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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Hoshea - Hosea - Chapter 2

Hoshea - Hosea - Chapter 2

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 2

1. And the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which shall neither be measured nor counted; and it shall come to pass that, instead of saying to them, "You are not My people," it shall be said to them, "The children of the living God."   א. וְהָיָה מִסְפַּר בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּחוֹל הַיָּם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִמַּד וְלֹא יִסָּפֵר וְהָיָה בִּמְקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יֵאָמֵר לָהֶם לֹא עַמִּי אַתֶּם יֵאָמֵר לָהֶם בְּנֵי אֵל חָי:
And the number… shall be: What is the connection of retribution and consolation juxtaposed in one speech? Our Rabbis explained in Pesachim (87b): Hosea felt that he had sinned by saying, “Exchange them for another nation.” He stood and begged mercy for them (See above 1:2). And in Sifrei Devei Rav, in the section commencing: “And Israel abode in Shittim” (Num. 25) we learned: Rabbi says: Some sections are close to each other yet as far apart as east is far from west. “For you are not My people… And the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea.” What is the connection of one to the other? This can be compared to a king who became angry with his wife. He summoned a scribe to come and write a bill of divorcement. Before the scribe arrived, the king became reconciled with his wife. Said the king, “Is it possible that this scribe should leave here divided?” I.e. his heart should be divided and bewildered, saying, “Why did the king send for me?” He said to him, “Come and write that I am doubling her kethubah.” And according to its simple meaning, this is the reason for its juxtaposition. “For you are not My people, and I will not be yours.” I will show Myself as though I am not yours, and you shall be exiled among the nations, and even there you shall multiply and grow, and there you shall lay it to your heart to return to Me, as it is said through Moses (Deut. 30:1,3): “And you shall lay it to your heart among all the nations where… has exiled you etc. And the Lord your God shall return your captivity.” Here too, “And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together.”  
2. And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head, and they shall go up from the land, for great is the day of Jezreel.   ב. וְנִקְבְּצוּ בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יַחְדָּו וְשָׂמוּ לָהֶם רֹאשׁ אֶחָד וְעָלוּ מִן הָאָרֶץ כִּי גָדוֹל יוֹם יִזְרְעֶאל:
one head: David their king.  
for great is the day of Jezreel: The gathering of their sowing.  
3. Say to your brethren, "Ammi," and to your sisters, "Ruhamah."   ג. אִמְרוּ לַאֲחֵיכֶם עַמִּי וְלַאֲחוֹתֵיכֶם רֻחָמָה:
Say to your brethren, “Ammi”: To be explained according to the Targum: Return to My Torah, and I will grant clemency to your nation.  
4. Strive with your mother, strive, for she is not My wife, and I am not her Husband, and let her remove her harlotries from her face and her adulteries from between her breasts.   ד. רִיבוּ בְאִמְּכֶם רִיבוּ כִּי הִיא לֹא אִשְׁתִּי וְאָנֹכִי לֹא אִישָׁהּ וְתָסֵר זְנוּנֶיהָ מִפָּנֶיה וְנַאֲפוּפֶיהָ מִבֵּין שָׁדֶיהָ:
Strive with your mother, strive: With your nation of today, which is the mother of future generations.  
and her adulteries from between her breasts: It is customary among the adulteresses that they [i.e., their lovers] squeeze them between their breasts. Jonathan renders: And the worship of idols from among her cities.  
5. Lest I strip her naked and leave her as [on] the day she was born; and I make her like a desert, and I set her like an arid land, and cause her to die of thirst.   ה. פֶּן אַפְשִׁיטֶנָּה עֲרֻמָּה וְהִצַּגְתִּיהָ כְּיוֹם הִוָּלְדָהּ וְשַׂמְתִּיהָ כַמִּדְבָּר וְשַׁתִּהָ כְּאֶרֶץ צִיָּה וַהֲמִתִּיהָ בַּצָּמָא:
as [on] the day she was born: Like the day that I found her in Egypt, as is delineated in Ezekiel (16:4, 5): “And as for your birth, on the day you were born your navel was not cut etc. No eye took pity on you etc. with a loathing of your body.”  
like a desert: This alludes to the decrees that I decreed upon you (Parshandatha: them) in the desert, viz. that there they should perish and there they would die (Num. 14:35).  
and [I will] cause her to die: Jonathan renders: And I will kill her.  
6. And I will not pity her children for they are children of harlotries.   ו. וְאֶת בָּנֶיהָ לֹא אֲרַחֵם כִּי בְנֵי זְנוּנִים הֵמָּה:
7. For their mother played the harlot; she who conceived them behaved shamefully, for she said, "I will go after my lovers, those who give my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drinks. "   ז. כִּי זָנְתָה אִמָּם הוֹבִישָׁה הוֹרָתָם כִּי אָמְרָה אֵלְכָה אַחֲרֵי מְאַהֲבַי נֹתְנֵי לַחְמִי וּמֵימַי צַמְרִי וּפִשְׁתִּי שַׁמְנִי וְשִׁקּוּיָי:
their mother: Their nation.  
she who conceived them behaved shamefully: Jonathan, who renders: Their teachers are ashamed. The wise men who teach them with instructions are ashamed before the ignorant populace. They tell them, “You shall not steal,” but they steal. “You shall not lend for interest,” but they lend.  
after my lovers: In the ways of the nations.  
8. Therefore, behold I will close off your way with thorns, and I make a fence against her, and she shall not find her paths.   ח. לָכֵן הִנְנִי שָׂךְ אֶת דַּרְכֵּךְ בַּסִּירִים וְגָדַרְתִּי אֶת גְּדֵרָהּ וּנְתִיבוֹתֶיהָ לֹא תִמְצָא:
behold I will close off: Heb. שָׂ an expression of closing. Comp. (Isaiah 5: 5) “remove its hedge (מְשׂוּכָּתוֹ) ” ; (Proverbs 15:19) “as though hedged (כִּמְשֻּׂכַת) by thorns.”  
your way: The ways and paths in which you go.  
9. And she shall pursue her lovers and not overtake them, and she shall seek them and not find them; and she shall say, "I will go and return to my first Husband, for it was better for me then than now.   ט. וְרִדְּפָה אֶת מְאַהֲבֶיהָ וְלֹא תַשִּׂיג אֹתָם וּבִקְשָׁתַם וְלֹא תִמְצָא וְאָמְרָה אֵלְכָה וְאָשׁוּבָה אֶל אִישִׁי הָרִאשׁוֹן כִּי טוֹב לִי אָז מֵעָתָּה:
her lovers: Egypt and Assyria, and you will not be able to seek aid from them.  
And she shall pursue: Heb. וְרִדְּפָה This is one of the intensive conjugations. Comp. (Proverbs 12:11) “and he who pursues empty ones” (porcacier in O.F:, poursuivra in modern French), to pursue. I.e. she will follow them and not overtake them.  
and she shall seek them: Heb. וּבִקְשָׁתַם, a combination of אוֹתָם וּבִקְשָׁה.  
10. But she did not know that I gave her the corn, the wine, and the oil, and I gave her much silver and gold, but they made it for Baal.   י. וְהִיא לֹא יָדְעָה כִּי אָנֹכִי נָתַתִּי לָהּ הַדָּגָן וְהַתִּירוֹשׁ וְהַיִּצְהָר וְכֶסֶף הִרְבֵּיתִי לָהּ וְזָהָב עָשׂוּ לַבָּעַל:
But she did not know: She did not lay it to her heart, but showed herself as unknowing.  
and I gave her much silver and gold: but they made it for Baal.  
11. Therefore, I will return and take My corn in its time and My wine in its appointed season, and I will separate My wool and My flax, to cover her nakedness.   יא. לָכֵן אָשׁוּב וְלָקַחְתִּי דְגָנִי בְּעִתּוֹ וְתִירוֹשִׁי בְּמוֹעֲדוֹ וְהִצַּלְתִּי צַמְרִי וּפִשְׁתִּי לְכַסּוֹת אֶת עֶרְוָתָהּ:
in its time: At the time the produce completes its ripening.  
and I will separate: [Heb. וְהִצַּלְתִּי] from her My wool and My flax, which was to cover her nakedness. Every expression of הָצָלָה in Scripture is an expression of separation and setting apart. Proof of this we find in (Gen. 31: 9) “And God separated (וַיַצֵּל) your father’s cattle,” (ibid.:16) “For all the wealth that… separated (הִצִיל).”  
12. And now, I will bare her disgrace before the eyes of her lovers, and no man shall save her from My hand.   יב. וְעַתָּה אֲגַלֶּה אֶת נַבְלֻתָהּ לְעֵינֵי מְאַהֲבֶיהָ וְאִישׁ לֹא יַצִּילֶנָּה מִיָּדִי:
and no man shall save her from My hand: Even the merits of the Patriarchs have been depleted. [from Shabbath 55a]  
13. And I will terminate all her rejoicing, her festival[s], her new moon[s], and her Sabbath[s], and all her appointed seasons.   יג. וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי כָּל מְשׂוֹשָׂהּ חַגָּהּ חָדְשָׁהּ וְשַׁבַּתָּהּ וְכֹל מוֹעֲדָהּ:
14. And I will lay waste her vine[s] and her fig tree[s], [concerning] which she said, "They are my hire, which my lovers have given me," and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall devour them.   יד. וַהֲשִׁמֹּתִי גַּפְנָהּ וּתְאֵנָתָהּ אֲשֶׁר אָמְרָה אֶתְנָה הֵמָּה לִי אֲשֶׁר נָתְנוּ לִי מְאַהֲבָי וְשַׂמְתִּים לְיַעַר וַאֲכָלָתַם חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה:
And I will lay waste: Heb. וַהֲשִׁמֹּתִי, an expression of desolation (שְּׁמָמָה).  
hire: אֶתְנָה, like אֶתְנָן.  
and I will make them a forest: where the beasts walk and eat the fruit.  
15. And I will visit upon her the days of the baalim, to whom she burnt incense, and she adorned herself with her earrings and her jewelry, and went after her lovers, and she forgot Me, says the Lord.   טו. וּפָקַדְתִּי עָלֶיהָ אֶת יְמֵי הַבְּעָלִים אֲשֶׁר תַּקְטִיר לָהֶם וַתַּעַד נִזְמָהּ וְחֶלְיָתָהּ וַתֵּלֶךְ אַחֲרֵי מְאַהֲבֶיהָ וְאוֹתִי שָׁכְחָה נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
And I will visit upon her: the retribution of…  
the days of the baalim to whom she burnt incense: constantly to them, and this is a present tense.  
and she adorned herself with her earrings and her jewelry: Heb. וַתַּעַד, an expression of jewelry (עֲדִי). Like a harlot who adorns herself to greet her paramours. And חֶלְיָתָה is an Arabic term meaning jewelry.  
16. Therefore, behold I will allure her and lead her into the desert, and I will speak comfortingly to her heart.   טז. לָכֵן הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מְפַתֶּיהָ וְהֹלַכְתִּיהָ הַמִּדְבָּר וְדִבַּרְתִּי עַל לִבָּהּ:
Therefore, behold I will allure her: I will persuade her to be drawn after Me (losanjier in O.F., to flatter or cajole). Other editions read: atrayray in O.F. (attirerai). I will lure, attract. And what is the allurement?  
and lead her into the desert: In exile, which is to her like a desert and a wasteland. And there she will lay up to her heart that it was better for her when she performed My will than when she rebelled against Me.  
17. And I will give her her vineyards from there and the depth of trouble for a door of hope, and she shall dwell there as in the days of her youth, and as the day of her ascent from the land of Egypt.   יז. וְנָתַתִּי לָהּ אֶת כְּרָמֶיהָ מִשָּׁם וְאֶת עֵמֶק עָכוֹר לְפֶתַח תִּקְוָה וְעָנְתָה שָּׁמָּה כִּימֵי נְעוּרֶיהָ וּכְיוֹם עֲלוֹתָהּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם:
her vineyards: Jonathan rendered this as an expression of managers and leaders. Comp. (Job 24:18) “he will not face the way of the vineyards,” meaning that the people of the generation of the flood had made up their mind not to follow the righteous leaders, such as Noah and Methusalah. And so, (Song 1:6) “my vineyard I did not guard.” The allusion is to the worship of idols instead of worshipping God, the Leader. Another explanation:  
and lead her into the desert: To the desert of Sihon and Og, and with the same expression Ezekiel prophesied (20:35, 38), “And I will bring you there to the desert of the peoples, and I will contend with you there, etc. As I continued with your forefathers etc., and I will bring them into the tradition of the covenant. And I will purge you of those who rebel…” but the righteous I will keep alive. That is the intention of “her vineyards.” [from Ruth Rabbah 5:6, Pesikta d’Rav Kahana 49b].  
and the depth of trouble: Heb. עֶמֶק עָכוּר. The depth of the exile where they were troubled I will give her for a door of hope (an expectation of hope), for, out of those troubles, she will take heart to return to Me.  
and she shall dwell there: Heb. וְעָנְתָה, an expression of dwelling. Comp. (Nahum 2:12) “a den (מְעוֹן) of lions.” [from Machbereth Menachem p. 135]  
as in the days of her youth: when she dwelt in Egypt a long time.  
and as the day of her ascent, etc.: as Israel cried out to me in Egypt because of the subjugation and I redeemed her, so also now.  
18. And it shall come to pass on that day, says the Lord, you shall call [Me] Ishi, and you shall no longer call Me Baali.   יח. וְהָיָה בַיּוֹם הַהוּא נְאֻם יְהֹוָה תִּקְרְאִי אִישִׁי וְלֹא תִקְרְאִי לִי עוֹד בַּעֲלִי:
you shall call [Me] Ishi, etc: You shall worship Me out of love and not out of fear. Ishi is an expression of marriage and the love of one’s youth.  
Baali: An expression of mastership and fear. And our Rabbis (Pesachim 87a, Kethuboth 71b) explained: Like a bride in her father-in-law’s house, and not like a bride in her father’s house.  
19. And I will remove the names of the baalim from her mouth, and they shall no longer be mentioned by their name.   יט. וַהֲסִרֹתִי אֶת שְׁמוֹת הַבְּעָלִים מִפִּיהָ וְלֹא יִזָּכְרוּ עוֹד בִּשְׁמָם:
and they shall no longer be mentioned: I.e. Israel shall no longer be mentioned by the name of the baalim. Or, the baalim shall no longer be mentioned by the name of Israel, saying that they are their gods. Or, the name of the baalim shall no longer be mentioned, as it is stated. (Isa. 2:18) “And the idols shall completely pass away.”  
20. And I will make a covenant for them on that day with the beasts of the field and with the fowl of the sky and the creeping things of the earth; and the bow, the sword, and war I will break off the earth, and I will let them lie down safely.   כ. וְכָרַתִּי לָהֶם בְּרִית בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא עִם חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה וְעִם עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וְרֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה וְקֶשֶׁת וְחֶרֶב וּמִלְחָמָה אֶשְׁבּוֹר מִן הָאָרֶץ וְהִשְׁכַּבְתִּים לָבֶטַח:
with the beasts of the field: for I will destroy harmful creatures from the world. And so Scripture states (Isa. 11:9): “They shall neither harm nor destroy etc.”  
21. And I will betroth you to Me forever, and I will betroth you to Me with righteousness and with justice and with loving-kindness and with mercy.   כא. וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי לְעוֹלָם וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בְּצֶדֶק וּבְמִשְׁפָּט וּבְחֶסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים:
with righteousness and with justice: which you practice.  
and with loving-kindness and with mercy: which will come to you from Me because of them. Concerning our father Abraham, it is written (Gen 18:19): “For I love him since he commands etc. to perform righteousness and justice.” And, corresponding to them, He bestowed upon his children loving-kindness and mercy, as it is said (Deut. 13:18): “And He shall grant you mercy” ; (ibid. 7:12) “And the Lord your God shall keep for you the covenant and the loving- kindness.” When they ceased to perform righteousness and justice, as it is said (Amos 5:7): “Those who turn justice into wormwood, and righteousness they leave on the ground,” also the Holy One, blessed be He, took away from them the loving-kindness and the mercy, as it is said (Jer. 16:5): “for I have gathered in My peace from this people, says the Lord, the loving-kindness and the mercies.” And when they will return to perform righteousness and justice, they shall be redeemed immediately, as it is said (Isa. 1: 27): “Zion shall be redeemed through justice, and her penitent through righteousness.” And the Holy One, blessed be He, will add mercy and loving-kindness to them and make a crown of all four of them and place it on their head.  
22. And I will betroth you to Me with faith, and you shall know the Lord.   כב. וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בֶּאֱמוּנָה וְיָדַעַתְּ אֶת יְהֹוָה:
And I will betroth you to Me with faith: For the reward of the faith, for, while in exile, you believed in the promises through My prophets. [from Mechilta 14: 31 with variations]  
23. And it shall come to pass on that day, [that] I will answer, says the Lord; I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth.   כג. וְהָיָה | בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶעֱנֶה נְאֻם יְהֹוָה אֶעֱנֶה אֶת הַשָּׁמָיִם וְהֵם יַעֲנוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ:
I will answer the heavens: to pour upon the clouds from the rivulet of good that depends on My word. They will, in turn, answer to pour water upon the earth.  
24. And the earth shall answer the corn and the wine and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel.   כד. וְהָאָרֶץ תַּעֲנֶה אֶת הַדָּגָן וְאֶת הַתִּירוֹשׁ וְאֶת הַיִּצְהָר וְהֵם יַעֲנוּ אֶת יִזְרְעֶאל:
Jezreel: The people of the exile who were scattered and then in gathered.  
25. And I will sow her for Me in the land, and I will have compassion upon the unpitied one, and I will say to them that are not My people, "You are My people," and they shall say, "[You are] my God."   כה. וּזְרַעְתִּיהָ לִּי בָּאָרֶץ וְרִחַמְתִּי אֶת לֹא רֻחָמָה וְאָמַרְתִּי לְלֹא עַמִּי עַמִּי אַתָּה וְהוּא יֹאמַר אֱלֹהָי:
And I will sow her for Me in the land: As one who sows a se’ah in order to gather many korim, so will many proselytes be added to them. [from Pesachim 87b]  
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