Hosea Chapter Three


Read Hosea 3:1-3 – The Atonement for Israel’s Adultery


v.1Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.”


            In the Hosea 1:2 the prophet is instructed by God to take a wife from among the harlots, in this verse he is telling the prophet again that he should love an adulteress, one who cannot be faithful to her marriage vows.  This is the relationship between Israel and Almighty God.  She has played the harlot with false gods and strange worship.  She has partaken excesses of the flesh in the same manner as one might who demanded a flagon of wine instead of the usual wine glass.  A flagon is a large pitcher used in those times to serve any liquid.


v.2So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley:”


            The price of a slave, man or woman, was about 30 pieces of silver; the price to be paid if a manservant or maidservant was accidentally killed.


Exodus 21:32If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.”


The buying of a wife was common practice in those cultures as we are told by inspiration in:


Ruth 4:10 “Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day


The fact that Hosea was able to buy Gomer for 15 pieces of silver and 1˝ homer’s of barley would indicate that she was past her prime; that her beauty and desirability had been diminished by time and the ravages of her profession.


v.33And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.”


            When Gomer is returned again to him, she will be placed into a situation where she will not be able to have access to men, even Hosea.  She will not be allowed to play the harlot, will not be in a position to seek after other men.  During this time Hosea will see if there is fruit brought forth worthy of repentance as in:


Matthew 3:7-87But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:”


The prophet says that she will abide in this manner for “MANY DAYS”, a long, long time.  The parallel is applied also to the nation of Israel.  In the next verses we will see just how long.


Read Hosea 3:4-5 – The Desolation of Israel


v.4For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:”


            The children of Israel will abide in their captivity many days.  And just how long was Israel, not Judah, but the northern kingdom of Israel to whom Hosea was sent to endure their captivity?  The capture of Israel by Sargon, king of Assyria occurred in the sixth year of king Hezekiah of Judah.  This was about 722 BC.  Christ came to this earth and died for the sins of all men in about 33AD, therefore we have about 755 years.

            They were without a king or a prince.  They ceased to exist as a people and were but captives and slaves to those who owned them.  We don’t know where they were because neither secular history nor the scripture tell us.  All we know is that they were carried away from their homeland by king Sargon of Assyria and were not returned as Judah was.


Hosea 13:10I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?”


God will be their king in due time, when their exile from him is ended.

            They will have neither the things necessary nor the opportunity for worship.  They will not be allowed to sacrifice, neither would Judah in Babylon because Judah is from Jerusalem and the temple has been destroyed, thus the synagogue worship was established.  They would not have an image to worship either, that is the meaning of the next phrase.  What was an ephod? An ephod was part of the priestly garments that God required the Levites wear.


Exodus 28:44And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.”


They were required to come before God in worship properly dressed; a lesson that many folks need to learn today.

            In addition to not having the proper garments to worship God as proscribed under the Mosaic Law they would also would not have a teraphim.  What is a teraphim?  It is a household image or idol, highly prized and regarded as the keeper and protector of the household.  When Jacob left Padan-aram Rachel stole Laban’s teraphim:


Genesis 31:19 “And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father’s.”


This was a major reason why Laban chased Jacob all the way to Gilead from Haran, a distance of several hundred miles.

            For more than 700 years they would be without prophet, priest or king but there would be an afterward, those years will pass and then.


v.5Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.”


            We find this prophecy also in the book of Jeremiah, another recorder of the Word of God, given him by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  Speaking specifically of Israel because of his reference to Ephraim we find:


Jeremiah 31:9They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.”


That all of Israel was to be included, not just the northern kingdom, is confirmed further by a later reference also by Jeremiah:


Jeremiah 50:4In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.”


Here Jeremiah writes that the children of Israel will come together along with the children of Jacob and be reunited once again in the Lord.  How can this be?  John said Jesus came to the whole world:


John 1:29The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”


And the Apostle writes:


I John 2:22And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”


Anywhere the gospel of Christ was preached, and it was preached over the entire world during the 1st century, the descendants of Israel had opportunity to return to God through their obedience to the new covenant that God made with all mankind.


William L. Schwegler, Sunset church of Christ, Shreveport, LA; September 14, 2008