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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Hoshea - Hosea - Chapter 13

Hoshea - Hosea - Chapter 13

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Rashi's Commentary:
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Chapter 13

1When Ephraim spoke with trembling, he became exalted in Israel; when he became guilty through Baal, he died.   אכְּדַבֵּר אֶפְרַיִם רְתֵת נָשָׂא הוּא בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֶּאְשַׁם בַּבַּעַל וַיָּמֹת:
When Ephraim spoke with trembling: When Jeroboam showed zeal for the Omnipresent and spoke harshly against Solomon, and tremblingly, for Solomon was a great king.  
he became exalted in Israel: Thence he merited to be elevated to he king over Israel.  
when he became guilty through Baal: As soon as he assumed greatness and became guilty with Baal.  
he died: i.e., Jeroboam’s dynasty was terminated, and so was Ahab’s dynasty. Jonathan renders: When one of the house of Ephraim would speak, fear would seize the nations. They were great among Israel, but when they sinned by worshipping idols, they were slain.  
2And now, they continue to sin, and they have made for themselves a molten image from their silver according to their pattern, deities, all of it the work of craftsmen; to them say, "Those who sacrifice man may kiss the calves."   בוְעַתָּה | יוֹסִפוּ לַחֲטֹא וַיַּעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם מַסֵּכָה מִכַּסְפָּם כִּתְבוּנָם עֲצַבִּים מַעֲשֵׂה חָרָשִׁים כֻּלֹּה לָהֶם הֵם אֹמְרִים זֹבְחֵי אָדָם עֲגָלִים יִשָּׁקוּן:
And now: Jehu’s dynasty, who saw all this, continue to sin.  
according to their pattern: Heb. כִּתְבוּנָם.  
Those who sacrifice man may kiss the calves: The priests of Molech say to Israel, “Whoever sacrifices his son to the idol is worthy of kissing the calf” for he has offered him a precious gift. So did our Sages explain this in Sanhedrin (63b), and it fits the wording of the verse better than Jonathan’s translation.  
3Therefore, they shall be like a morning cloud, and like dew that passes away early, like chaff that is driven with the wind out of the threshingfloor, and like smoke out of a chimney.   גלָכֵן יִהְיוּ כַּעֲנַן בֹּקֶר וְכַטַּל מַשְׁכִּים הֹלֵךְ כְּמֹץ יְסֹעֵר מִגֹּרֶן וּכְעָשָׁן מֵאֲרֻבָּה:
and like dew that passes away early: Jonathan renders: And like dew, the water of which evaporates.  
like chaff that is driven with the wind out of the threshingfloor: Jonathan renders: Like chaff which the wind blows from the threshingfloor. e wind lifts up.  
4And I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt, and gods besides Me you should not know, and there is no savior but Me.   דוְאָנֹכִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וֵאלֹהִים זוּלָתִי לֹא תֵדָע וּמוֹשִׁיעַ אַיִן בִּלְתִּי:
And I am the Lord your God: and you should not have rebelled against Me  
5I knew you in the desert, in a land of deprivation.   האֲנִי יְדַעְתִּיךָ בַּמִּדְבָּר בְּאֶרֶץ תַּלְאֻוּבֹת:
I knew you: I set My heart to know your necessity, and I provided you.  
deprivation: Heb. תַלְאוּבֹת. There is no similarity to this in Scripture, and its interpretation is, according to the context, תֵּל, a heap, שֶאוֹבִין, where they long for all good and do not find it.  
6When they grazed and were sated, they were sated and their heart became haughty; therefore, they forgot Me.   וכְּמַרְעִיתָם וַיִּשְׂבָּעוּ שָׂבְעוּ וַיָּרָם לִבָּם עַל כֵּן שְׁכֵחוּנִי:
When they grazed: When they entered the land of their pasture and they were sated, then…  
they were sated and their heart became haughty: (Ex. 7:20) “And he lifted (וַיָרֶם) the staff,” is an expression of lifting something else.“Became haughty (וַיָרָם)” here means that he himself was lifted.  
7And I was to them as a lion, as a leopard by the way I will lurk.   זוָאֱהִי לָהֶם כְּמוֹ שָׁחַל כְּנָמֵר עַל דֶּרֶךְ אָשׁוּר:
by the way I will lurk: Heb. אָשּׁוּר. Every instance of אָשּׁוּר in Scripture is punctuated with a “dagesh,” but this one is “weak,” since it is not a place name but it means, “I will lurk and ambush.” Comp. (Num. 24:17) “I see him (אֲשּׁוּרֶנוּ) but not near.”  
8I will meet them as a bereaving bear, and I will rend the enclosure of their heart, and I will devour them as a lion, the beast of the field shall rend them asunder.   חאֶפְגְּשֵׁם כְּדֹב שַׁכּוּל וְאֶקְרַע סְגוֹר לִבָּם וְאֹכְלֵם שָׁם כְּלָבִיא חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה תְּבַקְּעֵם:
as a bereaving bear: Heb. שַׁכּוּל. Like שּׁוֹכֵל, as you say חָנּוּן, gracious, and רַחוּם, merciful, so שַּׁכּוּל, i.e., entirely attired with bereavements and ready to bereave people.  
and I will rend the enclosure of their heart: like the habit of the bear, which holds its nails on the chest and rends until the heart. Another explanation:  
the enclosure of the heart: Their heart which is closed from understanding to return to Me.  
9You have destroyed yourself, O Israel, for [you have rebelled] against Me, against your help.   טשִׁחֶתְךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי בִי בְעֶזְרֶךָ:
You have destroyed yourself, O Israel: Heb. שִּׁחֶתְ.  
for against Me: you have rebelled: you have rebelled against your help. This is an ellipsis, but [to] one who understands the language of the Scriptures, it makes sense. For against Me was the rebellion which you rebelled, and if you ask, “What does it mean to You?” Against your help you rebelled when you rebelled against Me.  
10I will be, where is your king? Now let him save you in all your cities, and your judges, concerning whom you said, "Give me a king and princes."   יאֱהִי מַלְכְּךָ אֵפוֹא וְיוֹשִׁיעֲךָ בְּכָל עָרֶיךָ וְשֹׁפְטֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר אָמַרְתָּ תְּנָה לִּי מֶלֶךְ וְשָׂרִים:
I will be, where is your king?: Heb. אֱהִי מַלְכְּ אֵפוֹא. Jonathan renders: Where is your king? But I say that it is unnecessary to interpret it other than its apparent meaning. I will be standing from afar to see where your king is, for I will make Myself see what your end will be, where your savior is.  
11I gave you a king with My wrath and I took [him] away with My fury.   יאאֶתֶּן לְךָ מֶלֶךְ בְּאַפִּי וְאֶקַּח בְּעֶבְרָתִי:
12The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is laid away.   יבצָרוּר עֲו‍ֹן אֶפְרָיִם צְפוּנָה חַטָּאתוֹ:
The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up: I did not overlook it; it is laid up with Me.  
13Pangs of a woman in confinement shall come to him: he is an unwise son, for it is a time that he shall not stand in the birthstool of the children.   יגחֶבְלֵי יוֹלֵדָה יָבֹאוּ לוֹ הוּא בֵן לֹא חָכָם כִּי עֵת לֹא יַעֲמֹד בְּמִשְׁבַּר בָּנִים:
for [it is] a time: For a time of trouble has come upon him, from which he will not be able to stand and endure.  
in the birthstool of the children: upon which the woman in confinement sits to give birth. And in Old French they call a birthstool sele.  
in the birthstool of the children: i.e., in the birthstool made for the birth of children.  
14From the clutches of the grave I would ransom them, from death I would redeem them; I will be your words of death; I will decree the grave upon you. Remorse shall be hidden from My eyes.   ידמִיַּד שְׁאוֹל אֶפְדֵּם מִמָּוֶת אֶגְאָלֵם אֱהִי דְבָרֶיךָ מָוֶת אֱהִי קָטָבְךָ שְׁאוֹל נֹחַם יִסָּתֵר מֵעֵינָי:
From the clutches of the grave I would ransom them: I am He Who would ransom them from the clutches of the grave and redeem them from death, but now…  
I will be your words of death: Heb. אֱהִי דְבָרֶי. I will place Myself to speak of you words of death.  
I will decree… upon you: Heb. קָטָבְ. I will decree upon you the decree of the grave.  
Remorse shall be hidden from My eyes: Heb. נֹחַם. I will not regret this evil. נֹחֵם is an expression of regret (נִחוּם) , and the “mem” is a radical like the “mem” of נֹעַם, pleasantness, for the accent is on the first syllable, and the “heth” is vowelized with a “pattah.” Were it an expression of resting (נָח) , with the “mem” serving as a suffix denoting the plural, the accent would be under the “heth,” and it would be vowelized with a “kamatz” [like כֹּחָם their strength; רוּחָם, their spirit.]  
15For though he flourish among the marshes, an east wind shall come, a wind of the Lord, ascending from the desert, and his spring shall dry up, and his fountain shall be parched; he shall plunder the treasure of all coveted vessels.   טוכִּי הוּא בֵּן אַחִים יַפְרִיא יָבוֹא קָדִים רוּחַ יְהֹוָה מִמִּדְבָּר עֹלֶה וְיֵבוֹשׁ מְקוֹרוֹ וְיֶחֱרַב מַעְיָנוֹ הוּא יִשְׁסֶה אוֹצַר כָּל כְּלִי חֶמְדָּה:
For though he flourish among the marshes: Heb. יַפְרִיא כִּי הוּא בֵּין אַחִים. Jonathan renders: For they are called sons, but they increased corrupt deeds. אַחִים An expression of an evil thing. Comp. (Ezekiel 21:20) “Woe! (אָח) It is made for a blade.” Also (ibid. 6:11) “And say, ‘Woe!’ (אָח) to all the… abominations.” יַפְרִיא An expression similar to (Deut. 29:17) פֹּרֶה רֹאשׁ וְלַעֲנָה, that hears (פֹּרַה) hemlock and wormwood.“ But I say that אַחִים is an expression similar to (Gen. 41:2)” And they grazed in the marsh (בָּאָחוּ)."  
For though he flourish among the marshes: Heb. יַפְרִיא. Blossoms and grows in the marsh. Among the marshes, among those growing in the marshes, which always flourish. And, since He compares him to a marsh, He says: An east wind shall come… and his spring shall dry up. Another explanation: For he decreased among the brothers, i.e., Jeroboam. He was a son who decreased the brotherhood [other versions: the heritage] of Israel. Through him, they were divided into two kingdoms. Decreased יַפְרִיע. An expression similar to (Gen. 16:12) “One who decreases men אָדָם) (פֶּרֶא.”  
an east wind shall come: A king, strong as the east wind, shall come up by the word of the Lord from the way of the desert.  
he shall plunder: That king shall plunder the treasures of all coveted vessels.  
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