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4: Concluding Considerations RE Unfaithful Israel (Hosea 14:1-10)

6. Prophetic Advice (14:1-3 [HB 14:2-4])

Translation

14:1 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,

for your sin has been your downfall!

2 Return to the Lord and repent!

Say to him: “Completely forgive our iniquity;

accept our penitential prayer,

that we may offer the praise of our lips as sacrificial bulls.

3 Assyria cannot save us;

we will not ride warhorses.

We will never again say, ‘Our gods’

to what our own hands have made.

For only you will show compassion to Orphan Israel!”

Exegesis and Exposition

The final chapter of Hosea begins with a last plea by God’s prophet to the people of Israel to forsake their sinful self-centered ways. His plea is a double one, which also contains some sound spiritual and practical advice. Sweeney proposes that “by appealing to Israel to ‘return’ to YHWH and to reject its alliance with Assyria, Hos 14:2-9 [NRSV: 14:1-8] recounts the primary theme of the book, rejection of YHWH in favor of relations with Assyria, and seeks its reversal.”1 Although this is true, the matter is a bit deeper than that. It relates primarily to Israel’s relation with the Lord.

Hosea’s first plea is a general call to all Israel to acknowledge that their sin had brought them to the point of extinction. The NET translation “downfall” renders the sense of a verb that Hosea has used twice before in criticizing the attitude and actions of his people. In the first instance Hosea had challenged and condemned the priests as those most responsible for society’s spiritual infidelity and immoral behavior. For they have misled the people with their syncretistic teachings (Hos. 4:4-5). In the following chapter (5:1-5) Hosea broadened the condemnation to include not only priests but also the upper class of society, especially those from the tribe of Ephraim (vv. 4-5).

Hosea’s second plea is twofold, calling for both a return to the Lord and repentance (v. 2). Hosea’s use of two imperatives for “return” (vv. 1-2) and a third for “repent” is once again typical of his familiar threefold style. This second double plea (return and repent) is addressed to all Israel. If the previously promised guarantees of divine acceptance, forgiveness, and restoration were to be realized (cf. 6:1-3; 11:10-11), it was imperative that Israel should act immediately.

The people must come to the Lord with genuine heartfelt repentance. Hosea’s plea is accompanied by some good spiritual advice. The prophet even supplies the model words to say. Following real repentance, the people should ask Yahweh to forgive their impiety saying, “accept our penitential prayers.” In so doing their praise to the Lord would contain words of spiritual sacrifice and dedication. What their lips expressed would be much like a burnt offering sacrifice (Lev. 1; 6:8-13). Their words would reflect a renewed genuine dedication to the Lord and be reflected in a life fully lived for Him. Isaiah similarly condemns the people with regard to their total abandonment of the Lord (Isa. 1:1-9) and urges them to be cleansed from their iniquity in order that they may be forgiven, and restored to fellowship with God and His blessings; otherwise they and the nation itself will be destroyed (vv. 16-20).

Hosea adds further (v. 3) that the people’s confession should also contain an expression of their realization that reliance upon military power, especially that of a foreign nation, is improper. Further, they must once for all abandon their infatuation with idolatry and foreign deities. Rather than going through the motions of religious syncretism, they must worship Yahweh alone as the only true God and the Lord of the covenant. This would also be reflected in both their attitudes and actions. Isaiah similarly condemns the hypocrisy of human religiosity in its self-devised sacrificial rites, which the Lord does not accept anyway and challenges the people to promote matters that testify to genuine faith: morality, justice, and compassion for the needy and oppressed (Isa. 1:10-17). Micah also condemns the people’s behavior in both its sacrifices and its social practices. Thus neither Isaiah nor Micah condones sacrifices and worship practices that compromise God’s holy person and are not reflected in a consistently holy walk that reaches out in honest dealings and compassion for the needs of all.

Hosea’s message is equally supportive of a true faith and worship that are reflected in just practices and social concern. A true faith would thus be reflected in Israel’s spiritual walk with the Lord in whom “the fatherless/orphan finds mercy.” The NET translation (see text note) suggests that by “orphan” is meant Israel. Garrett expresses the same perspective. “It is not simply that God is compassionate to orphans but that the orphan seeks and finds compassion in God. The point of Hosea’s prayer is that the people of Israel have become orphans.”2

In sum (vv. 1-3), Hosea is thus urging estranged and orphaned Israel to return to the Lord with true repentance, confession of sins, and a plea for God’s forgiveness. The people must return to the practice of proper religious observances with heartfelt devotion. Moreover, theirs should be a life reflecting genuine faith and commitment to the Lord, which is realized in a concern for the needs of all. If they will do so, they will find a ready reception from a compassionate Yahweh who is waiting and eager to receive them. Then Yahweh’s child (Hos. 11:1), which has become “Not My People” (1:9) will again become “My People” (2:23).

Additional Notes

14:1 Hosea’s first plea is predicated upon the fact of Israel’s covenant relation with the Lord. Thus Stuart remarks, “Both /wu and l?k are part of the vocabulary of the covenant curses; the verse links Israel’s stumbling … with its past sin (disloyalty to the divine covenant). Israel’s downfall has begun and will run its course before the return can be accomplished.”3

14:2 Contrary to most English translations that render the Hebrew ko„l (“all”) as a substantive displaced from its normal genitive position (hence, “forgive all [our] sin/iniquity”), the NET relates the rather awkward Hebrew syntax by viewing the “all” adverbially: “completely forgive our iniquity.”

14:2 The NET renders the somewhat strange Hebrew “accept/receive good” ad sensum as indicating that the people would truly be offering a prayer of penitence—that which is good and needed proper response on their part.

14:3 The MT reads: “We shall offer our lips as bulls.” The NET rendering is in keeping with both the MT and the older view of Keil who proposed that the meaning of the phrase has to do with the presenting of prayers on penitential lips as thank offerings.4 So also Laetsch who says, “In one of the gold figures so characteristic of Hosea, the prophet speaks of the thankofferings repentant Israel is to bring to the Lord. No longer shall they be satisfied with offering animals, young oxen. As their calves they will ‘render’ present in return for God’s grace, their lips overflowing with songs of gratitude welling forth from hearts truly thankful for God’s grace and forgiveness.”5 The LXX (cf. NIV), however, treats the Hebrew pa„rîm (“bulls”) as a form of the Hebrew word for fruit (pe†rî) hence, “the fruit of our lips.”6 Most English translations simply render the MT in some fashion commiserate with the context such as “praise” (NLT, HCSB) or “vows” (ESV).

14:3 The responsibility for believers to show compassion toward the oppressed and disenfranchised of society is expressed in the frequently occurring motif of the widow, the orphan, and the poor. Indeed, “the cause of the widow, the orphan, and the poor is particularly enjoined upon Israel as befitting a redeemed people who are entrusted with the character and standards of their Redeemer.”7 That high standard is accorded no lesser position in the New Testament (cf. Acts 6:1; 9:39-41; 1 Tim. 5:13-16; James 1:27). Jesus Himself promised His followers that He would not leave them as “orphans” (John 14:18).

7. Divine Consolation (14:4-8 [HB 14:5-9])

Translation

14:4 “I will heal their waywardness

and love them freely,

for my anger will turn away from them.

5 I will be like the dew to Israel;

he will blossom like a lily,

he will send down his roots like a cedar of Lebanon.

6 His young shoots will grow;

his splendor will be like an olive tree,

his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.

7 People will reside again in his shade;

they will plant and harvest grain in abundance.

They will blossom like a vine,

and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.

8 O Ephraim, I do not want to have anything to do with idols anymore!

I will answer him and care for him.

I am like a luxuriant cypress tree;

your fruitfulness comes from me!

Exegesis and Exposition

Hosea cites the Lord’s own words as to the extent and effects of His divine compassion (vv. 4-8). God’s prophet has just urged his people to return to the Lord. In a play upon the same Hebrew verbal root (sŒu‚b) God promises to heal their waywardness (me†sŒu‚ba„ta„m). Israel has turned away from the Lord; it was now time to return to Him, their only savior, defender, and provider. By returning, their turning away, which had rendered them impure, weak, and sickly, would be healed. Israel was wounded (Hos. 5:12-14; 13:7-8) but could now be healed. As did Gomer, a returning Israel would find their “Husband” receiving them freely because of His great love for them.

In the earlier imagery Hosea had been told to seek his erring wife and bring her back to the family (3:1). By that action he would demonstrate God’s own intention to “allure” His wayward wife Israel into a return to covenant relation with Himself (2:14-20). God had warned His people again and again of their certain judgment and that He would withdraw Himself and leave them to their fate for whatever time was necessary (5:15a), yet He never stopped loving His people (11:8-9). The implication was clear. Through Hosea His prophet God has been appealing to His people. Although Israel’s restoration lay in the distant future because God’s people must yet suffer their deserved punishment, they have had divinely sent encouragement for them to return to full covenant relation with the Lord (6:1; 14:1-3). In another play upon the root sŒu‚b the Lord promises that in that future time His justifiable wrath will be “turned away” from His people (v. 4).

In the familiar threefold literary style of the book the Lord uses three similes employing imagery of refreshment and revitalization (v. 5). The Lord first promises to be “like the dew to Israel.” Earlier Israel’s faithfulness toward the Lord was declared to be as lasting and fleeting as the morning dew (6:4). Subsequently, both Israel’s idolaters and idols were soon to disappear “like early morning dew” (13:3). In a reversal of imagery the dew becomes symbolic here of a life-giving vitality that provides the source of renewed life and strength for Israel—God Himself.

Renewed water sources can bring health, beauty, and fragrance to a landscape. A second simile promises that as once again in fellowship with the true Rain-giver (rather than Baal) Israel will “blossom like a lily.” The image speaks of a renewed spiritual life that brings fresh blessings from the Lord of the covenant. The lily may well also speak of the restored love relationship between wife Israel and “Husband” Yahweh (cf. Song 2:2; 5:13).

In a third simile future Israel’s new strength and prosperity is compared to a cedar tree. Although the word “cedar” does not appear in the MT, it is generally assumed that the reference is to the cedars of Lebanon. It was those cedars whose strength and fragrance were famous that were utilized in the building of the Temple complex (1 Kings 6:9; 7:2; 10:17; 1 Chron. 22:4).8 Certainly the mention of roots and Lebanon suggests that the common understanding of the ellipsis of the word “cedar(s)” is correct. The presence of “fragrance like Lebanon” in the following verse (MT) supports this conclusion.

The idyllic imagery is furthered in verse 6 by stressing in yet another threefold lists the growth and progress that will occur in a restored Israel. New “shoots” testify that the nation is alive and well again. “No longer shall she be like a withered, dying, heath in the desert, but like a vigorous, flourishing plant spreading its shoots ever farther and farther.”9 Israel’s prominence and influence will be felt far and wide (Jer. 16:19; Zech. 14:6). In that day Israel’s splendor will be “as majestic as the olive tree, and will have the fragrance of Lebanon’s cedars. Such will be the position of God’s people among the nations.”10 Thus “The three lines of the triplet allude to three aspects of Israel’s future status: stability (‘his shoots’), visibility (‘his splendor’), and desirability (‘his scent’).”11

God’s portrait of Israel’s grand future concludes with scenes of living once again in the Promised Land. The people will find protection and rest under the shade of the new tree that is Israel. Others will also seek to find their blessings in connection with the renewed Israel. As Garrett observes, “If Israel is the metaphorical tree in whose shade others dwell, the conceptual unity of the text is maintained and the implied expectation, that Gentiles would in the eschaton would find blessing in Israel, agrees with many other prophecies of the future of the people of God.”12

The statements in the following line point to further productivity in the land. Together with the previous mention of the olive tree, grain, and wine signifying God’s renewed blessings upon a newly faithful covenant people (cf. Hos. 2:8-9; Deut. 7:12-13; 11:13-14) the mention of the vine testifies to Israel’s fruitful condition. Earlier Israel was likened to a luxuriant vine that had become wayward (Hos. 10:1-2). The metaphor of Israel as a vine is quite familiar in the Scriptures (e.g., Isa. 5:2-6). Together with the fig tree the vine often symbolized the blessedness of Israel’s covenant relation with Yahweh. These included such things as security and serenity (cf. 1 Kings 4:25). All of this God’s people will once again enjoy (Mic. 4:3-4).

The Lord’s final word through Hosea to His people is an impassioned one (v. 8). Once more the most responsible tribe of Ephraim is singled out for rebuke. It is expressed in terms of a rhetorical question (MT). The NET translation is in accordance with the presumed answer: God will have nothing more to do with idols. “God’s parting word … does not mean that God once had business with idols but no longer does. Rather, the point is that he has already spoken as much as he can endure to speak about the gods of Canaan.”13 Even more to the point is the fact that God and the false gods, which the idols represent, have nothing in common. God has been patient with Israel’s idolatry even though this has been an affront to His holy character. When Israel has been chastised and corrected, all traces of idolatry will disappear. Israel has never needed or benefited from its fascination with idolatry. As a matter of fact it is Yahweh who has cared for Israel all along. That provision will be especially true of the promised future. The promise that God would “answer” Ephraim is predicated upon Israel’s words of confession and petition for forgiveness, which Hosea has just urged his people to communicate to God (14:2-3).14

God’s promise to answer is reminiscent of the familiar call-answer motif that so often speaks of intimate communion between God and His people. The call-answer motif underscores the fact of God’s ready availability to come to the aid of His people for refuge and deliverance from danger or distress (Pss. 20:6-9; 81:6-7; 102:1-2; 138:8). The Lord invites His people to receive instruction and guidance from Him (Jer. 33:2-3). Unfortunately, Israel has failed to do so (Hos. 7:7), choosing rather to call upon human resources (7:11). As here, the motif also has an eschatological setting (cf. Zech. 13:7-9). So sweet will be that future restored fellowship between Yahweh and His covenant people that, “Before they even call out, I will respond; while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isa. 65:24).

Israel must realize that its only basis for life lived on the highest plain is the Lord. Previously Israel’s future blessing would make it “like an olive tree” (v. 6). In a reversal of imagery and in an unusual simile Yahweh compares Himself to a luxuriant tree with strong roots. He alone is Israel’s source of power and success and it is He who provides real “fruit” to those who follow Him. Ephraim was previously shown to be a fruitless plant (9:16), even though it had once been a fruitful vine. For it had misconstrued and misused its God –endowed blessings by attributing its “fruit” to pagan deities such as Baal (10:1) and to raw military power (10:13). Yet there was hope. A repentant forgiven Israel could and will once again be fruitful for it will receive and acknowledge that its fruit comes from the Lord. The life of God’s people will be lived out in true spiritual success that comes from their relation to Yahweh and surrender to Him as Lord of their lives.

Additional Notes

14:4 The theme of healing occurs frequently in Hosea. Israel’s weakness in the latter half of the eighth century was described as a “sickness” and a “wound” for which it turned to the king of Assyria for help. Israel was admonished, however, that even the great king of Assyria would be unable to heal them (Hos. 5:13). Therefore, Hosea encouraged the people to turn to the Lord who alone could heal them of what was their true underlying condition—their spiritual sickness (6:1-3). The Lord lamented that despite His desire to heal Israel of its disease of sin and wickedness, its people failed to respond to Him (6:11-7:2). Indeed, Israel’s history has been one of failure to acknowledge that Yahweh their Redeemer was their only source of healing (11:1-4). In 14:4 the Lord reiterates that Israel’s hope for future reviving and restoration lay solely in His desire and willingness to forgive His wayward, unrepentant and unfaithful people.

14:5 The precise identification of the flower rendered “lily” in the NET has been the subject of debate, “since the same Hebrew term (sŒu‚sŒan) spears to be used for a series of flowers.”15 Although it is most commonly translated as a lily in English versions, the Anchor Bible identifies the plant as a crocus.16 Walker identifies the flower in question both as an iris that “is very delicate in color, of soft lemon and slight orchid-blue shade” and as the red chalcedonicum lily that is “known as the Scarlet Martagon because of its brilliant scarlet petals and sepals.”17

14:6 The olive tree was an important asset to ancient Israel.18 Although the olive tree is not noted for its beauty, its yield in olive oil renders it beautiful to those who partake of its benefits. Thus the psalmist metaphorically likened himself to a flourishing olive tree through God’s care and love for him (Ps. 52:8). Because of its association with the covenant between the Lord and Israel, Israel was likened to a thriving olive tree, one that produced beautiful fruit but was destined to be burned (Jer. 11:16-17). God’s assurance to His people is that with a renewed relationship to Him, Israel’s “splendor” will once again be “like an olive tree” (14:6).19

14:7 The abundant olive oil, grain, and wine that were due to God’s blessings upon His covenant people (Hos. 2:8-9) could be taken away because of the Lord’s judgment upon them for their sins (Joel 1:10-11). Nevertheless, these could and will be restored to a truly repentant and forgiven people (Hos. 14:6-7; cf. Joel 2:24). Although the wine of Lebanon is not particularly noted in the Old Testament, it was apparently well-known in the ancient world.20

14:7-8 The similes likening both Israel (v. 7) and Yahweh (v. 8) to trees is instructive. If Israel is to be a productive, fruitful tree, it is because its character reflects and partakes of that of the Divine Tree. The principle here anticipates Jesus’ teaching concerning the vine and the branches (John 15:1-8). Christian believers produce “fruit” (Gal. 5:22-23) on the basis of their union with the risen Christ (Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27).

14:8 The play on sounds (áprm/pe†ri‚) in the address to Ephraim between its name and the reminder that its fruitfulness comes from being related to the eternal “tree” (i.e., Yahweh) bookends the challenge to abandon idolatry in order to enjoy the care that the Lord desires to provide for His people.

14:8 The identification of the tree to which the Lord compares Himself is uncertain. Although the LXX identifies it with the juniper, English versions commonly suggest that it is either a pine tree (HCSB, NIV), fir (KJV), or cypress (NET, ESV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV). The NLT simply calls it a “tree that is always green.”21

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(14:9 [HB 14:10])

Translation

14:9 Who is wise?

Let him discern these things!

Who is discerning?

Let him understand them!

For the ways of the Lord are right;

the godly walk in them,

but in them the rebellious stumble.

Exegesis and Exposition

Hosea’s closing advice “contains the epilogue to the whole book.”22 The prophet’s counsel is expressed in terms often associated with that literary genre known as wisdom literature. He has employed many items of the vocabulary found here previously. Thus, he portrayed Israel as a baby in the birth process that lacks wisdom (13:3). He also charged his people with lacking discernment due to their penchant for all the attendant ills of idolatry (4:11) and warned, “A people that lacks understanding will come to ruin!” (4:14). As has often been noted, the theme of knowledge is a prominent one in Hosea. So also here in 14:9 the word rendered “understand” is literally “know.”23 As well the provisions for a godly walk have been seen previously. For example, it was Yahweh who taught Israel when it was a young child to walk (11:3, NIV), thus imparting to His “child” the basics for a godly, productive, and satisfying life. The warning against “stumbling” in that walk was also given before (4:4-5; 5:1-5). Most recently it has been seen in connection with Israel’s sin that brought about its “downfall” (14:1). It is apparent, then, that Hosea was quite at home in the sphere of wisdom literature.24

As the recipient and transmitter of divine revelation Hosea issues a final challenge. The people should understand that it is God’s ways that are right. Indeed, “The message of this wisdom saying and the entire Book of Hosea hinges on the categorical assertion that ‘the ways of the LORD are right.’” 25 Hosea has also used the idea of “ways” previously in a fashion pertaining to conduct, while referring to Israel’s wrong ways (10:13, MT) and the punishment that will result from them (4:9; 12:2). How much better for God’s people to trust in Him whose ways are just and right. The imagery is that of one who walks a path that is level and straight. Such is the course that God travels in all His dealings, for His actions are always consistent with His holy and just character. It is a wise man that travels the spiritual and moral path that God has laid out for him (cf. Ps. 1:1-2; Prov. 1:7; 3:5-6; 16:3). For then, unlike the rebellious or wicked person (cf. Ps. 1:6) who will stumble and bring on his own punishment (Prov. 16:25; 18:6-7), the wise man will succeed and avoid evil (Prov. 16:16-17), and also experience the Lord’s rich blessings (Ps. 119:1-3; Prov. 16:20).

Hosea’s words are in keeping with the well-known theme of the two ways, which is found in both the Old (e.g., Josh. 24:14-15; Pss. 1; 119:29-32; Prov. 4:10-19; Isa. 26:7-11; Ezek. 33:12-20) and New Testament (Matt. 7:13-14; Col. 3:5-17; 1 John 1:6-7). Hosea’s advice is still relevant to today’s believers who walk by faith (2 Cor. 5:7) and in the light of God’s revealed truth (1 John 1:5-7).26

Additional Notes

14:9 Although Sweeney confidently asserts that this verse is “not the work of the prophet, but the work of a later editor or writer who comments upon the significance of the prophet’s words,” no firm reason exists to dismiss it as not being from the hand of Hosea.27 In this regard Stuart states, “There is no warrant to dismiss the poem as non-Hosianic…though no proof that it comes from himself, either.”28 Nevertheless, the presence of themes and vocabulary that are Hosianic strongly argues that this verse is authentically Hosea’s.

14:9 The theme of the two ways also appears in such inter-testament works as Ecclesiasticus (21:11-14), 2 Esdras (7:6-14), and the Testimony of Asher (1:3, 5) as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls (e.g., 1 Q S 3:18-4:26). The teaching of the two ways appears still later in the sub-apostolic writings of the first century Barnabas (chs. 18-20) and the

second century Didache, the early church manual of instruction (chs. 1-6). The author of Barnabas closes his discussion of the two ways (ch. 21) by observing that “it is good, therefore, after learning all the commandments, which are written here, to walk in them. For the one who does these things will be glorified in the kingdom of God; the one who chooses their opposites will perish together with his works.”29


1 Sweeney, Twelve Prophets, 1:136.

2 Garrett, Hosea, Joel, 272.

3 Stuart, Hosea-Jonah, 213.

4 Keil, Minor Prophets, 1:163-164.

5 Laetsch, Minor Prophets, 108.

6 See also Wolff (Hosea, 231) who suggests that the final –m on the Hebrew noun is an enclitic.

7 Richard D. Patterson, “The Widow, the Orphan, and the Poor in the Old Testament and the Extra-biblical Literature,” BibSac 130 (1973): 232.

8 Walton, Matthews & Chavalas (Bible Background Commentary, 760) remark that the cedars of Lebanon were “considered the most useful of the large growth trees in the ancient Near East” and sought after for their lumber as a “source for construction and a symbol of wealth in Mesopotamian literature, including the Gilgamesh Epic and the Annals of many kings from the Sumerians through the Assyrians.”

9 Laetsch, Minor Prophets, 109.

10 McComiskey, “Hosea,” 1:233.

11 Stuart, Hosea-Jonah, 216.

12 Garrett, Hosea, Joel, 275. The ESV translation proposes that the “shade tree” referred to is actually the Lord: “They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow.” Although the image of the protective shadow of the Almighty is an important one in the Scriptures (e.g., Ps. 91:1), yet it is more familiar as the “shadow of His wings” (e.g., Pss. 17:8; 57:1; 63:7). Moreover, since the following lines deal with details relative to future Israel, a reference to the shadow of the Lord is less likely unless the “his” (MT) is intended as a double entendre.

13 Garrett. Hosea, Joel, 278.

14 Contra Jam A. Wagenaar (“‘I Will Testify Against Them and Challenge Them’: Text and Interpretation of Hosea 14:9,” JNSL 26 (2000): 127-134) who suggests that the pronoun “him” refers to the idols than to Ephraim.

15 Garrett, Hosea, Joel, 274,

16 So also Stuart, Hosea-Jonah, 210.

17 Winifred Walker, All the Plants of the Bible (New York: Harper, 1957), 114.

18 See R. K. Harrison, “Olive Tree,” ISBE, Rev. ed., Vol. 3:589-590.

19 According to Walker (All the Plants, 154), “ A full-sized tree yields a half ton of oil yearly.”

20 See Pliny, Natural History, 14.7.

21 Note the interesting discussion in K. A. Tängberg, “I Am Like An Evergreen Fir; From Me Comes Your Fruit: Notes on Meaning and Symbolism in Hosea 14.9b,” Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 2 (1989): 81-93.

22 Keil, Minor Prophets, 1:167.

23 See further the additional note to Hosea 13:5. In discussing the two chief nouns for wisdom, Gleason Archer (A Survey of Old Testament Introduction [Chicago: Moody, 1974], 467) points out that “h£okmah, ‘wisdom’ … pertains … to a proper grasp of the basic issues of life and the relationship of God to man as a moral agent” while “bînah, understanding, connotes the ability to discern intelligently the difference between sham and reality, between truth and error, between the species attraction of the moment and the long-range values that govern a truly successful life.” Forms of the verbal roots of both words occur in Hosea 14:9.

24 See A. Macintosh, “Hosea and the Wisdom Tradition: Dependence and Independence,” in Wisdom in Ancient Israel: Essays in Honor of J. A. Emertond ed., J. Day (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 124-132.

25 Charles H. Silva, “The Literary Structure of Hosea 9-14,” BibSac 164 (2007): 435-453.

26 For the contrasting theme of darkness, see Richard D. Patterson, “Deliverance From Darkness,” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 8 (2004): 77-88.

27 Sweeney, Twelve Prophets, 1:140-141.

28 Stuart, Hosea-Jonah, 219.

29 J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Father, 2nd ed., ed., Michael W. Holmes (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989), 187.