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 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.
Hosea 5:15 to Hosea 6:3. Israel's Confession and Penitence. Yahweh, speaking in His own person, declares that He will return to His place (i.e. to heaven; cf. Micah 1:3), there to await Israel's penitence (Hosea 5:15). When trouble comes they will eagerly seek Him. Then follows (Hosea 6:1-3) a light-hearted confession of sin by the people, coupled with expressions of assurance that their God will forgive and help them. Many scholars regard this section as an addition by a later hand, intended to mitigate the unrelieved gloom of what precedes. But nothing in the style or language suggests that the piece is not by Hosea. Batten thinks it represents the confession and penitence of the purified people who will emerge from the judgment. Others regard the confession as a light-hearted one, put into the mouth of the people, which (in Hosea 6:4HYPERLINK "64.fi" ff.) Yahweh rejects. Welch suggests that the prophet is quoting (in Hosea 6:1-3) a temple-song (used at one of the great festivals), which he uses as a sort of text for comments that follow. Hosea 6:4 is then the immediate continuation of Hosea 6:3.
Hosea 5:15. LXX inserts saying at the end (cf. mg.).
Hosea 6:2. After two days. the third day, i.e. after an undefined but short interval. Marti thinks that the return from the Exile is referred to.
Hosea 6:3. his going forth, etc.: read (rearrangement of Heb. consonants), as soon as we seek him we shall find him.
Hosea 6:4 to Hosea 7:2. Israel's Moral Condition Hopelessly Corrupt. The shallow expressions of loyalty by the fickle people mean nothing, and cannot avert Yahweh's inevitable judgment. He looks for real loyalty, not for a hollow ritual of sacrifices (Hosea 6:4-6). Examples of the anarchy and crime that prevail, involving even the priests in the charge of murder and immorality, are given, demonstrating Israel's utter corruption, Judah also (Hosea 6:11 a, if this is not a gloss) being involved (Hosea 6:7-11 a). Every attempt to heal the disease only reveals how deep-seated and universal it is (Hosea 6:11 b - Hosea 7:2). The section appears to be composed of three originally independent fragments (Hosea 6:4-6; Hosea 6:7-11 a, Hosea 6:11 b - Hosea 7:2).
Hosea 6:4. Judah: Marti and Nowack read Israel. goodness: render love, i.e. either love to God (loyalty to Yahweh) or love of neighbour.
Hosea 6:5. read (mg.) light: i.e. lightning. Such prophets as Elijah and Elisha are meant.
Hosea 6:9. The sanctuary at Shechem is a den of thieves, the priests being the thieves, and the victims the pilgrims. Some incident well known to contemporaries may be alluded to. lewdness: render, enormity.
Hosea 6:10 b. Read, there Ephraim hath played the harlot.
Hosea 6:11 may be a gloss. The following words; When I would heal Israel, are omitted by Wellhausen. He begins the section at, The iniquity of Ephraim is discovered.
Hosea 7:1. Read, entereth into the house (cf. LXX). spoileth: read mg.