Hosea returns to his wife
1 Then the Lord said to me again, ‘Show love to a woman again. Another man loves her but you must love her. She goes after other men but you must continue to love her. You must love her in the same way that the Lord loves Israel's people. But they continue to worship other gods. And they like to offer fruit to these gods.’ 2 So I bought the woman with 15 pieces of silver and 1.5 homers (330 litres) of grain. 3 Then I told her, ‘You must stay at home with me for a long time. You must not be like a prostitute. You must not be too friendly with another man. So then I will live with you.’ 4 In the same way, Israel's people will continue to live for a long time without a king or a leader. They will not have sacrifices, or stones to help them to remember God. They will not have any ephods and they will not have any gods in their homes. 5 At a future time, Israel's people will return. Then they will look for the Lord their God and they will look for David, their king. They will come to the Lord and they will receive his gifts.
3:1The word ‘love’ can mean different things in the Hebrew language. It includes a kind of love about sex. It includes a love from God. It also means a love when a man loves his wife.
3:4In this verse Hosea starts to speak to Israel's people. Israel will have no king. Another country will rule Israel. This other country will be Assyria (Hosea 11:5). The ‘stones’ were places where Israel's people gave sacrifices. They gave these sacrifices to another god. Ephods were special clothes that the leader of the priests wore.