The prophet Hosea, like Yahweh, had given Gomer, like Israel, grain, wine, and oil. Silver and gold also came from him. Then they, the Israelites, like Gomer, used these precious metals on Baal. Therefore, he was going to take back his grain and wine at the right time in the season. He also was going to take back his wool and flax that she had used as clothing to cover her naked body. It was a sign of reproach to have a naked body.
The prophet Hosea also has no pity on his or her children since they were considered the children of a prostitute. She conceived them and bore them, but she had acted shamefully. She went after her lovers in order to get bread, water, wool, flax, oil, and something to drink, basically the necessities of life. Obviously, Gomer, the prostitute, was the Israelite people, who sought their lovers among the various fertility Canaanite gods and Baals.
Next this oracle takes on a river, the Nile River. The waters will dry up with dire consequences to follow. The Nile River canals and branches will be foul smelling like dry wells. All the reeds, rushes, and plants along the river will dry up and rot away also. The fishermen will have a problem, since their hooks and nets will not catch anything. The flax and cotton looms will be useless. The weavers will be distraught. In fact, anyone who works for any kind of wages will be upset since the Nile River was so important for all kinds of commerce in Egypt.
Building your house with borrowed money is like gathering stones to build a burial mound. This is a fool’s task. You should probably wait until you have your own money to start building. Next Sirach warns us against “tow”, which is a kind of hemp or flax. He compares a bundle of this crop to an assembly of wicked people. They both will end up in a blazing fire. Then we have the expression about the sinner’s path that is paved with smooth stones that lead to hell or Hades, the afterlife underworld.
The good wife seeks wool and flax to work with her willing hands. She provides and gets food for the household like a ship at sea. She gets up early in the morning so that she can provide food for her household. She prepares tasks for her female servants. Obviously, this good wife is a well to do female with her servants.