Hosea 3 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Hosea 3)

Verse 1

[1] 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.

Of her friend — Her husband.

An adulteress — Either already tainted, or that certainly will be tainted with that vice.

According to the love — Let this be the emblem of my love to the children of Israel.

And love — Love the feasts of their idols, where they drink wine to excess.

Verse 2

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

Fifteen pieces of silver — It was half the value of a slave, Exodus 21:32.

An homer of barley — About fourteen bushels.

Of barley — The meanest kind of provision; and suited to a low condition, all this is, to set forth Israel's indigence and ingratitude, and God's bounty to Israel.

Verse 3

[3] 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.

Abide for me — Thou shalt wait unmarried, until I espouse thee.

Verse 4

[4] 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:

For — Now the parable is unfolded, it shall be with Israel as with such a woman, they and she were guilty of adultery, both punished long, both made slaves, kept hardly, and valued meanly, yet in mercy at last pardoned, and re-accepted tho' after a long time of probation.

Without a king — None of their own royal line shall sit on the throne.

A prince — Strangers shall be princes and governors over them.

Without a sacrifice — Offered according to the law.

An image — They could carry none of their images with them, and the Assyrians would not let them make new ones.

Ephod — No priest as well as no ephod.

And without teraphim — Idolatrous images kept in their private houses, like the Roman household gods; in one word, such should be the state of their captives; they should have nothing of their own either in religious or civil affairs, but be wholly under the power of their conquering enemies.

Verse 5

[5] 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.

Return — Repent.

And David — The Messiah who is the son of David.

And his goodness — God and his goodness; that is, the good and gracious God. God in Christ and with Christ shall be worshipped.

The latter days — In the days of the Messiah, in gospel-times.