Monday, November 7, 2016

Imperatives and Jussives

On our last reading, Mark pointed out something interesting in verse 18.  (Well, a few things, actually.)  He noted that "you will call me 'my man'" could be either a command or a description of the future.  English uses "you will verb" generally as a future tense, and usually forms a command by simply offering the commanded verb--in this case, "call me 'my man'" without "you will."  However, to intensify the command, those future-tense words can go back in there:  "You WILL call me 'my man.'"

Monday, October 3, 2016

My Husband

Scholars seem to disagree on whether verses 18-25 go with what comes before.  Hans Walter Wolff, who I'm using for the detail-oriented view, says there's a break before verse 18, and that we begin a new (and much later) oracle today--but he quotes others who say it's a continuation.  I'll let you be the judge:
18. And on that day
        -- This is a saying of YHWH --
                    you will call me "my man."
    And you will not call me "my Ba'al" anymore.
19. And I will remove the name of the Ba'als from her mouth,
    And they will not be remembered by their names anymore.
A strict translation of verse 18 would really begin, "And it shall be on that day..."  This is a common Hebrew expression that doesn't really belong in English, so accordingly most translations dispense with it.  But if you're peeking at a King James version, you'll find it there.  In any case, it's a way the prophets proclaim something that will happen in the future.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Good News!

It's good news today, which is a nice change of pace!
16. Therefore, look:  I myself will seduce her
    And cause her to go into the wilderness
    And I will speak to her heart.
17. And I will give her vineyards to her from there,
    And the Valley of Achor for a door of hope
And she will answer [there] as in the days of her youth
    As in the day she came up from the land of Egypt.
So far, in this long oracle, we've had lots of accusations (She said, "I will go after my lovers;" As for me, she forgot me) and dire consequences (I will strip her naked; I will take away her grain...and her new wine) for unfaithful Israel.  We've also had the word "therefore" twice in this prophetic speech, which is a little odd.  Usually, we'd only have one, but Hosea doesn't seem to be able to draw things to a close.  Instead, we now have a third "therefore."  It is to prove the final one in this oracle, as well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Brokenhearted

Maybe I'm just in a poetic sort of mood, but there's something oddly beautiful about today's verses, despite their continued topic of divine punishment on Israel.

13. And I will cause all her joy to cease:
    Her feasts, her new moons, and her sabbaths,
    And all her festivals
14. And I will make her vines desolate,
    And her figs, about which she said,
"These are my prostitute's wages,
    Which my lovers gave me"
And I will make them a wilderness,
    And the wild animals of the field will eat them.
15. And I will visit on her the days of the Ba'als
    When she burned incense to them,
And she adorned [them] with her earrings and her jewels,
    And she went after her lovers
And as for me, she forgot me.
                --This is a saying of YHWH.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Vacillating

Last week, we talked about God as if he were a jilted lover who keeps providing for his beloved anyway.  He walled off his beloved's paths so she could not get to her lovers, but kept offering her the new wine, and fresh oil, and grain that provided for her life.  Such is God's grace-filled providence.  And then we get this:

11. Therefore I will return
    And I will take back my grain at its time,
    And my new wine at its appointed time,
And I will snatch away my wool and my flax
    That cover her nakedness.    

Monday, August 8, 2016

Ever Faithful

Sorry for the silence on this end.  Between some illness and some computer problems, this has gotten away from me.  I'm going to try to be more regular going forward.  (Though I will mention casually that it would be helpful to me to justify the time I spend working on this if I knew there were people actually reading it!  :)  )

We continue at Hosea 2:8.  As we do, I'll note along with Jed's comment that, since we are reading (very) slowly, looking at individual verses and even words in detail, we're missing important parts of the message that we might get if we read the whole of Hosea, or at least read in the context of more of Hosea, rather than just two verses.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Metaphors and Prostitution

Today's reading continues with God's (Hosea's) lawsuit against Israel (Gomer).

6. And her children, I will not love,
    For they are children of promiscuity.
7. For their mother was promiscuous.
    When she conceived them, she made herself wither.
For she said, "I will go after my lovers,
    Who give my bread and my water,
    My wool and my flax,
    My oil and my drink."

To start with, I need to note a translation challenge in verse 7.  The phrase, "She made herself wither," appears to be translated regularly instead by something like, "She acted shamefully" or "She behaved disgracefully."  I have no doubt that this is a Hebrew idiomatic expression--one that I don't know.  For the moment, I'm going to leave it as is; the literal translation has to do with withering or drying up.  I tend to like these sorts of idioms, where the words themselves are far more colorful and imaginative than their meaning.  When I get a chance to swing by the library, I may update it.  The commentaries at my personal disposal don't mention it.