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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Hoshea - Hosea - Chapter 9

Hoshea - Hosea - Chapter 9

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 9

1. Rejoice not, O Israel, on joyous occasions, like the peoples, for you have strayed from your God: you love a harlot's hire on all threshingfloors of corn.   א. אַל תִּשְׂמַח יִשְׂרָאֵל | אֶל גִּיל כָּעַמִּים כִּי זָנִיתָ מֵעַל אֱלֹהֶיךָ אָהַבְתָּ אֶתְנָן עַל כָּל גָּרְנוֹת דָּגָן:
Rejoice not, O Israel: like the other peoples, for they did not receive a Torah, and they did not come to My lot, but you strayed from Me and lost many benefits.  
you love: to be like a harlot, to receive a harlot’s hire.  
on all threshing floors of corn: In the manner of the harlot to whom they give corn on the threshing floor for her hire. [after Gen. Rabbah 57:4]  
2. The threshingfloor and the wine cellar shall not feed them, and fresh wine shall fail her.   ב. גֹּרֶן וָיֶקֶב לֹא יִרְעֵם וְתִירוֹשׁ יְכַחֶשׁ בָּהּ:
3. They shall not stay in the land of the Lord, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and in Assyria they shall eat unclean [food].   ג. לֹא יֵשְׁבוּ בְּאֶרֶץ יְהֹוָה וְשָׁב אֶפְרַיִם מִצְרַיִם וּבְאַשּׁוּר טָמֵא יֹאכֵלוּ:
They shall not stay in the land of the Lord: Heb. יֵשְׁבוּ, they shall not stay in their land.  
4. They shall not pour libations of wine to the Lord, they will not please Him; their sacrifices are like bread of mourners to them, all those who partake thereof become contaminated, for their bread is for themselves, it should not come into the house of the Lord.   ד. לֹא יִסְּכוּ לַיהֹוָה | יַיִן וְלֹא יֶעֶרְבוּ לו‍ֹ זִבְחֵיהֶם כְּלֶחֶם אוֹנִים לָהֶם כָּל אֹכְלָיו יִטַּמָּאוּ כִּי לַחְמָם לְנַפְשָׁם לֹא יָבוֹא בֵּית יְהֹוָה:
They shall not pour libations: Heb. יִסְּכוּ, an expression of נֶסֶ, libation.  
they will not please Him: Their offering will not be pleasant to Him.  
like bread of mourners: Heb. אוֹנִים, like bread of robbery that comes through strength and might.  
for their bread is for themselves: It is fit for them for food, but not to come into the house of the Lord. Another explanation is: אוֹנִים, like bread of mourners, which is contaminated, and the end of the verse proves it: all those who partake thereof become contaminated.  
5. What will you do for the appointed day and for the day of the Lord's massacre?   ה. מַה תַּעֲשׂוּ לְיוֹם מוֹעֵד וּלְיוֹם חַג יְהֹוָה:
for the appointed day: For the day of the set time for the enemy to be appointed to come upon you.  
the Lord’s massacre: Heb. חַג, a slaughter, the killing which I have in you.  
6. For behold, they have gone away because of plunder, Egypt shall gather them, Moph shall bury them; the treasurehouses for their silver-thistles shall inherit them, briers in their dwellings.   ו. כִּי הִנֵּה הָלְכוּ מִשֹּׁד מִצְרַיִם תְּקַבְּצֵם מֹף תְּקַבְּרֵם מַחְמַד לְכַסְפָּם קִמוֹשׁ יִירָשֵׁם חוֹחַ בְּאָהֳלֵיהֶם:
For behold, they have gone away: from their place because of the many plunderers who will come upon them with Nebuchadnezzar.  
Moph shall bury them: It is of the land of Egypt.  
the treasurehouses for their silver: The houses of the precious treasures of their silver.  
thistles etc. briers: Heb. קִימוֹשׁ חוֹחַ. Jonathan renders these terms as species of beasts.  
7. The days of the visitation have arrived; the days of recompense have arrived, let Israel know; the prophet shall be a fool, the man of the spirit mad; [this is] because of your great iniquity, and the hatred is great.   ז. בָּאוּ | יְמֵי הַפְּקֻדָּה בָּאוּ יְמֵי הַשִּׁלֻּם יֵדְעוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֱוִיל הַנָּבִיא מְשֻׁגָּע אִישׁ הָרוּחַ עַל רֹב עֲו‍ֹנְךָ וְרַבָּה מַשְׂטֵמָה:
the visitation: When your sins will be visited.  
recompense: the payment of sins.  
the prophet shall be a fool: Even some of their true prophets will be fools, e.g. Hananiah son of Azzur, who was originally a true prophet.  
and the hatred is great: which the Holy One, blessed be He, hates your deeds.  
8. Ephraim is a prophet with my God, [for the] prophet [they lay] a fowler's snare on all his ways, [causing] hatred in the house of his God.   ח. צוֹפֶה אֶפְרַיִם עִם אֱלֹהָי נָבִיא פַּח יָקוֹשׁ עַל כָּל דְּרָכָיו מַשְׂטֵמָה בְּבֵית אֱלֹהָיו:
Ephraim is a prophet with my God: They set up for themselves their prophets, who attract them toward their idolatry.  
[for the] prophet [they lay] a fowler’s snare on all his ways: And for the true prophet they conceal snares to trap them.  
[causing] hatred in the house of his God: In the Temple they assassinated Zechariah (II Chron. 24:21), and they sought to assassinate Jeremiah, according to the matter that is stated: (Jer. 26: 11) “This man is liable to death etc.”  
9. They have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah; He shall remember their iniquity, He shall visit their sins.   ט. הֶעְמִיקוּ שִׁחֵתוּ כִּימֵי הַגִּבְעָה יִזְכּוֹר עֲו‍ֹנָם יִפְקוֹד חַטֹּאתָם:
as in the days of Gibeah: Some say that this is Gibeah of Benjamin in the case of the concubine (Jud. 19), and some say that this is Gibeah of Saul, where they asked for a king and rebelled against the words of the prophet (I Sam. 15).  
10. Like grapes in the desert I found Israel, like a ripe fig on a fig tree, in its beginning, I saw your forefathers; they came to Baal-peor, and they separated themselves to a shameful thing, and they became detestable when they loved..   י. כַּעֲנָבִים בַּמִּדְבָּר מָצָאתִי יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּבִכּוּרָה בִתְאֵנָה בְּרֵאשִׁיתָהּ רָאִיתִי אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם הֵמָּה בָּאוּ בַעַל פְּעוֹר וַיִּנָּזְרוּ לַבֹּשֶׁת וַיִּהְיוּ שִׁקּוּצִים כְּאָהֳבָם:
Like grapes in the desert: Like grapes, which are precious in the desert, so did I love Israel.  
like a ripe fig: Heb. כְּבִכּוּרָה, like a ripe fig.  
on a fig tree: Heb. בִתְאֵנָהּ.  
in its beginning: In the beginning of the ripening of the figs.  
I saw your forefathers: So did your forefathers appear in My eyes to love them.  
and they separated themselves: Heb. וַיִנָּזְרוּ. Nowhere is נְזִירָה anything but an expression of separation.  
to a shameful thing: To the deity, Baal-peor, which is their shame.  
and they became detestable: before Me.  
when they loved: the daughters of Moab.  
11. As for Ephraim-their honor shall fly away like a bird; from birth, from the womb, or from conception.   יא. אֶפְרַיִם כָּעוֹף יִתְעוֹפֵף כְּבוֹדָם מִלֵּדָה וּמִבֶּטֶן וּמֵהֵרָיוֹן:
As for Ephraimtheir honor shall fly away like a bird etc.: Said the prophet: If only they would be like a bird that wanders from its nest and ceases to multiply, so should they be bereft of their seed, either at the time of birth, or that it should disintegrate and they should miscarry, or at the time of conception that they should not conceive, for what use is it that they raise their children, since, if they raise them, I will bereave them before they become men.  
12. For, if they raise their children, I will bereave them before they become men, for woe to them also when I turn away from them.   יב. כִּי אִם יְגַדְּלוּ אֶת בְּנֵיהֶם וְשִׁכַּלְתִּים מֵאָדָם כִּי גַם אוֹי לָהֶם בְּשׂוּרִי מֵהֶם:
for woe… also: Woe to the fathers.  
when I turn away from them: Heb. בְּשוּרִי, like בְּסוּרִי, when I turn away from them. This is one of the words listed in the Masorah, which are spelled with a “sin” but read with a “sammech.” Another explanation:  
their honor shall fly away like a bird etc.: Like this bird which flies away and is no more, so will their honor fly away and flee, all that they toiled with their children in birth, [in the womb,] and in conception.  
From birth: This refers to the birth pangs.  
and from the womb: This refers to the days of pregnancy.  
and from conception: At the time of coitus. All this toil of theirs will end. How so? For, when they raise their children, I will bereave them.  
13. Ephraim, as I saw Tyre, is planted in a dwelling place, but Ephraim is busy taking his children out to the slayer.   יג. אֶפְרַיִם כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי לְצוֹר שְׁתוּלָה בְנָוֶה וְאֶפְרַיִם לְהוֹצִיא אֶל הוֹרֵג בָּנָיו:
Ephraim, as I saw Tyre: in its tranquility, enjoying royalty and wealth more than all the provinces, so did I see Ephraim, planted in a dwelling place. But Ephraimwhat recompense did he recompense Me? He occupied himself with taking his children out to the slayer, to slaughter them in worship of the idols. So did Jonathan translate.  
14. Give them, O Lord, what you will give; give them a bereaving womb and dry breasts.   יד. תֵּן לָהֶם יְהֹוָה מַה תִּתֵּן תֵּן לָהֶם רֶחֶם מַשְׁכִּיל וְשָׁדַיִם צֹמְקִים:
Give them, O Lord, what You will give: The prophet prays that they should die when young, for the mourning for a child is not as bad as the mourning for an adult. Therefore, if it is impossible that they die from birth, from the womb, or from conception, for it was already decreed from the Creation of the world, (Gen. 3: l6) “And to your husband shall be your longing,” give them quickly in their childhood what you say to give to them after a time, for You said, “For, if they raise their children. I will bereave them.” [from Pesikta Rabbathi 45:3]  
give them a bereaving womb: When they emerge into the world (lit. the air of the world), let them die or let their mother’s breasts dry up so that they will have no milk to nurse them.  
15. All their evil is in Gilgal, for there I hated them; for the evil of their deeds, I will drive them from My house; I will not continue to love them, all their princes are rebellious.   טו. כָּל רָעָתָם בַּגִּלְגָּל כִּי שָׁם שְׂנֵאתִים עַל רֹעַ מַעַלְלֵיהֶם מִבֵּיתִי אֲגָרְשֵׁם לֹא אוֹסֵף אַהֲבָתָם כָּל שָׂרֵיהֶם סוֹרְרִים:
All their evil is in Gilgal: There they worshipped idols to a great extent (on high placesabsent in mss.). Since the mishkan was there first, the prophets of Baal would tell them that was a choice site, and it belonged to the kings of Israel.  
I will not continue to love them: Heb. לֹא אוֹסֵף אַהֲבָתָם, lit. I will not continue their love.  
16. Ephraim has been smitten, their root is dry, they shall not produce fruit; even when they give birth, I will slay the precious ones of their womb.   טז. הֻכָּה אֶפְרַיִם שָׁרְשָׁם יָבֵשׁ פְּרִי בַל יַעֲשׂוּן גַּם כִּי יֵלֵדוּן וְהֵמַתִּי מַחֲמַדֵּי בִטְנָם:
they shall not produce fruit: It is not good for them to multiply, for, even if they bear children, I will slay the precious ones of their womb.  
17. My God shall reject them because they did not obey Him, and they shall be wandering among the nations.   יז. יִמְאָסֵם אֱלֹהַי כִּי לֹא שָׁמְעוּ לוֹ וְיִהְיוּ נֹדְדִים בַּגּוֹיִם:
My God shall reject them: This is not a curse but a report. He is destined to reject them.  
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