Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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"The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD" (Hosea 1:2). What does God mean by "a wife of whoredom"? And if the "whoredom" here means departing from God, does this mean that God wanted Hosea to take to himself a wife that departed from God?

This wife of whoredoms represents Israel or the whole earth. St. Irenaeus explains that God wanted Hosea to take a wife of whoredoms, prophesying by his act that the earth shall commit whoredoms, departing from the Lord, and that of such men God will be pleased to take to Himself a Church, to be sanctified by the communion of His Son, as she, too, was sanctified by the communion of the prophet. Wherefore St. Paul also says, "The unbelieving woman is sanctified by her believing husband" (1 Cor 7:14).
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