Hosea 11:1-11

Hosea 11:1-11
Ordinary C36


When IsraelA was a child,B I lovedC him,

Notes on verse 1a

A “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
B “child” = naar. From na’ar (to shake, toss up and down, tumble around). This is a child or a servant. It is a child in their active years so they could be aged anywhere from infancy to adolescence.
C “loved” = aheb. This is to love, beloved, friend. It is to have affection for sexually or otherwise.

    and out of EgyptD I calledE my son.F

Notes on verse 1b

D “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.
E “called” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
F “son” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.

The moreG I called them,
    the more they wentH fromI me;

Notes on verse 2a

G “more” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
H “went” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
I “from” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.

they kept sacrificingJ to the BaalsK
    and offering incenseL to idols.M

Notes on verse 2b

J “sacrificing” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.
K “Baals” = Ba’al. From the same as ba’al (lord, owner, ally, or archer); from ba’al (to marry, have dominion, be master). This is Baal, literally “lord,” a Phoenician god.
L “offering incense” = qatar. From qetoreth (smoke, incense, the scent of the sacrifice as it burned); from the same as qitor (thick smoke, vapor). This is to make an offering, particular one of burned incense. It focuses on the fragrance made from the sacrificial fire. This is generally used to refer to worship.
M “idols” = pasil. From pasal (to hew, carve; used for wood or stone). This is an idol or other image.

Yet it was I who taught EphraimN to walk;O
    I tookP them up in my arms,Q
    but they did not knowR that I healedS them.

Notes on verse 3

N “Ephraim” = Ephrayim. From the same as epher (ashes or dust – properly something strewn) OR from parah (to grow, increase, be fruitful in a literal or figurative sense). This is Ephraim, one of Joseph’s sons, his descendants, and their land.
O “walk” = ragal. From regel (foot, endurance, or journey; a foot as the means of walking and so it implies a step or a greater journey; can euphemistically mean private parts). This is to walk along, spy out, slander.
P “took” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
Q “arms” = zeroa. Perhaps from zara (to sow, scatter seed, conceive). This is the arm, shoulder, or foreleg of an animal. It is figuratively used for power, force, might, or help.
R “know” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
S “healed” = rapha. Properly, this is to repair by stitching – figuratively this means to heal or cure. It can also mean to make whole.

I ledT them with cordsU of humanV kindness,
    with bandsW of love.X

Notes on verse 4a

T “led” = mashak. This is to draw, drag, or pull. It can mean sow, march, remove, draw along, continue, extend, or prolong.
U “cords” = chebel. From chabal (to bind, pledge, or wind tight; figuratively, can refer to perverting or destroying something; can also be used of writhing in pain, particularly in reference to childbirth). This is a band, rope, measuring line, noose. It can be a company, territory, or country. It can also refer to a throe of labor or ruin.
V “human” = adam. Perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.
W “bands” = aboth. From abath (to weave, wind, or interlace). This is a cord, string, band, wreath, branch, or foliage.
X “love” = ahabah. Related to “loved” in v1. From ahab (love or affection); from aheb (see note C above). This is love as a noun.

I wasY to them like those
    who liftZ infantsAA to their cheeks.BB
    I bent downCC to them and fedDD them.

Notes on verse 4b

Y “was” = hayah. This is to be, to exist.
Z “lift” = rum. This is to rise or raise, to be high literally or figuratively. So it can also mean to exalt or extol.
AA “infants” = ol. From alal (to insert). This is a yoke that is borne on the neck, whether a literal yoke or used of a figurative one. There word looks similar to one that means “infant” (ul. 3x in OT. From ul (to nurse, suckle). This is an infant – a child that is nursing).
BB “cheeks” = lechi. Root may refer to softness. This may be jaw bone or cheek.
CC “bent down” = at. 7x in OT. This is softly or gently. It can also refer to a charmer because their spells are whispered.
DD “fed” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.

They shall returnEE to the landFF of Egypt,
    and AssyriaGG shall be their king,HH
    because they have refused to return to me.

Notes on verse 5

EE “return” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
FF “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
GG “Assyria” = Ashshur. From Akkadian Ashshur (“City of God Ashshur”) OR related to Hebrew ashar (to go straight, advance, proceed, direct, guide, be level, be honest, be blessed or happy). This is Assyria, referring to the place and its inhabitants. It is also a name – Ashshur, a descendant of Shem. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyria#Nomenclature.
HH “king” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.

The swordII ragesJJ in their cities;KK

Notes on verse 6a

II “sword” = chereb. From charab (to attack, slay). This is any sharp instrument like a sword, dagger, axe, or mattock.
JJ “rages” = chul. This is whirling around so dancing as in a circle or writhing in pain. It is used particularly for the pain of childbirth or from writhing due to fear. It can also be falling in pain or waiting.
KK “cities” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.

    it consumesLL their oracle priestsMM
    and devoursNN because of their schemes.OO

Notes on verse 6b

LL “consumes” = kalah. This is to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed.
MM “oracle-priests” = bad. From badad (to divide or be separated; alone, solitary, lonely, isolated, straggler). This is apart, alone, separation, body part, tree branch, except. It can also be a city’s chief.
NN “devours” = akal. Same as “fed” in v4. See note DD above.
OO “schemes” = moetsah. 7x in OT. From yaats (to counsel, advise, determine). This is counsel, plan, purpose, or device.

My peoplePP are bentQQ on turning awayRR from me.

Notes on verse 7a

PP “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
QQ “bent” = tala. 2x in OT. This is to hang, suspend. Figuratively, it can refer to being stuck in doubt or getting used to something.
RR “turning away” = meshubah. Related to “return” in v5. 12x in OT. From shub (see note EE above). This is a turning back so it can refer to faithlessness or backsliding.

    To the Most HighSS they call,
    but he does not raise them upTT at all.UU
How can I give you up,VV Ephraim?
    How can I hand you over,WW O Israel?

Notes on verses 7b-8a

SS “Most High” = Al. 4x in OT. From alah (to go up, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense). This is upward, the top, aloft, highest, to God.
TT “raise…up” = rum. Same as “lift” in v4. See note Z above.
UU “at all” = yachad. From yachad (to join, be united). This is a unit, both, altogether, unitedness, alike.
VV “give…up” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
WW “hand…over” = magan. 3x in OT. From magen (a shield, defense, or figuratively a protector. It can also be used for a crocodile’s hide); from ganan (to surround, cover, defend, protect). This is to delivery, to shield, rescue, surrender.

How can I makeXX you like Admah?YY
    How can I treatZZ you like Zeboiim?AAA

Notes on verse 8b

XX “make” = natan. Same as “give…up” in v8. See note VV above.
YY “Admah” = Admah. Related to “human” in v4. 5x in OT. From adamah (ground, dirt, earth); from the same as adam (see note V above). This is the city Admah near the Dead Sea. It may mean “earthy” or “red ground.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Admah.html
ZZ “treat” = sim. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
AAA “Zeboiim” = Tseboim. 5x in OT. From the same as tsebi (gazelle) OR from tsaba (to be a group). This is Zeboiim, a city near the Dead Sea. It may mean “collectives,” “beautiful ones,” or “gazelles.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Zeboiim.html

My heartBBB recoilsCCC within me;
    DDDmy compassionEEE grows warm and tender.FFF

Notes on verse 8c

BBB “heart” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
CCC “recoils” = haphak. This is to turn, overturn, change, return, turn over, pervert.
DDD {untranslated} = yachad. Same as “at all” in v7. See note UU above.
EEE “compassion” = nichum. 3x in OT. From nacham (a strong breath or sigh; to be sorry, to pity, console, comfort, or repent; also to comfort oneself with thoughts of vengeance). This is comfort or compassion, repenting or solace.
FFF “grows warm and tender” = kamar. 4x in OT. This is to grow hot, be aflame, to contract from proximity to heat, to desire or be impacted with passion or pity. It can have a sense of tenderness.

I will not executeGGG my fierceHHH anger;III
    I will not againJJJ destroyKKK Ephraim,
for I am GodLLL and no mortal,MMM

Notes on verse 9a

GGG “execute” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
HHH “fierce” = charon. From charah (to be displeased, burn with anger, glow, become warn; figuratively a blaze of anger, zeal, or jealousy). This is burning anger, fierceness, or wrathfulness.
III “anger” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.
JJJ “again” = shub. Same as “return” in v5. See note EE above.
KKK “destroy” = shachath. This is to go to ruin, perish, decay, batter, cast off, lose, one who destroys. This can be used in a literal or figurative sense.
LLL “God” = El. Related to “Israel” in v1. See note A above.
MMM “mortal” = enosh. From anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is human, humankind, another. It is mortal.

    the Holy OneNNN in your midst,OOO
    and I will not comePPP in wrath.QQQ

Notes on verse 9b

NNN “Holy One” = Qadosh. From qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy); related to qadash (set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified; something or someone set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean). This is sacred or holy in a ritual or moral sense. As a noun, it refers to a holy one (like a saint or angel), a holy place (the sanctuary), or God (the Holy One).
OOO “midst” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.
PPP “come” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
QQQ “wrath” = iyr. Same as “cities” in v6. See note KK above.

10 They shall go after the Lord,RRR
    who roarsSSS like a lion;TTT
when he roars,
    his childrenUUU shall come tremblingVVV from the west.WWW

Notes on verse 10

RRR “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “was” in v4. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note Y above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
SSS “roars” = shaag. This is to roar, rumble, or moan.
TTT “lion” = ari. From arah (to gather or pluck). This is a young lion.
UUU “children” = ben. Same as “son” in v1. See note F above.
VVV “come trembling” = charad. This is trembling, being afraid, or being terrified. It can also refer to moving quickly due to anxiety.
WWW “west” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.

11 They shall come trembling like birdsXXX from Egypt
    and like dovesYYY from the land of Assyria,
    and I will returnZZZ them to their homes,AAAA saysBBBB the Lord.

Notes on verse 11

XXX “birds” = tsippor. From tsaphar (to skip about, maybe to depart). This is a little bird like a sparrow – a little bird as one that hops about.
YYY “doves” = yonah. Perhaps from yayin (wine; root means to effervesce). This is a dove or pigeon. Used to refer to the exiles coming home, to describe sails of ships. Also used figuratively for mourning or as a description of beauty.
ZZZ “return” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
AAAA “homes” = bayit. Related to “son” in v1. Probably from banah (see note F above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
BBBB “says” = neum. From na’am (to speak a prophecy; properly, to whisper, which implies saying an oracle). This is an utterance or speaking an oracle.

Image credit: “A Shetland Pony Foal with his Mother at Bergtierpark Erlenbach in Hessen, Germany. Photo by 4028mdk09, 2011.

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