Gomer: Saved from the Slave Market

Posted on August 20, 2020


By David Ettinger

This fictional story – told from Gomer’s perspective – is based on the biblical account. I have written another story of the Hosea-Gomer account, but from Hosea’s perspective. Link is at the bottom.

“A voluptuous woman still in the prime of life.”

Gomer, age 24, cringed at the words of the slave merchant.

“She can serve a fortunate man in many ways – both in the bed chamber and around the house. She can even prepare meals.”

Gomer shivered in the cool early spring air of the Samaritan slave market. She had been reduced to being sold to the highest bidder.

“A true gift to any house. Just thirty shekels.”

But there were no takers.

“I knew you would be a hard sell,” the flesh peddler scoffed under his breath. “I had my doubts all along.”

Gomer looked at her bare feet.

“Go sit on that bench,” the peddler ordered. “We’ll try again at noon.”

Gomer obeyed, wrapping her arms around her raised knees in an attempt to stay warm. She was faced with three hours of doing nothing; a perfect time to reflect. She could still remember the day her father gave her the news.

“Gomer,” Diblaim told his then-beautiful 17-year-old daughter, “I have arranged a marriage for you. Your suitor has paid a fine dowry.”

Gomer was elated.

“Who, father? Is he young? Is he handsome?”

“Better than that,” Diblaim assured her.

“Who, father? This is too much suspense. Please tell me!”

Diblaim smiled.

“Gomer, my dear, you are to be the wife of Hosea the son of Beeri.”

Gomer’s world crashed.

“You mean Hosea the prophet?” she asked, devastated.

“The same, my love,” Diblaim obliviously chirped.

“That madman, father?”

Diblaim scrunched his forehead.

“Madman? Why such language? Hosea is a prophet of the God of Israel. He is famous.”

Gomer was horrified.

“Surely, father,” she pleaded, “you would not wed me to such a man. He is hated among our people. He preaches our destruction. He spits forth words of condemnation. How could I endure the shame of such a union?”

Her desperate petitions – which included falling at Diblaim’s feet – did nothing to change her father’s mind. One year later, at the age of 18, she was married to the mad prophet who was almost, but not quite, twice her age.

Despite her fears, life with Hosea was not that bad at first. He loved Gomer and provided her with a fine home. He even doted on her. Which was fine – so long as they could spend the rest of their lives inside their house. But Hosea was a prophet, and his presence was required in the courts of Baal’s temple, where he could rage against the people, warning of the great wrath that awaited them should they continue to sin.

Hosea was hated, as was Gomer by association. She lost all of her friends, and shoppers shunned her in the marketplace. After six years of this unbearable marriage that produced three children, Gomer was desperate.

While in the marketplace one day, she ran into a former male neighbor, the one she wished she could have married. Unlike those who avoided her, he approached her. He told Gomer how beautiful she looked … how well marriage and motherhood were treating her. How he should have married her when he had the opportunity. Gomer’s soul was aflame.

She felt a pang of guilt the day she resolved to leave her husband and children, but she believed she would die of sorrow if she remained with Hosea. Gomer would become the mistress of her suitor and everything would be work out well.

Things did work out well – for about four months, until her new love tired of her. He turned her out of his bead and into a servant. After another two months he told her that he could no longer afford her.

“Go home to your husband and children,” he flippantly said.

She begged him not to send her away. He said he wouldn’t. The next morning, however, he left home before dawn, and a slave merchant with his five minions burst through the door.

“You are mine now,” the trader told the stunned, discarded woman.


For two days the peddler tried to sell her, but had no luck. If she didn’t go this afternoon, he would take her to Phoenicia and try there. Gomer dreaded being sold to a foreign house.

At noon, the flesh broker gave her a morsel of bread.

“Eat up,” he demanded. “I need to sell you today. I can’t be hauling you around with me.”

A few minutes later, the merchant went into his familiar pitch.

“Voluptuous … hard working … the prime of life …”


The merchant persisted.

And then a voice from the crowd. A familiar voice.

“I will give you fifteen shekels silver and a generous supply of barley.”

Gomer looked up in shock.

Hosea was staring at her.

The peddler’s henchman quickly brought Gomer to him. Hosea handed them the shekels and a large sack of barley.

Hosea said nothing as he put his arm around Gomer and began leading her out of the market. When they reached an open field, he turned to her.

“You are to live with me many days,” he said, his eyes moist with tears. “You must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.”

Gomer was dumbfounded.

“But why, Hosea?” she pleaded. “Why would you take me back after the way I have treated you, my family? I am unworthy.”

Hosea began walking. Gomer followed.

“I knew from the time we married that our lives together would be difficult,” the harrowed prophet explained. “Our marriage was to symbolize Israel’s adulterous relationship with God. And yet …”

He stopped and turned to her again.

“… I loved you from the moment I met you – and have never stopped.”

“But how can this be, Hosea, I mean I …”

Hosea held up his hand.

“We shall speak no more of it, Gomer. Suffice it to say that it is my duty to love you as God loves our people. And I do love you … will always love you … Gomer, for the rest of my life.”

Gomer looked into her husband’s face and no longer saw a madman, but a man whose eyes betrayed an eon of torment. And for the first time in her life, Gomer felt her heart breaking for her husband.

She would never stray again.

Read: Hosea and Gomer: Two Tormented Souls