Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 9:10 - 9:10

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 9:10 - 9:10

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Hos 9:10. “I found Israel like grapes in the desert, I saw your fathers like early fruit on the fig-tree in the first shooting; but they came to Baal-peor, and consecrated themselves to shame, and became abominations like their lover.” Grapes in the desert and early figs are pleasant choice fruits to whoever finds them. This figure therefore indicates the peculiar pleasure which Jehovah found in the people of Israel when He led them out of Egypt, or the great worth which they had in His eyes when He chose them for the people of His possession, and concluded a covenant with them at Sinai (Theod., Cyr.). Bammidbâr (in the desert) belongs, so far as its position is concerned, to ‛ănâbhı̄m: grapes in the dry, barren desert, where you do not expect to find such refreshing fruit; but, so far as the fact is concerned, it also refers to the place in which Israel was thus found by God, since you can only find fruit in the desert when you are there yourself. The words, moreover, evidently refer to Deu 32:10 (“I found him Israel in the wilderness,” etc.), and point implicite to the helpless condition in which Israel was when God first adopted it. The suffix to berē'shı̄thâh (at her beginning) refers to תְּאֵנָה, the first-fruit, which the fig-tree bears in its first time, at the first shooting. But Israel no longer answered to the good pleasure of God. They came to Baal-peor. בַּעַל־פְּעֹור without the preposition אֶל is not the idol of that name, but the place where it was worshipped, which was properly called Beth-peor or Peor (see at Num 23:28 and Num 25:3). יִנָּֽזְרוּ is chosen instead of יִצָּמֵד (Num 23:3, Num 23:5), to show that Israel ought to have consecrated itself to Jehovah, to have been the nazir of Jehovah. Bōsheth (shame) is the name given to the idol of Baal-peor (cf. Jer 3:24), the worship of which was a shame to Israel. 'Ohabh, the paramour, is also Baal-peor. Of all the different rebellions on the part of Israel against Jehovah, the prophet singles out only the idolatry with Baal-peor, because the principal sin of the ten tribes was Baal-worship in its coarser or more refined forms.