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
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 tc The textual problems in Hosea are virtually unparalleled in the OT. The Masoretic Text (MT), represented by the Leningrad Codex (c.
2 tn Heb “The word of the
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
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
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 (na’af, “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.”