In this chapter is an order to the prophet to love an adulterous woman
beloved of her friend, and by this parable to express the love of God to
Israel, and their ingratitude to him, \\#Ho 3:1\\, the prophet's execution
of that order, making a purchase of her, and a covenant with her, which
set forth the captive, servile, mean, and abject state of that people,
\\#Ho 3:2,3\\, which is explained of their being deprived for a long time of
civil and ecclesiastic government, \\#Ho 3:4\\, and the chapter is concluded
with a prophecy and promise of their conversion to Christ in the latter
day, \\#Ho 3:5\\.

``the Lord said unto me again'';

for the word yet or again is to be joined to this, and not the following
clause; and shows that this is a new vision, prophecy, or parable,
though respecting the same persons and things:

\\go, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress\\; not the
prophet's wife, not Gomer, but some other feigned person; beloved
either of her own husband, as the Targum and Jarchi, notwithstanding
her unchastity and unfaithfulness to him; or of another man, as Aben
Ezra, who had a very great respect for her, courted her, and perhaps
had betrothed her, but had not yet consummated the marriage; and, though
a harlot, loved her dearly, and could not get off his affections from
her, but hankered after her; or of the prophet, as Kimchi, who
paraphrases it,

``thou shall love her, and be to her a friend;''

to protect and defend her, as harlots used to have one in particular
they called their friend, by whose name they were called, and was a
cover to them. The sense is, that the prophet was to go to the people
of Israel, and deliver this parable to them, setting forth their state
and condition, and their behaviour towards God, and his great love to
them, notwithstanding all their baseness and ingratitude; it was as if
a woman that was either married or betrothed, or that either had a
husband or a suitor that so dearly loved her, that though she was
guilty of uncleanness, and continued in it, yet would not leave her;
and which is thus expressed by the Targum,

``go, deliver a prophecy against the house of Israel, who are
like a woman dear to her husband; and though she commits
fornication against him, yet he so loves her that he will not
put her away:''

\\according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel\\; or
such is the love of the Lord to them; for though they were guilty of
idolatry, intemperance, and other immoralities, yet still he loved
them, and formed designs of grace and goodness for them. And thus,
though God does not love sinners as such; yet he loves them, though
they are sinners, and when and while they are such; as appears by his
choice of them, and covenant with them, by Christ's dying for them
while sinners, and by his quickening them when dead in trespasses and

\\who look to other gods\\; or "though they look to other gods" {c}; look
to them and worship them, pray unto them, put their trust in them, and
expect good things from them:

\\and love flagons of wine\\, or "tubs of grapes" {d}; or of wine made of
them; or lumps of raisins, cakes or junkets made of them and other
things, as the Septuagint; and may respect either the drunkenness and
intemperance of the ten tribes; see \\#Isa 28:1\\, they loved, as Kimchi
says, the delights of the world, and not the law and commandments of
God; or the feasts that were made in the temples of their idols they
loved good eating and drinking, and that made them like idolatry the
better for the sake of those things; see \\#Ex 32:6\\, for the Heathens
used to eat and drink to excess at their sacrifices: hence Diogenes {e}
the philosopher was very angry with those who sacrificed to the gods for
their health, yet in their sacrifices feasted to the prejudice of their

{c} \^Mynp Mhw\^ "quamvis respiciant", Piscator.
{d} \^Mybne yvyva\^ "dolia uvarum", Pagninus, Montanus, Zanchius; "soa",
some in Drusius.
{e} Laertius in Vit. Diogenis, p. 382.