Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 10:12 - 10:12

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 10:12 - 10:12

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The call to repentance and reformation of life is then appended in Hos 10:12, Hos 10:13, clothed in similar figures. Hos 10:12. “Sow to yourselves for righteousness, reap according to love; plough for yourselves virgin soil: for it is time to seek Jehovah, till He come and rain righteousness upon you. Hos 10:13. Ye have ploughed wickedness, ye have reaped crime: eaten the fruit of lying: because thou hast trusted in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.” Sowing and reaping are figures used to denote their spiritual and moral conduct. לִצְדָקָה, for righteousness, is parallel to לְפִי חֶסֶד; i.e., sow that righteousness may be able to spring up like seed, i.e., righteousness towards your fellow-men. The fruit of this will be chesed, condescending love towards the poor and wretched. Nı̄r nı̄r, both here and in Jer 4:3 to plough virgin soil, i.e., to make land not yet cultivated arable. We have an advance in this figure: they are to give up all their previous course of conduct, and create for themselves a new sphere for their activity, i.e., commence a new course of life. וְעֵת, and indeed it is time, equivalent to, for it is high time to give up your old sinful says and seek the Lord, till (עַד) He come, i.e., till He turn His grace to you again, and cause it to rain upon you. Tsedeq, righteousness, not salvation, a meaning which the word never has, and least of all here, where tsedeq corresponds to the tsedâqâh of the first clause. God causes righteousness to rain, inasmuch as He not only gives strength to secure it, like rain for the growth of the seed (cf. Isa 44:3), but must also generate and create it in man by His Spirit (Psa 51:12). The reason for this summons is given in Hos 10:13, in another allusion to the moral conduct of Israel until now. Hitherto they have ploughed as well as reaped unrighteousness and sin, and eaten lies as the fruit thereof, - lies, inasmuch as they did not promote the prosperity of the kingdom as they imagined, but only led to its decay and ruin. For they did not trust in Jehovah the Creator and rock of salvation, but in their way, i.e., their deeds and their might, in the strength of their army (Amo 6:13), the worthlessness of which they will now discover.