Full Text for Studies in Hosea 1-3, part 5 (Text)

262 Studies in HOB. 1-3. days, when legislative mills grind out statute upon statute, these mul­titudinous enactments do not deal with merely hypothetical figments of legal imagination, but are framed to cover recurrent actualities. How much more must we conclude that the Oode of Hammurabi, the great codex iUl'is which formed the basic jurisprudential prin­ciple for the vast Babylonian Empire and which at the most con­tained (including the obliterated portions) only 282 laws, would not devote even one of these statutes to legal casuistry! The mere fact that the Oode of Hammurabi makes provision for a slave concubine's rebelling and endeavoring to secure equality with the chief wife is ample assurance of the frequency and repetition of such occurrences. And it is thus directly concordant with the statements of Scripture and the evidence of archeology to assume that the Hight of Hagar in chap. 16 and her expulsion in cha.p.21, far from being "doublets" and therefore evidence of separate authorship, are faithful records of two tragedies, each separate, each distinctly appropriate in its place. WALTER A. 11:ATER. Studies in Hosea 1-3. Chapter 3. V. 1: "Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, accoTCling to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love Hagons of wine." The first question to be decided is, Is the woman of v. 1 Gomer or some other woman ~ Many varying opinions have been expressed, the text has been changed, passages have been stricken, in an effort to find the answer to this question. Steuernagel's suggestion in sup­port of the identity of the woman in chap. 3 with Gomer, namely, that originally chaps. 1 and 3 formed an uninterrupted narrative and were later separated by ignorant compilers or editors, is altogether un­warranted and serves to show to what extremes commentators have gone in their efforts to solve this vexing question. Sellin advances two reasons for the identity of the woman. First, no name is given in chap. 3; therefore only Gomer can be meant. This does not sound very convincing. Secondly, the analogy of chap. 2,4--25. This latter reason is brought out in Speaker's Commentary on the lYlinor Prophets, p. 426, thus: "The antitype which the symbol is designed to shadow forth shows this woman to be Gomer. For if Hosea were now commanded to seek another than Gomer, it would suggest the thought that Jehovah was about to take another wife instead of Israel." This argument proves, in my opinion beyond doubt, the identity of the women mentioned in chaps. 1 and 3. A third reason is given in Studies in Hos. 1-3. 263 Speaker's commentary: "A marriage with another would have been commanded by a different form of expression, such as, Take unto thee a wife." That seems a plausible reason. The word "go" is not to be understood literally. It is a Hebrew idiom similar to the English Go on! and the German W ohlan! Auf! Op. Hos. 1, 2 and 6,1. There is little or no stress on go, the chief emphasis being placed on lot'c. Hosea is told to go and love a woman 11'1 n.'ln~. Speaker translates: "Beloved of her husband, i. e., whom ;~u l;:;~." Yet there would be no reason to tell the prophet to love her whom he loves already. Augustine: "Show some kindness to a woman so as to induce her to turn from her life of sin." This inter­pretation does not do justice to the context. The word P1 means friend or associate and then, like the Latin word amicus, a paramour. In thiR latter sense the word occurs J er. 3, 1, and Lam. 1, 2. There­fore we translate: beloved of a paramour and committing adultery. This love which the Lord commands to Hosea should be according to the love of Jehovah for the children of Israel, who loves them even though they are continually turning from Him to other gods and are the lovers of raisin cakes. Sellin needlessly strikes "other gods" as a superfluous gloss and refers the last phrase to the idols who love raisin cakes. "Raisin cakes" is translated in our English Bible by "flagons of wine." The word used for cakes occurs only 2 Sam. 6, 19 ; 1 Ohron. 16, 3; Song of Sol. 2, 5 and means something compact and pressed together. The word translated "raisins" means grapes, either fresh or dried. Op. N urn. 6, 4. According to J er. 7, 17 and 44, 17 ff. cakes (perhaps in the form or shape of the idol) were used in the idolatrous sacrifices. Therefore the expression raisin cakes is used here as a symbol of idolatrous worship. It seems that the sacrificial meals eaten at the altars of the idols were of a more elaborate char­acter than those at Jehovah's altar, offerings of cake and perhaps other sweetmeats instead of the comparatively plain meal at the Temple. Idolatry is, after all, self-indulgence and grants the means for such self-indulgence as an inducement to frequent the altar of the idol. V. 2: "So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver and for an homer of barley and an half homer of barley." Hengstenberg claims that the word n1~ invariably means "dig" and translates: "I dug her, perforated her ear." The custom of perforating the ear was observed whenever a man was made a bond-slave and thus obli­gated to lifelong service, Ex. 21, 5. 6; Deut. 15, 17. However, Moses does not use n'1;:', and Hosea does not use the word ear, if~, while the simple kar~11 is nowhere used in the sense of making:' a bond­servant of one, or obligating one to lifelong service. Even though the underlying thought is Scriptural, it is not expressed here. What does this word kamh mean? It occurs most frequently in the sense of dig, 264 Studies in Hos.I-3. as a pit, Ps. 7, 16; 57, 7, etc.; a well, Gen. 26, 25, etc. Ps. 40, 7 we read: "Ears Thou hast digged me," i. e., Thou hast given me the faculty to heal' and do Thy will. In a number of places this meaning evidently cannot be employed. There is a Samaritan and Arabic word, derived from the same root, having the sense of to buy, to hire, to bargain. Deut. 2, 6: "Ye shall buy [shabarJ meat of them for money that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy [karah] water of them for money that ye may drink." To interpret this latter phrase as digging water is practically out of question. First, because of the parallelism; secondly, because digging wells for such a multitude in so short a time would have been impossible. Job 6, 27: "Ye overwhelm the orphan and dig a pit [the words "a pit" do not appear ill the original] for your friend," rather, "bargain over a friend." This is the meaning accepted here by the Septuagint and many commentators. Gomer, so we are told, has left the prophet, returning either to her home or becoming a public harlot and sinking finally into slavery, out of which Hosea bought her, or redeemed her. The price of her redemption is given as fifty pieces of silver and an homer (about 8 bushels) of barley and a half homer of barley. The word translated ''half homer" is Zetek, a word occurring only here, according to the }\t1islma one half homer. Instead of t:l\~y~ '11}>-the Septuagint reads i::ltj ~:t~, accordingly, "a skin of wine." Then a'problem in arithmetic i;"int~:'~duced to explain this strange combination. In 2 Kings 7, 1. 16.18 we read that two measures (seah) of barley shall be sold for a shekel. Evidently, so we are told, that is not the normal price; three measures for a shekel would be closer to the normal. One and a half homer, at thirty measures a homer, is forty-five measures. At one shekel for three measures, the sum to be paid would be fifteen shekels for the whole amount of barley. Adding the fifteen shekels of silver mentioned in the text, we have thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave, Ex. 21, 43; Zech. 11, 12. The question at once arises: Why such a complicated manner of stating a price, which could be stated in much simpler language? Moreover, how do we know that in Hosea's time three measures of barley cost just one shekel? Surely the price of barley fluctuated then as it does in our day. One can hardly call such guesswork exegesis. The word karah is used in still another sense 2 Kings 6, 23: pro­vide, prepare provision. That meaning would suit splendidly here. Hosea provided for Gomer while she had to remain quietly in his house. That would explain why grain and money were given -grain for her main supply of food, money for other necessities. Another point in favor of this interpretation is the fact that the text does not state that Gomer had left her husband or had been reduced to slavery. Such a supposition, however, is necessary if she was b01tght. In actual fact she had remained in his home all the time, though play-Studies in Hos. 1-3. 265 ing the harlot; now Hosea is told to keep on loving her as the Lord loves Israel, yet to discipline her. The disciplining is not expressly mentioned; but Hosea's action, v.3, and the explanation in v.4 show that it was included in God's command. One objection may be raised. i1'1:l in this sense is construed with the dative, while here the accusati~~ suffix is used. However, l1U is similarly construed, usually with " yet Josh. 15, 19; J er. 9, 1 with the accusative, given to me. The accusative construction may have been used in our passage because another dative is added, '?' I pro­vided her, for her, in my interest, by fifteen pieces of silver, etc. Hosea himself reveals the pUTpose of this strange tTansaction. V.3 he continues: "I said unto her, Many days sil me," "':Jl!il'i. :ll!i' is here used of the inactive sitting and waiting for fut~T~ :d~velo~~ ments. Op. Gen. 22, 5, where AbTaham said to the sel'Vants left at the foot of the mountain, "Abide heTe," t:l::l'-~::l~. Ex. 24, 14, tarry; Lev. 12,4; 1 Sam. 1, 23, Elkanah to Hannah":T aT~,rry until thou have weaned him. . .. So the woman abode." Hosea told Gomer to be quiet, inactive, that she would not be allowed to leave the place until permission had been again granted or circumstances had changed. In what Tespect Gomer was to be in­active we are told in the very next wOTds. "Thou shalt not play the haTlot, and not shalt thou be to a man." Being shut up, sitting in the home, she shall have no opportunity fOT adultery. Nor should _she be "to a man." This may merely emphasize the first clause, or it may mean that for the time being even sexual intercourse with heT lawful husband should not take place. The underlying thought seems to be that her innate sensuality is to be eradicated by withdrawing every possibility of satisfying it. While Hosea is willing to follow the example of God's love and in obedience to His will continue to love and honor his wife, yet Gomer's long-continued harlotry must be stopped, and therefore stern disciplinary measures must be resorted to in order to make a chaste woman out of the immoral libertine. These disciplinary measures flow not from hatred nor from wrath, but from the unquenched love of the faithful prophet to his hitherto unfaithful wife" The final words of v. 3 are somewhat abrupt; yet their sense is clear. "And also I toward thee." I will wait for YQU, will not marry another, will retain you, and again admit you to full conjugal unjon after you have stood the test, after you have shown yourself to be a chaste woman, worthy of the honor to be my wife. Again this entire transaction of Hosea with his wayward wife is symbolical of the dealing of God with His unfaithful spouse, Israel. Not at once will He accept her as His wife; only after a time of stern discipline for her moral strengthening shall she again be admitted into the full enjoyment of her exalted position as God's spouse. V. 4: "For many days" (corresponding to the "many days" of 266 Studies in HOB. 1-3. v.3) "shall sit" (corresponding to the "sit thou" of v. 3) "the children of Israel without king and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without an image" (mazzebah, pillar), "and without ephod, and with­out teraphim." For the terms images, ephod, teraphim, cpo Introductory Thoughts, OONe. THEOL. MTHLY. II, 915 ff. Israel shall be deprived of its government (king, prince) and its religion (sacrifices, etc.) . Very significantly the prophet mentions both divinely instituted and idolatrous rites. The religion of Israel was a peculiar mixture of Jehovah-worship and paganism, such as was found only in Ephraim. Not only the true worship, but this mongrel religion as well, was to be tctken from them. As there would be no more EphTaimite government, so there would be no more Ephraimite religion. In both a civic and a religious respect Israel would cease to be a nation. We know how literally this threat was fulfilled. We speak of the lost ten tribes. Their history after 722 cannot be traced. They became an integral part of other nations. v'vl1ile the Jews, accOTding to Matt. 24, 34, shall not pass away, the ten tribes have been swallowed up by heathen nations almost beyond the possibility of recognition. This threat has reference to the Northern tribes. It is interest­ing, however, to read what Kimchi, a rabbinical author of the twelfth century, says on this passage. "These are the days of the captivity in which we now are at this day. We have no king or prince out of Israel; for we are in the power of the nations and of their kings and princes and have no sacrifice for God nor image for idols, no ephod for God that declares future things by Urim and Thummim, and no teraphim for idols which show things to come, accOTding to the mind of those that believe in them." (Quoted in Speaker's Minor Prophets, p.428.) V. 5: "Afterward shall return the children of Israel and shall seek Jehovah, their God, and David, their king; and they shall tremble towards Jehovah and to His goodness in the end of days, times." For the time being there is no hope extended to Israel of an early repentance and a reception into grace. After the many years of dis­cipline are past, then only shall they return. Mark, however, that no mention is made of a return to their native land. They shall turn away from their wickedness, their idolatry. They shall repent, be converted, seek the Lord, as Hosea expresses it. Jehovah, their God, throughout the centuries is the unchanging God of Israel, the God of the Oovenant, whose truth and mercy stand fast and who will again accept them if only they return to Him. For this meaning of :m~' see J er. 3, 12; 14,22; Is. 1,27; 10,21; Hos. 2, 9; 6,1; 12,7. They shall, says Hosea, seek also David, their king. The prophet has not in mind a returning to the dynasty of David, for he does not say that they Studies in Hos.l-3. 267 will return to the house of David, but that they will seek David. This prophecy therefore was not fulfilled when the exiles, among whom there may have been Israelites of the Northern tribes (cp. Luke 2, 36, tribe of Aser), returned under the leadership of Zerubbabel, of the house of David. No, David is none other than Messiah, the Son of David greater than David. See J er. 30, 9; Ex. 34,23.24; 27,23.24. And "the end of days" in prophecy is the standing term for the days of the Messiah. See Is. 2, 2; Micah 4, 1; J er. 23, 20; 31,24; Ezek. 38, 16; Dan. 10, 14; Acts 2,17; 1 00r.l0, 11; Heb.l,l; 9,29; 1 Pet. 1, 20; 2 Pet. 3, 3. See Speaker's Minor Prophets, p. 429: "Jewish expositors are generally agreed in the Messianic interpretation of this passage. Thus Targum: 'They shall be obedient unto the Messiah, the Son of David, their King !' Aben Ezra: ' "Their King," that is, the Messiah.' 'In both Talmuds,' observes Gill, 'the words are applied to the Mes­siah; in one of them (T. Hieros., Beracot, 5. 1), after quoting this text, it is added, "The Rabbins say this is the King Messiah; if of the living, David is his name; if of the dead, David is his name." And in the other (T. Bab., Megillah, Fol.18, 1) it is said, "When Jeru­salem is built, David comes," which is proved by this passage. "After­wards the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord, their God, and David, their king"; that is, as the gloss interprets it, after they shall return to the house of the sanctuary, or the Temple. So Abar­banel, both in his commentary upon this place and elsewhere (Mash­miah Jeshuah, Fol. 55.4). -"In the latter days." Kimchi (on Is. 2,2) lays it down as a canon of interpretation that, whenever this expression occurs, it is meant of "the days of the Messiah."'" "And they shall tremble toward Jehovah and His goodness." Trembling with fear and misgivings, harassed by their enemies, terri­fied by their sins, "fightings and fears within, without," they finally turn to their God. Will He accept, will He pardon? Theirs is the spirit of Peter's audience on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2, 37; of the jailer at Philippi, Acts 16, 29. 30; of the publican, Luke 18, 13; of the prodigal, Luke 15, 18. 19. Their trembling is not a sorrow of the world, working despair and death; it is rather a godly sorrow, a divinely created trembling, working repentance to salvation, 2 Oor. 7, 10. For it is a trembling unto Jehovah, the God of the Oovenant, and to His goodness and loving-kindness; a trembling pleasing to God, Ps. 51,17; Is. 66, 2. It is a turning to God in trembling because of one's sin, yet trusting in that goodness and loving-kindness of God which is as changeless as God Himself. The knowledge of this goodness over­comes their fears and doubts, so that trustingly they cast themselves into the arms of Him who has loved them with an everlasting love, who therefore with loving-kindness hath drawn them, J er. 31, 3. Turn­ing to God's goodness, or conversion, is a work of God's grace alone. If His goodness would not awaken and engender faith in Him, our 268 trorm, Illn!uge unb ISlJtac'f)e bet ~rebigt in bet ulJofj:oHfcl)en ~itc'f)e. sorrow would be a sorrow unto everlasting death. That it is a sorrow unto life is the work of grace alone. Eph. 2, 4--10. Naturally the prophet has in mind not a return of Israel as a nation, but the conversion of those Israelites who are among the elect of God. Among the Ohristi anized Jews and converted heathen there are undoubtedly also descendants of the ten tribes. Luke 2, 36-38. vVith this gracious promise, reminding us of chap. 1, 10. 11 and 2,14--23, Hosea closes the :first part of his book. TH. LAETSCH. gut ~Utm, ~!nlctge uub ~.ptctdje bet ~rebigt in ber avuftuItfdjen ~irdje. ,,®~ ift rein :l'ling, ba~ !:lie Eeuie me!:jr vei ber S'i'irdje ve!:ji:i:H benn !:lie gute IjSrebig±", bicfc~ 9JCo±±0 be~ c!:jemaIigen ",\'Jomile±lfdjen j))(aga~ ain" auti bem 24. mrtifel ber muguftana ift mit mlJfidji aUf bem ;titer~ vraH unferer jetigcn ±l:jeologifdjen iYadjaeit[djrif± lJeive!:jarten tvorben, ba fidj biefe uniet: anberm audj bic0 ,Bid gefeti !:jai, ba0 ~bear be§ tuidIidj gu±en, etliauIidjen IjSrebigcn§ iJU forbern, tve§tvcgen audj bie !:jomHe±ifCfje unb 1Oafiorald!:jeologifdje WlJieiIung tveitergefill:jrt tvitb, freiIidj in einem eitva§ uefdjri:i:nHcn maum unb in ber Weger nm in ber beutic!:jen @?1Owdje, ba in ber engIifdjcn @?pradje abi:i:qua±e &)iIf~mitter am ®enilge in gc~ bmcl'±er iSorm borIiegcn. @?oil bic0 aUe IDeotto nun, ba§ uei un§ ui§ jei,\± feine (cI:leIfung lJe~ l:jaupte± !:jat, reinen m5ert filr un~ lJe!:jartcn unb audj in ber ,Bul'unf± tab fi:i:djIidj uefoIg± tverben, fo tvirb e§ filr aile ~ntereHicricn bon ber gro13ten m5idjiigfcit fein, ban fie fidj hmner lDtcher harauf lJefinnen, tveldje ~e~ beutung bie IjSrebigi in ber djriftIidjen S'i'irdje bon jel:jer gel:jaDt !:jat unb audj in ,BuIunft !:jauen fome. m5al:jr ift e§, bal) bie firdjIidje Dlebncdunft fidj burdj bie jetveiIigen Beitberl:ji:i:Hnilfe unb Umfti:i:nbe Ieidjt ueeinflulfen ran± unb fidj tvol:jI audj vi§ 3U cinem gctviflen ®rabc fo lJeeinfIuffen laWen barf. \lIlJer bie0 barf nidj± gefdJe!:jen aUf S'i'()f±cn getuifler @runbfiiJ?e, bie filr bie redjte ®ef±aH ber djriftridjen IjSrebig± filr aile Beiten geI±en milflen. ~ie nadjbriidTidjf±e CErinnerung an bie in ~c±radJ± Iommenben 0Jrunbfi:i:te tvirb bieUeidj± im mnfdj1un an cine fmae ~etmdjtung ber is 0 r m, m n rag c un b @? P r a dj e be r IjS reb i g ± unb ber iiffen±~ lidjen Wnfptadje in be rap 0 f± 0 r i f dj en S'i' i r dj e gegeuen tverben fonnen. ~ei biefer Iltt:3en Un±erfudjung l:jaIten tvir un§ an bie in ber Wpof±eIgef djidjte aufgcileidjneten IjSrebig±en unb mebcn, olJl1)0l:j1 tvir un§ bavei tvol:jI uetvun± finb, ban bie meif±en biefer meben tval:jrfdjeinIidj nm im mU§3ug tviebergegeven finb. :l'licf e ;taff adje l:jat filr unf ern jctigcn Btvecl' gar leine 9Cadj±cHc, fonbern e!:jcr ?Uorieife, tveH fie un0 befio el:jer vefiil:jig±, bie Wnlage unb :l'li~pofition ber einaefnen IjSrebig± ober mn~ fptadje au f±ubicren. ®~ l:janbeH fidj balJd bornel:jmIidj um meben unb