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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Hoshea - Hosea - Chapter 11

Hoshea - Hosea - Chapter 11

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 11

1. For, when Israel was young, I loved him, and from Egypt I called My son.   א. כִּי נַעַר יִשְׂרָאֵל וָאֹהֲבֵהוּ וּמִמִּצְרַיִם קָרָאתִי לִבְנִי:
and from Egypt I called My son: through My prophets to cleave to My Torah. But what did they do?…  
2. The more they called to them, the more they went away from them; to the baalim they would slaughter sacrifices, and to the graven images they would burn incense.   ב. קָרְאוּ לָהֶם כֵּן הָלְכוּ מִפְּנֵיהֶם לַבְּעָלִים יְזַבֵּחוּ וְלַפְּסִלִים יְקַטֵּרוּן:
The more they called to them, the more they went away from them: As much as the prophets call to teach them the good way, so did they turn their backs to run away from them and they would slaughter sacrifices to the baalim. It is customary for Scripture to speak in this manner. Comp. (above 4:7) “The more they have increased, the more they have sinned against Me” ; (Ex. 1:12) “And the more they afflicted them, the more they increased.”  
3. But I sent to train Ephraim, he took them on his arms, but they did not know that I healed them.   ג. וְאָנֹכִי תִרְגַּלְתִּי לְאֶפְרַיִם קָחָם עַל זְרוֹעֹתָיו וְלֹא יָדְעוּ כִּי רְפָאתִים:
But I sent to train Ephraim, he took them etc.: I sent a leader before them who would train them gently.  
he took them on his arms: This is Moses, concerning whom it is stated (Num. 11:12): “As the nursing father carries the sucking child.” The form תִּרְגַּלְתִּי is like הִרגַּלְתִּי, I trained, or accustomed, and there is no similar form in Scripture.  
but they did not know that I healed them: They, in fact, knew, but they trod with their heels; they pretended not to know. The Aggadah in the Midrash of Rabbi Tanhuma (Gen. 48:1) expounds it in reference to the sons of Joseph. When he brought them before Jacob to bless them, Jacob perceived wicked men destined to come from Ephraim, viz. Jeroboam and Ahab, and the Holy Spirit left him, “and he said: Who are these?” Joseph prayed for mercy, and the Holy Spirit rested on Jacob and he blessed them. This is the meaning of: And I trained My spirit upon Jacob for Ephraim’s benefit, and he took them on his arms.  
4. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love, and I was to them like those who lift the yoke on their bridles, and I extended to him the ability to bear.   ד. בְּחַבְלֵי אָדָם אֶמְשְׁכֵם בַּעֲבֹתוֹת אַהֲבָה וָאֶהְיֶה לָהֶם כִּמְרִימֵי עֹל עַל לְחֵיהֶם וְאַט אֵלָיו אוֹכִיל:
with cords of a man: I constantly drew them with tender cords with which a man draws his son; i.e., drawing mercifully. Jonathan, too, rendered it in this manner.  
and I was to them like those who lift the yoke on their bridles: I.e., like the good farmers who lift the yoke with their hands through bridles to lighten it for the cow that is plowing. So was I with them in every trouble, to make it lighter for them. Another explanation:  
like those who lift the yoke on their bridles: Like the farmers who lift the yoke off the neck of the cow or the ox by lengthening the peg upon which the yoke is placed, to lighten it for the plowing cow. So was I with them in every trouble to make it lighter for them. So did Jonathan render it: like a good farmer [who makes it lighter for the shoulders of the oxen and lengthens their bridles.]  
on their bridles: Heb. אוֹכִיל, an expression of a stake of an alley.  
and I extended to him the ability to bear: I extended him the strength to bear the yoke of the torments. Jonathan renders: referring to His supplying them food in the desert.  
5. He shall not return to the land of Egypt, but Assyria is his king, for they have refused to repent.   ה. לֹא יָשׁוּב אֶל אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וְאַשּׁוּר הוּא מַלְכּוֹ כִּי מֵאֲנוּ לָשׁוּב:
He shall not return to the land of Egypt: I promised him (Ex. 14:13): “you shall no longer continue to see them etc.” Now what did it avail? Against his will, Assyria is his king. They sinned and brought about that they should be vassals to Assyria since they refused to repent.  
6. And a sword shall rest in his cities, and it shall destroy his branches, and it shall consume; because of their counsels.   ו. וְחָלָה חֶרֶב בְּעָרָיו וְכִלְּתָה בַדָּיו וְאָכָלָה מִמֹּעֲצוֹתֵיהֶם:
And a sword shall rest in his cities: Heb. וְחָלָה, and a sword shall rest in his cities.  
and it shall destroy his branches, and it shall consume: And it shall destroy his mighty men and consume them. [after Targum Jonathan]  
because of their counsels: (all these came upon them.) The word מִמֹּעֲצוֹתֵיהֶם is punctuated by two accents: it contains a tipcha and it contains a silluk (sof passuk), since it is a clause by itself. Comp. (Lev. 21:4) לְהֵחַלְוֹ, “for him to become profaned,” of the verse commencing, “A husband shall not contaminate himself.” Similarly, (Ex. 30:3l) לדֹרֹתֵיכֶם, “to your generations,” of the verse dealing with the holy anointing oil.  
7. And My people waver whether to return to Me, and to the matter concerning which they call them, together they do not uphold [it].   ז. וְעַמִּי תְלוּאִים לִמְשׁוּבָתִי וְאֶל עַל יִקְרָאֻהוּ יַחַד לֹא יְרוֹמֵם:
And My people waver whether to return to Me: When the prophets teach them to return to Me, they are in doubt whether to return or not to return; it is with difficulty that they return to Me.  
and to the matter concerning which they call them, together they do not uphold it: And to the matter concerning which the prophets call them, together My people will not uphold it and will not agree to do it. Some explain וְאֶל-עַל יִקְרָאֻהוּ to mean: Harsh happenings shall befall them. The word וְאֶל means the same as (Gen. 31:29) “My hand has power (לְאֵל),” [and the word עַל means the same as עֲלִילוֹת, deeds (Kara). But this is not so since אֶל is vowelized with a “pattah.” [I.e. with a “segol,” called “pattah katan” by the early grammarians.] Were אֶל a noun, it would be vowelized with a “tseireh,” [i.e., אֵל]. Jonathan, however, renders: A harsh happening will befall them. He interprets וְאֶל as an expression of harshness, but it appears to me that I have interpreted it properly.  
together they do not uphold [it]: [Jonathan renders:] Together they shall not walk erect.  
8. How shall I give you, Ephraim? [How] deliver you, O Israel? How shall I make you as Admah, make you as Zeboyim? My heart is turned within Me, together My remorse has been kindled.   ח. אֵיךְ אֶתֶּנְךָ אֶפְרַיִם אֲמַגֶּנְךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵיךְ אֶתֶּנְךָ כְאַדְמָה אֲשִׂימְךָ כִּצְבֹאיִם נֶהְפַּךְ עָלַי לִבִּי יַחַד נִכְמְרוּ נִחוּמָי:
deliver you: Heb. אֲמַגֶּנְ. Comp. (Gen. 14: 20) “Who delivered (מִגֵן) your adversaries.”  
My remorse has been kindled: Heb. נִכְרְמוּ, are heated. This is an Aramaic expression. Comp. (Lam. 5:10) “Our skin is heated (נִכְמָרוּ) like an oven.”  
9. I will not execute the kindling of My anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim, for I am God and not a man. In your midst is the Holy One, and I will not enter a city.   ט. לֹא אֶעֱשֶׂה חֲרוֹן אַפִּי לֹא אָשׁוּב לְשַׁחֵת אֶפְרָיִם כִּי אֵל אָנֹכִי וְלֹא אִישׁ בְּקִרְבְּךָ קָדוֹשׁ וְלֹא אָבוֹא בְּעִיר:
I will not return: from My good word, which I said. (Lev. 26:44) “I have not rejected them nor have I abhorred them,” to destroy Ephraim.  
for I am God: Who keeps His favorable word, and I do not retract the good.  
I will not enter a city: I.e., another city. I have already promised to cause My Shechinah to rest in your midst in Jerusalem, and I will never again cause it to rest on another city. Others explain it as an expression of hatred. Comp. (I Sam. 28: 16) “And has become your adversary (וַיְהִי עָרֶ).”  
10. They shall follow the Lord, He shall roar like a lion; for He shall roar, and the children shall hasten from the west.   י. אַחֲרֵי יְהֹוָה יֵלְכוּ כְּאַרְיֵה יִשְׁאָג כִּי הוּא יִשְׁאַג וְיֶחֶרְדוּ בָנִים מִיָּם:
He shall roar like a lion: He will yet roar to them like a lion that they leave the exile and follow Him.  
and the children shall hasten from the west: And the exiles shall be gathered from the west. [from Jonathan]  
11. They shall hasten like a bird from Egypt and like a dove from the land of Assyria; and I will place them in their houses, says the Lord.   יא. יֶחֶרְדוּ כְצִפּוֹר מִמִּצְרַיִם וּכְיוֹנָה מֵאֶרֶץ אַשּׁוּר וְהוֹשַׁבְתִּים עַל בָּתֵּיהֶם נְאֻם יְהֹוָה:
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