Hosea pays a prostitute to abstain from sex in order to convey the message that the Israelites will return to Yahweh.
Hosea hires a prostitute: “Then I hired her for fifteen [shekels of] silver, a homer of barley, and a lethech of barley” (v. 2)
III. Important Verses
(the entire chapter)
vv. 1-5: The LORD said to me further, “Go, befriend a woman who, while befriended by a companion, consorts with others, just as the LORD befriends the Israelites, but they turn to other gods and love the cups of the grape.” Then I hired her for fifteen [shekels of] silver, a homer of barley, and a lethech of barley; and I stipulated with her, “In return, you are to go a long time without either fornicating or marrying; even I [shall not cohabit] with you.” For the Israelites shall go a long time without king and without officials, without sacrifice and without cult pillars, and without ephod and teraphim. Afterward, the Israelites will turn back and will seek the LORD their God and David their king — and they will thrill over the LORD and over His bounty in the days to come.
1. God tells Hosea to find a promiscuous woman
2-3. Metaphor: Hosea tells the woman to abstain from sex
4. Lesson: Israel will be without civil and religious infrastructure
5. The people will return to God
No comment today. Stay tuned.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
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