Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 9:13 - 9:13

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 9:13 - 9:13

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The vanishing of the glory of Ephraim is carried out still further in what follows. Hos 9:13. “Ephraim as I selected it for a Tyre planted in the valley; so shall Ephraim lead out its sons to the murderer. Hos 9:14. Give them, O Jehovah: what shalt Thou give him? Give them a childless womb and dry breasts.” In Hos 9:13 Ephraim is the object to רָאִיתִי (I have seen), but on account of the emphasis it is placed first, as in Hos 9:11; and רָאָה with an accusative and ל dna evi signifies to select anything for a purpose, as in Gen 22:8. The Lord had selected Ephraim for Himself to be a Tyre planted in the meadow, i.e., in a soil adapted for growth and prosperity, had intended for it the bloom and glory of the rich and powerful Tyre; but now, for its apostasy, He would give it up to desolation, and dedicate its sons, i.e., its people, to death by the sword. The commentators, for the most part, like the lxx, have overlooked this meaning of ראה, and therefore have not only been unable to explain letsōr (for a Tyre), but have been driven either to resort to alterations of the text, like letsūrâh, “after the form” (Ewald), or to arbitrary assumptions, e.g., that tsōr signifies “palm” after the Arabic (Arnold, Hitzig), or that letsōr means “as far as Tyre” (ל = עד), in order to bring a more or less forced interpretation into the sentence. The Vav before 'Ephraim introduces the apodosis to כַּאֲשֶׁר: “as I have selected Ephraim, so shall Ephraim lead out,” etc. On the construction לְהֹוצִיא, see Ewald, §237, c. In Hos 9:14 the threat rises into an appeal to God to execute the threatened punishment. The excited style of the language is indicated in the interpolated mah-titteen (what wilt Thou give?). The words do not contain an intercessory prayer on the part of the prophet, that God will not punish the people too severely but condemn them to barrenness rather than to the loss of the young men (Ewald), but are expressive of holy indignation at the deep corruption of the people.