(Greg Smith) Throughout the Old Testament, God uses sexual terms to describe Israel’s covenant unfaithfulness to Himself in their worship and life. We find this especially in the prophets. In fact the entire book of Hosea is grounded in this theme as the LORD commands Hosea to take a wife of harlotry. A wandering adulterous woman who will not be faithful to him.
Chapter 1 v.2: When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD.”
Chapter 3 v. 1 Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.”
Here, we have the LORD God commanding His servant the grievous and painful task of being bound to a flagrantly unfaithful wife as a living illustration of Israel’s unfaithfulness to Himself in worshiping and loving other, false gods. The worshipers of Ashteroth would use sweet juicy cakes made from raisins in their pagan worship and these cakes came to be a sort of symbol of that unholy carnal religion.
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