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The Lord Will Not Relent from the Threatened Judgment

14 Will I deliver them from the power of Sheol? No, I will not![a]
Will I redeem them from death? No, I will not!
O Death, bring on your plagues![b]
O Sheol, bring on your destruction![c]
My eyes will not show any compassion![d]

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  1. Hosea 13:14 tn The translation of the first two lines of this verse reflects the interpretation adopted from among three interpretive options for v. 14. First, in spite of Israel’s sins, the Lord will redeem them from the threat of death and destruction (e.g., 11:8). However, against this view, the last line of 13:14 probably means that the Lord will not show compassion to Israel. Second, the Lord announces the triumphant victory over death through resurrection (cf. KJV, ASV, NIV). However, although Paul uses the wording of Hosea 13:14 as an illustration of victory over death, the context of Hosea’s message is the imminent judgment in 723-722 b.c. Third, the first two lines of 13:14 are rhetorical questions without explicit interrogative markers, implying negative answers: “I will not rescue them!” (cf. NAB, NASB, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT). The next two lines in 13:14 are words of encouragement to Death and Sheol to destroy Israel. The final line announces that the Lord will not show compassion on Israel; he will not spare her.
  2. Hosea 13:14 tn Heb “Where, O Death, are your plagues?” (so NIV).
  3. Hosea 13:14 tn Heb “Where, O Sheol, is your destruction?” (NRSV similar).sn The two rhetorical questions in 13:14b function as words of encouragement, inviting personified Death and Sheol to draw near like foreign invading armies to attack and kill Israel (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).
  4. Hosea 13:14 tn Heb “Compassion will be hidden from my eyes” (NRSV similar; NASB “from my sight”).