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Hosea 12:1-2

Context

12:1 Ephraim continually feeds on the wind;

he chases the east wind all day;

he multiplies lies and violence.

They make treaties 1  with Assyria,

and send olive oil as tribute 2  to Egypt.

12:2 The Lord also has a covenant lawsuit 3  against Judah;

he will punish Jacob according to his ways

and repay him according to his deeds.

1 tn Heb “a treaty” (so NIV, NRSV); KJV, NASB “a covenant”; NAB “comes to terms.”

2 tn The phrase “as tribute” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity. Cf. NCV “send a gift of olive oil.”

3 tn The noun רִיב (riv, “dispute”) 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. Cf. NLT “is bringing a lawsuit.”



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