Hosea 3:3

And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.

And I said unto her,.... Having bought or hired her; this was the covenant or agreement he made with her,

thou shall abide for me many days; dwell alone in some solitary and separate place, and have no conversation with any, especially with men; live like a widow that has lost her husband, and so wait for a long time till the prophet should think fit to take her to his house and bed:

thou shall not play the harlot, and thou shall not be for another man; neither prostitute herself, as she had done to her lovers; nor marry another, but keep herself chaste and single:

so will I also be for thee; wait for thee, and not take another wife; or will be thy husband, after having made proper trial and full proof of thy conduct and behaviour: the Targum paraphrases it thus;

"say, O prophet, to her, O congregation of Israel, your sins are the cause that you are carried captive many days; ye shall give yourselves to my worship and not err, nor serve idols, and even I will have mercy on you.''

The whole is explained in the following words: