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Hosea 2:13-17

Context

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

when she burned incense to the Baal idols; 1 

she adorned herself with earrings and jewelry,

and went after her lovers,

but 2  she forgot me!” 3  says the Lord.

Future Repentance and Restoration of Israel

2:14 However, in the future I will allure her; 4 

I will lead 5  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” 6  into an “Opportunity 7  for Hope.”

There she will sing as she did when she was young, 8 

when 9  she came up from the land of Egypt.

2:16 “At that time,” 10  declares the Lord,

“you will call, 11  ‘My husband’; 12 

you will never again call me, 13  ‘My master.’ 14 

2:17 For 15  I will remove the names of the Baal idols 16  from your lips, 17 

so that you will never again utter their names!” 18 

1 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”).

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

3 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.

4 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.

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

6 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.”

7 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.

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

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

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

11 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).

12 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.

13 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).

14 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.

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

16 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).

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

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



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