Hosea 9 - Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Bible Comments
  • Introduction open_in_new

    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 9:1-9 open_in_new

    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.

  • Hosea 9:10-17 open_in_new

    The Nemesis of an Impure Worship (cf. Hosea 4:11-14). Israel in unspoilt youth had appeared to Yahweh like grapes in the wilderness, but at the very first of the Canaanite shrines which they reached, Baal-Peor, they polluted themselves (Hosea 9:10). The consequent nemesis was barrenness [12] (Hosea 9:11).their root is dried up (Hosea 9:16) should be inserted (Wellhausen) between Hosea 9:11 and Hosea 9:12. If children are brought up to die prematurely (Hosea 9:12), or are destined to slaughter (Hosea 9:13), let Yahweh rather only doom them to barrenness (Hosea 9:14). The centre of all this iniquity is the cultus at Gilgal, and because of it they shall be driven out of mine house (i.e. Yahweh's land), unloved; all their princes are rebels, they are rejected and doomed to exile (Hosea 9:15; Hosea 9:17).

    [12] There is a play on the name Ephraim (fruitful). The fruitful has become unfruitful.

    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 (-' abâ rî m). 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.