Hosea buys a prostitute (Hos 3:2-3: 3)

“So,

I bought her

For fifteen shekels

Of silver,

As well as a homer

Of barley,

With a measure

Of wine.

I said to her.

‘You must dwell

As mine

For many days.

You shall not play

The prostitute.

You shall not have

Intercourse

With a man.

Nor will I have

Intercourse with you.’”

Is Hosea buying back Gomer or another woman? The assumption is that this is Gomer, the original prostitute. He purchased her like a slave. It is not clear who he bought her from. Nevertheless, he paid 15 silver shekels, approximately a little over $3,000.00 for her, as well as some barley and wine. Hosea laid down some conditions for his newly purchased sex slave. She could not be a prostitute. She would not have intercourse with any man, not even himself. This would seem to indicate that women needed to control their sexual urges more than men, which seems unrealistic.

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The tribe of Manasseh (Ezek 48:4-48:4)

“Adjoining the territory

Of Naphtali,

From the east side

To the west side,

Manasseh was

One portion.”

Once again, in a very summary fashion of east to west, the territory of Manasseh was next to Naphtali. However, instead of having two portions as in Joshua, chapters 13 and 17, there is only one portion mentioned here. Even that is not clear, whether it is on the east side of the Jordan River or the west side. The assumption might be that it is only on the west side, since there was no talk of any east bank settlements.

All the Judeans in Egypt (Jer 44:1-44:1)

“The word came

To Jeremiah

For all the Judeans

Living in the land

Of Egypt,

At Migdol,

At Tahpanhes,

At Memphis,

As well as in the land of Pathros.”

Jeremiah received an oracle that was to be addressed to all the Judeans living in Egypt. No longer was this a small group of the remnant led by Johanan at Tahpanhes, but this was addressed to all the other Judeans living in different cities and places in Egypt. How did these Judeans get there? How big were these Israelite colonies? Were they left over from Exodus times? Were they also recent immigrants? The remnant group with Jeremiah and Baruch at Tahpanhes had just arrived. Were there other Judeans before they arrived in that town? Migdol was an island in the Nile River, east of Tahpanhes. Memphis was the ancient capital of lower Egypt, in the Nile River delta area. Pathros was also in the southern part of Egypt where Judean colonies might have been. As these places are mentioned, the assumption is that there must have been some other Judeans there. At least the author of this work knew something about them. Like the preceding chapter, this section has a different numbered chapter in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, chapters 51, not chapter 44 as here.

The power of the king (Eccl 8:2-8:5)

“Keep the king’s command

Because of your sacred oath.

Do not be terrified.

Go from his presence!

Do not delay

When the matter is unpleasant.

He does whatever he pleases.

The word of the king is powerful.

Who can say to him?

‘What are you doing?’

Whoever obeys a command

Will meet no harm.

The wise mind will know

The time.

The wise mind will know

The way.”

Once again, the basic assumption is that the king in acting in the name of God, what later was called the divine right of a king. You have sworn to follow the king. Do not be afraid. Go to him even if the matter is unpleasant. He is going to do whatever he pleases anyway. The word of the king is powerful. No one can ask him what he is doing. If you obey his command, everything will be okay. The wise person will know the right time and way to do this.