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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Hoshea - Hosea - Chapter 3

Hoshea - Hosea - Chapter 3

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 3

1. And the Lord said to me: Go again, love a woman beloved by her companion, yet an adulteress, like the love of the Lord of the children of Israel, who turn to other gods, and love goblets of grapes.   א. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי עוֹד לֵךְ אֱהַב אִשָּׁה אֲהֻבַת רֵעַ וּמְנָאָפֶת כְּאַהֲבַת יְהֹוָה אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהֵם פֹּנִים אֶל אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וְאֹהֲבֵי אֲשִׁישֵׁי עֲנָבִים:
beloved by her companion: Cherished by her husband and beloved to him, who [nonetheless] commits adultery under his domain, [paralleling thereby] the love of the Holy One, Blessed Is He, for the nation of Israel who [nonetheless] stray from under His domain towards other gods.  
goblets of grapes: Heb. אֲשִׁישֵׁי עֲנָבִים. Menahem (Machbereth p. 34) explains. ‘goblets of wine.’ They are fond of becoming drunk with their wine and do not engage in Torah. And so we find that elsewhere he castigates for this: “that drink wine in bowls, etc” (Amos 6:6).  
2. And I bought her for me for fifteen pieces of silver, and a 'chomer' of barley and a 'lethech' of barley.   ב. וָאֶכְּרֶהָ לִּי בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר כָּסֶף וְחֹמֶר שְׂעֹרִים וְלֶתֶךְ שְׂעֹרִים:
And I bought her: It is an expression of a business transaction, ‘bargaine’ in Old French, similar to “which I have purchased (כָּרִיתִי) for me” (Gen. 50:5). Now in the sea-towns they refer to a sale (Heb. מְכִירָה) as כִּירָה [from Hullin 92a].  
for fifteen pieces of silver, and a chomer of barley and a lethech of barley: Jonathan paraphrases: “And I redeemed them at My command on the fifteenth day of the month of Nisan, and I made shekalim of silver an atonement for their souls, and I declared that they offer before me an ‘omer’ as heave- offering from the barley harvest; that is to say, I did not weary you with difficult duties.”  
for fifteen pieces of silver: It is the numerical equivalent of Nissan. Now in the Pesikta it is expounded: “fifteen pieces of silver,” on the fifteenth day of Nissan. Now a chomer and a lethech total forty-five, for the chomer equals thirty seah, and the lethech is a half-chomer.  
3. And I said to her: 'You shall remain as mine for many days; you shall not play the harlot, and you shall not belong to another man; so will I be towards you.   ג. וָאֹמַר אֵלֶיהָ יָמִים רַבִּים תֵּשְׁבִי לִי לֹא תִזְנִי וְלֹא תִהְיִי לְאִישׁ וְגַם אֲנִי אֵלָיִךְ:
and I said to her: You shall remain as mine for many days: The plural “days” refers to (a minimum) of two, “many” to (a minimum of) three, making a total of five. This (the forty-five of the previous verse added to the five of this verse) alludes to the fifty days between Passover and Pentecost. On that day I offered her the Torah, admonishing her:  
you shall not play the harlot and you shall not belong to another man: [that is], “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3); so…  
will I be towards you: “I am the Lord your God” (Ex. 20:2). Now the reason he split the fifty days into separate calculations, one at the conclusion of “chomer” (i.e., 50 days), the other at the conclusion of “lethech” (i.e., the ensuing 15 days), is to represent the “manna” that descended upon them at the culmination of thirty days [from their exodus] on the fifteenth day (sic) of Iyar. From that point, for an [additional] fifteen daysthe numerical equivalent of the number of seah in a lethechon that day they arrived in the Sinai desert on the first day of the month of Sivan. Now in the name of Rav Hai I found a most fitting thing: “So I bought her to me etc.,” (verse 2) I have established her atonement indemnity money as a light sum, for whosoever states: “My valuation is incumbent upon me to contribute to the sanctuary, should he be from the age of sixty and above” his valuation shall be fifteen shekels (Lev. 27:7). This sum of fifteen shekels is, according to this interpretation, symbolized by the fifteen pieces of silver of v. 2): Now the “chomer” of barley [represents] the valuation of a male aged twenty and above until sixty, viz. fifty shekels (see Lev. 27:3), the amount of redemption money of a chomer of barley which is similarly fifty silver shekels (See Lev. 27:16: “And if a man shall dedicate to the Lord some part of his field… the seed of a ” chomer “ of barley shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver.”) Now regarding the lethech of barley, the amount for redeeming a field containing a lethech of barley for the sanctuary is twenty-five shekels, which is [equal to the sum of] the valuation of someone from one month up to five years, which equals five shekels (Lev. 27:6), and that of one from five years up to twenty years, in which cases, “the valuation shall be twenty shekels (Lev. 27:5),” totalling twenty-five shekels. After all this display of affection [by allowing for such relatively easy absolution,] I said to her:  
[3] You shall remain as mine for many days; you shall not play the harlot: by turning to other gods, for, if you do play the harlot, your children shall remain for many days…  
4. For the children of Israel shall remain for many days, having neither king, nor prince, nor sacrifice, nor pillar, nor ephod nor teraphim.   ד. כִּי | יָמִים רַבִּים יֵשְׁבוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵין מֶלֶךְ וְאֵין שָׂר וְאֵין זֶבַח וְאֵין מַצֵּבָה וְאֵין אֵפוֹד וּתְרָפִים:
having neither king nor prince nor sacrifice: in the Temple in Judah.  
nor pillar: The pillar of Baal in Samaria of the kings of Israel.  
nor ephod: of the Urim and Tummim, which discloses to them hidden things.  
teraphim: They are images constructed, having in mind a particular hour established, at which time they speak of their own accord and tell of hidden things. So does Jonathan translate: and there shall be no ephod or oracle.  
5. Afterwards shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God and David their king, and they shall come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness at the end of days.   ה. אַחַר יָשֻׁבוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבִקְשׁוּ אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְאֵת דָּוִיד מַלְכָּם וּפָחֲדוּ אֶל יְהֹוָה וְאֶל טוּבוֹ בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים:
Afterwards: Following the days of exile.  
shall the children of Israel return: It was taught in the name of R. Shimon the son of Yochai: The children of Israel rejected three things during the reign of Rehoboam; the Kingdom of Heaven, the kingdom of the House of David, and the Holy Temple, as it is written: “What portion have we in David” (I Kings 12:16) which may be understood literally; “to your tents O’ Israel” (ibid.), do not read, “to your tents” (Heb. לְאֹהָלֶ) but “to your gods” (Heb. לֵאלֹהֶ) “now see your own house, David” (ibid.), refers to the Holy Temple (see Rashi I Kings 12:16). R. Shimon the son of Menassiah said: Israel shall not be shown any omen of good until they repent by seeking out all three; “Afterwards shall the children of Israel return, and seek their Lord their God,” which refers to the Kingdom of Heaven; “and David their king” is self explanatory; “and shall come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness,” which refers to the Holy Temple, as it is written “that good mount” (Deut. 3:7) (a reference to the Temple Mount. [from Midrash Samuel 13:4]  
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