Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 2:12 - 2:12

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 2:12 - 2:12

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The Lord will put an end to the festive rejoicing, by taking away the fruits of the land, which rejoice man's heart. Hos 2:12. “And I lay waste her vine and her fig-tree, of which she said, They are lovers' wages to me, which my lovers gave me; and I make them a forest, and the beasts of the field devour them.” Vine and fig-tree, the choicest productions of the land of Canaan, are mentioned as the representatives of the rich means of sustenance with which the Lord had blessed His people (cf. 1Ki 5:5; Joe 2:22, etc.). The devastation of both of these denotes the withdrawal of the possessions and enjoyments of life (cf. Jer 5:17; Joe 1:7, Joe 1:12), because Israel regarded them as a present from its idols. עֶתְנָה, softened down from אֶתְנָן (Hos 9:1), like שִׁרְיָה, in Job 41:18, from שִׁרְיָן (1Ki 22:34; cf. Ewald, §163, h), signifies the wages of prostitution (Deu 23:19). The derivation is disputed and uncertain, since the verb תָּנָה cannot be shown to have been used either in Hebrew or the other Semitic dialects in the sense of dedit, dona porrexit (Ges.), and the word cannot be traced to תָּנַן, to extend; whilst, on the other hand, the תָּנָה, הִתְנָה (Hos 8:9-10) is most probably a denominative of אֶתְנָה. Consequently, Hengstenberg supposes it to be a bad word formed out of the question put by the prostitute, מה תתּן לי, and the answer given by the man, אֶתֶן לָךְ (Gen 38:16, Gen 38:18), and used in the language of the brothel in connection with an evil deed. The vineyards and fig-orchards, so carefully hedged about and cultivated, are to be turned into a forest, i.e., to be deprived of their hedges and cultivation, so that the wild beasts may be able to devour them. The suffixes attached to שַׂמְתִּים and אֲכָלָתַם refer to גֶּפֶן וּתְאֵנָה (the vine and fig-tree), and not merely to the fruit. Comp. Isa 7:23. and Mic 3:12, where a similar figure is used to denote the complete devastation of the land.