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Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

Hosea 3

 

 

Verse 1

HOSEA CHAPTER 3

By the prophet taking unto him an adulteress is showed the desolation of Israel, and their restoration.

Then, or And, Heb. or Furthermore.

Said the Lord; commanded. Unto me; Hosea. Go yet; again, or once more; so it implieth he had once already been commanded and done some such-like thing.

Love a woman: in the former he was commanded to marry, in this he is commanded to love, (the reason of which will appear in the application of the parable,) a woman, though described by her character, yet not named; and though her character would suit well enough to Gomer, yet it was not she, for this woman was to abide for him, Hosea 3:3, but Gomer was presently married to him, or at least so represented; this was brought, Gomer was not.

Beloved of her friend; her husband, though some think it may be some other person or lover.

An adulteress; either already tainted, or that certainly will be tainted with that vice; a divorced woman, separate from her husband because of her falseness to him.

According to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel; let this be the emblem of my love to the children of Israel: by this I intend, saith God, to let Israel know how I have loved, and how she hath loved: how greatly, dearly, constantly on my part; how slightly, inconstantly, falsely on her part.

Who look to other gods: when I adopted them to be a peculiar people to me, to take me for their God, and required they shall have none other, (which relation is well expressed by that of husband and wife,) they have looked, liked, loved other gods, and depended on them, and their hearts have been estranged from me, they have turned downright idolaters. Love flagons of wine; loved the feasts of their idols, where they drank wine to excess, by too great measures, which, without dispute, was usual in the idol feasts, Amos 2:8 1 Corinthians 10:21; or else these flagons of wine speak their loose, drunken, and riotous living.


Verse 2

So I bought her; as I was commanded, I procured, or, as we read it, bought her: which exactly answers to the state of the Jews when in Egypt, tainted with Egyptian idolatry, and poor, without a portion; bought or redeemed to be affianced to God.

Fifteen pieces of silver; whatever was the exact quantity and value of these pieces we need not here curiously inquire; but note, it was half the value of a slave, Exodus 21:32, and was some 37s. 6d.

An homer: this measure might be about fourteen bushels; so the whole will, for her diet, amount to twenty-one bushels, no great provision for her diet; and it is

barley in both places, the meanest kind of provision, and suited to a low condition, Jude 7:13 Ezekiel 4:9,12: all this the fuller to set forth Israel’s indigence and ingratitude to God, and God’s bounty to Israel.


Verse 3

This verse is the form of contract, or the articles of agreement, between the prophet and this woman.

Abide for me; dwell with me, and expect and wait in an unmarried condition, until I see it fit to espouse thee.

Many days; it is not said how long, but a slave, as she is represented here, may not think this severe; the preferment will compensate her waiting.

Thou shalt not play the harlot: this is the third condition, she is to live chaste and modest, not to do as she had done. This was to settle her in a virtuous life, and to prove whether she would betake herself to a life praiseworthy.

Thou shalt not be for another man; she is bound to marry, none other, nor to commit adultery with any other.

So will I also be for thee; in due time I will accomplish the contract, and, as I wait, so I will be for thee. So the deed is mutually sealed and signed.


Verse 4

Now the parable is unfolded and made plain; it shall be with Israel much like as with such a woman, they and she guilty of adultery, both punished with a divorce, both punished long with such afflicted state, both made slaves, kept hardly, and valued meanly, yet in mercy at last pardoned, reaccepted, and preferred, but this after long time of probation: how long we cannot tell, nor list to dispute whether seventy years of Babylon’s captivity, or whether these seventy and the one hundred and thirty years of the ten tribes’ captivity before the two tribes went captives, i.e. two hundred years; or whether till Messiah’s coming, or the general and last conversion of the Jews; long it was to be no doubt.

Without a king; none of their own royal line shall sit on the throne, and rule them, but foreigners, enemies, and they that had conquered them, should be kings over them. So the kingdom ceased, as Hosea 1:4.

Without a prince; the conquering kings will not out of the Jews make their chief officers to rule the Jews, but strangers shall be princes and governors over them.

Without a sacrifice; either right, and according to law, (these sacrifices they had long since cast off,) or idolatrous ones, which they would choose.

Without an image; they could carry none of their images with them, and the Assyrians would not let them make new ones.

Without an ephod; no priest as well as no ephod.

Without teraphim; idolatrous images kept in their private houses to worship and consult with, like the Roman lares and penates, household gods. In one word, such should be the state of these captives, they should have nothing of their own, either in kingdom and civil affairs, or in church and religion, but be wholly under the power and arbitrary wills of their conquering enemies.


Verse 5

Afterward; after these long and sore troubles have broken their hearts and opened their eyes.

Return; repent; it is not a promise of return into their own country.

Seek the Lord their God, to know his way, and to live under his protection and blessing, to worship him, and they shall pray to him, depend on him, consult with him, with ardency and earnestness of desire.

David their king; not son of Jesse, who was long since dead; nor Zerubbabel; but Messiah, who is elsewhere called David, Psalms 132:10 Jeremiah 30:9 Ezekiel 34:24 37:24,25, which see; and Amos 9:11. Shall fear the Lord; with reverence shall pray, depend on, and consult their God, and worship his Son the Messiah, whom the Father sent out of his infinite goodness and kindness towards us.

And his goodness; God and his goodness, i.e. the good and gracious God, such to us in Christ; God in Christ and with Christ shall be worshipped. In the latter days; in the days of the Messiah, in gospel times, and perhaps the last of these latter days.

 


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Bibliography Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Hosea 3:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/hosea-3.html. 1685.

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