and Judah saw his wound,
then Ephraim turned 2 to Assyria,
But he will not be able to heal you!
He cannot cure your wound! 5
as tribute for the great king. 7
Ephraim will be disgraced;
2 tn Heb “went to” (so NAB, NRSV, TEV); CEV “asked help from.”
3 tn Heb “sent to” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV).
4 tc The MT reads מֶלֶךְ יָרֵב (melekh yarev, “a contentious king”). This is translated as a proper name (“king Jareb”) by KJV, ASV, NASB. However, the stative adjective יָרֵב (“contentious”) is somewhat awkward. The words should be redivided as an archaic genitive-construct מַלְכִּי רָב (malki rav, “great king”; cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) which preserves the old genitive hireq yod ending. This is the equivalent of the Assyrian royal epithet sarru rabbu (“the great king”). See also the tc note on the same phrase in 10:6.
5 tn Heb “your wound will not depart from you.”
sn Hosea personifies Ephraim’s “wound” as if it could depart from the sickly Ephraim (see the formal equivalent rendering in the preceding tn). Ephraim’s sinful action in relying upon an Assyrian treaty for protection will not dispense with its problems.
6 tn The antecedent of the 3rd person masculine singular direct object pronoun אוֹתוֹ (’oto, “it”) is probably the calf idol of Beth Aven mentioned in 10:5a. This has been specified in the translation for clarity (cf. TEV, NLT).
7 tc The MT reads מֶלֶךְ יָרֵב (melekh yarev, “a king who contends”?) which is syntactically awkward: מֶלֶךְ (“king”) followed by יָרֵב (“let him contend!”; Qal jussive 3rd person masculine singular from רִיב, riv, “to contend”). Note that KJV, ASV, NASB treat this as a proper name (“king Jareb”). The MT reading is probably the result of faulty word division. As the BHS editors suggest, the original reading most likely is מַלְכִּי רָב (malki rav, “the great king”). The suffixed י (yod) on מַלְכִּי is the remnant of the old genitive ending. This is the equivalent of the Assyrian royal epithet sarru rabbu (“the great king”). See also the tc note on the same phrase in 5:13.
8 tn The preposition מִן (min) functions in a causal sense specifying the logical cause: “because of” or “on account of” (e.g., Exod 2:23; Deut 7:7; Nah 3:4; BDB 580 s.v. מִן 2.f; HALOT 598 s.v. מִן 6).
9 tn The meaning of the root of מֵעֲצָתוֹ (me’atsato, preposition מִן, min, + feminine singular noun עֵצָה, ’etsah, + 3rd person masculine singular suffix) is debated. There are three options: (1) “its counsel” from I עֵצָה (“counsel; advice; plan”; BDB 420 s.v. עֵצָה; HALOT 867 s.v. I עֵצָה 3.a); (2) “its disobedience” from II עֵצָה (“disobedience,” but the existence of this root is debated; see HALOT 867 s.v. II עֵצָה); and (3) “its wooden idol” from III עֵצָה (“wood”; cf. Jer 6:6) referring to the wooden idol/effigy (the calf idol in 10:5), a stick of wood covered with gold (HALOT 867 s.v.). The last option is favored contextually: (a) the idol is called “a stick of wood” in Hos 4:12, and (b) the calf idol (probably the referent) of the cult is mentioned in 10:5. The English versions are divided: (1) “his idol” (RSV, NRSV), “its wooden idols” (NIV), “image” (NJPS margin), “that idol” (CEV), “this idol” (NLT); and (2) “his own counsel” (KJV, ASV), “its own counsel” (NASB), “his plans” (NJPS), “his schemes” (NAB), “the advice” (TEV).