Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Hosea 5


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 11:12-12 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.

Verses 1-9

Hosea 5:2 a. Join to end of Hosea 5:1. Read, "and the pit of Shittim have they made deep." It continues the metaphor of the snare and the net, they are trapped in the pit.—rebuker: render, "scourge."

Hosea 5:3 b. Probably a gloss (cf. Hosea 6:10).

Hosea 5:5. Either (a) Israel's vainglorious pride testifies openly against him and condemns him, or (b) Israel's pride may be Yahweh; the former is preferable. Their overwhelming pride in the cultus is meant (cf. Hosea 7:10). Marti omits the last clause.

Hosea 5:7. strange children: a generation that has no real knowledge of Yahweh. The last clause may be explained: "Any month may bring news of war"; but the expression is strange. Marti emends, "Now shall the destroyer devour them, and their fields shall be devastated."

Hosea 5:8. Beth-aven: a satirical name for Bethel (cf. Amos 5:5).—After thee, Benjamin (mg.): probably the ancient war-cry of the clan. Benjamin in the far south is alarmed, as well as the north.

Verses 10-14

Hosea 5:10. Land-grabbing on the part of the rich in Judah is specially denounced in Isaiah 5:8, Micah 2:2 (cf. Deuteronomy 27:17).

Hosea 5:13. If Jareb is a name for the king of Assyria, the reference may be to Menahem's tribute to Assyria in 738. This will also be the case if "great king" or "exalted king" (cf. LXX) be read. Wellhausen reads, "and Judah sent to king Jareb." The reference would then be to Ahaz in 734.

Verse 15

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 6:4 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 6:1. Cf. Isaiah 3:7.

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."

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Hosea 5". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.