Scripture reading – Hosea 2; Hosea 3; Hosea 4

Click on this link for translations of this Bible study in Spanish, German, French, Hebrew, German, Portuguese, Chinese, or Arabic.

Hosea 1 introduced us to the prophet Hosea who was commanded by the LORD to take a “wife of whoredoms” (Hosea 1:2). That unequally-yoked marriage (a prophet married to a harlot) was purposed to serve as a vivid portrait of Israel’s spiritual adultery committed against the LORD. Like Gomer, the harlot in this tragic story, God’s people had broken their covenant with Him and worshipped and served idols.

This is the first of two Bible studies for today. A second devotion will follow and consider Hosea 4.


Hosea 2 – The Chastisement of an Adulterous Israel

The Charge (Hosea 2:1-5a)

Hosea 2 opens with the plea of a heartbroken husband, for Gomer (Hosea’s wife and the mother of his three children) had left her marriage and abandoned her family (Hosea 2:1). Hosea addressed his younger children, Ammi (without the prefix “Lo,” rendering the youngest son’s name “my people,” Hosea 1:9; Hosea 2:1), and his daughter Ruhamah (again without the prefix “Lo,” thus meaning “loved,” Hosea 1:6; Hosea 2:1), and appealed to them “Plead with your mother…let her therefore put away her whoredoms” (Hosea 2:2).

Remember, Hosea and Gomer’s marriage symbolized the LORD’s love and relationship with Israel, His spiritual bride. The implication was that Israel had broken her covenant with the LORD, like Gomer had broken her marriage covenant with Hosea. Hosea’s wife had left her husband and children as Israel had left her God. Israel was guilty of committing spiritual whoredom (Hosea 2:3), and the LORD warned He would withhold His mercy and compassion that they had taken for granted as a nation (Hosea 2:4). In the words of Hosea, Gomer “hath played the harlot” (Hosea 2:5a)

God’s Chastening (Hosea 2:5b-13)

God’s Chastening (Hosea 2:5b-13)


Like Israel, Hosea’s wife was guilty of ingratitude (Hosea 2:5b-9). She took for granted her husband’s loving care and foolishly turned to her lovers to meet her needs (Hosea 2:5b). In the same way, Gomer, Hosea’s wife, was ungrateful for her loving husband, so Israel took for granted the LORD’s love for them. Israel “did not know that [the LORD] gave her corn, and wine, and oil, And multiplied her silver and gold, Which they prepared for Baal” (Hosea 2:8). The LORD, therefore, determined He would remove His blessing from the nation (Hosea 2:9).


Gomer was wasting her youth, and immorality would inevitably squander her beauty. All who indulged in her lusts left her wanting and hopeless. In the same way, Israel hypocritically celebrated the Lord’s feast days (Hosea 2:11), though the people’s hearts were far from Him. They had forgotten the LORD, and He vowed their sins would bring them to an inglorious, humiliating end (Hosea 2:12-13).


Redeeming, Enduring Love (Hosea 2:14-23)


I believe the Millennial Kingdom of Christ is the subject of Hosea 2:14-23. This passage shows the LORD’s enduring love and compassion for His wayward people.


Hosea was to love his harlot wife, even as the LORD loved Israel. Reflecting God’s love and longing to restore Israel, the prophet promised to restore Gomer as his wife. He promised he would “allure her” and meet her needs by giving “her vineyards” (Hosea 2:14-15).


Again, we read a parallel of Hosea’s love for Gomer in God’s promise to remove the idols where Israel had gone a whoring, and re-establish His covenant with the Jews (Hosea 2:18). Despite Israel’s spiritual waywardness, the LORD promised He would restore His people with “lovingkindness, and in mercy” (Hosea 2:19).


Hosea 2:18-23 has not been fulfilled, but one day, it will be fully realized when Christ reigns on David’s throne. Then the LORD will say “Ammi” of the children of Israel, “Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God” (Hosea 2:23).

The LORD commanded Hosea to find his wife and restore her.

Hosea 3

The Command (Hosea 3:1)

Hosea was instructed to redeem Gomer, and the prophet’s scandalous marriage to her was the portrait backdrop of Israel’s unfaithfulness to the LORD. In playing a harlot, Gomer broke her marriage covenant and rejected Hosea’s love (Hosea 3:1). So did Israel leave the LORD and break her covenant with Him. The people were guilty of spiritual whoredom with the idols of the heathen nations.

The Cost (Hosea 3:2-3)

Despite her transgressions and the shame she brought upon her husband and household, the LORD commanded Hosea to find his wife and restore her.  Hosea searched, and when he found her, she was a broken, wasted woman who was being sold in a slave market (Hosea:2). He purchased Gomer for half the price of a household slave (“fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley,” Hosea 3:2).

Yet, Hosea lovingly assured Gomer of his commitment and invited her to abide with him. He promised that if she set aside her adulterous ways, he would restore her as his wife (Hosea 3:3). 


The Consummation (Hosea 3:4-5)


The application to Israel was stated in verses 4-5, where we read, “4For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: 5Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days” (Hosea 3:4–5).


When Jesus Christ came to Israel as that nation’s Messiah Redeemer, He was rejected and crucified. Israel was left “without a king, and without a prince” (Hosea 3:4). However, like Hosea sought and restored Gomer to be his wife, the LORD promised the children of Israel would repent “and seek the LORD their God, and David their king” (Hosea 3:5). On that day, the One they rejected they will fear and revere (Hosea 3:5c).


* A second devotional will follow this Bible study and be taken from Hosea 4.

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

* You can subscribe to the Heart of a Shepherd daily devotionals by entering your name and email address at the bottom of today’s devotion.

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Heart of A Shepherd Inc as a 501c3 public charitable organization. Your donation is welcome and supports the worldwide ministry outreach of