New English Translation
1 [a] This is the Lord’s message that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the time of[b] Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the time of Jeroboam son of Joash,[c] king of Israel.
Symbols of Sin and Judgment: The Prostitute and Her Children
2 When the Lord first spoke[d] through[e] Hosea, he[f] said to him,[g] “Go marry[h] a prostitute[i] who will bear illegitimate children conceived through prostitution,[j] because the nation[k] continually commits spiritual prostitution[l] by turning away from[m] the Lord.” 3 So Hosea married[n] Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim. Then she conceived and gave birth to a son for him. 4 Then the Lord said to Hosea,[o] “Name him ‘Jezreel,’ because in a little while I will punish the dynasty[p] of Jehu on account of the bloodshed[q] in the valley of Jezreel,[r] and I will put an end to the kingdom[s] of Israel.[t] 5 At that time,[u] I will destroy the military power[v] of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”
6 She conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord[w] said to him, “Name her ‘No Pity’ (Lo-Ruhamah) because I will no longer have pity[x] on the nation[y] of Israel. For[z] I will certainly not forgive[aa] their guilt.[ab] 7 But I will have pity on the nation[ac] of Judah.[ad] I will deliver them by the Lord their God; I will not deliver them by the warrior’s bow, by sword, by military victory,[ae] by chariot horses, or by chariots.”[af]
8 When[ag] she had weaned “No Pity” (Lo-Ruhamah), she conceived again and gave birth to another son. 9 Then the Lord[ah] said: “Name him ‘Not My People’ (Lo-Ammi), because you[ai] are not my people and I am not your[aj] God.”[ak]
The Restoration of Israel
10 (2:1)[al] However,[am] in the future the number of the people[an] of Israel will be like the sand of the sea that can be neither measured nor numbered. Although[ao] it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it will be said to them, “You are[ap] children[aq] of the living God!” 11 Then the people[ar] of Judah and the people of Israel will be gathered together. They will appoint for themselves one leader,[as] and will flourish in the land.[at] Certainly,[au] the day of Jezreel will be great!
Idolatrous Israel Will Be Punished Like a Prostitute
2 “Plead earnestly[ax] with your[ay] mother
(for[az] she is not my wife, and I am not her husband),
so that[ba] she might put an end to her adulterous lifestyle,[bb]
and turn away from her sexually immoral behavior.[bc]
3 Otherwise, I will strip her naked,
and expose her like she was when she was born.
I will turn her land into a wilderness
and make her country a parched land,
so that I might kill[bd] her with thirst.
4 I will have no pity on her children,[be]
because they are children conceived in adultery.[bf]
5 For their mother has committed adultery;
she who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For she said, “I will seek out[bg] my lovers;[bh]
they are the ones who give me my bread and my water,
my wool, my flax, my olive oil, and my wine.[bi]
The Lord’s Discipline Will Bring Israel Back
6 “Therefore, I will soon[bj] fence her in[bk] with thorns;
I will wall her in[bl] so that[bm] she cannot find her way.[bn]
7 Then she will pursue her lovers, but she will not catch[bo] them;
she will seek them, but she will not find them.[bp]
Then she will say,
‘I will go back[bq] to my husband,[br]
because I was better off then than I am now.’[bs]
Agricultural Fertility Withdrawn from Israel
8 “Yet[bt] until now[bu] she has refused to acknowledge[bv] that I[bw] was the one
who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil;
and that it was I who[bx] lavished on her the silver and gold—
that they[by] used in worshiping Baal![bz]
9 Therefore, I will take back[ca] my grain during the harvest time[cb]
and my new wine when it ripens;[cc]
I will take away my wool and my flax
that I had provided[cd] in order to clothe her.[ce]
10 Soon[cf] I will expose her lewd nakedness[cg] in front of her lovers,
and no one will be able to rescue her from me![ch]
11 I will put an end to all her celebrations:
her annual religious festivals,
monthly new moon celebrations,
and weekly Sabbath festivities—
all her appointed festivals.
12 I will destroy her vines and fig trees,
about which she said, ‘These are my wages for prostitution[ci]
that my lovers gave to me!’
I will turn her cultivated vines and fig trees[cj] into an uncultivated thicket,
so that wild animals[ck] will devour them.
13 I will punish her for the festival days
when she burned incense to the Baal idols;[cl]
she adorned herself with earrings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers,
but[cm] she forgot me!”[cn] says the Lord.
Future Repentance and Restoration of Israel
14 “However, in the future I will allure her;[co]
I will lead[cp] her back into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
15 From there I will give back her vineyards to her,
and turn the ‘Valley of Trouble’[cq] into an ‘Opportunity[cr] for Hope.’
There she will sing as she did when she was young,[cs]
when[ct] she came up from the land of Egypt.
16 At that time,”[cu] declares the Lord,
“you will call,[cv] ‘My husband’;[cw]
you will never again call me,[cx] ‘My master.’[cy]
17 For[cz] I will remove the names of the Baal idols[da] from your lips,[db]
so that you will never again utter their names![dc]
New Covenant Relationship with Repentant Israel
18 “At that time[dd] 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[de] the warrior’s bow and sword—
that is, every weapon of warfare[df]—from the land,
and I will allow them to live securely.[dg]
19 I will commit myself to you[dh] forever;
I will commit myself to you in[di] righteousness and justice,
in steadfast love and tender compassion.
20 I will commit myself to you in faithfulness;
then[dj] you will acknowledge[dk] the Lord.[dl]
Agricultural Fertility Restored to the Repentant Nation
21 “At that time,[dm] I will willingly respond,”[dn] declares the Lord.
“I will respond to the sky,
and the sky[do] will respond to the ground;
22 then the ground will respond to the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil;
and they will respond to ‘God Plants’ (Jezreel)![dp]
23 Then I will plant her as my own[dq] in the land.
I will have pity on ‘No Pity’ (Lo-Ruhamah).
I will say to ‘Not My People’ (Lo-Ammi), ‘You are my people!’
And he[dr] will say, ‘You are[ds] my God!’”
- Hosea 1:1 tc The textual problems in Hosea are virtually unparalleled in the OT. The Masoretic Text (MT), represented by the Leningrad Codex (c. a.d. 1008), which served as the basis for both BHK and BHS, and the Aleppo Codex (c. a.d. 952), by all accounts have a multitude of scribal errors. Many medieval Masoretic mss preserve textual variants that differ from the Leningrad and Aleppo Codices. The Qumran materials (4QXIIc,d,g) contain numerous textual variants that differ from the MT; unfortunately, these texts are quite fragmentary (frequently in the very place that an important textual problem appears). The textual tradition and translation quality of the LXX and the early Greek recensions (Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion) is mixed; in some places they are inferior to the MT but in other places they preserve a better reading. The textual apparatus of BHK and BHS contains many proposed emendations based on the ancient versions (Greek, Syriac, Latin, Aramaic) that often appear to be superior readings than what is preserved in the MT. In numerous cases, the MT readings are so difficult morphologically, syntactically, and contextually that conservative conjectural emendations are necessary to make sense of the text. Most major English versions (e.g., KJV, ASV, RSV, NEB, NAB, NASB, NIV, TEV, NKJV, NJPS, NJB, NRSV, REB, NCV, CEV, NLT) adopt (either occasionally or frequently) textual variants reflected in the versions and occasionally adopt conservative conjectural emendations proposed in BHK and/or BHS. However, many of the textual problems in Hosea are so difficult that the English versions frequently are split among themselves. With this in mind, the present translation of Hosea must necessarily be viewed as only preliminary. Further work on the text and translation of Hosea is needed, not only in terms of the NET Bible but in Hosea studies in general. The text of Hosea should be better clarified when the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project completes work on the book of Hosea. For further study of textual problems in Hosea, see D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 5:228-71.
- Hosea 1:1 tn Heb “in the days of” (again later in this verse). Cf. NASB “during the days of”; NIV “during the reigns of”; NLT “during the years when.”
- Hosea 1:1 sn Joash is a variation of the name Jehoash. Some English versions use “Jehoash” here (e.g., NIV, NCV, TEV, NLT).
- Hosea 1:2 tn The construct noun תְּחִלַּת (tekhillat, “beginning of”) displays a wider use of the construct state here, preceding a perfect verb דִּבֶּר (dibber, “he spoke”; Piel perfect third person masculine singular) rather than a genitive noun. This is an unusual temporal construction (GKC 422 §130.d). It may be rendered, “When he (= the Lord) began to speak” (cf. ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, TEV, and most other modern English versions, all of which are similar). This time-determinative was not correctly understood by the LXX or by the KJV “The beginning of the word of the Lord.”
- Hosea 1:2 tn The preposition בְּ (bet) on בְּהוֹשֵׁעַ (behosheaʿ) functions instrumentally (BDB 89 s.v. בְּ III.2.b): “by, with, through Hosea,” rather than directionally: “to Hosea.” This use encompasses the entire prophetic revelation through Hosea to Israel.
- Hosea 1:2 tn Heb “the Lord.” This is redundant in English, so the pronoun has been used in the translation (cf. TEV, NLT).
- Hosea 1:2 tn Heb “to Hosea.” The proper name is replaced by the pronoun here to avoid redundancy in English (cf. NIV, NCV, NLT).
- Hosea 1:2 tn Heb “Go, take for yourself” (so NRSV; NASB, NIV “to yourself”). In conjunction with the following phrase this means “marry.”
- Hosea 1:2 tn Heb “a wife/woman of harlotries.” The noun זְנוּנִים (zenunim) means “fornication” (HALOT 275-76 s.v. זְנוּנִים). The term does not refer to mere adultery (cf. NIV; also NCV, TEV, CEV “unfaithful”), which is expressed by the root נַאַף (naʾaf, “adultery”; HALOT 658 s.v. נאף). The plural noun זְנוּנִים (zenunim, literally, “harlotries”) is an example of the plural of character or plural of repeated behavior. The phrase “wife of harlotries” (אֵשֶׁת זְנוּנִים, ʾeshet zenunim) probably refers to a woman who is a prostitute, possibly a temple prostitute serving at a Baal temple.
- Hosea 1:2 tn Heb “and children of harlotries.” However, TEV takes the phrase to mean the children will behave like their mother: “your children will be just like her.”
- Hosea 1:2 tn Heb “the land.” The term “the land” is frequently used as a synecdoche of container (the land of Israel) for the contained (the people of Israel).
- Hosea 1:2 tn Heb “prostitution.” The adjective “spiritual” is supplied in the translation to clarify that apostasy is meant here. The construction זָנֹה תִזְנֶה (zanoh tizneh, infinitive absolute + imperfect of the same root) repeats the root זָנַה (zanah, “commit harlotry or fornication; be unfaithful”) for rhetorical emphasis. Israel was guilty of gross spiritual prostitution by apostatizing from Yahweh. The verb זָנַה is used 1) concretely, of a spouse being unfaithful in a marriage relationship (HALOT 275 s.v. זנה 1), and 2) figuratively, of being unfaithful in a relationship with God by prostituting oneself with other gods and worshiping idols (Exod 34:15; Lev 17:7; 20:5, 6; Deut 31:16; Judg 8:27, 33; 21:17; 1 Chr 5:25; Ezek 6:9; 20:30; 23:30; Hos 4:15; Ps 106:39; see HALOT 275 s.v. 2).
- Hosea 1:2 tn Heb “from after.”
- Hosea 1:3 tn Heb “so he went and took” (וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיִּקַּח, vayyelekh vayyiqqakh; so NAB, NRSV).
- Hosea 1:4 tn Heb “to him.” The referent (Hosea) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Hosea 1:4 tn Heb “house” (so NAB, NRSV); cf. NCV “family,” and CEV “descendants.”
- Hosea 1:4 tn The plural form of דָּם (dam, “blood”) refers to “bloodshed” (BDB 196 s.v. דָּם 2.f). This is an example of a plural of abnormal condition (GKC 400 §124.n). The plural is used to represent natural objects that are found in an unnatural or abnormal condition. The plural is used because the natural object is normally found as a whole or in one unit, but in the abnormal condition the object is found in many parts. Normally, blood is contained as a whole within the body. However, when a brutal murder occurs, blood is shed and literally spilled all over the place (cf. NIV “the massacre”; TEV, CEV, NLT “the murders”).
- Hosea 1:4 tn Heb “I will take note of the bloodshed of Jezreel against the house of Jehu.”
- Hosea 1:4 tn Heb “the kingdom of the house of Israel” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV). This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Hosea 1:4 sn The proper name יִזְרְעֶאל (yizreʿeʾl, “Jezreel”) sounds like יִשְׂרָאֵל (yisraʾel, “Israel”). This phonetic wordplay associates the sin at Jezreel with the judgment on Israel, stressing poetic justice.
- Hosea 1:5 tn Heb “In that day” (so NIV; NAB, NRSV “On that day”).
- Hosea 1:5 tn Heb “I will break the bow” (so NAB, NRSV). The phrase “break the bow” (וְשַׁבָרְתִּי אֶת־קֶשֶׁת, veshavarti ʾet qeshet) is figurative. The term קֶשֶׁת (qeshet, “bow”) frequently refers to the warrior’s weapon (2 Sam 22:35; Ps 18:35; Job 20:24; Hos 2:20; Zech 9:10; 10:4). The reference to the warrior’s bow is a synecdoche of specific (bow) for general (military weaponry or power; see HALOT 1155 s.v. קֶשֶׁת 3). The noun קֶשֶׁת is used figuratively for “power” several times (e.g., Gen 49:24; 1 Sam 2:4; Jer 49:35; Job 29:20; Ps 37:15; BDB 906 s.v. 1.e).
- Hosea 1:6 tn Heb “Then he said”; the referent (the Lord) does not appear in Hebrew but has been specified in the translation for clarity. Many English versions specify the speaker here (KJV “God”; ASV “Jehovah”; NASB, NIV, NRSV “the Lord”).
- Hosea 1:6 sn The negative particle לֹא (loʾ, “no, not”) and the root רָחַם (rakham, “compassion”) are repeated in 1:6, creating a wordplay between the name Lo-Ruhamah (literally “No-Pity”) and the announcement of divine judgment, “I will no longer have pity on the nation of Israel.”
- Hosea 1:6 tn Heb “house”; cf. TEV, NLT “the people of Israel.”
- Hosea 1:6 tn The particle כִּי (ki) probably denotes cause (so NCV, TEV, CEV) or result here (GKC 505 §166.b; BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 3.c).
- Hosea 1:6 tn The verb נָשָׂא (nasaʾ, “to take away”) frequently denotes “to forgive,” meaning to take away sin (BDB 671 s.v. נָשָׂא 3.c). The construction נָשׂא אֶשָּׂא (nasoʾ ʾesaʾ, “I will certainly take away,” infinitive absolute + imperfect of the same root) repeats the root נָשָׂא for rhetorical emphasis, stressing the divine resolution not to forgive Israel.
- Hosea 1:6 tn The phrase “their guilt” does not appear in Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for clarification. The ellipsis of the accusative direct object of נָשׂא אֶשָּׂא (nasoʾ ʾesaʾ, “I will certainly take away”) is an example of brachyology (abbreviation by word omission). The accusative “guilt” must be supplied frequently with נָשַׂא (see BDB 671 s.v. נָשָׂא 3.c; e.g., Num 14:19; Isa 2:9; Ps 99:8). Many recent English versions simplify this to “forgive them” (e.g., NASB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV, NLT).
- Hosea 1:7 tn Heb “house”; cf. NCV, TEV, NLT “the people of Judah.”
- Hosea 1:7 tn The word order in this line is rhetorical, emphasizing the divine decision to withhold pity from Israel but to bestow it on Judah. The accusative direct object, which is introduced by a disjunctive vav (to denote contrast), appears before the verb: וְאֶת־בֵּית יְהוּדָה אֲרַחֵם (veʾet bet yehudah ʾarakhem, “but upon the house of Judah I will show pity”).
- Hosea 1:7 tn Heb “by war” (so NAB, NRSV, TEV); cf. KJV, NASB, and NIV “(“by”) battle.”
- Hosea 1:7 sn These military weapons are examples of the metonymy of adjunct (the specific weapons named) for subject (warfare).
- Hosea 1:8 tn The preterite וַתִּגְמֹל (vattigmol, literally, “and she weaned”) functions in a synchronic sense with the following preterite וַתַּהַר (vattahar, literally, “and she conceived”) and may be treated in translation as a dependent temporal clause: “When she had weaned…she conceived” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV). Other English versions render this as sequential with “After” (NAB, NIV, TEV, NLT).
- Hosea 1:9 tn Heb “Then he said”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity. As in v. 6, many English versions specify the speaker here.
- Hosea 1:9 tn The independent personal pronoun אַתֶּם (’attem, “you”) is a plural form, referring to the people of Israel as a whole. To make this clear TEV translates this as third person: “the people of Israel are not my people” (cf. CEV, NLT).
- Hosea 1:9 tn The pronominal suffix on the preposition לָכֶם (lakhem, “your”) is a plural form, referring to the people of Israel as a whole.
- Hosea 1:9 tc The MT reads לֹא־אֶהְיֶה לָכֶם (loʾ ʾehyeh lakhem, “I will not be yours”). The editors of BHS suggest emending the text to לֹא־אֱלֹהֵיכֶם (loʾ ʾelohekhem, “I will not be your God”). The emendation creates a tighter parallel with the preceding אַתֶּם לֹא עַמִּי (ʾattem loʾ ʿammi, “you are not my people”). Because of a lack of external evidence, however, the reading of the MT should be retained.tn Heb “I am not yours.” The divine name “God” is supplied in the translation for clarity even though the reading of the MT is followed (see previous tc note). Almost all English versions (including KJV, ASV, NASB) supply “God” here.sn This is an allusion to Yahweh’s promise to Moses אֶהְיֶה עִמָּךְ (ʾehyeh ʿimmakh, “I will be with you”; Exod 3:12, 14). In effect, it is a negation of Exod 3:12, 14 and a cancellation of Israel’s status as vassal of Yahweh in the conditional Mosaic covenant.
- Hosea 1:10 sn Beginning with 1:10, the verse numbers through 2:23 in the English Bible differ by two from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 1:10 ET = 2:1 HT, 1:11 ET = 2:2 HT, 2:1 ET = 2:3 HT, etc., through 2:23 ET = 2:25 HT. Beginning with 3:1 the verse numbers in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible are again the same.
- Hosea 1:10 tn The vav prefixed to וְהָיָה (vehayah) functions in an adversative sense: “however” (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 71, §432).
- Hosea 1:10 tn Heb “sons” (so NASB); cf. KJV and ASV “the children,” and NAB and NIV “the Israelites.”
- Hosea 1:10 tn Heb “in the place” (בִּמְקוֹם, bimqom). BDB 880 s.v. מָקוֹם 7.b suggests that בִּמְקוֹם (preposition בְּ, bet, + noun מָקוֹם, maqom) is an idiom carrying a concessive sense: “instead of” (e.g., Isa 33:21; Hos 2:1). However, HALOT suggests that it functions in a locative sense: “in the same place” (HALOT 626 s.v. מָקוֹם 2b; e.g., 1 Kgs 21:19; Isa 33:21; Hos 2:1).
- Hosea 1:10 tn The subject of the predicate nominative, as well as the copulative verb, “You are…,” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
- Hosea 1:10 tn Heb “sons” (so KJV, NASB, NIV).
- Hosea 1:11 tn Heb “sons” (twice in this verse, so NASB); cf. KJV, ASV “children,” and NIV, NRSV, TEV “people.”
- Hosea 1:11 tn Heb “head” (so KJV, NAB, NRSV).
- Hosea 1:11 tn Alternatively, “gain possession of the land” (cf. NRSV) or “rise up from the land” (cf. NIV). This clause may be understood in two ways: (1) Israel will gain ascendancy over the land or conquer the land (e.g., Exod 1:10; cf. NAB “come up from other lands”) or (2) Israel will be “planted” in the land (Hos 2:22, 23; cf. NLT “will…plant his people”).
- Hosea 1:11 tn Or “For” (so NASB); cf. NCV “because,” and TEV “Yes.”
- Hosea 2:1 tn Heb “Say to….” The imperative אִמְרוּ (ʾimeru, Qal imperative masculine plural) functions rhetorically, where one verbal form (imperative) substitutes for another (indicative). The imperative is used as a rhetorical device to emphasize the certainty of a future action.
- Hosea 2:1 sn The suffixes on the nouns אֲחֵיכֶם (ʾakhekhem, “your brother”) and אֲחוֹתֵיכֶם (ʾakhotekhem, “your sister”) are both plural forms. The brother/sister imagery is being applied to Israel and Judah collectively.
- Hosea 2:2 tn Heb “Plead with your mother; plead!” The imperative רִיבוּ (rivu, “plead!”) is repeated twice in this line for emphasis. This rhetorical expression is handled in a woodenly literal sense by most English translations: NASB “Contend…contend”; NAB “Protest…protest!”; NIV “Rebuke…rebuke”; NRSV “Plead…plead”; and CEV “Accuse! Accuse your mother!”
- Hosea 2:2 sn The suffix on the noun אִמְּכֶם (ʾimmekhem, “your mother”) is a plural form (second person masculine). The children of Gomer represent the “children” (i.e., people) of Israel; Gomer represents the nation as a whole.
- Hosea 2:2 tn The particle כִּי (ki) introduces a parenthetical explanatory clause (however, cf. NCV “because”).sn The reason that Hosea (representing the Lord) calls upon his children (representing the children of Israel) to plead with Gomer (representing the nation as a whole), rather than pleading directly with her himself, is because Hosea (the Lord) has turned his back on his unfaithful wife (Israel). He no longer has a relationship with her (“for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband”) because she abandoned him for her lovers.
- Hosea 2:2 tn The dependent volitive sequence of imperative followed by vav + jussive (רִיבוּ, rivu followed by וְתָסֵר, vetaser) creates a purpose clause: “so that she might turn away from” (= “put an end to”); cf. NRSV “that she put away,” and KJV “let her therefore put away.” Many English translations begin a new sentence here, presumably to improve the English style (so NAB, NIV, TEV, NLT), but this obscures the connection with the preceding clause.
- Hosea 2:2 tn Heb “put away her adulteries from her face.” The plural noun זְנוּנֶיהָ (zenuneha, “adulteries”) is an example of the plural of repeated (or habitual) action: she has had multiple adulterous affairs.
- Hosea 2:2 tn Heb “[put away] her immoral behavior from between her breasts.” Cf. KJV “her adulteries,” and NIV “the unfaithfulness.”
- Hosea 2:3 tn Heb “and kill her with thirst.” The vav prefixed to the verb (וַהֲמִתִּיהָ, vahamittiha) introduces a purpose/result clause: “in order to make her die of thirst” (purpose), or “and thus make her die of thirst” (result).
- Hosea 2:4 tn Heb “her sons.” English versions have long translated this as “children,” however; cf. KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, and NLT.sn The word order is rhetorical: the accusative וְאֶת־בָּנֶיהָ (veʾet baneha, “her sons”) is moved forward for emphasis.
- Hosea 2:4 tn Heb “sons of adulteries”; cf. KJV “children of whoredoms.”sn The word order is rhetorical: the construct clause בְנֵי זְנוּנִים (vene zenunim, “sons of adulteries”), which functions as the predicate nominative, is moved forward, before the independent personal pronoun הֵמָּה (hemmah, “they”), which functions as the subject, to focus on the immoral character of her children.
- Hosea 2:5 tn Heb “I will go after” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV).
- Hosea 2:5 sn This statement alludes to the practice of sexual rites in the Canaanite fertility cult that attempted to secure agricultural fertility from the Canaanite gods (note the following reference to wool, flax, olive oil, and wine).
- Hosea 2:5 tn Heb “my drinks.” Many English versions use the singular “drink” here (but cf. NCV, TEV, CEV “wine”).
- Hosea 2:6 tn The deictic particle הִנְנִי (hineni, “Behold!”) introduces a future-time-reference participle that refers to imminent future action: “I am about to” (TEV “I am going to”).
- Hosea 2:6 tn Heb “I will hedge up her way”; cf. NIV “block her path.”
- Hosea 2:6 tn Heb “I will wall in her wall.” The cognate accusative construction וְגָדַרְתִּי אֶת־גְּדֵרָהּ (vegadarti ʾet-gederah, “I will wall in her wall”) is an emphatic literary device. The third person feminine singular suffix on the noun functions as a dative of disadvantage: “as a wall against her” (A. B. Davidson, Hebrew Syntax, 3, remark 2). The expression means: “I will build a wall to bar her way” (cf. KJV “I will make a wall”; TEV “I will build a wall”; RSV, NASB, NRSV “I will build a wall against her”; NLT “I will fence her in”).
- Hosea 2:6 tn The disjunctive clause (object followed by negated verb) introduces a clause that can be understood as either purpose or result.
- Hosea 2:6 tn Heb “her paths” (so NAB, NRSV).
- Hosea 2:7 tn Heb “overtake” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV); cf. NLT “be able to catch up with.”
- Hosea 2:7 tn In the Hebrew text the accusative direct-object pronoun אֹתָם (ʾotam, “them”) is omitted/elided for balanced poetic parallelism. The LXX supplies αὐτούς (autous, “them”); but it is not necessary to emend the MT because this is a poetic literary convention rather than a textual problem.
- Hosea 2:7 tn Heb “I will go and return” (so NRSV). The two verbs joined with vav form a verbal hendiadys. Normally, the first verb functions adverbially, and the second retains its full verbal sense (GKC 386-87 §120.d, h). The Hebrew phrase אֵלְכָה וְאָשׁוּבָה (ʾelekhah veʾashuvah, “I will go and I will return”) connotes, “I will return again.” As cohortatives, both verbs emphasize the resolution of the speaker.
- Hosea 2:7 tn Heb “to my man, the first.” Many English translations (e.g., KJV, NAB, NRSV, TEV) take this as “my first husband,” although this implies that there was more than one husband involved. The text refers to multiple lovers, but these were not necessarily husbands.
- Hosea 2:7 tn Or “because it was better for me then than now” (cf. NCV).
- Hosea 2:8 tn Or “For” (so KJV, NASB); or “But” (so NCV).
- Hosea 2:8 tn The phrase “until now” does not appear in the Hebrew text but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.
- Hosea 2:8 tn Heb “she does not know” (so NASB, NCV); or “she does not acknowledge.”
- Hosea 2:8 tn The first person common singular independent personal pronoun אָנֹכִי (’anokhi, “I”) is emphatic, since the subject of this verbal clause is already explicit in the verb נָתַתִּי (natatti, Qal perfect first person common singular: “I gave”).
- Hosea 2:8 tn The phrase “that it was I who” does not appear in the Hebrew text here but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
- Hosea 2:8 sn The third person plural here is an obvious reference to the Israelites, who had been unfaithful to the Lord in spite of all that he had done for them. To maintain the imagery of Israel as the prostitute, a third person feminine singular would be called for; in the interest of literary consistency this has been supplied in some English translations (e.g., NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).
- Hosea 2:8 tn Heb “for Baal” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV); cf. TEV “in the worship of Baal.”
- Hosea 2:9 tn Heb “I will return and I will take.” The two verbs joined with vav conjunction form a verbal hendiadys in which the first verb functions adverbially and the second retains its full verbal sense (GKC 386-87 §120.d, h): אָשׁוּב וְלָקַחְתִּי (’ashuv velaqakhti) means: “I will take back.”
- Hosea 2:9 tn Heb “in its time” (so NAB, NRSV).
- Hosea 2:9 tn Heb “in its season” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV).
- Hosea 2:9 tn The words “which I had provided” are not in the Hebrew text but are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons; cf. NIV “intended to cover.”
- Hosea 2:9 tn Heb “to cover her nakedness” (so KJV and many other English versions); cf. TEV “for clothing.”sn This announcement of judgment is extremely ironic and forcefully communicates poetic justice: the punishment will fit the crime. The Israelites were literally uncovering their nakedness in temple prostitution in the Baal fertility cult rituals. Yahweh will, in effect, give them what they wanted (nakedness) but not in the way they wanted it: Yahweh will withhold the agricultural fertility they sought from Baal, which will lead to nakedness caused by impoverishment.
- Hosea 2:10 tn The particle עַתָּה (ʿattah) often refers to the imminent or the impending future: “very soon” (BDB 774 s.v. עַתָּה 1.b). In Hosea it normally introduces imminent judgment (Hos 2:12; 4:16; 5:7; 8:8, 13; 10:2).
- Hosea 2:10 tn Heb “her lewdness” (so KJV, NIV); cf. NAB, NRSV “her shame.”
- Hosea 2:10 tn Heb “out of my hand” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV); cf. TEV “save her from my power.”
- Hosea 2:12 tn Heb “my wages.” The words “for prostitution” are not in the Hebrew text but are supplied for clarity; cf. CEV “gave…as payment for sex.”
- Hosea 2:12 tn Heb “I will turn them”; the referents (vines and fig trees) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Hosea 2:12 tn Heb “the beasts of the field” (so KJV, NASB); the same expression also occurs in v. 18.
- Hosea 2:13 tn Heb “the days of the Baals, to whom she burned incense.” The word “festival” is supplied to clarify the referent of “days,” and the word “idols” is supplied in light of the plural “Baals” (cf. NLT “her images of Baal”).
- Hosea 2:13 tn The vav prefixed to a nonverb (וְאֹתִי, veʾoti) introduces a disjunctive contrastive clause, which is rhetorically powerful.
- Hosea 2:13 tn The accusative direct-object pronoun וְאֹתִי (veʾoti, “me”) is emphatic in the word order of this clause (cf. NIV “but me she forgot”), emphasizing the heinous inappropriateness of Israel’s departure from the Lord.
- Hosea 2:14 tn The participle מְפַתֶּיהָ (mefatteha, Piel participle masculine singular + third feminine singular suffix from פָּתָה, patah, “to allure”) following the deictic particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “Now!”) describes an event that will occur in the immediate or near future.
- Hosea 2:14 tn Following the future-time-referent participle (מְפַתֶּיהָ, méfatteha), there is a string of perfects introduced by vav consecutive that refer to future events.
- Hosea 2:15 tn Heb “Valley of Achor,” so named because of the unfortunate incident recorded in Josh 7:1-26 (the name is explained in v. 26; the Hebrew term Achor means “disaster” or “trouble” [cf. TEV, CEV “Trouble Valley”]).
- Hosea 2:15 tn Heb “door” or “doorway”; cf. NLT “gateway.” Unlike the days of Joshua, when Achan’s sin jeopardized Israel’s mission and cast a dark shadow over the nation, Israel’s future return to the land will be marked by renewed hope.
- Hosea 2:15 tn Heb “as in the days of her youth” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).
- Hosea 2:15 tn Heb “as in the day when” (so KJV, NASB).
- Hosea 2:16 tn Heb “And in that day”; cf. NLT “In that coming day.”
- Hosea 2:16 tc The MT reads תִּקְרְאִי (tiqreʾi, “you will call”; Qal imperfect second person feminine singular). The versions (LXX, Syriac, Vulgate) all reflect an alternate Vorlage of תִּקְרָא לִי (tiqraʾ li, “she will call me”; Qal imperfect third person feminine singular followed by preposition לְ, lamed, + first person common singular pronominal suffix). This textual variant undoubtedly arose under the influence of לִי תִּקְרְאִי (tiqreʾi li), which follows. Most English versions follow the reading of the MT (KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT, CEV), but some follow the ancient versions and read the third person (“she”; so NAB, NCV, TEV).
- Hosea 2:16 tn There are wordplays on the terms אִישׁ (ʾish) and בַּעַל (baʿal) here. The term אִישִׁי (ʾishi, “my man, husband”) is a title of affection (Gen 2:23; 3:6, 16) as the counterpart to אִשָּׁה (ʾishah, “woman, wife”). The term בַּעְלִי (baʿli, “my lord”) emphasizes the husband’s legal position (Exod 21:3; Deut 22:22; 24:4). The relationship will no longer be conditioned on the outward legal commitment but on a new inward bond of mutual affection and love.
- Hosea 2:16 tc The MT reads תִקְרְאִי לִי (tiqreʾi li, “you will call me”; Qal imperfect second person feminine singular followed by preposition לְ, lamed, + first person common singular pronominal suffix). The versions (LXX, Syriac, Vulgate) all reflect an alternate Vorlage of תִקְרְא לִי (tiqreʾ li, “she will call me”; Qal imperfect third person feminine singular followed by preposition לְ + first person common singular pronominal suffix). This textual variant is related to the preceding textual issue (see preceding tc note).
- Hosea 2:16 sn There is a wordplay on the terms בַּעְלִי (baʿli, “my master”) and הַבְּעָלִים (habbeʿalim, “the Baals”), which are derived from the root בַּעַל (baʿal, “master; lord”). This wordplay is especially effective because the term בַּעַל can refer to one’s husband and is also the name of the Canaanite storm god, Baal. Referring to a spouse, the term normally means “husband; master.” It was a common, ordinary, nonpejorative term that was frequently used in an interchangeable manner with אִישׁ (ʾish, “husband; man”). Due to its identity in sound with the abhorrent Canaanite fertility god Baal, the repentant Israelites would be so spiritually sensitive that they would refrain from even uttering this neutral term for fear of recalling their former idolatry. The purpose of the exile is to end Israel’s worship of Baal and to remove syncretism.
- Hosea 2:17 tn The vav consecutive prefixed to וַהֲסִרֹתִי (vahasiroti) “I will remove” (vav consecutive + Hiphil perfect first person common singular) introduces an explanatory clause.
- Hosea 2:17 tn Heb “the Baals.” The singular term בַּעַל (baʿal) refers to the Canaanite god Baal himself, while the plural form הַבְּעָלִים (habbeʿalim) refers to the manifestations of the god (i.e., idols; BDB 127 s.v. בַּעַל-I II.1).
- Hosea 2:17 tn Heb “from her mouth.” In the translation this is rendered as second person for consistency.
- Hosea 2:17 tn Heb “they will no longer be mentioned by their name.”
- Hosea 2:18 tn Heb “And in that day” (so KJV, ASV).
- Hosea 2:18 tn Heb “I will break”; cf. NAB “I will destroy”; NCV “I will smash”; NLT “I will remove.”
- Hosea 2:18 tn Heb “bow and sword and warfare.” The first two terms in the triad וְקֶשֶׁת וְחֶרֶב וּמִלְחָמָה (veqeshet vekherev umilkhamah, “and 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).
- Hosea 2:18 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).
- Hosea 2:19 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”).
- Hosea 2:19 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).
- Hosea 2:20 tn The vav consecutive on the suffix conjugation verb וְיָדַעַתְּ (veyadaʿat, “then you will know”) introduces a result clause (cf. NASB, CEV).
- Hosea 2:20 tn Or “know.” The term יָדַע (yadaʿ, “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 yādaʿ,” BASOR 181 (1966): 31-37.
- Hosea 2:20 tc The MT has יְהוָה (yehvah, “the Lord”); however, many Hebrew mss have כִּי אָנִי (ki ʾani, “that it is I”), as also reflected in the Latin Vulgate (cf. CEV “know who I am”).
- Hosea 2:21 tn Heb “And in that day”; cf. NAB, NRSV “On that day.”
- Hosea 2:21 tn The verb עָנָה, (ʿanah) which is used throughout 2:23-24, is related to the root I עָנָה (ʿanah), “to answer, listen attentively, react willingly” (BDB 772 s.v. 1.b; HALOT 852 s.v. ענה 3.b).
- Hosea 2:21 tn Heb “and they.” In the Hebrew text the plural pronoun is used because it refers back to the term translated “sky,” which is a dual form in Hebrew. Many English versions (e.g., NAB, NASB, NRSV) use the plural term “heavens” here, which agrees with a plural pronoun (cf. also NIV, NCV “skies”).
- Hosea 2:22 tn Heb “Jezreel.” The use of the name יִזְרְעֶאל (yizreʿeʾl, “Jezreel”) creates a powerful threefold wordplay: (1) The proper name יִזְרְעֶאל (“Jezreel”) is a phonetic wordplay on the similar sounding name יִשְׂרָאֵל (yisraʾel, “Israel”): God will answer Israel, that is, Jezreel. (2) The name יִזְרְעֶאל (“Jezreel”) plays on the verb זָרַע (zaraʿ, “to sow, plant”), the immediately following word: וּזְרַעְתִּיהָ (uzeraʿtiha, vav + Qal perfect first person common singular + third person feminine singular suffix: “I will sow/plant her”). This wordplay creates a popular etymology for יִזְרְעֶאל meaning, “God sows/plants,” which fits well into the agricultural fertility imagery in 2:21-23 [2:23-25]. (3) This positive connotation of יִזְרְעֶאל (“Jezreel”) in 2:21-23 [23-25] reverses the negative connotation of יִזְרְעֶאל (“Jezreel”) in 1:4-5 (bloodshed of Jehu in the Jezreel Valley).
- Hosea 2:23 tn Heb “for myself.”
- Hosea 2:23 tn The Hebrew text, carrying out the reference to the son born in 1:8-9, uses the third person masculine singular pronoun here; some English translations use third person plural (“they,” so KJV, NASB, NIV, CEV) in keeping with the immediate context, which refers to reestablished Israel.
- Hosea 2:23 tn The words “You are” do not appear in the Hebrew text but are implied. It is necessary to supply the phrase in the translation to prevent the reader from understanding the predicate “my God” as an exclamation (cf. NAB).