Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 5:13 - 5:13

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 5:13 - 5:13

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The two kingdoms could not defend themselves against this chastisement by the help of any earthly power. Hos 5:13. “And Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his abscess; and Ephraim went to Asshur, and sent to king Jareb (striver): but he cannot cure you, nor drive the abscess away from you.” By the imperfects, with Vav rel., וַיֵּלֶךְ, וַיַּרְא, the attempts of Ephraim and Judah to save themselves from destruction are represented as the consequence of the coming of God to punish, referred to in Hos 5:12. Inasmuch as this is to be seen, so far as the historical fulfilment is concerned, not in the present, but in the past and future, the attempts to obtain a cure for the injuries also belong to the present (? past) and future. Mâzōr does not mean a bandage or the cure of injuries (Ges., Dietr.), but is derived from זוּר, to squeeze out (see Del. on Isa 1:6), and signifies literally that which is pressed out, i.e., a festering wound, an abscess. It has this meaning not only here, but also in Jer 30:13, from which the meaning bandage has been derived. On the figure employed, viz., the disease of the body politic, see Delitzsch on Isa 1:5-6. That this disease is not to be sought for specially in anarchy and civil war (Hitzig), is evident from the simple fact, that Judah, which was saved from these evils, is described as being just as sick as Ephraim. The real disease of the two kingdoms was apostasy from the Lord, or idolatry with its train of moral corruption, injustice, crimes, and vices of every kind, which destroyed the vital energy and vital marrow of the two kingdoms, and generated civil war and anarchy in the kingdom of Israel. Ephraim sought for help from the Assyrians, viz., from king Jareb, but without obtaining it. The name Jareb, i.e., warrior, which occurs here and at Hos 10:6, is an epithet formed by the prophet himself, and applied to the king of Assyria, not of Egypt, as Theodoret supposes. The omission of the article from מֶלֶךְ may be explained from the fact that Jârēbh is, strictly speaking, an appellative, as in לְמוּאֵל מֶלֶךְ in Pro 31:1. We must not supply Yehūdâh as the subject to vayyishlach. The omission of any reference to Judah in the second half of the verse, may be accounted for from the fact that the prophecy had primarily and principally to do with Ephraim, and that Judah was only cursorily mentioned. The ἅπ. λεγ. יִגְהֶה from גָּהָה, in Syriac to by shy, to flee, is used with min in the tropical sense of removing or driving away.