Hos 4:16

Raymond de Hoop rdehoop at keyaccess.nl
Fri Aug 17 10:10:02 EDT 2001

At 16-08-2001 20:30 David Stabnow <dstabno at lifeway.com> wrote:

> The second half of Hos 4:16 on the surface says that the Lord will bless
> Israel.  (I realize that some interpret MRXB "broad place" to be either
> "the plains of Sheol" or "out in the open, vulnerable to attack."  That
> aside, ...)  In order to avoid the blessing, which would be out of place in
> context, many versions interpret it as a question.
> Like a stubborn cow, Israel is stubborn.
> Should the Lord now pasture them like a lamb in a broad place?
> However, it is not marked as a question.  It could be interpreted as a
> ironic comment or question.
> "Israel is stubborn like a cow.  Now the Lord is going to bless them.
> Yeah, right."
> or, "... and now you're suggesting that the Lord should bless them?
> You must be nuts!"  (I picture Billy Crystal saying this.)
> My question: Are there other examples of this kind of ironic comment in BH?


The  most ironic answer that I know in the Hebrew Bible is 1 Kgs 22:15, the
answer of Micah. However, this is not a parallel to your text in Hosea. In
this respect a comparison with Micah might be of interest to you, where we
find such quotations within the prophecy, almost suggesting that another
person is suddenly speaking without introduction (so-called "abrupt
speech"). Cf. for example Mi. 4:1-9/10/11-13/4:14-5:3 etc.
In Hos. 4:16 it seems almost a reference to Psalm 23, which people seem to
use as a wrong expression of trust in the Lord.


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