[b-hebrew] Hosea 5:2

pporta at oham.net pporta at oham.net
Tue Aug 26 07:44:31 EDT 2008


>I have several problems with Hosea 5:2.
> W$X+H  &+YM  H(MYQW  W)NY MWSR LKLM
>
> The first is the word &+YM, or perhaps $+YM, that is,
> shin/sin-teth-yod-mem.
> With a shin, it would be identical to the shitim of the Torah which is:
> a) a kind of wood (acacia); b) a place in Moab where Israel sinned, and
> where they were still encamped as of Joshua 2-3.
> English translations mostly favor the Masoretic rendering &A+|M,
> assuming a derivation from &W+, to turn away, thus getting "rebels"or
> "revolters". The Oxford translation sticks with the consonantal text and
> renders "Shitim" ("I have made deep the pit of Shitim.") (I guess "pit"
> is just thrown in to go with "made deep"; but I don't know what happened
> to shachatah in this translation. Maybe it is loosely translated as 
> "pit"?)
> What say you?
_______________

PP:

He'emiqu is a 3rd person plural Hiph'il past: they made deep. So it is quite 
hard to understand how this verb could have been translated as "I have made 
deep..." (Oxford translation, so you say)
________

> I am also confused about the grammar involving shachatah and he'miqu,
> the two verbs in the first clause, which is verb-noun-verb.
__________

PP:

The first clause is not "verb-noun-verb". It is "noun-noun-verb", the first 
noun being the direct object of the sentence and the second one being its 
subject.
_________

> Some translations seem to take shachatah as a gerund: "the revolters 
> deepen
> the slaughter(ing)". JPS takes it as infinitive and has "they were
> profound to kill the revolters". My main question is: How can we decide
> what is the subject and what is the object here?

PP:
We know which is the subject and which is the object by using reasoning. As 
the verb he'emiqu is third person plural, the normal issue is its subject to 
be a plural too. So, the only plural in the clause, &+YM, must be the 
subject. And the word $X+H  --a noun, not a gerund-  is the object.
So "and the revolters deepened the slaughter". The revolters are the 
killeRS.
__________

> Are the satim/shitim
> killers or killed?

PP:

Look at the end of the preceding text piece.
_________

> Finally, I am puzzled by the word MWSR. It always seems to mean
> "correction, rebuke, instruction" in other contexts, where it is derived
> from YSR. But the Jewish Publication Society translations render
> "removed" and "rejected" ("I have been rejected by them all"), which
> must be derivations from MSR, to deliver or hand over. (Certainly it
> can't mean "rebuked" if God, the speaker, is the object rather than the
> subject of the sentence.) But in that case is it a participle or rather
> present-tense, as my verb-book has it? In the latter case it would be
> something more like "I give myself to them all."

PP:

By no means MWSR comes from the verb MSR, to deliver or hand over.
As regards verb MSR only TWO items or forms of it appear in the Bible: Nm 
31:5 and 31:16.
The sense of the clause is clear (to my sense): I will 
correct/chastise/punish them all.
__________


> If the second word is "revolters", who are they? All of Israel ever
> since Jeroboam? The rebels under Jehu? Or the Jehuid kings of Hosea's
> time who turned away from the righteous path of Jehu? (Of course this is
> related to the question about "Jezreel" and Hosea's attitude toward
> Jehu. I still assume Hosea condemns Jehu, as he condemns the Jehuids.)
> If the second word is "Shitim" the place-name, then that which has been
> "deepened" must be the violence that occurred there. You could associate
> it with the sin of Peor, but the actual "slaughter" we find there was
> committed by Phinehas. In this case the "deepening" would just be a
> coninuation of Phinehas' ethnocentric zeal. Then the first clause might
> be praise rather than condemnation (although this wouldn't fit the
> context); or it might be condemnation for being too zealous, that is,
> Hosea might not take Phinehas as a moral exemplar (I know I don't!). The
> ambiguity of zealousness or stringency in this connection is brought out
> by R.Yochanan at Sanhedrin 102a, who connects he'miqu with the
> stringency of laws about attending or not attending festivals. (Jeroboam
> was "deeper", i.e. more stringent than the Torah.)
>
> If any of these points could be pinned down, the others would get easier.

PP:

Here I cannot help you because I'm unable to give an answer.

Pere Porta
Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain)
>
> Gabe Eisenstein
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