The LORD commands Hosea to retrieve his wife Gomer in love, even though she is an adulteress. This gracious act illustrates God’s love for Israel who turns to other gods.
Hosea obeys the LORD’s command and buys his wife Gomer back. But to discipline Gomer, Hosea asks her to live in complete abstinence of sexual relations for many days, to stop playing the harlot, and to refrain from marrying another man, before the two of them can resume their normal married life.
Gomer’s probationary period illustrates Israel’s experience in captivity, where the nation will live with no political or religious entity. After this period, Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and will experience complete restoration.
This chapter describes Hosea’s reunion with his adulterous wife, Gomer, after a temporary separation. God instructs the prophet to retrieve Gomer to illustrate His unending love for Israel. Hosea obeys God and redeems Gomer, buying Gomer back. Hosea asks her to live in complete abstinence of sexual relations for many days and to stop playing the harlot, before the two of them can resume their normal intimate relationship as husband and wife. Gomer’s probationary period serves to depict Israel’s experience in exile, where the nation will live with no political entity or religious institutions. Afterward, the entire family of Israel and Judah will be reunited and will submit to a Davidic ruler, which will be a complete and lasting restoration. This chapter can be outlined as follows: