Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 1:3 - 1:3

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 1:3 - 1:3

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“And he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bare him a son.” Gomer does indeed occur in Gen 10:2-3, as the name of a people; but we never meet with it as the name of either a man or a woman, and judging from the analogy of the names of her children, it is chosen with reference to the meaning of the word itself. Gomer signifies perfection, completion in a passive sense, and is not meant to indicate destruction or death (Chald. Marck), but the fact that the woman was thoroughly perfected in her whoredom, or that she had gone to the furthest length in prostitution. Diblaim, also, does not occur again as a proper name, except in the names of Moabitish places in Num 33:46 (‛Almon-diblathaim) and Jer 48:22 (Beth-diblathaim); it is formed from debhēlâh, like the form 'Ephraim, and in the sense of debhēlı̄m, fig-cakes. “Daughter of fig-cakes,” equivalent to liking fig-cakes, in the same sense as “loving grape-cakes” in Hos 3:1, viz., deliciis dedita.

(Note: This is essentially the interpretation given by Jerome: “Therefore is a wife taken out of Israel by Hosea, as the type of the Lord and Saviour, viz., one accomplished in fornication, and a perfect daughter of pleasure (filia voluptatis), which seems so sweet and pleasant to those who enjoy it.”)

The symbolical interpretation of these names is not affected by the fact that they are not explained, like those of the children in Hos 1:4., since this may be accounted for very simply from the circumstance, that the woman does not now receive the names for the first time, but that she had them at the time when the prophet married her.