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Hosea 14:1-3

Context
Prophetic Call to Genuine Repentance

14:1 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,

for your sin has been your downfall! 1 

14:2 Return to the Lord and repent! 2 

Say to him: “Completely 3  forgive our iniquity;

accept 4  our penitential prayer, 5 

that we may offer the praise of our lips as sacrificial bulls. 6 

14:3 Assyria cannot save us;

we will not ride warhorses.

We will never again say, ‘Our gods’

to what our own hands have made.

For only you will show compassion to Orphan Israel!” 7 

1 tn Heb “For you have stumbled in your iniquity”; NASB, NRSV “because of your iniquity.”

2 tn Heb “Take words with you and return to the Lord” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

3 tn The word order כָּל־תִּשָּׂא עָוֹן (kol-tisa’ ’avon) is syntactically awkward. The BHS editors suggest rearranging the word order: תִּשָּׂא כָּל־עוֹן (“Forgive all [our] iniquity!”). However, Gesenius suggests that כָּל (“all”) does not function as the construct in the genitive phrase כָּל־עוֹן (“all [our] iniquity”); it functions adverbially modifying the verb תִּשָּׂא (“Completely forgive!”; see GKC 415 §128.e).

4 sn The repetition of the root לָקַח (laqakh) creates a striking wordplay in 14:2. If Israel will bring (לָקַח) its confession to God, he will accept (לָקַח) repentant Israel and completely forgive its sin.

5 tn Heb “and accept [our] speech.” The word טוֹב (tov) is often confused with the common homonymic root I טוֹב (tov, “good”; BDB 373 s.v. I טוֹב). However, this is probably IV טוֹב (tov, “word, speech”; HALOT 372 s.v. IV טוֹב), a hapax legomenon that is related to the verb טבב (“to speak”; HALOT 367 s.v. טבב) and the noun טִבָּה (tibbah, “rumor”; HALOT 367 s.v. טִבָּה). The term טוֹב (“word; speech”) refers to the repentant prayer mentioned in 14:1-3. Most translations relate it to I טוֹב and treat it as (1) accusative direct object: “accept that which is good” (RSV, NJPS), “Accept our good sacrifices” (CEV), or (2) adverbial accusative of manner: “receive [us] graciously” (KJV, NASB, NIV). Note TEV, however, which follows the suggestion made here: “accept our prayer.”

6 tc The MT reads פָרִים (farim, “bulls”), but the LXX reflects פְּרִי (pÿri, “fruit”), a reading followed by NASB, NIV, NRSV: “that we may offer the fruit of [our] lips [as sacrifices to you].” Although the Greek expression in Heb 13:15 (καρπὸν χειλέων, karpon xeilewn, “the fruit of lips”) reflects this LXX phrase, the MT makes good sense as it stands; NT usage of the LXX should not be considered decisive in resolving OT textual problems. The noun פָרִים (parim, “bulls”) functions as an adverbial accusative of state.

7 tn Heb “For the orphan is shown compassion by you.” The present translation takes “orphan” as a figurative reference to Israel, which is specified in the translation for clarity.



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