The Lord told me, “Go again and love a woman* who is loved by another and who is committing adultery, just as the Lord loves the children of Israel, even though they turn to other gods and love their sensual worship.” So I bought her back for fifteen shekels of silver and one and half homer of barley. I told her, “You must remain with me for many days and you shall stop your prostitution. You shall not be intimate with any man, and then I shall be yours.” For the people of Israel shall be without a king or a prince, without a sacrifice or a stone pillar or a pagan image or an idolatrous shrine§ for a long time. After this, the people of Israel will return and dedicate themselves to the Lord their God and to the line of David their king. In the last days they will come with awe and reverence for the Lord and his goodness.
* 3:1 “A woman”—understood to be Gomer from what follows. It may be that Gomer is not specifically identified since she cannot claim to be Hosea's wife because of her adultery. 3:1 Literally “raisin cakes”—part of the pagan worship rituals. 3:2 About the cost of an ordinary slave. Why Hosea had to buy her back is unclear; in some way she had become someone's “property.” § 3:4 The phrase “a stone pillar or a pagan image or an idolatrous shrine” are all aspects of Israel's adultery in following other gods. Even “king” and “prince” were symbols of Israel's rejection of God as their leader