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Is She Not My Wife, and Am I Not Her Husband?

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image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

The love story of the prophet Hosea and his wife is considered a metaphor that signifies the relationship between YHWH and his people the Israelites. “For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband” is one of the sentences uttered by the prophet Hosea when his wife runs after other lovers. To take it literally as such, it seems that Hosea announces divorce to his wife. But this interpretation contradicts what we read from the context of the Scriptures. Alternatively, Hosea's statement could be read as a rhetorical question as is mentioned by Weems. This article, based on grammatical analysis, contextual and inter-textual analysis, proposes that it should be interpreted as a rhetorical question: “for is she not my wife, and am I not her husband?” and expects the reader/audience to respond “yes.”

Affiliations: 1: Hong Kong Bible Society, 6F, #21, Lane 171, Hsin-Hai Rd. Sec. 2, Taipei, 106, Taiwan;, Email:


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