Hosea 4:4

Matthew Anstey manstey at portal.ca
Tue Nov 9 01:32:01 EST 1999

Gday Jonathan,

>The second part of Hosea 4:4 in the body of the text reads:
>ve-'amkha kimrivey khohen
>But in the Apparatus we find:
>ve-'imkha rivi kohen, or: ve-'imkha 'ani rav kohen
>The older bibles I looked at (Luther 1912, KJV) follow the
>text reading, the newer ones I looked at (Elberfelder 1985, Luther
1984, RSV) follow the
>variant. What is the source of this variant?

The source is ultimately Elliger, the editor of the minor prophets for
BHS (4th ed).

> No manuscripts are cited in the apparatus.

That's because the manuscripts generally support the MT. The LXX
probably read: w`my kmryb khn, "my people are like an accused priest".

>Where did the variant come from? What is the source of the shift in
>which caused the shift to the variant?

There have been several answers to this (second) question, if I
understand you to mean, What is the reasoning behind this variant?
Some would say that the fundamental a priori reason is Elliger's basic
approach to the MT as being in need of rather 'vigorous' emendation,
but this is sometimes too simplistic. Elliger's own reasons often stem
from articles or comentaries he wrote about a passage. That is, the
BHS apparatus just represents the *conclusion* to his own line of
reasoning. So although it is easy in the current Zeitgeist to be
critical of the BHS notes, as a renewed appreciation of the MT seems
to be fairly widespread, to appreciate them one ought to understand
the interlocking arguments that lie behind many of the emendations. So
Elliger for instance may have thought this was more in conformity with
the theological flow of the book, or sometimes prosodic or metrical
concerns were prominent in the suggested change. (n.b. The BHS is
rather inconsistent in giving clues to these.) However, others may
view Elliger and his notes in a different perspective.

If you have seen any of the pre-corrected proofs of BHQ (5th edition)
you will have noted the enourmous changes to the presentation,
documentation, and argumentation of the apparatus. A. Gelston is doing
the Minor Prophets, so it will be interesting to see what he makes of
this verse.

By the way, see Andersen & Freedman's commentary for a detailed
discussion of the Haggai passage in particular. They discuss 10
possible emendations.

With regards,
Matthew Anstey

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