Gomer had been unfaithful to Hosea. But he took her back. And Israel had been spiritually unfaithful with the LORD God. But he took them back.
VERSE 1. The LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman loved by another, and an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods, and love cakes of raisins.”
love a woman loved by another, and an adulteress. This can be interpreted many ways. Here is a how the NASB translation puts it:
NASB translation. Love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet [IS] an adulteress.
Gomer had not been sexually faithful to Hosea. That unfaithfulness symbolized Israel’s spiritual unfaithfulness to the LORD God.
cakes of raisins. These were offered to the fertility goddess Ashera.
I bought her. Hosea bought his wife back. Apparently a slave-trade existed.
for fifteen pieces of silver. The price was substantial.
VERSE 3. I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days. You shall not play the prostitute, and you shall not be with any other man. I will also be so toward you.”
You shall stay with me. Hosea sequestered Gomer in his household. That isolated her from potential lovers.
you shall not be with any other man. Gomer was to be sexually exclusive with Hosea.
I will also be so toward you. Similarly, Hosea would be sexually exclusive with Gomer.
VERSE 4. For the children of Israel shall live many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without sacred stone, and without ephod or idols.
sacred stone. That is, “sacred pillar.” A sample is shown above.
This comes up again in Hosea chapter 10.
VERSE 5. Afterward the children of Israel shall return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king, and shall come with trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.
in the last days. Many people interpret this as a prophecy about the End Times:
Deuteronomy 4:30. When you are in oppression, and all these things have come on you, in the latter days you shall return to the LORD your God and listen to his voice.
Isaiah 2:2. It shall happen in the latter days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.
Hosea 3:5. Afterward the children of Israel shall return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king, and shall come with trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.
Micah 4:1. But in the latter days, it will happen that the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established on the top of the mountains, and it will be exalted above the hills; and peoples will stream to it.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.