Hosea 3


וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי עֹוד לֵךְ אֱהַב־אִשָּׁה אֲהֻבַת רֵעַ וּמְנָאָפֶת כְּאַהֲבַת יְהוָה אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהֵם פֹּנִים   3:1    אֶל־אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וְאֹהֲבֵי אֲשִׁישֵׁי עֲנָבִים׃

Hose. 3:1   And the Lord said to me, “Again go, love a woman, beloved of a neighbor and an adulteress, like the Lord loves the children of Israel, while they are turning to other gods and are lovers of raisin cakes of passion.”

וָאֶכְּרֶהָ לִּי בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר כָּסֶף וְחֹמֶר שְׂעֹרִים וְלֵתֶךְ שְׂעֹרִים׃   3:2

Hose. 3:2   So I bought her for myself with fifteen shekels and a homer of barley and a half homer of barley,

וָאֹמַר אֵלֶיהָ יָמִים רַבִּים תֵּשְׁבִי לִי לֹא תִזְנִי וְלֹא תִהְיִי לְאִישׁ וְגַם־אֲנִי אֵלָיִךְ׃   3:3

Hose. 3:3   and I said to her, “You shall sit down many days for me; you shall not be a harlot, and you shall not be any man's, and neither will I be into you.”

Hosea makes it seem as if he is actually doing what the Lord told him to do.  It appears not to be just a symbolic or metaphoric act.  Yet this trick appears to be part of his style of writing so far.  I feel confident that he is not actually performing these acts of first marrying a harlot and now taking another’s, an adulteress.  They must be metaphoric symbols for Israel.

כִּי יָמִים רַבִּים יֵשְׁבוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵין מֶלֶךְ וְאֵין שָׂר וְאֵין זֶבַח וְאֵין מַצֵּבָה וְאֵין אֵפֹוד וּתְרָפִים׃   3:4

Hose. 3:4   For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king and without a prince and without a sacrifice and without a pillar and without ephod or teraphim.

אַחַר יָשֻׁבוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבִקְשׁוּ אֶת־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְאֵת דָּוִד מַלְכָּם וּפָחֲדוּ אֶל־יְהוָה וְאֶל־טוּבֹו   3:5          בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים׃

Hose. 3:5   Afterward the children of Israel shall return, and they shall seek the Lord, their God, and David, their king, and they shall be reverent to the Lord and to His goodness at the end of days.

As I translate and interpret this last verse, at the end of days all of us Jews will finally come to recognize the Lord’s goodness and our error in fearing Him in the past.  To me, this is a personally confirming statement.  Also notice, now, the mention of David, their king.  Apparently, Hosea’s vision is that David himself will return at the end of days.


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