3:1-3 The dislike of men to true religion is because they love objects and forms, which allow them to indulge, instead of mortifying their lusts. How wonderful that a holy God should have good-will to those whose carnal mind is enmity against Him! Here is represented God's gracious dealings with the fallen race of mankind, that had gone from him. This is the covenant of grace he is willing to enter into with them, they must be to him a people, and he will be to them a God. They must accept the punishment of their sin, and must not return to folly. And it is a certain sign that our afflictions are means of good to us, when we are kept from being overcome by the temptations of an afflicted state.
2. I bought her—The price paid is too small to be a probable dowry wherewith to buy a wife from her parents; but it is just half the price of a female slave, in money, the rest of the price being made up in grain (Ex 21:32). Hosea pays this for the redemption of his wife, who has become the slave of her paramour. The price being half grain was because the latter was the allowance of food for the slave, and of the coarsest kind, not wheat, but barley. Israel, as committing sin, was the slave of sin (Joh 8:34; Ro 6:16-20; 2Pe 2:19). The low price expresses Israel's worthlessness.