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.

Advertisements

The purchase of the field (Jer 32:9-32:11)

“I bought the field

At Anathoth

From my cousin Hanamel.

I weighed out

The money to him,

Seventeen shekels of silver.

I signed the deed.

I sealed it.

I got witnesses.

I weighed the money on scales.

Then I took

The sealed deed of purchase,

That contained the terms

With the conditions,

As well as the open copy.”

This is a very unusual section that contains explicit first person details of this property field sale. However, there is no indication of the exact size of this field. Nowhere else in the biblical works is there such a specific indication of how financial transactions took place. First, Jeremiah bought the land. Most times, there would be no more details other than that. However, here Jeremiah next weighs out the money, 17 silver shekels, which was not a lot of money, about a couple of hundred USA dollars. Where he got the money is not indicated here. Then he signed the deed, probably on papyrus, sealed it, and had witnesses also sign it. There must have been some kind of official seal used here, but we do not know what kind. Finally there seems to be 2 copies of this transaction. The sealed deed contained all the terms and conditions of the sale, while the open copy or city file copy might just have the statement that the sale was made, much like current open records in USA, which generally adds the dollar amount of the sale. Thus these transactions were stored or kept in jars of some kind.

The devastation of the land (Isa 7:23-7:25)

“On that day,

Every place where

There used to be a thousand vines,

Worth a thousand shekels of silver,

Will become briers.

They will become thorns.

With bow and arrows,

One will go there.

All the land

Will be briers and thorns.

All the hills

That used to be hoed with a hoe,

One will not go there

For fear of the briers,

For fear of the thorns.

But they will become a place

Where cattle are let loose.

They will become a place

Where sheep tread.”

On this faithful day, the vineyards will shrivel up. Thousands of vines worth about $23,000 in silver shekels in today’s money would be abandoned to thorns and briers. Places that were hoed before would now be overrun with briers and thorns. People would be afraid to go there because of these briers and thorns. Only the cattle would roam all over the place. The sheep would also tread on any crops that might be growing. Things would be bad, as the land was devastated.