Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) September 23
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Hosea 1:1--4:19

Context
Superscription

1:1 1 This is the word of the Lord which was revealed to Hosea 2  son of Beeri during the time when 3  Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah ruled Judah, 4  and during the time when Jeroboam son of Joash 5  ruled Israel. 6 

Symbols of Sin and Judgment: The Prostitute and Her Children

1:2 When the Lord first spoke 7  through 8  Hosea, he 9  said to him, 10  “Go marry 11  a prostitute 12  who will bear illegitimate children conceived through prostitution, 13  because the nation 14  continually commits spiritual prostitution 15  by turning away from 16  the Lord.” 1:3 So Hosea married 17  Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim. Then she conceived and gave birth to a son for him. 1:4 Then the Lord said to Hosea, 18  “Name him ‘Jezreel,’ because in a little while I will punish 19  the dynasty 20  of Jehu on account of the bloodshed 21  in the valley of Jezreel, 22  and I will put an end to the kingdom 23  of Israel. 24  1:5 At that time, 25  I will destroy the military power 26  of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”

1:6 She conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord 27  said to him, “Name her ‘No Pity’ (Lo-Ruhamah) because I will no longer have pity 28  on the nation 29  of Israel. For 30  I will certainly not forgive 31  their guilt. 32  1:7 But I will have pity on the nation 33  of Judah. 34  I will deliver them by the Lord their God; I will not deliver them by the warrior’s bow, by sword, by military victory, 35  by chariot horses, or by chariots.” 36 

1:8 When 37  she had weaned ‘No Pity’ (Lo-Ruhamah) she conceived again and gave birth to another son. 1:9 Then the Lord 38  said: “Name him ‘Not My People’ (Lo-Ammi), because you 39  are not my people and I am not your 40  God.” 41 

The Restoration of Israel

1:10 (2:1) 42  However, 43  in the future the number of the people 44  of Israel will be like the sand of the sea which can be neither measured nor numbered. Although 45  it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it will be said to them, “You are 46  children 47  of the living God!” 1:11 Then the people 48  of Judah and the people of Israel will be gathered together. They will appoint for themselves one leader, 49  and will flourish in the land. 50  Certainly, 51  the day of Jezreel will be great! 2:1 Then you will call 52  your 53  brother, “My People” (Ammi)! You will call your sister, “Pity” (Ruhamah)!

Idolatrous Israel Will Be Punished Like a Prostitute

2:2 Plead earnestly 54  with your 55  mother

(for 56  she is not my wife, and I am not her husband),

so that 57  she might put an end to her adulterous lifestyle, 58 

and turn away from her sexually immoral behavior. 59 

2:3 Otherwise, I will strip her naked,

and expose her like she was when she was born.

I will turn her land into a wilderness

and make her country a parched land,

so that I might kill 60  her with thirst.

2:4 I will have no pity on her children, 61 

because they are children conceived in adultery. 62 

2:5 For their mother has committed adultery;

she who conceived them has acted shamefully.

For she said, “I will seek out 63  my lovers; 64 

they are the ones who give me my bread and my water,

my wool, my flax, my olive oil, and my wine. 65 

The Lords Discipline Will Bring Israel Back

2:6 Therefore, I will soon 66  fence her in 67  with thorns;

I will wall her in 68  so that 69  she cannot find her way. 70 

2:7 Then she will pursue her lovers, but she will not catch 71  them;

she will seek them, but she will not find them. 72 

Then she will say,

“I will go back 73  to my husband, 74 

because I was better off then than I am now.” 75 

Agricultural Fertility Withdrawn from Israel

2:8 Yet 76  until now 77  she has refused to acknowledge 78  that I 79  was the one

who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil;

and that it was I who 80  lavished on her the silver and gold –

which they 81  used in worshiping Baal! 82 

2:9 Therefore, I will take back 83  my grain during the harvest time 84 

and my new wine when it ripens; 85 

I will take away my wool and my flax

which I had provided 86  in order to clothe her. 87 

2:10 Soon 88  I will expose her lewd nakedness 89  in front of her lovers,

and no one will be able to rescue her from me! 90 

2:11 I will put an end to all her celebration:

her annual religious festivals,

monthly new moon celebrations,

and weekly Sabbath festivities –

all her appointed festivals.

2:12 I will destroy her vines and fig trees,

about which she said, “These are my wages for prostitution 91 

that my lovers gave to me!”

I will turn her cultivated vines and fig trees 92  into an uncultivated thicket,

so that wild animals 93  will devour them.

2:13 “I will punish her for the festival days

when she burned incense to the Baal idols; 94 

she adorned herself with earrings and jewelry,

and went after her lovers,

but 95  she forgot me!” 96  says the Lord.

Future Repentance and Restoration of Israel

2:14 However, in the future I will allure her; 97 

I will lead 98  her back into the wilderness,

and speak tenderly to her.

2:15 From there I will give back her vineyards to her,

and turn the “Valley of Trouble” 99  into an “Opportunity 100  for Hope.”

There she will sing as she did when she was young, 101 

when 102  she came up from the land of Egypt.

2:16 “At that time,” 103  declares the Lord,

“you will call, 104  ‘My husband’; 105 

you will never again call me, 106  ‘My master.’ 107 

2:17 For 108  I will remove the names of the Baal idols 109  from your lips, 110 

so that you will never again utter their names!” 111 

New Covenant Relationship with Repentant Israel

2:18 “At that time 112  I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals,

the birds of the air, and the creatures that crawl on the ground.

I will abolish 113  the warrior’s bow and sword

– that is, every weapon of warfare 114  – from the land,

and I will allow them to live securely.” 115 

2:19 I will commit myself to you 116  forever;

I will commit myself to you in 117  righteousness and justice,

in steadfast love and tender compassion.

2:20 I will commit myself to you in faithfulness;

then 118  you will acknowledge 119  the Lord.” 120 

Agricultural Fertility Restored to the Repentant Nation

2:21 “At that time, 121  I will willingly respond,” 122  declares the Lord.

“I will respond to the sky,

and the sky 123  will respond to the ground;

2:22 then the ground will respond to the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil;

and they will respond to ‘God Plants’ (Jezreel)! 124 

2:23 Then I will plant her as my own 125  in the land.

I will have pity on ‘No Pity’ (Lo-Ruhamah).

I will say to ‘Not My People’ (Lo-Ammi), ‘You are my people!’

And he 126  will say, ‘You are 127  my God!’”

An Illustration of God’s Love for Idolatrous Israel

3:1 The Lord said to me, “Go, show love to 128  your wife 129  again, even though she loves 130  another man 131  and continually commits adultery. 132  Likewise, the Lord loves 133  the Israelites 134  although they turn to other gods and love to offer raisin cakes to idols.” 135  3:2 So I paid fifteen shekels of silver and about seven bushels of barley 136  to purchase her. 3:3 Then I told her, “You must live with me many days; you must not commit adultery or have sexual intercourse with 137  another man, and I also will wait for you.” 3:4 For the Israelites 138  must live many days without a king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred fertility pillar, without ephod or idols. 3:5 Afterward, the Israelites will turn and seek the Lord their God and their Davidic king. 139  Then they will submit to the Lord in fear and receive his blessings 140  in the future. 141 

The Lord’s Covenant Lawsuit against the Nation Israel

4:1 Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites! 142 

For the Lord has a covenant lawsuit 143  against the people of Israel. 144 

For there is neither faithfulness nor loyalty in the land,

nor do they acknowledge God. 145 

4:2 There is only cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery.

They resort to violence and bloodshed. 146 

4:3 Therefore the land will mourn,

and all its inhabitants will perish. 147 

The wild animals, 148  the birds of the sky,

and even the fish in the sea will perish.

The Lord’s Dispute against the Sinful Priesthood

4:4 Do not let anyone accuse or contend against anyone else: 149 

for my case is against you priests! 150 

4:5 You stumble day and night,

and the false prophets stumble with you;

You have destroyed your own people! 151 

4:6 You have destroyed 152  my people

by failing to acknowledge me!

Because you refuse to acknowledge me, 153 

I will reject you as my priests.

Because you reject 154  the law of your God,

I will reject 155  your descendants.

4:7 The more the priests increased in numbers,

the more they rebelled against me.

They have turned 156  their glorious calling

into a shameful disgrace!

4:8 They feed on the sin offerings of my people;

their appetites long for their iniquity!

4:9 I will deal with the people and priests together: 157 

I will punish them both for their ways,

and I will repay them for their deeds.

4:10 They will eat, but not be satisfied;

they will engage in prostitution, but not increase in numbers;

because they have abandoned the Lord

by pursuing other gods. 158 

Judgment of Pagan Idolatry and Cultic Prostitution

4:11 Old and new wine

take away the understanding of my people. 159 

4:12 They consult their wooden idols,

and their diviner’s staff answers with an oracle.

The wind of prostitution blows them astray;

they commit spiritual adultery 160  against their God.

4:13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops,

and burn offerings on the hills;

they sacrifice 161  under oak, poplar, and terebinth,

because their shade is so pleasant.

As a result, your daughters have become cult prostitutes,

and your daughters-in-law commit adultery!

4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit prostitution,

nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery.

For the men consort with harlots,

they sacrifice with temple prostitutes.

It is true: 162  “A people that lacks understanding will come to ruin!”

Warning to Judah: Do Not Join in Israel’s Apostasy!

4:15 Although you, O Israel, commit adultery,

do not let Judah become guilty!

Do not journey to Gilgal!

Do not go up to Beth Aven! 163 

Do not swear, “As surely as the Lord lives!”

4:16 Israel has rebelled 164  like a stubborn heifer!

Soon 165  the Lord will put them out to pasture

like a lamb in a broad field! 166 

4:17 Ephraim has attached himself to idols;

Do not go near him!

The Shameful Sinners Will Be Brought to Shame

4:18 They consume their alcohol,

then engage in cult prostitution;

they dearly love their shameful behavior.

4:19 A whirlwind has wrapped them in its wings;

they will be brought to shame because of their idolatrous worship. 167 

1 tc The textual problems in Hosea are virtually unparalleled in the OT. The Masoretic Text (MT), represented by the Leningrad Codex (c. a.d. 1008), which served as the basis for both BHK and BHS, and the Aleppo Codex (c. a.d. 952), are textually corrupt by all accounts and have a multitude of scribal errors. Many medieval Masoretic mss preserve textual variants that differ from the Leningrad and Aleppo Codices. The Qumran materials (4QXIIc,d,g) contain numerous textual variants that differ from the MT; unfortunately, these texts are quite fragmentary (frequently in the very place that an important textual problem appears). The textual tradition and translation quality of the LXX and the early Greek recensions (Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion) is mixed; in some places they are inferior to the MT but in other places they preserve a better reading. The textual apparatus of BHK and BHS contains many proposed emendations based on the ancient versions (Greek, Syriac, Latin, Aramaic) that often appear to be superior readings than what is preserved in the MT. In numerous cases, the MT readings are so difficult morphologically, syntactically, and contextually that conservative conjectural emendations are necessary to make sense of the text. Most major English versions (e.g., KJV, ASV, RSV, NEB, NAB, NASB, NIV, TEV, NKJV, NJPS, NJB, NRSV, REB, NCV, CEV, NLT) adopt (either occasionally or frequently) textual variants reflected in the versions and occasionally adopt conservative conjectural emendations proposed in BHK and/or BHS. However, many of the textual problems in Hosea are so difficult that the English versions frequently are split among themselves. With this in mind, the present translation of Hosea must necessarily be viewed as only preliminary. Further work on the text and translation of Hosea is needed, not only in terms of the NET Bible but in Hosea studies in general. The text of Hosea should be better clarified when the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project completes work on the book of Hosea. For further study of textual problems in Hosea, see D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 5:228-71.

2 tn Heb “The word of the Lord which was to Hosea.” The words “This is” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

3 tn Heb “in the days of” (again later in this verse). Cf. NASB “during the days of”; NIV “during the reigns of”; NLT “during the years when.”

4 tn Heb “Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”

5 sn Joash is a variation of the name Jehoash. Some English versions use “Jehoash” here (e.g., NIV, NCV, TEV, NLT).

6 tn Heb “Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel.”

7 tn The construct noun תְּחִלַּת (tékhillat, “beginning of”) displays a wider use of the construct state here, preceding a perfect verb דִּבֶּר (dibber, “he spoke”; Piel perfect 3rd person masculine singular) rather than a genitive noun. This is an unusual temporal construction (GKC 422 §130.d). It may be rendered, “When he (= the Lord) began to speak” (cf. ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, TEV, and most other modern English versions, all of which are similar). This time-determinative was not correctly understood by the LXX or by the KJV: “The beginning of the word of the Lord.”

8 tn The preposition בְּ (bet) on בְּהוֹשֵׁעַ (bÿhoshea’) is an instrumental use of the preposition (BDB 89 s.v. בְּ III.2.b): “by, with, through Hosea” rather than a directional “to Hosea.” This focuses on the entire prophetic revelation through Hosea to Israel.

9 tn Heb “the Lord.” This is redundant in English, so the pronoun has been used in the translation (cf. TEV, NLT).

10 tn Heb “to Hosea.” The proper name is replaced by the pronoun here to avoid redundancy in English (cf. NIV, NCV, NLT).

11 tn Heb “Go, take for yourself” (so NRSV; NASB, NIV “to yourself”). In conjunction with the following phrase this means “marry.”

12 tn Heb “a wife of harlotries.” The noun זְנוּנִים (zÿnunim) means “prostitute; harlot” (HALOT 275-76 s.v. זְנוּנִים). The term does not refer to mere adultery (cf. NIV; also NCV, TEV, CEV “unfaithful”) which is expressed by the root נַאַף (naaf, “adultery”; HALOT 658 s.v. נאף). The plural noun זְנוּנִים (zénunim, literally, “harlotries”) is an example of the plural of character or plural of repeated behavior. The phrase “wife of harlotries” (אֵשֶׁת זְנוּנִים, ’eshet zénunim) probably refers to a prostitute, possibly a temple prostitute serving at a Baal temple.

13 tn Heb “and children of harlotries.” However, TEV takes the phrase to mean the children will behave like their mother (“your children will be just like her”).

14 tn Heb “the land.” The term “the land” is frequently used as a synecdoche of container (the land of Israel) for the contained (the people of Israel).

15 tn Heb “prostitution.” The adjective “spiritual” is supplied in the translation to clarify that apostasy is meant here. The construction זָנֹה תִזְנֶה (zanoh tizneh, infinitive absolute + imperfect of the same root) repeats the root זָנַה (zanah, “harlotry”) for rhetorical emphasis. Israel was guilty of gross spiritual prostitution by apostatizing from Yahweh. The verb זָנַה is used in a concrete sense to refer to a spouse being unfaithful in a marriage relationship (HALOT 275 s.v. זנה 1), and figuratively meaning “to be unfaithful” in a relationship with God by prostituting oneself with other gods and worshiping idols (Exod 34:15; Lev 17:7; 20:5, 6; Deut 31:16; Judg 8:27, 33; 21:17; 1 Chr 5:25; Ezek 6:9; 20:30; 23:30; Hos 4:15; Ps 106:39; see HALOT 275 s.v. 2).

16 tn Heb “from after.”

17 tn Heb “so he went and took” (וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיִּקַּח, vayyelekh vayyiqqakh; so NAB, NRSV).

18 tn Heb “to him.” The referent (Hosea) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

19 tn Heb “I will visit.” The verb פָּקַד (paqad, “to visit”) has a very broad range of meanings: (1) “to pay attention to; to look at” (a) favorably: to look after; to provide for; to care for; (b) unfavorably: to seek vengeance for; to punish for; (2) militarily: (a) “to muster; to enroll”; (b) “to inspect; to review”; (3) leadership: (a) “to rule over; to oversee”; (b) Hiphil: “to appoint an overseer” (see BDB 823 s.v. פָּקַד; HALOT 955-58 s.v. פקד). In this context, the nuance “to punish” or “to take vengeance” (see 1b above) is most appropriate. Cf. KJV, ASV “I will avenge”; NAB, NASB, NRSV “I will punish.”

20 tn Heb “house” (so NAB, NRSV); NCV “family”; CEV “descendants.”

21 tn The plural form of דָּם (dam, “blood”) refers to “bloodshed” (BDB 196 s.v. דָּם 2.f). This is an example of a plural of abnormal condition (GKC 400 §124.n). The plural is used to represent natural objects which are found in an unnatural or abnormal condition. The plural is used because the natural object is normally found as a whole or in one unit, but in the abnormal condition the object is found in many parts. Normally, blood is contained as a whole within the body. However, when a brutal murder occurs, blood is shed and literally spilled all over the place. Cf. NIV “the massacre”; TEV, CEV, NLT “the murders.”

22 tn Heb “I will visit the bloodshed of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu.”

23 tn Heb “the kingdom of the house of Israel” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV). This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.

24 sn The proper name יִזְרְעֶאל (yizréel, “Jezreel”) sounds like יִשְׂרָאֵל (yisrael, “Israel”). This phonetic wordplay associates the sin at Jezreel with the judgment on Israel, stressing poetic justice.

25 tn Heb “In that day” (so NIV; NAB, NRSV “On that day”).

26 tn Heb “I will break the bow” (so NAB, NRSV). The phrase “break the bow” (וְשַׁבָרְתִּי אֶת־קֶשֶׁת, véshavartiet-qeshet) is figurative. The term קֶשֶׁת (qeshet, “bow”) frequently refers to the warrior’s weapon (2 Sam 22:35; Ps 18:35; Job 20:24; Hos 2:20; Zech 9:10; 10:4). The reference to the warrior’s bow is a synecdoche of specific (bow) for general (military weaponry or power; see HALOT 1155 s.v. קֶשֶׁת 3). The noun קֶשֶׁת is used figuratively for “power” several times (e.g., Gen 49:24; 1 Sam 2:4; Jer 49:35; Job 29:20; Ps 37:15; BDB 906 s.v. 1.e).

27 tn Heb “Then he said”; the referent (the Lord) does not appear in Hebrew, but has been specified in the translation for clarity. Many English versions specify the speaker here (KJV “God”; ASV “Jehovah”; NASB, NIV, NRSV “the Lord”).

28 sn The negative particle לאֹ (lo’, “no, not”) and the root רָחַם (rakham, “compassion”) are repeated in 1:6, creating a wordplay between the name Lo-Ruhamah (literally “No-Pity”) and the announcement of divine judgment, “I will no longer have pity on the nation of Israel.”

29 tn Heb “house”; cf. TEV, NLT “the people of Israel.”

30 tn The particle כִּי (ki) probably denotes cause (so NCV, TEV, CEV) or result here (GKC 505 §166.b; BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 3.c).

31 tn The verb נָשָׂא (nasa’, “to take away”) frequently denotes “to forgive” meaning to take away sin (BDB 671 s.v. נָשָׂא 3.c). The construction נָשׂא אֶשָּׂא (naso’ ’esa’, “I will certainly take away,” infinitive absolute + imperfect of the same root) repeats the root נָשָׂא for rhetorical emphasis, stressing the divine resolution not to forgive Israel.

32 tn The phrase “their guilt” does not appear in Hebrew, but is supplied in the translation for clarification. The ellipsis of the accusative direct object of נָשׂא אֶשָּׂא (naso’ ’esa’, “I will certainly take away”) is an example of brachyology. The accusative “guilt” must be supplied frequently with נָשַׂא (see BDB 671 s.v. נָשָׂא 3.c; e.g., Num 14:19; Isa 2:9; Ps 99:8). Many recent English versions simplify this to “forgive them” (e.g., NASB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV, NLT).

33 tn Heb “house”; cf. NCV, TEV, NLT “the people of Judah.”

34 tn The word order in this line is rhetorical, emphasizing the divine decision to withhold pity from Israel but to bestow it on Judah. The accusative direct object, which is introduced by a disjunctive vav (to denote contrast), appears before the verb: וְאֶת־בֵּית יְהוּדָה אֲרַחֵם (et-bet yéhudaharakhem, “but upon the house of Judah I will show pity”).

35 tn Heb “by war” (so NAB, NRSV, TEV); KJV, NASB, NIV “battle.”

36 sn These military weapons are examples of the metonymy of adjunct (the specific weapons named) for subject (warfare).

37 tn The preterite וַתִּגְמֹל (vatigmol, literally, “and she weaned”) functions in a synchronic sense with the following preterite וַתַּהַר (vattahar, literally, “and she conceived”) and may be treated in translation as a dependent temporal clause: “When she had weaned…she conceived” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV). Other English versions render this as sequential with “After” (NAB, NIV, TEV, NLT).

38 tn Heb “Then he said”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity. As in v. 6, many English versions specify the speaker here.

39 tn The independent personal pronoun אַתֶּם (’attem, “you”) is a plural form, referring to the people of Israel as a whole. To make this clear TEV translates this as third person: “the people of Israel are not my people” (cf. CEV, NLT).

40 tn The pronominal suffix on the preposition לָכֶם (lakhem, “your”) is a plural form, referring to the people of Israel as a whole.

41 tc The MT reads לֹא־אֶהְיֶה לָכֶם (lo-ehyeh lakhem, “I will not be yours”). The editors of BHS suggest emending the text to לֹא־אֱלֹהֵיכֶם (lo-elohekhem, “I will not be your God”). The emendation creates a tighter parallel with the preceding אַתֶּם לֹא עַמִּי (’attem lo’ ’ammi, “you are not my people”). Because of a lack of external evidence, however, the reading of the MT should be retained.

tn Heb “I am not yours.” The divine name “God” is supplied in the translation for clarity even though the reading of the MT is followed (see previous tc note). Almost all English versions (including KJV, ASV, NASB) supply “God” here.

sn This is an allusion to Yahweh’s promise to Moses אֶהְיֶה עִמָּךְ (’ehyehimmakh, “I will be with you”; Exod 3:12, 14). In effect, it is a negation of Exod 3:12, 14 and a cancellation of Israel’s status as vassal of Yahweh in the conditional Mosaic covenant.

42 sn Beginning with 1:10, the verse numbers through 2:23 in the English Bible differ by two from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 1:10 ET = 2:1 HT, 1:11 ET = 2:2 HT, 2:1 ET = 2:3 HT, etc., through 2:23 ET = 2:25 HT. Beginning with 3:1 the verse numbers in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible are again the same.

43 tn The vav prefixed to וְהָיָה (véhaya) functions in an adversative sense: “however” (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 71, §432).

44 tn Heb “sons” (so NASB); KJV, ASV “the children”; NAB, NIV “the Israelites.”

45 tn Heb “in the place” (בִּמְקוֹם, bimqom). BDB 880 s.v. מָקוֹם 7.b suggests that בִּמְקוֹם (preposition בְּ, bet, + noun מָקוֹם, maqom) is an idiom carrying a concessive sense: “instead of” (e.g., Isa 33:21; Hos 2:1). However, HALOT suggests that it functions in a locative sense: “in the same place” (HALOT 626 s.v. מָקוֹם 2b; e.g., 1 Kgs 21:19; Isa 33:21; Hos 2:1).

46 tn The predicate nominative, “You are…,” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

47 tn Heb “sons” (so KJV, NASB, NIV).

48 tn Heb “sons” (twice in this verse, so NASB); KJV, ASV “children”; NIV, NRSV, TEV “people.”

49 tn Heb “head” (so KJV, NAB, NRSV).

50 tn Alternatively, “gain possession of the land” (cf. NRSV) or “rise up from the land” (cf. NIV). This clause may be understood in two ways: (1) Israel will gain ascendancy over the land or conquer the land (e.g., Exod 1:10; cf. NAB “come up from other lands”) or (2) Israel will be “planted” in the land (Hos 2:24-25; cf. NLT “will…plant his people”).

51 tn Or “For” (so NASB); NCV “because”; TEV “Yes.”

52 tn Heb “Say to….” The imperative אִמְרוּ (’imru, Qal imperative masculine plural) functions rhetorically, as an example of erotesis of one verbal form (imperative) for another (indicative). The imperative is used as a rhetorical device to emphasize the certainty of a future action.

53 sn The suffixes on the nouns אֲחֵיכֶם (’akhekhem, “your brother”) and אֲחוֹתֵיכֶם (’akhotekhem, “your sister”) are both plural forms. The brother/sister imagery is being applied to Israel and Judah collectively.

54 tn Heb “Plead with your mother, plead!” The imperative רִיבוּ (rivu, “plead!”) is repeated twice in this line for emphasis. This rhetorical expression is handled in a woodenly literal sense by most English translations: NASB “Contend…contend”; NAB “Protest…protest!”; NIV “Rebuke…rebuke”; NRSV “Plead…plead”; CEV “Accuse! Accuse your mother!”

55 sn The suffix on the noun אִמְּכֶם (’immékhem, “your mother”) is a plural form (2nd person masculine). The children of Gomer represent the “children” (i.e., people) of Israel; Gomer represents the nation as a whole.

56 tn The particle כִּי (ki) introduces a parenthetical explanatory clause (however, cf. NCV “because”).

sn The reason that Hosea (representing the Lord) calls upon his children (representing the children of Israel) to plead with Gomer (representing the nation as a whole), rather than pleading directly with her himself, is because Hosea (the Lord) has turned his back on his unfaithful wife (Israel). He no longer has a relationship with her (“for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband”) because she abandoned him for her lovers.

57 tn The dependent volitive sequence of imperative followed by vav + jussive (רִיבוּ, rivu followed by וְתָסֵר, vétaser) creates a purpose clause: “so that she might turn away from” (= “put an end to”); cf. NRSV “that she put away”; KJV “let her therefore put away.” Many English translations begin a new sentence here, presumably to improve the English style (so NAB, NIV, TEV, NLT), but this obscures the connection with the preceding clause.

58 tn Heb “put away her adulteries from her face.” The plural noun זְנוּנֶיהָ (zénuneha, “adulteries”) is an example of the plural of repeated (or habitual) action: she has had multiple adulterous affairs.

59 tn Heb “[put away] her immoral behavior from between her breasts.” Cf. KJV “her adulteries”; NIV “the unfaithfulness.”

60 tn Heb “and kill her with thirst.” The vav prefixed to the verb (וַהֲמִתִּיהָ, vahamittiha) introduces a purpose/result clause: “in order to make her die of thirst” (purpose) or “and thus make her die of thirst” (result).

61 tn Heb “her sons.” English versions have long translated this as “children,” however; cf. KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT.

sn The word order is rhetorical: the accusative וְאֶת־בָּנֶיהָ (et-baneha, “her sons”) is moved forward for emphasis.

62 tn Heb “sons of adulteries”; KJV “children of whoredoms.”

sn The word order is rhetorical: the construct clause בְנֵי זְנוּנִים (vÿne zÿnunim, “sons of adulteries”), which functions as the predicate nominative, is moved forward, before the independent personal pronoun הֵמָּה (hemma, “they”) which functions as the subject, to focus on the immoral character of her children.

63 tn Heb “I will go after” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV).

64 sn This statement alludes to the practice of sexual rites in the Canaanite fertility cult which attempted to secure agricultural fertility from the Canaanite gods (note the following reference to wool, flax, olive oil, and wine).

65 tn Heb “my drinks.” Many English versions use the singular “drink” here, but cf. NCV, TEV, CEV “wine.”

66 tn The deictic particle הִנְנִי (hinni, “Behold!”) introduces a future-time reference participle that refers to imminent future action: “I am about to” (TEV “I am going to”).

67 tn Heb “I will hedge up her way”; NIV “block her path.”

68 tn Heb “I will wall in her wall.” The cognate accusative construction וְגָדַרְתִּי אֶת־גְּדֵרָהּ (vÿgadartiet-gÿderah, “I will wall in her wall”) is an emphatic literary device. The 3rd person feminine singular suffix on the noun functions as a dative of disadvantage: “as a wall against her” (A. B. Davidson, Hebrew Syntax, 3, remark 2). The expression means “I will build a wall to bar her way.” Cf. KJV “I will make a wall”; TEV “I will build a wall”; RSV, NASB, NRSV “I will build a wall against her”; NLT “I will fence her in.”

69 tn The disjunctive clause (object followed by negated verb) introduces a clause which can be understood as either purpose or result.

70 tn Heb “her paths” (so NAB, NRSV).

71 tn Heb “overtake” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV); NLT “be able to catch up with.”

72 tn In the Hebrew text the accusative direct object pronoun אֹתָם (’otam, “them”) is omitted/elided for balanced poetic parallelism. The LXX supplies αὐτους (autous, “them”); but it is not necessary to emend the MT because this is a poetic literary convention rather than a textual problem.

73 tn Heb “I will go and return” (so NRSV). The two verbs joined with vav form a verbal hendiadys. Normally, the first verb functions adverbially and the second retains its full verbal sense (GKC 386-87 §120.d, h). The Hebrew phrase אֵלְכָה וְאָשׁוּבָה (’elkhah vÿashuvah, “I will go and I will return”) connotes, “I will return again.” As cohortatives, both verbs emphasize the resolution of the speaker.

74 tn Heb “to my man, the first.” Many English translations (e.g., KJV, NAB, NRSV, TEV) take this as “my first husband,” although this implies that there was more than one husband involved. The text refers to multiple lovers, but these were not necessarily husbands.

75 tn Or “because it was better for me then than now” (cf. NCV).

76 tn Or “For” (so KJV, NASB); or “But” (so NCV).

77 tn The phrase “until now” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.

78 tn Heb “she does not know” (so NASB, NCV); or “she does not acknowledge.”

79 tn The 1st person common singular independent personal pronoun אָנֹכִי (’anokhi, “I”) is emphatic, since the subject of this verbal clause is already explicit in the verb נָתַתִּי (natatti, Qal perfect 1st person common singular: “I gave”).

80 tn The phrase “that it was I who” does not appear in the Hebrew text here, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.

81 sn The third person plural here is an obvious reference to the Israelites who had been unfaithful to the Lord in spite of all that he had done for them. To maintain the imagery of Israel as the prostitute, a third person feminine singular would be called for; in the interest of literary consistency this has been supplied in some English translations (e.g., NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

82 tn Heb “for Baal” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV); cf. TEV “in the worship of Baal.”

83 tn Heb “I will return and I will take.” The two verbs joined with vav conjunction form a verbal hendiadys in which the first verb functions adverbially and the second retains its full verbal sense (GKC 386-87 §120.d, h): אָשׁוּב וְלָקַחְתִּי (’ashuv vÿlaqakhti) means “I will take back.”

84 tn Heb “in its time” (so NAB, NRSV).

85 tn Heb “in its season” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV).

86 tn The words “which I had provided” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons; cf. NIV “intended to cover.”

87 tn Heb “to cover her nakedness” (so KJV and many other English versions); TEV “for clothing.”

sn This announcement of judgment is extremely ironic and forcefully communicates poetic justice: The punishment will fit the crime. The Israelites were literally uncovering their nakedness in temple prostitution in the Baal fertility cult rituals. Yahweh will, in effect, give them what they wanted (nakedness) but not in the way they wanted it: Yahweh will withhold the agricultural fertility they sought from Baal which would lead to nakedness caused by impoverishment.

88 tn The particle עַתָּה (’attah) often refers to the imminent or the impending future: “very soon” (BDB 774 s.v. עַתָּה 1.b). In Hosea it normally introduces imminent judgment (Hos 2:12; 4:16; 5:7; 8:8, 13; 10:2).

89 tn Heb “her lewdness” (so KJV, NIV); NAB, NRSV “her shame.”

90 tn Heb “out of my hand” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV); TEV “save her from my power.”

91 tn Heb “my wages.” The words “for prostitution” are not in the Hebrew text but are supplied for clarity; cf. CEV “gave…as payment for sex.”

92 tn Heb “I will turn them”; the referents (vines and fig trees) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

93 tn Heb “the beasts of the field” (so KJV, NASB); the same expression also occurs in v. 18).

94 tn Heb “the days of the Baals, to whom she burned incense.” The word “festival” is supplied to clarify the referent of “days,” and the word “idols” is supplied in light of the plural “Baals” (cf. NLT “her images of Baal”).

95 tn The vav prefixed to a nonverb (וְאֹתִי, oti) introduces a disjunctive contrastive clause, which is rhetorically powerful.

96 tn The accusative direct object pronoun וְאֹתִי (oti, “me”) is emphatic in the word order of this clause (cf. NIV “but me she forgot”), emphasizing the heinous inappropriateness of Israel’s departure from the Lord.

97 tn The participle מְפַתֶּיהָ (méfatteha, Piel participle masculine singular + 3rd feminine singular suffix from פָּתָה, patah, “to allure”) following the deictic particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “Now!”) describes an event that will occur in the immediate or near future.

98 tn Following the future-time referent participle (מְפַתֶּיהָ, méfatteha) there is a string of perfects introduced by vav consecutive that refer to future events.

99 tn Heb “Valley of Achor,” so named because of the unfortunate incident recorded in Josh 7:1-26 (the name is explained in v. 26; the Hebrew term Achor means “disaster” or “trouble”). Cf. TEV, CEV “Trouble Valley.”

100 tn Heb “door” or “doorway”; cf. NLT “gateway.” Unlike the days of Joshua, when Achan’s sin jeopardized Israel’s mission and cast a dark shadow over the nation, Israel’s future return to the land will be marked by renewed hope.

101 tn Heb “as in the days of her youth” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).

102 tn Heb “as in the day when” (so KJV, NASB).

103 tn Heb “And in that day”; NLT “In that coming day.”

104 tc The MT reads תִּקְרְאִי (tiqrÿi, “you will call”; Qal imperfect 2nd person feminine singular). The versions (LXX, Syriac, Vulgate) all reflect an alternate Vorlage of תִּקְרָא לִי (tiqrali, “she will call me”; Qal imperfect 3rd person feminine singular followed by preposition לְ, lamed, + 1st person common singular pronominal suffix). This textual variant undoubtedly arose under the influence of לִי תִּקְרְאִי (tiqrÿi li) which follows. Most English versions follow the reading of the MT (KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT, CEV), but some follow the ancient versions and read the 3rd person (“she”, so NAB, NCV, TEV).

105 tn There are wordplays on the terms אִישׁ (’ish) and בַּעַל (baal) here. The term אִישִׁי (’ishi, “my man, husband”) is a title of affection (Gen 2:23; 3:6, 16) as the counterpart to אִשָּׁה (’ishah, “woman, wife”). The term בַּעְלִי (bali, “my lord”) emphasizes the husband’s legal position (Exod 21:3; Deut 22:22; 24:4). The relationship will no longer be conditioned on the outward legal commitment but on a new inward bond of mutual affection and love.

106 tc The MT reads תִקְרְאִי לִי (tiqrÿi li, “you will call me”; Qal imperfect 2nd person feminine singular followed by preposition לְ, lamed, + 1st person common singular pronominal suffix). The versions (LXX, Syriac, Vulgate) all reflect an alternate Vorlage of תִקְרְא לִי (tiqrÿli, “she will call me”; Qal imperfect 3rd person feminine singular followed by preposition לְ + 1st person common singular pronominal suffix). This textual variant is related to the preceding textual issue (see preceding tc note).

107 sn There is a wordplay on the terms בַּעְלִי (bali, “my master”) and הַבְּעָלִים (habbéalim, “the Baals”) which are derived from the root בַּעַל (baal, “master; lord”). This wordplay is especially effective because the term בַּעַל can refer to one’s husband and is also the name of the Canaanite storm god Baal. Referring to a spouse the term normally means “husband; master.” It was a common, ordinary, nonpejorative term that was frequently used in an interchangeable manner with אִישׁ (’ish, “husband; man”). Due to its similarity in sound to the abhorrent Canaanite fertility god Baal, the repentant Israelites would be so spiritually sensitive that they would refrain from even uttering this neutral term for fear of recalling their former idolatry. The purpose of the exile is to end Israel’s worship of Baal and to remove syncretism.

108 tn The vav consecutive prefixed to וַהֲסִרֹתִי (vahasiroti) “I will remove” (vav consecutive + Hiphil perfect 1st person common singular) introduces an explanatory clause.

109 tn Heb “the Baals.” The singular term בַּעַל (baal) refers to the Canaanite god Baal himself, while the plural form הַבְּעָלִים (habbéalim) refers to the manifestations of the god (i.e., idols; BDB 127 s.v. בָּעַל II.1).

110 tn Heb “from her mouth.” In the translation this is rendered as second person for consistency.

111 tn Heb “they will no longer be mentioned by their name.”

112 tn Heb “And in that day” (so KJV, ASV).

113 tn Heb “I will break”; NAB “I will destroy”; NCV “I will smash”; NLT “I will remove.”

114 tn Heb “bow and sword and warfare.” The first two terms in the triad וְקֶשֶׁת וְחֶרֶב וּמִלְחָמָה (vÿqeshet vÿkherev umilkhamah, literally, “bow and sword and warfare”) are examples of synecdoche of specific (bow and sword) for general (weapons of war, so CEV). However, they might be examples of metonymy (bow and sword) of association (warfare).

115 tn Heb “and I will cause them to lie down in safety.” The causative nuance (“will make them”) is retained in several English versions (e.g., KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).

116 tn Heb “I will betroth you to me” (so NIV) here and in the following lines. Cf. NRSV “I will take you for my wife forever.”

117 tn The preposition בְּ (bet), which is repeated throughout 2:19-20 [21-22], denotes price paid (BDB 90 s.v. בְּ III.3; e.g., Ezek 3:14). The text contains an allusion to the payment of bridal gifts. The Lord will impute the moral character to Israel that will be necessary for a successful covenant relationship (contra 4:1).

118 tn The vav consecutive on the suffix conjugation verb וְיָדַעַתְּ (véyadaat, “then you will know”) introduces a result clause (cf. NASB, CEV).

119 tn Or “know.” The term יָדַע (yada’, “know, acknowledge”) is often used in covenant contexts. It can refer to the suzerain’s acknowledgment of his covenant obligations to his vassal or to the vassal’s acknowledgment of his covenant obligations to his suzerain. When used in reference to a vassal, the verb “know” is metonymical (cause for effect) for “obey.” See H. Huffmann, “The Treaty Background of Hebrew ya„daà,” BASOR 181 (1966): 31-37.

120 tc The MT reads יְהוָה (yÿhvah, “the Lord”); however, many Hebrew mss read כִּי אָנִי (kiani, “that it is I”), as also reflected in the Latin Vulgate (cf. CEV “know who I am”).

121 tn Heb “And in that day”; NAB, NRSV “On that day.”

122 tn The verb עָנָה, (’anah) which is used throughout 2:23-24, is related to the root I עָנָה (’anah), “to answer, listen attentively, react willingly” (BDB 772 s.v. 1.b; HALOT 852 s.v. ענה 3.b).

123 tn Heb “and they.” In the Hebrew text the plural pronoun is used because it refers back to the term translated “sky,” which is a dual form in Hebrew. Many English versions (e.g., NAB, NASB, NRSV) use the plural term “heavens” here, which agrees with a plural pronoun (cf. also NIV, NCV “skies”).

124 tn Heb “Jezreel.” The use of the name יִזְרְעֶאל (yizréel, “Jezreel”) creates a powerful three-fold wordplay: (1) The proper name יִזְרְעֶאל (“Jezreel”) is a phonetic wordplay on the similar sounding name יִשְׂרָאֵל (yisrael, “Israel”): God will answer Israel, that is, Jezreel. (2) The name יִזְרְעֶאל (“Jezreel”) plays on the verb זָרַע (zara’, “to sow, plant”), the immediately following word: וּזְרַעְתִּיהָ (uzératiha, vav + Qal perfect 1st person common singular + 3rd person feminine singular suffix: “I will sow/plant her”). This wordplay creates a popular etymology for יִזְרְעֶאל meaning, “God sows/plants,” which fits well into the agricultural fertility imagery in 2:21-23 [2:23-25]. (3) This positive connotation of יִזְרְעֶאל (“Jezreel”) in 2:21-23[23-25] reverses the negative connotation of יִזְרְעֶאל (“Jezreel”) in 1:4-5 (bloodshed of Jehu in the Jezreel Valley).

125 tn Heb “for myself.”

126 tn The Hebrew text, carrying out the reference to the son born in 1:8-9, uses the third person masculine singular pronoun here; some English translations use third person plural (“they,” so KJV, NASB, NIV, CEV) in keeping with the immediate context, which refers to reestablished Israel.

127 tn The words “You are” do not appear in the Hebrew text, but are implied. It is necessary to supply the phrase in the translation to prevent the reader from understanding the predicate “my God” as an exclamation (cf. NAB).

128 tn Heb “Go again! Love!” Cf. NAB “Give your love to.”

129 tn Heb “a woman.” The probable referent is Gomer. Some English translations (e.g., NIV, NLT) specify the referent as “your wife.”

130 tc The MT vocalizes אֲהֻבַת (’ahuvat) as a construct form of the Qal passive participle and takes רֵעַ (rea’) as a genitive of agent: “who is loved by רֵעַ.” However, the ancient versions (LXX, Syriac, Vulgate) all vocalize אֲהֻבַת as an absolute form of the Qal active participle, and take רֵעַ as the accusative direct object: “who loves רֵעַ.” The English translations consistently follow the MT. The editors of BHS suggest the revocalization but with some reservation. For discussion of the vocalization, see D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 5:230.

tn Heb “a woman who is loved by a companion” (אִשָּׁה אֲהֻבַת רֵעַ, ’ishahahuvat rea’). The substantival participle אֲהֻבַת (“one who is loved”) is in apposition to אִשָּׁה (“a woman”). The genitive noun רֵעַ (“companion”) functions as the agent of the preceding construct noun: “who is loved by a companion” (אֲהֻבַת רֵעַ). Cf. NAB “a woman beloved of a paramour”; NRSV “a woman who has a lover.”

131 tn The meaning of the noun רֵעַ (rea’) is debated because it has a broad range of meanings: (1) “friend,” (2) “lover,” (3) “companion,” (4) “neighbor,” and (5) “another” (HALOT 1253-55 s.v. II רֵעַ; BDB 945-46 s.v. II רֵעַ). The Hebrew lexicons favor the nuance “lover; paramour” here (HALOT 1255 s.v. 2; BDB 946 s.v. 1). Most scholars adopt the same approach; however, a few suggest that רֵעַ does not refer to another man, but to her husband (Hosea). Both approaches are reflected in English translations: NASB “a woman who is loved by her husband”; NIV “though she is loved by another”; NAB “a woman beloved of a paramour”; KJV “a woman beloved of her friend”; NJPS “a woman who, while befriended by a companion”; TEV “a woman who is committing adultery with a lover”; CEV “an unfaithful woman who has a lover.”

132 tn Heb “love a woman who is loved of a lover and is an adulteress.”

133 tn Heb “like the love of the Lord.” The genitive after the construct functions as a subjective genitive.

134 tn Heb “sons of Israel” (so NASB); KJV “children of Israel”; NAB “people of Israel.”

135 tn Heb “they are lovers of cakes of raisins.” A number of English translations render this literally (e.g., ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).

136 tc The LXX reads “a homer of barley and a measure of wine,” a reading followed by some English translations (e.g., NRSV, NLT).

tn Heb “a homer of barley and a lethech of barley.” A homer was about 5 bushels (180 liters) and a lethech about 2.5 bushels (90 liters).

137 tn Heb “and you will not be for”; NIV “be intimate with.”

138 tn Heb “sons of Israel” (so NASB); KJV “children of Israel”; NAB “people of Israel” (likewise in the following verse).

139 tn Heb “David their king”; cf. NCV “the king from David’s family”; TEV “a descendant of David their king”; NLT “David’s descendant, their king.”

sn It is not clear whether Hosea was predicting a restoration of Davidic kingship over Israel and Judah (e.g., Jer 17:25; 22:2) or referring to the ultimate Davidic king, namely, the Messiah, who will fulfill the conditions of the Davidic covenant and inaugurate/fulfill the blessings of the Davidic covenant for Israel. The Messiah is frequently pictured as the “New David” because he would fulfill the ideals of the Davidic covenant and be everything that David and his descendants were commissioned to be (e.g., Isa 9:7[6]; 16:5; Jer 23:5-6; 30:9; 33:15-16; Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25).

140 tn Heb “his goodness”; NLT “his good gifts.”

141 tn Heb “in the end of the days.” Cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NCV, NLT “in the last days.”

142 tn Heb “sons of Israel” (so NASB); KJV “children of Israel”; NAB, NRSV “people of Israel.”

143 tn The noun רִיב (riv, “dispute, lawsuit”) is used in two contexts: (1) nonlegal contexts: (a) “dispute” between individuals (e.g., Gen 13:7; Isa 58:1; Jer 15:10) or (b) “brawl; quarrel” between people (e.g., Exod 17:7; Deut 25:1); and (2) legal contexts: (a) “lawsuit; legal process” (e.g., Exod 23:3-6; Deut 19:17; 21:5; Ezek 44:24; Ps 35:23), (b) “lawsuit; legal case” (e.g., Deut 1:12; 17:8; Prov 18:17; 25:9), and (c) God’s “lawsuit” on behalf of a person or against his own people (Hos 4:1; 12:3; Mic 6:2; HALOT 1225-26 s.v. רִיב). The term in Hosea refers to a covenant lawsuit in which Yahweh the suzerain lodges a legal case against his disobedient vassal, accusing Israel and Judah of breach of covenant which will elicit the covenant curses.

144 tn Heb “with the inhabitants of the land” (so KJV); NAB, NASB, NRSV “against the inhabitants of the land.”

145 tn Heb “there is no truthfulness nor loyalty nor knowledge of God in the land.” Here “knowledge of God” refers to recognition of his authority and obedience to his will.

146 tn Heb “they break out and bloodshed touches bloodshed.” The Hebrew term פָּרַץ (parats, “to break out”) refers to violent and wicked actions (BDB 829 s.v. פָּרַץ 7; HALOT 972 s.v. פרץ 6.c). It is used elsewhere in a concrete sense to describe breaking through physical barriers. Here it is used figuratively to describe breaking moral barriers and restraints (cf. TEV “Crimes increase, and there is one murder after another”).

147 tn Or “languish” (so KJV, NRSV); NIV “waste away.”

148 tn Heb “the beasts of the field” (so NAB, NIV).

149 tn Or “Let no one contend or accuse.”

150 tc The MT reads וְעַמְּךָ כִּמְרִיבֵי כֹהֵן (vÿammÿkha kimrive khohen): “And your people [are] like those who contend against the priest.” This is reflected in the LXX and the versions; however, it is syntactically awkward and makes little sense in context. Several textual critics suggest emending the text to read וְעִמְּךָ רִיבִי כֹהֵן (vÿimmÿkha rivi khohen): “My contention is with/against you, O priest!” This involves (1) the revocalization of עַמְּךָ (“your people”) to עִמְּךָ (“with/against you”) and (2) positing dittography (a letter written twice instead of once) of כְּ (kaf) between original וְעַמְּךָ רִיבִי to create וְעַמְּךָ כִּרִיבִי (MT). The BHS editors suggest that the MT is corrupt and should be emended. However, the editors of the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project retain the MT reading with a “B” rating. Likewise, the English translations are split: (1) KJV “for thy people are as they that strive with the priest”; NASB “for your people are like those who contend with the priest”; NIV “for your people are like those who bring charges against a priest”; (2) RSV “for with you is my contention, O priest”; NJPS “for this your people has a grievance against [you], O priest!”; TEV “my complaint is against you priests”; CEV “My case is against you, the priests!”

tn The singular noun כֹּהֵן (cohen, “priest”) may be understood as a singular of number (so KJV, NASB, NRSV), referring to a singular individual (perhaps the high priest); however, it is more likely that it functions as a collective singular, referring to the priesthood as a whole (e.g., 4:7-10, so NAB, NCV, TEV, NLT, CEV). Collective singular forms alternate with plural forms throughout the oracle against the priests in 4:4-10.

151 tc The MT reads וְדָמִיתִי אִמֶּךָ (vÿdamitiimmekha, “and I will destroy your mother”), and is followed by most English versions; however, the text should probably be emended to וְדָמִית עַמֶּךָ (vÿdamitammekha, “and you have destroyed your own people”). The 2nd person masculine singular form וְדָמִית (vÿdamit, “and you have destroyed”) is preserved in several medieval Hebrew mss and reflected in Jerome’s Vulgate. For discussion in favor of the MT reading, see D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 5:232.

tn Or “and I will destroy your mother” (so NASB, NRSV).

152 tn Heb “they have destroyed” or “my people are destroyed” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV).

153 tn Heb “Because you reject knowledge”; NLT “because they don’t know me.”

154 tn Heb “have forgotten”; NAB, NIV “have ignored.”

155 tn Heb “forget” (so KJV, NRSV); NLT “forget to bless.”

156 tc The MT reads אָמִיר (’amir, “I will change, exchange”; Hiphil imperfect 1st person common singular from מוּר, mur, “to change, exchange”). However, an alternate scribal tradition (tiqquneh sopherim, that is, an intentional scribal change when the Masoretes believed that the received consonantal reading was corrupt) preserves the reading הֵמִירוּ (hemiru, “they have exchanged”; Hiphil perfect 3rd person common plural from מוּר). This alternate scribal tradition is also found in the Targum and reflected in the Syriac Peshitta. Several translations follow the MT: KJV, RSV, NASB “I will change their glory into shame” and TEV “I will turn your honor into disgrace”; however, others adopt the alternate tradition: NRSV “they changed their glory into shame” and NIV “they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful.” For discussion in favor of the MT reading, see D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 5:232.

157 tn Heb “And it shall be, like people, like priest” (so ASV); NAB “The priests shall fare no better than the people.”

158 tn Heb “by guarding harlotry.” The present translation assumes that the first word of v. 11 in the Hebrew text is to be taken with the infinitive at the end of v. 10 (so also NAB, NIV, NCV, NRSV).

159 tn Heb “take away the heart of my people.” The present translation assumes that the first word of v. 12 in the Hebrew text is to be construed with the noun at the end of v. 11 (so also TEV, CEV, NLT).

160 tn Heb “adultery.” The adjective “spiritual” is supplied in the translation to clarify that apostasy is meant here.

161 tn The phrase “they sacrifice” is not repeated in the Hebrew text here but is implied by parallelism; it is provided in the translation for the sake of clarity.

162 tn The words “it is true” are supplied in the translation to indicate that this is a conclusion drawn on the preceding behavior. Cf. NAB “So must a people”; NRSV “thus a people”; TEV “As the proverb says, ‘A people.’”

163 sn Beth Aven means “house of wickedness” in Hebrew; it is a polemic reference to “Bethel,” which means “house of God.” Cf. CEV “at sinful Bethel.”

164 tn The Hebrew verb “has rebelled” (סָרַר, sarar) can also mean “to be stubborn.” This is the same root used in the simile: “like a stubborn (סֹרֵרָה, sorerah) heifer.” The similarity between Israel and a stubborn heifer is emphasized by the repetition of the same term.

165 tn The particle עַתָּה (’attah) often refers to the imminent or the impending future: “very soon” (BDB 774 s.v. עַתָּה 1.b). In Hosea it normally introduces imminent judgment (Hos 2:12; 4:16; 5:7; 8:8, 13; 10:2).

166 tn Or “How can the Lord feed them like a lamb in a meadow?” The syntax of this line is difficult and has been understood in two ways: (1) a declarative statement as an announcement of judgment (BDB 774 s.v. עַתָּה 1.b): “Now the Lord will feed them like a lamb in the broad field” (cf. KJV, ASV, NCV, NLT) or (2) as a rhetorical question lamenting the uncooperative spirit of Israel: “How can the Lord feed them like a lamb in a meadow?”; cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, TEV), designed to produce a negative answer (“He cannot feed them…!”). However, this statement lacks an explicit interrogative marker. Although Hosea occasionally asks a rhetorical question without an explicit interrogative marker (e.g., 10:9; 13:14a), he normally does use a rhetorical particle to introduce rhetorical questions (e.g., 6:4; 8:5; 9:5, 14; 11:8; 13:9-10, 14b). Elsewhere, Hosea uses the introductory temporal adverb עַתָּה (“soon”) to introduce announcements of imminent future judgment (2:12; 4:16; 5:7; 8:8, 13; 10:2) and accusations of sin (5:3; 13:2). Although Israel has been as rebellious as a stubborn heifer, the Lord will indeed gain control of Israel: they will be like lambs (weakened and defeated) when he puts them out to pasture in a broad field (exile).

167 tn Heb “their altars” (so NAB, NRSV) or “their sacrifices” (so KJV, NASB, NIV). Here זִבְחוֹתָם (zivkhotam, “altars; sacrifices”) is a metonymy of association for Israel’s apostate idolatrous Baal worship.



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