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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Hosea 3

 

 

Verses 1-5


The Attempts to Reclaim the erring Wife

In an episode in the life of Hosea and his relations with Gomer (cp. Hosea 2:14) the prophet finds a parable of Jehovah's punishment of Israel. Having bought back his erring wife, as though she were a slave, he subjects her to gentle restraint, depriving her for a time of conjugal rights, in hope of securing her love (1-3). So Israel, deprived in exile of forms of government and of outward worship, would be ready to receive her true king and spouse (4, 5).

1. Her friend] rather, 'neighbour,' i.e. a guilty lover. To refer it to Hosea involves a clumsy tautology. Yet, etc.] RV 'and an adulteress, even as the Lord loveth.' The love of the prophet for his adulterous wife, here as before spoken of as a direct inspiration of God, is a symbol of the love of Jehovah for Israel, who nevertheless coquets with idols.

Flagons of wine] RV 'cakes of raisins,' such as were offered to idols.

2. Bought her] She appears to have become the voluntary slave-concubine of her paramour. Fifteen.. silver] presumably the ordinary price for a female slave. Joseph was sold for twenty (Genesis 37:28).

3. For me] i.e. as my property. For another man] RV 'any man's wife.' For awhile Gomer was to live as though unmarried.

4. Gomer's isolation is the symbol of that of exiled Israel, deprived of political organisation and religious services. Sacrifice, etc.] cp. Hosea 2:11. All forms of religious symbolism are included in this v. Image] RV 'pillar.' A religious symbol, probably borrowed from the Canaanites. Ephod] The word is most frequently used of the high priest's dress, but in Judges 8:27 of a golden or gold-plated image set up by Gideon, and that would appear to be the meaning here. Teraphim] small household images, probably something like Roman Lares: see Genesis 31:34. Jeremiah 17:5, etc. Their use was probably general in early times. Even David did not discard them in his early life (1 Samuel 19:13.), and they were in use at the time of Josiah's reformation in Judah (2 Kings 23:24).

5. Return] often used of a new line of action or change of life: cp. Hosea 14:7. David their king] The idolatrous worship of Israel was closely connected with their political schism: see 1 Kings 12:27-29. Hosea contemplates once more a united kingdom under the Davidic monarchy. It is quite possible, however, that by David is here meant the Messiah; cp. Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:24; Ezekiel 37:24. In the latter days] lit. 'In the after part of the days,' i.e. at the end of time, used of the Messianic age: cp. Isaiah 2:2; Micah 4:1.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Hosea 3:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/hosea-3.html. 1909.

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