CLAIM: Does this predict the modern regathering of Israel?
RESPONSE: In the beginning of Hosea, God commanded Hosea to marry Gomer—a prostitute. He has several kids with her, and she leaves him to sleep around with other men (2:2-7). In chapter 3, Hosea is commanded to renew his relationship with Gomer. This becomes a dramatic picture of God’s dealings with Israel. God married her, Israel left him for idols, but he still remained faithful to her. In chapter 3, Hosea makes a remarkable prediction about Israel:
(Hos. 3:4-5 NASB) For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols.
“Without king or prince…” The people will cease to have a political ruler.
“Without sacrifice or sacred pillar…” The people will be without religious practice.
“Without ephod or household idols…” The people will be without true or false religious practice (c.f. 2 Kings 23; Ezra 2:63).
John Bloom comments, “The Encyclopaedia Judaica, on the other hand, believes ‘the priests merged with the rest of the nation’ and also that about 20 years after the destruction, the Sanhedrin at Jabneh [Jamnia] ruled the temple ‘sacrifices were… replaceable by charity and repentance.’ In any case, by about AD 100, the Jews are ‘without sacrifice and (figurative) ephod.’ This situation has continued to the present day.” Hosea writes,
(Hos. 3:5 NASB) Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God [religious restoration] and David their king [political restoration]; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.
Finally, Hosea predicts that Israel would return both politically and religiously at the end of human history.
 Newman, Robert C. The Evidence of Prophecy: Fulfilled Prediction as a Testimony to the Truth of Christianity. Hatfield, PA: Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, 1988. 81.
 Skeptics claim that Hosea’s primary ministry was only to the North (Ephraim), rather than the south (Judah). Ephraim, however, amalgamated with the southern kingdom; therefore, it appears that Hosea had the entire nation in mind. If he only had this northern kingdom in mind (Ephraim), then some have argued that the Samaritans could also be a fulfillment of this passage, because they have similar hallmarks in their history, as well. See chapter 7 of Newman, Robert C. The Evidence of Prophecy: Fulfilled Prediction as a Testimony to the Truth of Christianity. Hatfield, PA: Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, 1988.