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


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


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.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Gomer and Hosea

Last week was a good time to take a little break.  We're starting a new big section today.  Here's the next two verses of Hosea 2:
4. Accuse your mother!  Accuse [her]!
    For she is not my wife,
    And I am not her hubsand.
Let her turn her promiscuity away from her face
    And her adultery from between her breasts.
5. Or else I will strip her naked
    And I will make her as on the day of her birth.
And I will set her as in the desert,
    And I will make her like a land of drought,
    And I will kill her with thirst.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Learning Curve

People are slowly catching up this week, which means we're slowly seeing comments appear on old posts.  If you're interested, peek back at a few.  At the bottom of each entry on the main page, you can see how many comments exist for each post, and even jump straight to them.  You can post comments of your own, too; if you don't have (or want to use) one of the accounts suggested, you can choose Name/URL from the drop down list, and just leave URL blank.

In addition his thoughts on a few of our posts, Mark adds this general question:  
Hosea is proving to be complicated.  There's a lot of new stuff to learn to understand the meaning.  It reminds me of Revelation.  Is it intrinsic in Old Testament study that the context and history are so much more involved than the New Testament?  Or is this just a difference in the way we approach them?
It's a good question, so I thought we'd look at that today.  And like Hosea itself, the answer is complicated.