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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Hosea 12




PART II., Hosea 4-14. A series of addresses which give a summary of Hosea's prophetic teaching. The period presupposed seems to be the time of anarchy which followed the death of Jeroboam II (c. 743 B.C.). But there is no reason to suppose that the sections are arranged in chronological order. In Hosea 4-8 Israel's guilt is emphasized, in Hosea 9:1 to Hosea 11:11 the punishment, and in Hosea 11:12-12 both lines of thought are continued, the whole being rounded off with a brighter picture (Hosea 14). As, however, the oracles are essentially independent it is best to treat them separately. The text is in places very corrupt.

Verses 1-14

Hosea 11:12 b. Probably a Judæan addition. The text is here out of order (see LXX). Read perhaps, "But Judah is still known (i.e. trusted; reading yâdu'a for râd) with God and faithful to (with) the Holy One." If original the clause must be taken as an indictment of Judah. Render then, "And Judah is yet wayward (cf. mg.) with God, and yoked with the Qedçshim" (sacred prostitutes: reading nismâd for ne'ĕmân).

Hosea 12:1. feedeth on:? "loveth" (or possibly "herdeth").—wind symbolises what is vain, unsubstantial, with implied reference to Egypt ("east wind" to Assyria, cf. Hosea 13:15, Job 15:2; Job 27:21).—he . . . multiplieth: read, they multiply." For "desolation" read "vanity," and at end and they carry." Oil was precious (cf. Deuteronomy 8:8) and so appropriate for a costly present (cf. Isaiah 30:6).

Hosea 12:3. took . . . by the heel: i.e. attacked at the heel, overreached. Hosea 12:3 b may be regarded as contrasted with Hosea 12:3 a (by way of praise), and as an addition. But this is unnecessary. Render "contended with God" (cf. Genesis 32:24 ff.).

Hosea 12:4-6. Perhaps a later expansion, designed to mitigate the hard judgment on Jacob in Hosea 12:3; Hosea 12:4 a is probably one gloss, Hosea 12:4 b - Hosea 12:6 another (the theophany at Bethel, cf. Genesis 35:9 ff.), Hosea 12:6 forming the glossator's hortatory conclusion addressed to contemporaries.

Hosea 12:4. us: read "him."

Hosea 12:6. wait: render "hope."

Hosea 12:7. Render (cf. mg.) "Canaan—the balances of deceit, etc."—oppress: read (cf. mg.), "overreach" (Heb. la‘aqôb, play on Jacob).—Canaan here means commercialised Ephraim.

Hosea 12:8 a gives Ephraim's reply, he has become rich.

Hosea 12:8 b is the prophet's retort. Read, "All that he has amassed shall not suffice for the guilt he has incurred" (LXX).

Hosea 12:9. Perhaps out of place; the logical connexion is difficult.

Hosea 12:9 a=Hosea 13:4 a.—from: render, "since."—the solemn feast is difficult. The feast of the desert was Passover, not Tabernacles. Read (?) "thy youth."

Hosea 12:10. I have used similitudes: corrupt. No satisfactory emendation has been proposed.

Hosea 12:11. Text in disorder. Read, "In Gilead" (cf. Hosea 6:8*) "they have practised iniquity; in Gilgal (Hosea 9:15*) they have sacrificed to demons; (so) also shall their altars become stone-heaps," etc. [The logical connexion with Hosea 11:10 is difficult to trace. Marti thinks Hosea 11:10 an insertion.]

Hosea 12:12 f. Probably a gloss (? by the same hand as Hosea 12:4-6), to show the providential care of God in the life of Jacob and in the Exodus.

Hosea 12:12. Cf. Genesis 29:13-30.

Hosea 12:13. a prophet: i.e. Moses (cf. Deuteronomy 18:15; Deuteronomy 34:10).—was preserved: i.e. in the wilderness wanderings.

Hosea 12:14. Text hopelessly corrupt. After anger a threat of punishment may have followed.


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Hosea 12:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.

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