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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Hosea 13


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 11:12-2 Kings : 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 1-16

Hosea 13:1-Nehemiah : (= Heb. Hosea 13:1 to Hosea 14:1). Facilis descensus Averno.— Israel has persistently lapsed into the Baal-worship and idolatry, and therefore shall be swept away as the chaff” ( Hosea 13:1-Leviticus :). Yahweh has brought him up from Egypt, protected him in the wilderness, and given him plenty, yet he has forgotten Him ( Hosea 13:4-Joshua :), therefore He is against them “ as a bear bereaved of her whelps.” Israel’ s ruin is self-imposed ( Hosea 13:7-1 Samuel :) and his kings are powerless ( Hosea 13:10 f.) Ephraim has cherished his sin as a priceless treasure; the crisis of his fate has come— a last opportunity of regeneration— but he is impotent to seize it ( Hosea 13:12 f.). Shall Yahweh, even now, ransom him from death? He cannot; the punishment must go its inevitable course ( Hosea 13:14). The hurricane of the Divine wrath shall blast and spoil Samaria’ s land and “ pleasant vessels” ; because “ she hath rebelled against her God,” she must suffer all the horrors of war ( Hosea 13:15 f.).

Hosea 13:1 . When Ephraim spake, there was trembling cannot be right, but no satisfactory emendation has been proposed.— exalted himself: read, “ was prince.”

Hosea 13:1 b expresses Hosea’ s conviction that Israel’ s strength had been sapped and destroyed by Baal-worship.

Hosea 13:2 . understanding: read, “ model” ( cf. LXX). Perhaps “ gods” (Heb. ’ elô hî m) should be inserted in last clause ( cf. Hosea 14:3). Then render, “ They say of them ‘ gods’ ( i.e. they call them gods), sacrificing men kiss calves” ( cf. 1 Kings 19:18). But text is uncertain.

Hosea 13:3 . they shall . . . away: perhaps inserted from Hosea 6:4. For the figure of the chaff, cf. Isaiah 17:13, Daniel 2:35.— out of the chimney: render, “ from the window.”

Hosea 13:4 . from: render “ since.” The allusion is to the Exodus.— Shalt know: read mg.— The LXX inserts here a passage like the creation passages in Amos ( Amos 4:13; Amos 5:8 f., Amos 9:5 f.).

Hosea 13:5 . I did know thee: read, “ I shepherded thee” (LXX) ( cf. beginning of Hosea 13:6).

Hosea 13:6 . i.e. “ The more they were fed the more they gorged themselves; and the more they gorged themselves the more their heart was uplifted.” The last clause may be an addition; cf. Deuteronomy 8:14; Deuteronomy 32:18.

Hosea 13:7 . watch: render, “ leap” (G. A. Smith); or read, “ I am sleepless (Heb. ’ eshqô d, cf. Jeremiah 5:6).

Hosea 13:8 . as a bear, etc. (cf . 2 Samuel 17:8, Lamentations 3:10).— the caul is lit. the enclosure (of their heart), i.e. the heart. Read, “ and lions of the forest shall devour them there” (LXX).

Hosea 13:9 . Read ( cf. LXX), “ I will destroy thee, O Israel— who can help thee?”

Hosea 13:10 . in all . . . judges: read, “ and all thy princes that they rule thee?”— of whom . . . princes: may be an addition ( cf. for the words 1 Samuel 8:6).

Hosea 13:11 . Hosea thinks primarily of the puppet-kings, usurpers of the moment; not of the older line of princes. Render as presents, “ I give,” etc.

Hosea 13:12 . bound up: in a bag as a precious treasure ( cf. Job 14:17).

Hosea 13:13 . The crisis of Ephraim’ s fate has arrived— shall a new and better time be born out of the accumulating troubles of the present? The child’ s weak will imperils the birth (notice change of figure from mother to child). The sense intended is given by mg., “ At the right time (read kaç th) he standeth not in the mouth of the womb” ( cf. Isaiah 37:3).

Hosea 13:14 . Render as questions, “ Shall I ransom . . . redeem?” In the clause “ O death,” etc., the question is rhetorical. “ Where are thy plagues? Here with them!”— repentance: render “ compassion.” Note the application in 1 Corinthians 15:35.

Hosea 13:15 f. reads like an appendix to preceding.

Hosea 13:15 . As Ephraim is here not a single tribe but the whole northern kingdom, “ among his brethren” cannot be right. Read, perhaps, “ Though he ( i.e. Ephraim) flourish among the reed-grass (reading ‘ ahû ) the east wind ( i.e. Assyria) shall come up.” The word rendered “ flourish” ( maphrî) is a play upon “ Ephraim.”— the breath . . . wilderness: ? a gloss on east wind.”— the . . . vessels: probably a gloss. The subject is no longer the wind, but the Assyrian.

Hosea 13:16 . Read mg.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Hosea 13". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.