Hosea 3:1-5

Hosea 3:1 (KJB)

Then 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.


Here Hosea is receiving orders from God to love a woman who is loved by her friend.  The woman is Gomer whom Hosea took in the first chapter.  The word “friend” in the Hebrew is a masculine noun which could be pointing to a husband, betrothed, or boyfriend because God states that she is an adulteress.  God also points out in this verse his love for Israel.  He is contrasting his consistent love for them with the love that Gomer has for her friends which is temporary and adulterated.  The children of Israel were playing the harlot with the false gods of the pagan nations and along with that, no doubt, came the drunken orgies.  The term “flagon” means pitchers. So the liquor was flowing greatly at these drunken orgies which became the catalyst for letting down their guard and becoming sexually involved with others.


Hosea 3:2 (KJB)

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


Fifteen shekels of silver was half the price of a slave.  Exodus 21:32 (KJV) If 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.  Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver by Judas.  He also included in the purchase price one and half homers of barley.  Barley was the offering required for one being accused of adultery.  Barley was also the grain that the poorer people ate.  John 6:9 (KJV) There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?  The feeding of the 5,000 by Jesus was with barley loaves.  A homer was 6.3 bushels, so Hosea bought Gomer back for nine and one half bushels of barley.  Gomer was apparently living with another man and Hosea was buying her back from him.


In October 2018 in the USA a bushel of barley sold for $4.27 so on top of the 15 shekels of silver Hosea paid $64.05 for Gomer.  Then one silver shekel weighed 10.5 grams so that would put the amount of silver at 157.5 grams of silver. A standard measure is one troy ounce of silver is 31.1 grams.  This would mean 5 ounces of silver.  The total buyback of Gomer came out to $64.05 for the barley and December 20, 2018 silver price is $14.77 per troy ounce is $78.82 making the total $142.87. 


Hosea 3:3 (KJB)

And 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.


So once Hosea had purchased Gomer and brought her back to his home, he then began to give her stern instructions that she was no longer to play the harlot with other men and that she was to remain faithful and exclusive as the wife of Hosea.  He imposed these strictures on her for her to remain pure for him.


Hosea 3:4 (KJB)

For 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:


Then God is pronouncing a devastating prophecy about the future of Israel and Judah.  They will no longer have a king over them from their own people but pagan kings will rule over them like the king of Assyria and later the Herodian dynasty.  Herod was not from Israel but was an Edomite.  The princes would have been the lesser rulers in Israel but they will not come from the stock of Israel instead they shall also be foreigners who will rule.  Then according to the Law of God they were to make certain sacrifices such as sin offerings, oblations, wave offerings, and the yearly sacrifice on the Great Day of Atonement but these will cease as they are sent into captivity in Assyria and Babylon.  Those people who had images of false gods would not be allowed to take them into captivity with them as they would be required to take the gods of the conquerors.  The ephod was worn by the priest and no longer would there be any priesthood in operation for them as they go into captivity.  They were also disallowed their teraphim which were the household idols that were used for worship and consultation.  The coming captivity of both Israel and Judah will be a time of affliction and distress.  They wanted to commit spiritual adultery with the false gods and pagan nations, now they will live in those environments.


Hosea 3:5 (KJB)

Afterward 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.


Here we have a verse which serves as both a promise of the return of Judah to the land and also a prophecy of the remnant of the saved in Israel who will seek the LORD.  The ten northern tribes will not be returned to the land of Israel but will be dispersed among the gentile nations.  The ones who will be returned to the land would be the tribe of Judah from which the Messiah would eventually come.  Once people become saved, they begin to seek the LORD “their” God because they will be able to through the Lord Jesus Christ.  David has long been dead at this point probably about 200 years so the passage is not speaking about a reincarnation of the physical David.  Ezekiel 34:23 (KJV) And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.  Ezekiel 37:25 (KJV) And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.  In both verses we see David being mentioned and called a prince and a shepherd which are both references to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The saved shall fear the LORD but not in cowering fear but seeing the LORD as awesome in his might and salvation of souls.  Notice the time in view.  It is the latter days which came after the cross of Christ and continues until the last day of recorded history.  Hebrews 1:2 (KJV) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;