Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 6:11 - 6:11

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 6:11 - 6:11

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In conclusion, Judah is mentioned again, that it may not regard itself as better or less culpable. Hos 6:11. “Also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed for thee, when I turn the imprisonment of my people.” Judah stands at the head as an absolute noun, and is then defined by the following לָךְ. The subject to shâth cannot be either Israel or Jehovah. The first, which Hitzig adopts, “Israel has prepared a harvest for thee,” does not supply a thought at all in harmony with the connection; and the second is precluded by the fact that Jehovah Himself is the speaker. Shâth is used here in a passive sense, as in Job 38:11 (cf. Ges. §137, 3*). קָצִיר, harvest, is a figurative term for the judgment, as in Joe 3:13, Jer 51:33. As Judah has sinned as well as Israel, it cannot escape the punishment (cf. Hos 5:5, Hos 5:14). שׁוּב שְׁבוּת never means to bring back the captives; but in every passage in which it occurs it simply means to turn the captivity, and that in the figurative sense of restitutio in integrum (see at Deu 30:3). ‛Ammı̄, my people, i.e., the people of Jehovah, is not Israel of the ten tribes, but the covenant nation as a whole. Consequently shebhūth ‛ammı̄ is the misery into which Israel (of the twelve tribes) had been brought, through its falling away from God, not the Assyrian or Babylonian exile, but the misery brought about by the sins of the people. God could only avert this by means of judgments, through which the ungodly were destroyed and the penitent converted. Consequently the following is the thought which we obtain from the verse: “When God shall come to punish, that He may root out ungodliness, and bring back His people to their true destination, Judah will also be visited with the judgment.” We must not only reject the explanation adopted by Rosenmüller, Maurer, and Umbreit, “when Israel shall have received its chastisement, and be once more received and restored by the gracious God, the richly merited punishment shall come upon Judah also,” but that of Schmieder as well, who understands by the “harvest” a harvest of joy. They are both founded upon the false interpretation of shūbh shebhūth, as signifying the bringing back of the captives; and in the first there is the arbitrary limitation of ‛ammı̄ to the ten tribes. Our verse says nothing as to the question when and how God will turn the captivity of the people and punish Judah; this must be determined from other passages, which announce the driving into exile of both Israel and Judah, and the eventual restoration of those who are converted to the Lord their God. The complete turning of the captivity of the covenant nation will not take place till Israel as a nation shall be converted to Christ its Saviour.