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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Hosea 9

 

 

Introduction

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 1-9

Hosea 9:1-9. The Joyless Discipline of Exile.—The delirious joy of the popular nature-religion shall soon be exchanged for the sorrows of exile. In her own land Israel had treacherously ascribed to the Baalim the crops given by Yahweh; therefore, in a strange land, she shall lose all opportunity of sacrificing to Him. Their bread shall be "as the bread of mourners," unoffered and unconsecrated in Yahweh's Temple; and what will they do for festivals? Egypt shall be their grave, and all their wealth destroyed in the day of visitation (Hosea 9:1-7 a). If the prophet (Hosea) is "mad" this is explained by the universal sin against Yahweh, and the universal enmity against His prophet (Hosea 9:7 b, Hosea 9:8). The nation's guilt is indeed profound, and shall incur inevitable punishment (Hosea 9:9).

Hosea 9:1. joy: read "exult not" (LXX).—By hire (i.e. harlot's hire; cf. Hosea 2:14) is meant the material gifts which the Israelites look for as the reward of the Baal-worship.

Hosea 9:2. shall not feed: read "shall ignore," and for "her" read "them" (LXX). They shall not enjoy the harvest (cf. Amos 5:11).

Hosea 9:3. Egypt and Assyria symbolise lands of exile (cf. Hosea 7:11, Hosea 8:9; Hosea 8:13). The foreign land is unclean because it is impossible to sacrifice to Yahweh in it (cf. Amos 7:17); there can be no more joyful sacrificial meals in Yahweh's house.

Hosea 9:4. neither . . . mourners: read "nor prepare for him their sacrifices. Like the bread of mourners shall their bread be." By "the house of the LORD" is meant any of the numerous sanctuaries, which were nominally dedicated to the worship of Yahweh.—[Hosea 9:4 b, Hosea 9:5.? a gloss.]

Hosea 9:6. they . . . destruction: read "they shall go to Assyria." Their cherished possessions (pleasant things) in Palestine shall become a waste.

Hosea 9:7 b. Here a new verse should begin. It is the prophet's reply to the reproach of his hearers that he is "mad."

Hosea 9:8 f. The text appears to be corrupt. Hosea 9:8 a may mean "Ephraim acts the spy with my God" (G. A. Smith), but this is doubtful. Hosea 9:8 b may refer to persecution encountered by the prophet. Then join Hosea 9:9 a, to Hosea 9:8, reading "they have made a deep pit for him" (i.e. they have plotted against the prophet). The rest of 9 may be an addition (? made up from Hosea 10:9 and Hosea 8:13; so Wellhausen). For the crime of Gibeah cf. Judges 19.


Verses 10-17

Hosea 9:10. The sin of Baal-Peor (cf. Numbers 25) was continued in the impure cultus.—shameful thing: a substitute for "Baal" (Hosea 2:16*).

Hosea 9:11. The name Ephraim suggests a bird's pinions ('abrm). Their glory, i.e. their abundant population, shall take wings and fly.

Hosea 9:12 a. though: render "even if."

Hosea 9:12 b. ? a gloss.

Hosea 9:13. The text is corrupt. It may be restored (cf. LXX) somewhat as follows: "Ephraim I have seen like a man, who maketh his sons a prey, Yea Israel himself hath led forth to the slaughter his sons!" (so Marti, cf. Wellhausen).

Hosea 9:14. A despairing interjection by the prophet. Let Ephraim be doomed to barrenness rather than rear children only for slaughter.

Hosea 9:15. In Gilgal (cf. Hosea 4:15), one of the most famous sanctuaries of the cultus, "the corruption of the northern kingdom had its focus" (Cheyne). Had it been the scene of human sacrifice (cf. Hosea 9:13 as above)?—all their princes are revolters: there is an assonance in the original, "all their rulers are unruly" (cf. Isaiah 1:23).

Hosea 9:17. ? a gloss.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Hosea 9:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/hosea-9.html. 1919.

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