3 The Eternal spoke with me again.
Eternal One: Go and love a woman who is loved by someone else and is adulterous. Care for her and protect her, just as I love the people of Israel even though they’re unfaithfully turning to other gods and selfishly eating sacred raisin cakes in their honor.
2 So I paid the bride-price for this woman, less than I would pay to own a slave: six ounces of silver, about ten bushels of barley.
Hosea (to the woman): 3 You’re going to live with me for a long time. I didn’t buy you just for my own pleasure, and I’m not going to cast you aside. But I’m not going to let you commit adultery again—in fact, you’re not going to have sexual relations with anyone, not even me.
4 In the same way, the people of Israel will go for a long time without having a king or prince of their own, without having any altars or sacred pillars, and without having any way of divining answers through a vestment[a] or images. 5 And afterward, once their devotion is renewed, they’ll return and genuinely worship the Eternal their God, and they’ll end their rebellion against the royal house of David. In those days they’ll come trembling to the Eternal One and rediscover His goodness.
- 3:4 Literally, ephod