The Bible – Old Testament
1 2 Again the LORD said to me: Give your love to a woman beloved of a paramour, an adultress; Even as the LORD loves the people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and are fond of raisin cakes.
3 So I bought her for fifteen pieces of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.
Then I said to her: “Many days you shall wait for me; you shall not play the harlot Or belong to any man; I in turn will wait for you.”
4 For the people of Israel shall remain many days without king or prince, Without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or household idols.
5 Then the people of Israel shall turn back and seek the LORD, their God, and David, their king; They shall come trembling to the LORD and to his bounty, in the last days.
1 [1-5] Hosea is instructed to take Gomer back, redeeming her from her paramours. On condition of her amendment, she will be restored to her former position of wife. This in turn signifies God’s enduring love for his people. He will put the people through a period of trial – the dissolution of the kingdom – in order that they may return to him wholeheartedly.
3  Homer: about ten bushels. Lethech: a half-homer.
4  Sacred pillar: the stone massebah, originally perhaps a phallic symbol, representing Baal. These were also used, with another signification, in Israelite worship; see notes on ⇒ Genesis 28:18; ⇒ Exodus 34:13. Ephod: an instrument used in consulting the deity; cf ⇒ 1 Sam 23:6-12; ⇒ 30:7; see notes on ⇒ Exodus 28:6, ⇒ 15-30. Household idols: images regarded as the tutelary deities of the household; cf ⇒ Genesis 31:19; ⇒ Judges 17:5; ⇒ 18:14, ⇒ 17- 18.