Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 8:5 - 8:5

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 8:5 - 8:5

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“Thy calf disgusts, O Samaria; my wrath is kindled against them: how long are they incapable of purity. Hos 8:6. For this also is from Israel: a workman made it, and it is not God; but the calf of Samaria will become splinters.” Zânach (disgusts) points back to Hos 8:3. As Israel felt disgust at what was good, so did Jehovah at the golden calf of Samaria. It is true that zânach is used here intransitively in the sense of smelling badly, or being loathsome; but this does not alter the meaning, which is obvious enough from the context, namely, that it is Jehovah whom the calf disgusts. The calf of Samaria is not a golden calf set up in the city of Samaria; as there is no allusion in history to any such calf as this. Samaria is simply mentioned in the place of the kingdom, and the calf is the one that was set up at Bethel, the most celebrated place of worship in the kingdom, which is also the only one mentioned in Hos 10:5, Hos 10:15. On account of this calf the wrath of Jehovah is kindled against the Israelites, who worship this calf, and cannot desist. This is the thought of the question expressing disgust at these abominations. How long are they incapable of נִקָּיֹן, i.e., purity of walk before the Lord, instead of the abominations of idolatry (cf. Jer 19:4); not “freedom from punishment,” as Hitzig supposes. To לֹע יוּכְלוּ, “they are unable,” we may easily supply “to bear,” as in Isa 1:14 and Psa 101:5. “For” (kı̄, Hos 8:6) follows as an explanation of the main clause in Hos 8:5, “Thy calf disgusts.” The calf of Samaria is an abomination to the Lord, for it is also out of Israel (Israel's God out of Israel itself!); a workman made it, - what folly! וְהוּא is a predicate, brought out with greater emphasis by ו, et quidem, in the sense of iste. Therefore will it be destroyed like the golden calf at Sinai, which was burnt and ground to powder (Exo 32:20; Deu 9:21). The ἅπ. λεγ. שְׁבָבִים, from Arab. sabb, to cut, signifies ruins or splinters.