Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 8:11 - 8:11

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 8:11 - 8:11

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This threat is accounted for in Hos 8:11., by an allusion to the sins of Israel. Hos 8:11. “For Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning, the altars have become to him for sinning. Hos 8:12. I wrote to him the fulnesses of my law; they were counted as a strange thing.” Israel was to have only one altar, and that in the place where the Lord would reveal His name (Deu 12:5.). But instead of that, Ephraim had built a number of altars in different places, to multiply the sin of idolatry, and thereby heap more and more guilt upon itself. לַחֲטֹא is used, in the first clause, for the act of sin; and in the second, for the consequences of that act. And this was not done from ignorance of the divine will, but from neglect of the divine commandments. אֶכְתֹּוב is a historical present, indicating that what had occurred was continuing still. These words refer unquestionably to the great number of the laws written in the Mosaic thorah. רבו, according to the chethib רִבֹּו, with ת dropped, equivalent to רְבָבָה, as in 1Ch 29:7, ten thousand, myriads. The Masoretes, who supposed the number to be used in an arithmetical sense, altered it, as conjecturally unsuitable, into רֻבֵּי, multitudes, although רֹב does not occur anywhere else in the plural. The expression “the myriads of my law” is hyperbolical, to indicate the almost innumerable multitude of the different commandments contained in the law. It was also in a misapprehension of the nature of the hyperbole that the supposition originated, that אֶכְתֹּוב was a hypothetical future (Jerome). כְּמֹו זָר, like something foreign, which does not concern them at all.