Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 9:5 - 9:5

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 9:5 - 9:5

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Their misery will be felt still more keenly on the feast-days. Hos 9:5. “What will ye do on the day of the festival, and on the day of the feast of Jehovah? Hos 9:6. For behold they have gone away because of the desolation: Egypt will gather them together, Memphis bury them: their valuables in silver, thistles will receive them; thorns in their tents.” As the temple and ritual will both be wanting in their exile, they will be unable to observe any of the feasts of the Lord. No such difference can be shown to exist between yōm mō‛ēd and yōm chag Yehōvâh, as would permit of our referring mō‛ēd to feasts of a different kind from chag. In Leviticus 23, all the feasts recurring at a fixed period, on which holy meetings were held, including the Sabbath, are called מֹועֲדֵי יְהֹוָהּ; and even though the three feasts at which Israel was to appear before the Lord, viz., the passover, pentecost, and the feast of tabernacles, are described as chaggı̄m in Exo 34:18., every other joyous festival is also called a chag (Exo 32:5; Jdg 21:19). It is therefore just as arbitrary on the part of Grotius and Rosenmüller to understand by mō‛ēd the three yearly pilgrim-festivals, and by chag Yehōvâh all the rest of the feasts, including the new moon, as it is on the part of Simson to restrict the last expression to the great harvest-feast, i.e., the feast of tabernacles (Lev 23:39, Lev 23:41). The two words are synonymous, but they are so arranged that by chag the idea of joy is brought into greater prominence, and the feast-day is thereby designated as a day of holy joy before Jehovah; whereas mō‛ēd simply expresses the idea of a feast established by the Lord, and sanctified to Him (see at Lev 23:2). By the addition of the chag Yehōvâh, therefore, greater emphasis is given to the thought, viz., that along with the feasts themselves all festal joy will also vanish. The perfect הָֽלְכוּ (Exo 34:6) may be explained from the fact, that the prophet saw in spirit the people already banished from the land of the Lord. הָלַךְ, to go away out of the land. Egypt is mentioned as the place of banishment, in the same sense as in Hos 9:3. There will they all find their graves. קִבֵּץ in combination with קִבֵּר is the gathering together of the dead for a common burial, like אָסַף in Eze 29:5; Jer 8:2; Jer 25:33. מֹף, or נֹף, as in Isa 19:13; Jer 2:16; Jer 44:1; Eze 30:13, Eze 30:16, probably contracted from מְנֹף, answers rather to the Coptic Membe, Memphe, than to the old Egyptian Men-nefr, i.e., mansio bona, the profane name of the city of Memphis, the ancient capital of Lower Egypt, the ruins of which are to be seen on the western bank of the Nile, to the south of Old Cairo. The sacred name of this city was Ha-ka-ptah, i.e., house of the worship of Phtah (see Brugsch, Geogr. Inschriften, i. pp. 234-5). In their own land thorns and thistles would take the place of silver valuables. The suffix attached to יִירָשֵׁם refers, ad sensum, to the collective מַחְמַד לְכַסְפָּם, the valuables in silver. These are not “silver idols,” as Hitzig imagines, but houses ornamented and filled with the precious metal, as בְּאָֽהֳלֵיהֶם in the parallel clause clearly shows. The growth of thorns and thistles presupposes the utter desolation of the abodes of men (Isa 34:13).