Bibliotheque de l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France/Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library

a disapproving nursemaid watches as Hosea and Gomer sleep, in this illustration from a 12th-century German Bible. The maid holds in her lap one of the three children born to Gomer. It’s unclear, however, whether the child is also Hosea’s. God’s description of Gomer as a “wife of whoredom (zenunim)” suggests that Gomer was sexually active before she married; a subsequent rift between the husband and wife (described metaphorically in Hosea 2) may well have been caused by her infidelity.