-9; Eze 37:21-28.

DAVID THEIR KING: The restored throne of David: 2Sa 7:12-16; Psa 89:3,4,19; Luk 1:32,33.

Previous Index Next