Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 8:7 - 8:7

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 8:7 - 8:7

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This will Israel reap from its ungodly conduct. Hos 8:7. “For they sow wind, and reap tempest: it has no stalks; shoot brings no fruit; and even if it brought it, foreigners would devour it.” With this figure, which is so frequently and so variously used (cf. Hos 10:13; Hos 12:2; Job 4:8; Pro 22:8), the threat is accounted for by a general thought taken from life. The harvest answers to the sowing (cf. Gal 6:7-8). Out of the wind comes tempest. Wind is a figurative representation of human exertions; the tempest, of destruction. Instead of rūăch we have אָוןֶ, עָמָל, עַוְלָה (nothingness, weariness, wickedness) in Hos 10:13; Job 4:8, and Pro 22:8. In the second hemistich the figure is carried out still further. קָמָה, “seed standing upon the stalk,” is not to it (viz., that which has been sowed). Tsemach brings no qemach, - a play upon the words, answering to our shoot and fruit. Qemach: generally meal, here probably the grain-bearing ear, from which the meal is obtained. But even if the shoot, when grown, should yield some meal, strangers, i.e., foreigners, would consume it. In these words not only are the people threatened with failure of the crop; but the failure and worthlessness of all that they do are here predicted. Not only the corn of Israel, but Israel itself, will be swallowed up.