אַל־תִּשְׂמַח יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־גִּיל כָּעַמִּים כִּי זָנִיתָ מֵעַל אֱלֹהֶיךָ אָהַבְתָּ אֶתְןָן עַל כָּל־גָּרְנֹות דָּגָן׃ 9:1
Hose. 9:1 You may not exult, Israel,
to rejoice like the peoples,
for you have strayed from your God,
loved a hired harlot
on all the threshing floors of grain.”
גֹּרֶן וָיֶקֶב לֹא יִרְעֵם וְתִירֹושׁ יְכַחֶשׁ בָּהּ׃ 9:2
Hose. 9:2 The threshing floor and the wine press shall not feed them,
and the new wine will be denied to her.
לֹא יֵשְׁבוּ בְּאֶרֶץ יְהוָה וְשָׁב אֶפְרַיִם מִצְרַיִם וּבְאַשּׁוּר טָמֵא יֹאכֵלוּ׃ 9:3
Hose. 9:3 They shall not dwell in the land of the Lord,
and Ephraim shall return to Egypt,
and they shall eat unclean food in Assyria.
Bible commentators believe this reference to Egypt is not to be taken literally. They conclude that it represents bondage. I suspect that it is meant literally (although this prophesy may not have been fulfilled). My suspicion is based on the fact that Egypt was mentioned in the last chapter (Hosea 8:13) and is mentioned again below in v. 9:6. These references can’t all be meant as merely symbolic, especially the one in v. 9:6.
לֹא־יִסְּכוּ לַיהוָה יַיִן וְלֹא יֶעֶרְבוּ־לֹו זִבְחֵיהֶם כְּלֶחֶם אֹונִים לָהֶם כָּל־אֹכְלָיו יִטַמָּאוּ כִּי־לַחְםָם לְנַפְשָׁם 9:4
לֹא יָבֹוא בֵּית יְהוָה׃
Hose. 9:4 They shall not pour wine to the Lord,
and they will not be pleasing to Him;
their sacrifices shall be as the bread of mourners for them;
all of its eaters shall be made impure,
for their bread is for their appetite;
it shall not enter the house of the Lord.
מַה־תַּעֲשׂוּ לְיֹום מֹועֵד וּלְיֹום חַג־יְהוָה׃ 9:5
Hose. 9:5 What will you do for the day of the appointed season,
and for the day of the feast of the Lord?
כִּי־הִנֵּה הָלְכוּ מִשֹּׁד מִצְרַיִם תְּקַבְּצֵם מֹף תְּקַבְּרֵם מַחְמַד לְכַסְפָּם קִמֹּושׂ יִירָשֵׁם חֹוחַ בְּאָהֳלֵיהֶם׃ 9:6
Hose. 9:6 For behold, they are gone because of destruction;
Egypt shall gather them together,
Memphis shall bury them;
desire for their silver, a nettle, shall possess them,
a thorn in their tents.
Memphis was situated on the Nile in Egypt and was a place of burial. Egypt is mentioned here again, which I believe supports my supposition that Egypt is meant literally in this chapter (and in Hose. 8:13), especially as it is used in this verse. Would bondage (Egypt) gather them together?
בָּאוּ יְמֵי הַפְּקֻדָּה בָּאוּ יְמֵי הַשִּׁלֻּם יֵדְעוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֱוִיל הַנָּבִיא מְשֻׁגָּע אִישׁ הָרוּחַ עַל רֹב עֲוֹנְךָ וְרַבָּה 9:7 מַשְׂטֵמָה׃
Hose. 9:7 The days of visitation come;
the days of retribution come.
They, Israel, shall know it.
“The prophet is foolish,
the man of spirit is mad.”
According to the greatness of your iniquity,
so will be the greatness of enmity.
The quotation marks indicate that I believe the expression is that of the people of Israel.
צֹפֶה אֶפְרַיִם עִם־אֱלֹהָי נָבִיא פַּח יָקֹושׁ עַל־כָּל־דְּרָכָיו מַשְׂטֵמָה בְּבֵית אֱלֹהָיו׃ 9:8
Hose. 9:8 Ephraim should be watchful of the God of the prophet,
a trap of a bait layer shall be on all his paths
-- enmity shall be in the house of his gods.
הֶעְמִיקוּ־שִׁחֵתוּ כִּימֵי הַגִּבְעָה יִזְכֹּור עֲוֹנָם יִפְקֹוד חַטֹּאותָם׃ 9:9
Hose. 9:9 They have become as deeply corrupted as the days of Gilbeah.
He shall remember their iniquity;
He will enumerate their sinfulness.
כַּעֲנָבִים בַּמִּדְבָּר מָצָאתִי יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּבִכּוּרָה בִתְאֵנָה בְּרֵאשִׁיתָהּ רָאִיתִי אֲבֹותֵיכֶם הֵמָּה בָּאוּ 9:10
בַעַל־פְּעֹור וַיִּנָּזְרוּ לַבֹּשֶׁת וַיִּהְיוּ שִׁקּוּצִים כְּאָהֳבָם׃
Hose. 9:10 “I found Israel like the grapes in the wilderness;
I looked at your fathers like the ripe fruit
of a fig tree in its first season.
They entered Baal-peor
and they devoted themselves to shame
and became detestable like their loved objects.”
The mention of Baal-peor is a reference to the tragic events depicted in Numb. 25:3 to 5.
אֶפְרַיִם כָּעֹוף יִתְעֹוףֵף כְּבֹודָם מִלֵּדָה וּמִבֶּטֶן וּמֵהֵרָיֹון׃ 9:11
Hose. 9:11 “Of Ephraim, like a bird their glory shall fly away
from child bearing,
and from the womb,
and from their conceiving.”
כִּי אִם־יְגַדְּלוּ אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶם וְשִׁכַּלְתִּים מֵאָדָם כִּי־גַם־אֹוי לָהֶם בְּשׂוּרִי מֵהֶם׃ 9:12
Hose. 9:12 “Indeed, though they might raise their children
I will bereave them more than humanity,
for woe is also to them in My departure from them.”
אֶפְרַיִם כַּאֲשֶׁר־רָאִיתִי לְצֹור שְׁתוּלָה בְנָוֶה וְאֶפְרַיִם לְהֹוצִיא אֶל־הֹרֵג בָּנָיו׃ 9:13
Hose. 9:13 “Ephraim, as I have seen for Tyre,
shall be transplanted to a habitation,
and Ephraim shall be bringing his children forth to the executioner.”
תֵּן־לָהֶם יְהוָה מַה־תִּתֵּן תֵּן־לָהֶם רֶחֶם מַשְׁכִּיל וְשָׁדַיִם צֹמְקִים׃ 9:14
Hose. 9:14 Give to them, O Lord, what You will give!
Give to them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts!
כָּל־רָעָתָם בַּגִּלְגָּל כִּי־שָׁם שְׂנֵאתִים עַל רֹעַ מַעַלְלֵיהֶם מִבֵּיתִי אֲגָרְשֵׁם לֹא אֹוסֵף אַהֲבָתָם 9:15
Hose. 9:15 “All of their evil is in Gilgal,
that I ‘hated’ them there
because of the wickedness of their practices;
from My house I shall expel them;
I will not expect their love;
all their princes are rebellious.”
As to Gilgal, see my remarks on Hose. 4:15.
הֻכָּה אֶפְרַיִם שָׁרְשָׁם יָבֵשׁ פְּרִי (בְלִי)־ [בַל]־יַעֲשׂוּן גַּם כִּי יֵלֵדוּן וְהֵמַתִּי מַחֲמַדֵּי בִטְנָם׃ 9:16
Hose. 9:16 “Ephraim shall be smitten;
their shriveled root shall produce no fruit.
Even if they will beget,
then I will slay the desired fruit of their womb.”
The word in the parentheses should not have a yad suffix. The correction is in the brackets.
יִמְאָסֵם אֱלֹהַי כִּי לֹא שָׁמְעוּ לֹו וְיִהְיוּ נֹדְדִים בַּגֹּויִם׃ 9:17
Hose. 9:17 My God will reject them,
for they have not listened to Him,
and they shall become wanderers among the nations.
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