Hosea and Gomer
READ Hosea 1:2
Why would God command a
prophet to marry a harlot (prostitute)?
“The eminent Bible
commentators Keil and Delitzsch reject the literal nature of the marriage for
two main reasons. First, such a marriage would undermine the prophetic example and
teaching of Hosea, and second, God would not command a prophet to sin or do
anything at odds with the laws of God. "That by such a command and the
prophet's obedience on his first entering upon his office, all the beneficial
effects of that office would inevitably be frustrated. For if it were a
well-known fact, that the woman whom the prophet married had hitherto been
leading a profligate life, and if the prophet declared freely and openly that
he had taken her as his wife for that very reason, and with this intention,
according to the command of God; the marriage, the shame of which the prophet
had taken upon himself in obedience to the command of God . . . would be a
practical and constant sermon to the nation” . . .. Dr. Sidney B. Sperry,
respected Latter-day Saint scholar, said "I cannot believe the marriage to
be a literal one, for, as those who have taken it as an allegory or parable
have always pointed out, to do so would be imputing to God a command
inconsistent with His holy character. Furthermore, for Hosea to marry a woman
with a questionable past would make it impossible for him to preach to his
people and expose their sexual immoralities. They could point the finger of
scorn at him and say, 'You are as guilty as we are; don't preach to us.'” (Brent
Top, “The Marriage of Hosea and Gomer” from 1989 Sperry Symposium at BYU)
What is wrong with the
arguments these scholars are making?
READ Hosea 1:3, 6, 8
Was Gomer faithful to Hosea?
READ Hosea 2:2
What has Gomer done that Hosea
is no longer her husband?
Why is Hosea asking Gomer’s
children to plead with her?
READ Hosea 2:5
Why was Gomer unfaithful to
READ Hosea 3:1
What is the Lord commanding
Hosea to do next?
What does “yet an adulteress”
READ Hosea 3:2
What does the fact that Hosea
bought her for 15 pieces of silver imply?
READ Hosea 3:3
What is the arrangement Hosea
proposes to Gomer?
Christ and Israel
Going back to chapter 1…
Explain the analogy of
likening Jehovah’s covenant with Israel (or us) to a marriage?
In this analogy, who is the
bride and who is the bride-groom?
READ Genesis 2:18
What does “not good” in this
What are the implications of
the man being alone being “not good in any way”?
What is the connection between
the command to marry a harlot and Israel departing from the Lord?
Why is departing from the Lord
likened to committing great whoredom?
READ Hosea 1:3-4, 6, 8-9
What do the names of Gomer’s
three children tell us?
In this reading of the story,
there is a very specific application to the North Kingdom of Israel but…
What does this story teach us
about God’s more general relationship with Israel?
READ D&C 33:17
Does this analogy apply to us
Christ and Us
If Christ is Hosea and Gomer is Israel, then Gomer is also each of us…
How do you react to being
referred to as a “harlot” in this metaphor?
What hope in Christ does it
give you to know that He “proposed” His covenant to you, knowing your
“adulterous” or unfaithful past and tendencies?
What does it tell you about
His love for you?
How does it make you feel to
know that Christ will open His home to you, even after you have betrayed Him –
AFTER you have already covenanted with Him?
What does this story teach you
about the depth of His love, which is clearly unconditional from him and undeserved
What does our infidelity cost