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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Hosea 10

 

 

Introduction

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 1-8

Hosea 10:1-8. God's Annihilating Judgment on the Mixed Cultus.—With the land's abounding prosperity Israel has multiplied altars in the service of the mixed cultus; these Yahweh will destroy (Hosea 10:1 f.) Their puppet-kings they shall find utterly impotent (Hosea 10:3), and their idle, lying words, which never result in performance, shall yield a bitter crop of judgment (Hosea 10:4, ? a gloss). Samaria (i.e. the northern kingdom) shall find the "calves of Beth-Aven" (Bethel, cf. Hosea 4:15, Hosea 5:8*) a source of terror rather than of help, their glory departed, and the idols themselves ignominiously carried off to Assyria (Hosea 10:5 f.). Samaria's king shall drift helplessly to doom, and the "high places of Aven," source of Israel's sin, shall be destroyed, and the deluded people left helpless and despairing (Hosea 10:7 f.).

Hosea 10:1. Read perhaps, "whose fruit is (or was) lovely."—goodness: read "prosperity" (mg.).

Hosea 10:2. Marti thinks this a late gloss.—divided: i.e. in the cultus. Are they serving Yahweh or the Baal? Or render, "their heart is false" (the cultus is no true worship of Yahweh at all).—be found guilty: LXX reads, "be desolated" (Heb. yâshômmû).—he: i.e. Yahweh.—shall smite: lit. break the neck of, perhaps with reference to the horned ox-head placed on the corners of altars.

Hosea 10:3. No legitimate king reigns, only a usurper.—for . . . Lord:? a gloss (Marti).

Hosea 10:4. The verse (? a gloss, Marti, Nowack) answers the question, "What can he do for us?" Render, "speak words, swear falsely, make covenants and (emended text) turn justice to gall" (Jeremiah 8:14*). The words "in the furrows of the field" may be an insertion from Hosea 12:11.

Hosea 10:5. calves: read "calf."

Hosea 10:5 b. Read, "for him shall they mourn, his people and his priestlings, they shall wail for his glory that it is banished from him."

Hosea 10:6. Render, "Yea himself (i.e. the calf) they shall transport," etc.—Jareb: cf. Hosea 5:13*.—because . . . counsel: read, "of his idol." The source of Ephraim's shame is not so much false politics as the false cultus.

Hosea 10:7. Render "like a chip (cf. mg.) upon the face of the waters."

Hosea 10:8. Read, "the high places of Israel" (omitting "of Aven the sin" as a pious gloss on "high places").

Hosea 10:8 b. Cf. Luke 23:30, Revelation 6:16.


Verses 9-15

Hosea 10:9-15. Israel must Reap the Ruin he has Sown.—From the days of Gibeah Israel has sinned, and never progressed since (Hosea 10:9, but see notes); Yahweh comes to punish them, and gather the peoples against them (Hosea 10:10). Israel like a well-broken-in heifer loves to thresh; but the harder tasks (ploughing, harrowing) must precede before the crops can be gathered; the discipline must precede the joy of harvest (Hosea 10:11; Hosea 12 is perhaps a gloss). But Israel has ploughed wickedness and reaped disaster, the "tumult of war" shall arise in his midst, bringing destruction upon the fortresses, the land and her children ruined, and their king swept away (Hosea 10:13-15).—The text in parts is very corrupt.

Hosea 10:9. from the days of Gibeah: the reference is probably to Benjamin's sin described in Judges 19. Wellhausen objects that this was not the sin of Israel, but only of a single tribe, and interprets of the establishment of the monarchy at Gibeah. But it is doubtful whether Hosea regarded the setting up of the monarchy as the fount and chief of Israel's sins. Marti, with large omission, reads: "As in the days of Gibeah, there is war against the children of iniquity."

Hosea 10:10. When it is my desire . . . against them: read, "I am come to punish them and gather the peoples against them."—The last clause is probably a gloss; read, "through their punishment (cf. LXX) for their two transgressions," i.e. not the cultus and the kingdom, but the two calves at Bethel and Dan.

Hosea 10:11. Read, "but I have made the yoke pass over her fair neck" (Heb, he‘ěbharti ‘ol ‘al).—Judah (between Ephraim and Jacob) can hardly be right. Read, "I will yoke Ephraim that he may plough Jacob," etc.

Hosea 10:12 a may be rendered, "Sow to yourselves righteousness, and," etc.

Hosea 10:13 b. for . . . men: probably a gloss.—way: read chariots (LXX).

Hosea 10:14. among thy people: read, "in thy cities.—The clause "as Shalman (Shalmaneser IV) spoiled Beth-arbel in the days of battle "refers to some incident unknown (probably a gloss).

Hosea 10:15. Read (LXX), "So will I do to you, O house of Israel, because of your great wickedness; in the storm shall the king," etc.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Hosea 10:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/hosea-10.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, June 24th, 2019
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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