Hosea 3 – IN the third chapter we are brought back to the current relationship of both husbands to their wives, and as far as Hosea is concerned the outcome is a happy one. The first verse reveals the profound spirit of love, pity and forgiveness that is so characteristic of God. It made Him send the prophet to do what He Himself had done throughout history: to love and to seek the sinner in order to restore her to favour. It was not an easy task for Hosea, even though it may have been in his heart, because Gomer had destroyed his happiness and ruined his marriage. Nevertheless he obeyed the divine command: “Go again, love a woman who is beloved of a paramour (unlawful lover) and is an adulteress; even as the Lord loves the people of Israel though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins”, which were the sacrificial offerings to idols (3:1).

There is a consistent divine logic behind this command: I love the sinner, therefore you must love your wife who has sinned; I pity the wayward, hence you must pity your wife who has betrayed you; I forgive the disobedient, so you must forgive your wife who disobeyed the marriage covenant; I am compassionate to the weak, thus you must show compassion to the wife who yielded to temptation. This is the divine way of Life.

JOHN MARSHALL, The Christadelphian, 1980, page 6.


3Then 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. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: 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. 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: 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.