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Hosea 2:18-20

Context
New Covenant Relationship with Repentant Israel

2:18 “At that time 1  I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals,

the birds of the air, and the creatures that crawl on the ground.

I will abolish 2  the warrior’s bow and sword

– that is, every weapon of warfare 3  – from the land,

and I will allow them to live securely.” 4 

2:19 I will commit myself to you 5  forever;

I will commit myself to you in 6  righteousness and justice,

in steadfast love and tender compassion.

2:20 I will commit myself to you in faithfulness;

then 7  you will acknowledge 8  the Lord.” 9 

1 tn Heb “And in that day” (so KJV, ASV).

2 tn Heb “I will break”; NAB “I will destroy”; NCV “I will smash”; NLT “I will remove.”

3 tn Heb “bow and sword and warfare.” The first two terms in the triad וְקֶשֶׁת וְחֶרֶב וּמִלְחָמָה (vÿqeshet vÿkherev umilkhamah, literally, “bow and sword and warfare”) are examples of synecdoche of specific (bow and sword) for general (weapons of war, so CEV). However, they might be examples of metonymy (bow and sword) of association (warfare).

4 tn Heb “and I will cause them to lie down in safety.” The causative nuance (“will make them”) is retained in several English versions (e.g., KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).

5 tn Heb “I will betroth you to me” (so NIV) here and in the following lines. Cf. NRSV “I will take you for my wife forever.”

6 tn The preposition בְּ (bet), which is repeated throughout 2:19-20 [21-22], denotes price paid (BDB 90 s.v. בְּ III.3; e.g., Ezek 3:14). The text contains an allusion to the payment of bridal gifts. The Lord will impute the moral character to Israel that will be necessary for a successful covenant relationship (contra 4:1).

7 tn The vav consecutive on the suffix conjugation verb וְיָדַעַתְּ (véyadaat, “then you will know”) introduces a result clause (cf. NASB, CEV).

8 tn Or “know.” The term יָדַע (yada’, “know, acknowledge”) is often used in covenant contexts. It can refer to the suzerain’s acknowledgment of his covenant obligations to his vassal or to the vassal’s acknowledgment of his covenant obligations to his suzerain. When used in reference to a vassal, the verb “know” is metonymical (cause for effect) for “obey.” See H. Huffmann, “The Treaty Background of Hebrew ya„daà,” BASOR 181 (1966): 31-37.

9 tc The MT reads יְהוָה (yÿhvah, “the Lord”); however, many Hebrew mss read כִּי אָנִי (kiani, “that it is I”), as also reflected in the Latin Vulgate (cf. CEV “know who I am”).



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