Saturday, December 28, 2013

Not My People—Sons of the Living God!

Here's my translation, exegetical outline, and commentary on the Septuagint of Hos 1:1-11:

Translation of Hos 1:1-11 (LXX)

1 The word of the Lord that came to Hosea the son of Beeri in the days of Uzziah and Jotham and Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
 2 The beginning of the word of the Lord in Hosea: And the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a promiscuous woman and children of promiscuity, for the land will commit flagrant whoredom from following the Lord.”
3 And so he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore to him a son.
4 And the Lord said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for yet a little while and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu and turn away the kingdom of the house of Israel.”
5 And it shall be in that day, I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.
6 And she conceived again and bore a daughter. And she said to him, “Call her name ‘No Mercy,’ for I will by no means continue to have mercy on the house of Israel, but I will surely oppose them.
7 But I will have mercy on the sons of Judah and deliver them by the Lord their God, and I will not deliver them by bow or sword, nor by war or chariots, nor by horses or horsemen.
8 And she weaned No Mercy and conceived again and bore a son.
9 And he said, “Call his name ‘Not My People,’ for you are not my people, and I am not your ‘I AM.’”
10 And the number of the sons of Israel was as the sand of the sea, which shall not be measured or numbered. And yet it will be in the place where it was said to them “You are not my people,” they shall also be called—“sons of the living God!”
11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together at the same place, and they shall appoint for themselves one ruler, and will go up from the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.

The book of Hosea introduces the Book of the Twelve. Hosea “seems particularly well suited to its introductory role,” says Sweeney, for it “begins by raising the question of the disrupted relationship between YHWH and Israel by comparing it to the disrupted marriage of the prophet to his wife Gomer.”[1] The other bookend of the Twelve, Malachi, forms an inclusio with Hosea[2] and calls Israel to return to the Lord and observe the covenant. These two themes—a ruptured covenant relationship between the Lord and his people and the restoration of that relationship—summarize well the Twelve as well as Hosea as a whole.[3]

More specifically, “the analogy between Hosea’s marriage and Yahweh’s relationship with Israel is the subject of Hosea 1-3, and then Hosea 4-14 addresses the behavior that has been figuratively depicted as adultery in the first three chapters.”[4] Hosea was called to the prophetic office during the reign of Jeroboam II, that is, some time prior to 745 BC, when Assyria was the regional superpower. This period for Israel and Judah was marked by economic boon and political stability—and Baalism that threatened the exclusive worship of YHWH (Hos 2:8, 13, 16-17; 4:13-15, 18; 9:1; 13:1-2, NETS).[5] His ministry likely lasted until just before the fall of Samaria in 721 BC; the heart of Hosea’s oracles denounces Israel’s idolatry in the provocative terms of spiritual whoredom.[6]

But the message was not limited to what Hosea proclaimed verbally. Hosea’s life and marriage were a dramatization of YHWH’s marriage to his adulterous covenant people. Hosea was called not only to proclaim a message, but also shockingly and jarringly to be the message. This painful divine word, vividly portrayed, spoke the Lord’s judgment on Israel’s spiritual harlotry—exile under the foreign powers with whom Israel had played the whore (Hos 1:11; 2:14-15; 3:4-5; 7:11; 8:8-10; 12:1; 14:3, NETS). Yet already in the first eleven verses of the book, judgment and exile are not the final word. Despite Israel’s disgusting infidelity, a beautiful restoration hope is held forth (1:10-11).

Exegetical Outline

I.  Superscription (1:1)
II. The Beginning of the Word of the Lord in Hosea (1:2-9)
     A. Hosea ordered to take to himself a whore and children of whoredom 
     B. First child: Call his name “Jezreel” (1:4-5)
     C. Second child: Call her name “No Mercy” (1:6-7)
     D. Third child: Call his name “Not My People” (1:8-9)
III. “Not My People”: “Sons of the Living God” who appoint one ruler (1:10-

Verse by Verse Commentary[7]  

1:1  λόγος κυρίου ὃς ἐγενήθη πρὸς Ωσηε τὸν τοῦ Βεηρι ἐν ἡμέραις Οζιου καὶ Ιωαθαμ καὶ Αχαζ καὶ Εζεκιου βασιλέων Ιουδα καὶ ἐν ἡμέραις Ιεροβοαμ υἱοῦ Ιωας βασιλέως Ισραηλ
The word of the Lord that came to Hosea the son of Beeri in the days of Uzziah and Jotham and Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.[8]

According to verse 1, Hosea’s ministry comes during the reign of Jeroboam II in the north and spans the reigns of Uzziah to Hezekiah in the south. Hosea[9] probably began his ministry late in Uzziah’s reign (ca. 793-753 BC) and completed it early in Hezekiah’s (ca. 727-687 BC).[10] Although it is often said that Hosea ministered to the north, the numerous references to Judah show that the south was included as well (e.g., 1:7; 2:2; 3:5; 4:15; 5:10; 6:4). Apart from Hosea, the superscription of Amos (1:1) alone among the Twelve includes rulers in both the north and the south. There it is said that Amos “saw” the words that came to him. Not so with Hosea—in Hosea’s very life is the word of the Lord “seen” (v. 2).

1:2  ἀρχὴ λόγου κυρίου ἐν Ωσηε καὶ εἶπε κύριος πρὸς Ωσηε βάδιζε λαβὲ σεαυτῷ γυναῖκα πορνείας καὶ τέκνα πορνείας διότι ἐκπορνεύουσα ἐκπορνεύσει ἡ γῆ ἀπὸ ὄπισθεν τοῦ κυρίου
The beginning of the word of the Lord in Hosea: And the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a promiscuous woman and children of promiscuity, for the land will commit flagrant whoredom from following the Lord.”

The word of the Lord begins “in” (ἐν) Hosea (Hos 1-3; esp. 1:2b-9), where ἐν is used spatially. Chapters 4-14 (but also 1:10-3:5) are more of that word “through” Hosea to Israel and Judah.[11] But first it is embodied (not excluding the verbal element, though). Hosea’s life and wife, the man and the marriage, the sons and the daughter, are the message! A number of codices are split between the readings ἐν Ωσηε and πρὸς Ωσηε. Theodotion and Vaticanus retain ἐν Ωσηε, preferred in the Gottingen edition. This reading fits the content of Hosea 1-3 better, since here Hosea’s marriage clearly bears the prophetic word as an analogy. Moreover, the MT also has “the word of YHWH in Hosea” (בְּהוֹשֵׁ֑עַ), using the preposition בְּ.

The LXX has λόγου where the MT has the Piel perfect  דִּבֶּר. No doubt the LXX translator simply read the unpointed Hebrew דבר as a noun. The MT תְּחִלַּ֥ת דִּבֶּר־יְהוָ֖ה בְּהוֹשֵׁ֑עַ pointing takes דבר as a Piel verb. The noun תְּחִלַּ֥ת in any form in the HB is never followed by a verb as in MT Hos 1:2. This holds true for the only other instance of this noun in the Twelve (Amos 7:1). So the LXX may be the correct reading, although the Hebrew is the more difficult. Ortlund notes that the construction of a finite verb in a construct chain is attested, citing Exod 6:28; Lev 25:48; Isa 29:1, among others.[12]

The phrase γυναῖκα πορνείας is the object of the verb λαβὲ. The phase is probably a descriptive genitive, “a woman marked by whoredom” or “a promiscuous woman.” The following τέκνα πορνείας is also the object of the verb λαβὲ. This phrase is probably  also a descriptive genitive. The only other place in the LXX where the phrase τέκνα πορνείας occurs is Hos 2:4. There the children come from the mother’s whoring: “For (ὅτι) their mother played the whore” (2:5). This also seems to be the most natural way to take the second genitive given the flow of the passage. So they are marked or characterized by whoredom, not because they themselves become whores, but because they are the product of such, even as Israel’s offspring is the product of whoredom. After commanding Hosea to take a woman who is characteristically a whore, it is most natural to take the children borne to her as coming from her infidelity on the analogy that Israel (the “mother” in 2:2-5) has borne children in her spiritual adultery (see 2:8). Regarding this word πορνείας, it is a general word used dozens of times in the LXX for sexual immorality of various sorts. Any narrower sense of the word (such as, for example, cult prostitution) is only provided by a given context.  

Although many commentators try to skirt the shocking command to Hosea with a variety of suggestions,[13] the plain sense is that Hosea was told to marry a promiscuous woman. The syntax really does demand this. Hill and Walton note that nowhere does God forbid prophets to marry a harlot, only priests (Lev 21:7, 14).[14] If this offends our sense of propriety, very well then—it has had its intended, shocking impact. Covenant infidelity offends the divine covenant Husband as prostitution would any earthly husband.

Many note that it is not clear whether Gomer was a whore before or only after she married Hosea (or both), but it is reasonably clear that she was after they married. The expression “woman of whoredom” (γυναῖκα πορνείας; using a genitive of description) seems to indicate, however, that Gomer characteristically played the whore. So probably both were true. She probably continues her scandalous lifestyle after marriage as previously. But the woman the Lord tells Hosea to marry to convey a message is a woman marked by whoredom—and this is the important point (see the next supporting clause), not Gomer’s whole history with all its details. Why? Because Israel had played the whore, was playing the whore, and would continue to play the whore.

The conjunction διότι gives the reason for this shocking command: ἐκπορνεύουσα ἐκπορνεύσει ἡ γῆ ἀπὸ ὄπισθεν τοῦ κυρίου. The “land” here is a metaphor for Israel. The construction ἐκπορνεύουσα ἐκπορνεύσει is a standard use of the intensive participle to translate the Hebrew infinitive absolute used with a finite verb, here translating זָנֹ֤ה תִזְנֶה֙ (cf. Hos 4:18).[15] The LXX renders the construction with a future (ἐκπορνεύσει, “will commit whoredom”), while the MT imperfect (תִזְנֶה֙) probably conveys a present sense (“commits whoredom”). This was a typical way, however, that the LXX translator rendered the imperfect, as can be seen elsewhere. This committing of whoredom is clearly a metaphor for spiritual adultery, for apostasy (cf. 3:1). Israel was not faithful to her covenant Husband, the Lord. Not excluded but probably included in this spiritual adultery, however, was literal adultery and fornication as part of the cultus of Baal (e.g., 4:14). The prepositional phrase ἀπὸ ὄπισθεν τοῦ κυρίου means “from following the Lord.” [16] Isaiah 59:13 uses a nearly identical prepositional phrase—ἀπὸ ὄπισθεν τοῦ θεοῦ—with the same meaning (cf. 1 Sam 12:20; 15:11). Israel’s spiritual harlotry means that she no longer follows the Lord.

1:3  καὶ ἐπορεύθη καὶ ἔλαβεν τὴν Γομερ θυγατέρα Δεβηλαιμ καὶ συνέλαβε καὶ ἔτεκεν αὐτῷ υἱόν
And so he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore to him a son.

Verse 3 is Hosea’s obedient response to the Lord’s command: “And so (καὶ) he went and took Gomer. . . .” The name “Gomer” (Γομερ) is only used one other place in the LXX, namely, Ezek 38:6. There Γομερ is used as a place name, aligned with pagan rule that opposes a reconstituted Israel. In Gen 10:2-3 (X2) and 1 Chr 1:5-6 (X2) Γαμερ translates גמר, the same Hebrew name translated Γομερ in Hos 1:3 and Ezek 38:6. What ought one to make of this? Perhaps not much. But perhaps the name of the whore Hosea was told to marry carries symbolic weight. Does the LXX translator deliberately choose the place name used in Ezek 38:6, rather than the name used in Gen 10:2-3 and 1 Chr 1:5-6? In Genesis and Chronicles, although the name is not in the line of promise (Shem), the name does not have such strong negative associations as it does in Ezekiel 38. Perhaps this is intentional, but it is difficult to be sure. Perhaps there is supposed to be an association with the pagan nations that opposed the true reconstituted people of God in Ezekiel 38 (cf. Hos 1:10-11, LXX). So just as Israel whored about with the nations (e.g., Assyria; see Hos 8:9-10), so also Hosea’s wife (Israel in the analogy) will play the whore like a pagan and bear children who are aligned with pagans. Perhaps. At least the name is suggestive. That Gomer was the “daughter of Diblaim” indicates that she was a real historical person (contra Calvin[17]; cf. 1:1 with Hosea as the “son of Beeri”).

The personal pronoun αὐτῷ perhaps implies no more than that this child was born “to” Hosea, not necessarily “from” Hosea. Although good commentators think that the pronoun implies that this child was biologically Hosea’s,[18] following upon the command of the last verse this seems less likely. The word of the Lord is that Hosea is to take to himself a woman of whoredom and children of whoredom, not have his own with her. Some also then think that the other two children that follow (vv. 6 and 8) were not Hosea’s, but born of whoredom, since αὐτῷ is not used for them (but see the commentary at v. 6).

1:4  καὶ εἶπεν κύριος πρὸς αὐτόν κάλεσον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ιεζραελ διότι ἔτι μικρὸν καὶ ἐκδικήσω τὸ αἷμα τοῦ Ιεζραελ ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον Ιηου καὶ ἀποστρέψω βασιλείαν οἴκου Ισραηλ
And the Lord said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for yet a little while and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu and turn away the kingdom of the house of Israel.”

Now the Lord issues to Hosea the first of three imperatives in this passage. Each one concerns the naming of the children to whom Gomer gives birth. The first is named “Jezreel” (Ιεζραελ). In Greek, as in Hebrew, there seems to be a play on words: “Jezreel” (Ιεζραελ; יִזְרְעֶ֑אל) sounds like “Israel” (Ισραηλ; יִשְׂרָאֵֽל). Moreover, Jezreel means “God scatters.” [19] God will scatter Israel. So already this name hints at exile.

The reason (διότι) for this name is then given: “for yet a little while and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu and turn away the kingdom of the house of Israel.” Jezreel was a well-known town in the northern kingdom, a place that had seen Jehu’s blood-bath (2 Kgs 9 and 10 ET recount the story and massacre). But since the Lord approves what Jehu did (2 Kgs 10:30, ET), retribution for that bloodshed cannot be in view. Rather, it is vengeance for the idolatry of Jehu (2 Kgs 10:29) and those who followed his ways that is in view. This aligns with Israel’s idolatry in Hosea. McComiskey says this: “nowhere else in the book are the murders at Jezreel cited as the cause of Israel’s demise. It is Israel’s idolatry and unwise international policies that brought about her downfall.”[20] And so just as God visited judgment upon Ahab for Baal worship, so also will he visit judgment upon Jehu and Israel for Baal worship. This will include turning away the kingdom of the house of Israel, probably another hint of exile.

1:5  καὶ ἔσται ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ συντρίψω τὸ τόξον τοῦ Ισραηλ ἐν τῇ κοιλάδι τοῦ Ιεζραελ
And it shall be in that day, I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.

The clause “it shall be in that day” speaks to a future event, namely, when the “bow of Israel” would be broken. The previous verse warns that this was not far off: “yet a little while” (ἔτι μικρὸν). A “bow” in Scripture is often used as a metaphor for military might (e.g., Gen 48:22; 49:24; Josh 24:12; 1 Sam 2:4; Ps 45:9 LXX). The expression “to break the bow” is found only here in the Greek OT. In Akkadian, the expression often means to destroy the military power of an enemy.[21] So the direct object τὸ τόξον τοῦ Ισραηλ is a metonymy of Israel’s military might (cf. 2:18, where “bow” stands for military might). Israel will be broken militarily, “without king or ruler” (Hos 3:4, NETS; cf. Amos 7:17; 9:1, 4, 10). This will occur “in the valley of Jezreel” (ἐν τῇ κοιλάδι τοῦ Ιεζραελ). This calls to mind the massacre that took place in Jezreel on account of idolatry. That same fate is Israel’s for her whoring with her lovers.

1:6  καὶ συνέλαβεν ἔτι καὶ ἔτεκεν θυγατέρα καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ κάλεσον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτῆς Οὐκ ἠλεημένη διότι οὐ μὴ προσθήσω ἔτι ἐλεῆσαι τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Ισραηλ ἀλλ᾽ ἢ ἀντιτασσόμενος ἀντιτάξομαι αὐτοῖς
And she conceived again and bore a daughter. And he said to him, “Call her name ‘Not Having Been Pitied,’ for I will by no means again have mercy on the house of Israel, but I will surely oppose them.”

The conjunction καὶ beginning the verse speaks of progression, probably not only in time but also in the intensity of the prophetic word. The dramatic, embodied word escalates (see also v. 8). Where there was judgment (not uncommon in Israel’s history), now there is no mercy heaped on that judgment (not common in Israel’s history).

So another child is born to Gomer, this time a daughter. The Greek text (reflecting the Hebrew) does not say “and bore to him a daughter,” that is, to Hosea, as in v. 3 (καὶ ἔτεκεν αὐτῷ υἱόν, “and bore to him a son”). Rather, it only says, “and bore a daughter” (καὶ ἔτεκεν θυγατέρα), eliminating this time the dative pronoun αὐτῷ. Some commentators see this as indicating that this child and the next were not Hosea’s as the first.[22] Perhaps. But others, and I am inclined to follow them, see this merely as stylistic variation.[23] Stuart says this of the Hebrew: “It is not possible to press the grammar to the point of concluding that Jezreel was legitimate . . . while No Compassion and Not My People were not. Hebrew has no such fixed syntactical patterns for discriminating between legitimate and illegitimate children.”[24] Since the LXX simply corresponds with the Hebrew at this point, the same point seems to hold for the Greek. The Greek likewise is not seeking to make a point about the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the children based on the presence or absence of αὐτῷ. The context determines this.

In any case, the Lord[25] commands Hosea to name this daughter Οὐκ ἠλεημένη, that is, “No Mercy” (or, literally, “She Has Not Been Pitied”). The reason (διότι) given for this name, No Mercy, is stated: οὐ μὴ προσθήσω ἔτι ἐλεῆσαι τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Ισραηλ ἀλλ᾽ ἢ ἀντιτασσόμενος ἀντιτάξομαι αὐτοῖς. The ground clause οὐ μὴ προσθήσω ἔτι ἐλεῆσαι includes a fairly common idiom in the LXX. The verb form προσθήσω plus the adverb ἔτι occurs two other times in the LXX (Gen 8:21; Josh 7:12), with the idea of continuing to do or be something (cf. Hos 9:15 and 13:2, where the verb προστίθημι is used with the infinitive, as here). So the meaning is that the Lord will not continue to show mercy to the house of Israel. He has had enough of their infidelity.

The conjunction ἀλλ᾽ then introduces a contrast: ἀντιτασσόμενος ἀντιτάξομαι αὐτοῖς. The Lord will no longer show mercy; but he will surely oppose them. This is an intensive use of the participle.[26] NETS translates the participle as a middle reflexive: “setting myself in opposition I will oppose them.”[27] This does not change the sense much. Yet it seems to miss the common way that the LXX translates the Hebrew construction of infinitive absolute followed by a finite verb. Compare, for example, 1 Kgs 11:34, where the same construction (ἀντιτασσόμενος ἀντιτάξομαι) is used. Brenton translates it this way: “I will certainly resist.”[28] NETS again translates there with an English participle: “resisting I will resist him.”[29] So the LXX at Hos 1:6, it appears, is simply attempting to bring across the intensification of the Hebrew: “The Lord will surely oppose.” It is fixed, certain, sure. He will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, but set his face against her. This Husband, whose name is Jealous, is enraged.

There is a textual difficulty here. The Hebrew reads “I will surely take them away” (נָשֹׂ֥א אֶשָּׂ֖א).[30] As noted, the Greek reads “I will surely oppose them” (ἀντιτασσόμενος ἀντιτάξομαι αὐτοῖς). The most plausible explanation for this seems to be that the translator did some updating for his times. Israel had already been sent into exile, so presumably that prediction no longer seems as relevant. But that God should oppose the scattered northern kingdom for continued covenant infidelity would indeed seem relevant, especially to a remnant.

Now a word about an allusion here. First Peter 2 appears to pick up language from Hos 1:6 (and 1:9; cf. 2:23). The criteria for an allusion (echo) set forth by Hays are fulfilled here.[31] Peter says to his recipients, “you had not been pitied (οὐκ ἠλεημένοι; a perfect passive participle), but now you have been pitied (ἐλεηθέντες; an aorist passive participle).” The only places in the LXX where this unique language is used are Hos 1:6 and 2:23. In 1:6 and 2:23 one reads Οὐκ ἠλεημένη, a perfect passive participle, preceded by the negative adverb, in the feminine singular, referring to the daughter born to Gomer and to Israel. In 1 Pet 2:10 the perfect passive participle preceded by the negative adverb is also used. The only difference in 1 Pet 2:10 is that the participle is nominative masculine plural, since it refers to the “you” (ὑμεῖς) in context—the new people of God, “an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s possession” (v. 9). And Peter is speaking to Gentiles![32] 

Now in 1 Peter, the people primarily addressed are Gentiles living in a hostile pagan world, formerly not God’s people (though this would not exclude Jews in the community), but redeemed by Christ the blood of Christ (1:18-19). They are called to be holy. In a section (1:3-:2:10) that addresses the Christian identity of the recipients, 2:9-10 is climactic. It follows upon a section (2:4-8) that speaks of their coming to Christ as they believe in him as choice and precious, over against those who disbelieve and stumble over the stumbling stone, to which they were appointed. In 2:6-8, three OT texts are cited: Isa 28:16; 8:14; Ps 118:22. These texts are appealed to in the NT to address the Jews’ rejection of their Messiah. This rejection is juxtaposed with a contrast in 1 Pet 2:9, which begins with δὲ. Those who disbelieve in Christ are not God’s people, but those who do believe have numerous OT designations that were formerly given to Israel lavished upon them. In Hosea 1, Israel is rejected by God and becomes “Not My People” (1:9) and “No Mercy” (1:6). But they will receive mercy and again become the people of God (1:10; 2:23). This will happen when God restores his people through a second exodus in His Son, the ultimate Davidic king, the true Israel (Hos 3:5; 11:1 (esp. MT), 5, 11; cf. Matt 2:15).[33] So Peter heeds the OT context, but also sees the prophecy coalesce and come to fruition in Christ’s death and resurrection.

What strengthens this connection is something that has been pointed out by Jobes.[34] She points out that the distinctive phrase εἰς περιποίησιν in 1 Pet 2:9 alludes to Mal 3:17 LXX. There the same phrase is deployed and refers to the faithful remnant. Jobes adds that this allusion to Malachi, the other bookend of the Twelve, recalls the promise of restoration. Hosea, at the head of the Twelve, threatens exile on account of spiritual whoredom. Peter’s use then of the Not-My-People-becoming-My-People language recalls a key theme in Hosea and the Twelve as a whole: threatened exile and promised restoration, that is, no mercy followed by new mercy. Once again this supports that Peter interpreted Hosea contextually, specifically, in both the narrower context of Hosea’s prophecy and in the broader context of the Twelve.

Now although the historical contexts and ethnic identities of the recipients do differ in significant respects, 1 Peter does not sound too dissimilar to Hosea 1 when the spiritual condition and context of the respective recipients are considered. In each case there is a people who formerly were not God’s people, but who would become God’s people through mercy. In Hosea how this happens is foreshadowed (e.g., 1:11; 3:5; 11:1 (esp. MT), 5, 11); in 1 Peter and elsewhere in the NT it is explicit (e.g., Matt 2:15; and almost all of 1 Pet 1:3-2:8).

Peter’s fundamental hermeneutic understands Christ as the locus of fulfillment of all of the OT promises concerning Israel, since he is true Israel, the corporate head of a second race. Moreover, what happens to the Gentiles in Christ fits the exodus pattern (e.g., Exod 19:4-6; for the exodus motif in Hosea, see 2:14-3:5; 8:13; 9:3, 17; 10:6; 11:1 (esp. MT), 5, 11).[35] And in Hosea one may discern this same pattern in chapter one, but more developed later in the book where there are messianic links (e.g., Hos 3:5; 11:1-11, esp. MT). Carson points out that Peter may understand the No-Mercy and Not-My-People Israelites as Gentiles. And if the Lord will again show mercy to them and make them his people, then in principle he could do the same for Gentiles who never received mercy, nor ever were God’s people.[36] This is plausible and likely. But it seems that undergirding this is Peter’s presupposing of Christ as Israel and effecting a new exodus (and thereby redeeming a people). It does not seem plausible that Peter could view Gentiles in categories only applied to Israelites in the Old Covenant unless he sees Jesus as the true and ultimate Israel (in whom all of God’s promises are Yes; 2 Cor 1:20) and effecting a new exodus. If Peter is behind Mark’s Gospel, so rich in second exodus motifs, doubtless these things were presupposed by Peter. Additionally, Peter’s apparent use of the LXX probably is simply due to the language he is using, since the Hebrew here does not seem less congenial to his purposes than the Greek.

1:7  τοὺς δὲ υἱοὺς Ιουδα ἐλεήσω καὶ σώσω αὐτοὺς ἐν κυρίῳ θεῷ αὐτῶν καὶ οὐ σώσω αὐτοὺς ἐν τόξῳ οὐδὲ ἐν ῥομφαίᾳ οὐδὲ ἐν πολέμῳ οὐδὲ ἐν ἅρμασιν οὐδὲ ἐν ἵπποις οὐδὲ ἐν ἱππεῦσιν
But I will pity the sons of Judah and deliver them by the Lord their God, and I will not deliver them by bow or sword, nor by war or chariots, nor by horses or horsemen.”

Now the adversative δὲ provides a contrast—although the Lord will not extend mercy to the house of Israel, he will have mercy upon “the sons of Judah.” That a contrast is in view with δὲ may been readily perceived through the positive statement concerning Judah in contradistinction to Israel. Judah will be spared, at least for a season, from the cruel Assyrian domination to which Israel will be subject. But only for a season, since they, likewise, will go into exile in due course under Babylonian rule.  

The LXX renders the Hebrew with “sons of Judah”(τοὺς υἱοὺς), but the MT has “house of Judah” (בֵּ֤ית יְהוּדָה֙). In the six other instances in the Book of the Twelve where בֵּ֤ית יְהוּדָה֙ is found (once in Zephaniah; five times in Zechariah), the term is never translated as here, but always with οικος. It is just possible that the LXX translator simply misread בית as “sons”; however, it is more likely that interpretive updating was deployed for the new situation. Without a dynasty when the LXX was produced, the translation “house of Judah” in the context of this promise probably seemed inappropriate. After all, when the prophecy first occurred, the house of Judah was promised preservation from Assyrian invasion and devastation (cf. Isa 7:7-9, 16-20; 8:5-8, which texts Bruce cites[37]; see also Isa 37, esp. vv. 33-36). But Judah had gone into exile, and her kingdom was never restored.

Next the prophet tells us the means by which deliverance will be accomplished: the sons of Judah will be delivered “by the Lord their God” (ἐν κυρίῳ θεῷ αὐτῶν). What does this mean? We are not told here. But we are told that deliverance will not come by military might—not “by bow or sword, nor by war or chariots,[38] nor by horses or horsemen” (ἐν τόξῳ οὐδὲ ἐν ῥομφαίᾳ οὐδὲ ἐν πολέμῳ οὐδὲ ἐν ἅρμασιν οὐδὲ ἐν ἵπποις οὐδὲ ἐν ἱππεῦσιν).[39] The lack of explicit development here of what it means that deliverance will come by the Lord their God may be explained by looking elsewhere within the Twelve.

The phrase κυρίῳ θεῷ αὐτῶν is only used in the Twelve in Zech 10:12: “And I will make them strong in the Lord, their God, and they shall boast in his name, says the Lord” (NETS). The context is one of promised restoration, as promised in Hosea (e.g., Hos 2:21-23; 3:4-5; 11:11), using the second exodus motif, also deployed in Hosea (e.g., 2;14-3:5; 8:13; 9:3, 17; 10:6; 11:1 (esp. MT), 5, 11). And also, as in Hosea, this restoration seems to come with the coming of the promised Davidic king (Hos 3:5; Zech 9:9-10). Moreover, in Zech 9:10 similar language is found to that of Hos 1:7: note “chariot” (ἅρμα), “horse” (ἵππος), and “bow” (τόξον). These implements of war stand for worldly powers (the parts standing for the wholes) that are decimated by the king who brings universal peace in his universal reign.

The six terms used in Hos 1:7 to speak of military muscle and means are strewn throughout the OT. In the Book of the Twelve, oftentimes these terms are associated with judgment on Israel or Judah, judgment on Israel’s oppressors, or an eschatological judgment that brings in universal peace for the faithful remnant under the Lord’s appointed Davidic ruler (e.g., Mic 4:3 with 5:2; Zech 9-14 passim).   
 Language similar to κυρίῳ θεῷ αὐτῶν is used in Hos 3:5, 7:10, and 2 Esdras 9:4 (κύριον τὸν θεὸν αὐτῶν), the only three places in the LXX where this exact designation is used. All three occur in contexts that speak of returning and seeking (or not) the Lord their God. In 2 Esdras 9:4, the context is a prayer of confession after the return from exile and after the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.

These kinds of associations cannot be pursued at further length here. And the small sampling here is not marshaled for some specific allusion to Hos 1:7 in other places in the Book of the Twelve. Rather, it simply shows that there seems to be common word collocations and conceptual associations in the Twelve that participate in a similar thought-world with Hos 1:7. And that linguistic and conceptual world full of associations occurs often where the Lord or a messianic figure delivers the faithful remnant through judgment of the oppressors of the world and where restoration occurs with all that entails (peace, rest, reconciliation, and so forth). Such is the sort of thing that seems to be in view in the deliverance “by the Lord their God.”

1:8  καὶ ἀπεγαλάκτισε τὴν Οὐκ ἠλεημένην καὶ συνέλαβεν ἔτι[40] καὶ ἔτεκεν υἱόν
And she weaned No Mercy and conceived again and bore a son.

After several years or so,[41] Hosea bears yet another son, whose name will likewise carry great significance for Israel. As previously, scarcely more than the barest details are given surrounding these children. Even the aspect of these verbs (constative aorists, perfective aspect) conveys this: the actions are viewed as simple, undifferentiated wholes. The prophet was concerned with the word of the Lord communicated by these children of whoredom far more than the psychosocial matters that concern the modern.

As in v. 6, the first conjunction (καὶ) shows escalation following the previous two children and their significance. First the Lord spoke of coming judgment (“Jezreel”), then he heaped no mercy on that judgment (“No Mercy”), and now the full extent of judgment without mercy is made painfully plain: Israel is no longer God’s people (οὐ λαός μου).

1:9  καὶ εἶπε κάλεσον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Οὐ λαός μου διότι ὑμεῖς οὐ λαός μου καὶ ἐγὼ οὔκ Εἰμι ὑμῶν
And he said, “Call his name ‘Not My People,’ for you are not my people, and I am not your ‘I AM.’”

So again the Lord commands Hosea to name another child, this time— Οὐ λαός μου, “Not My People.” And as with the first two children, he then gives the reason (διότι) for this name— ὑμεῖς οὐ λαός μου καὶ ἐγὼ οὔκ εἰμι ὑμῶν (“you are not my people, and I am not your ‘I AM’”). The name of this third child speaks to the extremity of this fractured relationship. Not only will there be no mercy, there will be no covenant relationship. Ephraim has associated with idols (4:17, NETS), and so Israel will be left to them. Stuart comments that “the vocabulary is that of the Mosaic covenant, formulated in terms of ‘my people . . . your God’ (Exod 6:7; Lev 26:12; Deut 27:9), and reflected often in the prophets (cf. Jer 7:23; 11:4).”[42] Doubtless this language goes back even further to the Abrahamic covenant, where God said he would be God to Abraham and to his seed (Gen 17:7).

Two allusions need to be addressed in this verse. First Pet 2:10 alludes to Hos 1:9 and Hos 2:23.[43] The discussion above in v. 6 bears on the understanding of this allusion as well, but will not be repeated here. Only the language that is picked up will be noted: οἱ ποτὲ οὐ λαός, νῦν δὲ λαὸς θεοῦ (1 Pet 2:10).[44] There are several verbal correspondences here: οὐ λαός (1 Pet 2:10) with Οὐ λαός μου (Hos 1:9) and Οὐ λαῷ μου (Hos 2:23); and λαὸς θεοῦ (1 Pet 2:10) with ἐγὼ οὔκ εἰμι ὑμῶν (Hos 1:9) and κύριος ὁ θεός μου εἶ σύ (Hos 2:23). The genitive λαὸς θεοῦ in 1Pet 2:10 is clearly a genitive of possession. The recipients of Peter’s letter had become God’s people, God’s possession (cf. 1 Pet 2:9). This speaks of a covenant relationship (or lack thereof), which is what is highlighted in Hos 1:9 and 2:23.

The LXX rendering of וְאָנֹכִ֖י לֹֽא־אֶהְיֶ֥ה לָכֶֽם[45] with καὶ ἐγὼ οὔκ Εἰμι ὑμῶν appears to allude to Exod 3:14. That there is an allusion is probably true of the Hebrew as well as it is of the Greek.[46] Yet the likely allusion in Hebrew will not be discussed here. The Greek once again fulfills the criteria given by Hays for an allusion.[47] This allusion to Exod 3:14 underscores as strongly as possible the rupture in the covenant relationship. For ἐγὼ εἰμι translates the covenant name used in the Hebrew of Exod 3:14. And a form related to that Hebrew verb came to be used as God’s covenant name (יהוה), which the LXX consistently translates κύριος. The capitalizing of Εἰμι shows that our edition of the LXX takes this as a reference to Exod 3:14.[48] 

1:10 καὶ ἦν ὁ ἀριθμὸς τῶν υἱῶν Ισραηλ ὡς ἡ ἄμμος τῆς θαλάσσης ἣ οὐκ ἐκμετρηθήσεται οὐδὲ ἐξαριθμηθήσεται καὶ ἔσται ἐν τῷ τόπῳ οὗ ἐρρέθη αὐτοῖς οὐ λαός μου ὑμεῖς κληθήσονται καὶ ἀυτοὶ υἱοὶ θεοῦ ζῶντος
And the number of the sons of Israel was as the sand of the sea, which shall not be measured or numbered. And yet it will be in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” they shall also be called—“sons of the living God!”

Abraham’s offspring were to become as the sand of the sea (Gen 22:17, LXX): and, speaking hyperbolically, they did (καὶ ἦν ὁ ἀριθμὸς τῶν υἱῶν Ισραηλ ὡς ἡ ἄμμος τῆς θαλάσσης; cf. 2 Sam 17:11; 1 Kgs 4:20). But the MT Hos 2:1 has a future reference: “And the number of the sons of Israel will be as the sand of the sea” (וְֽהָיָה מִסְפַּ֤ר בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ כְּח֣וֹל הַיָּ֔ם). The Hebrew verb וְֽהָיָה is a qal imperfect plus waw consecutive. But the LXX translator uses the imperfect active indicative of εἰμι, probably a customary usage. The imperfect is usually past referring. And here no doubt it is. That this was a deliberate move by the translator may be seen by how he consistently translates והיה elsewhere in Hosea with a future Greek verb (1:5; 2:16, 21; 4:9), and more importantly, in the next independent clause (!): καὶ ἔσται for וְֽ֠הָיָה (1:10c). There are apparently no variants here, either in the MT or in the LXX tradition, so this appears to be inescapably intentional. But what is the translator doing? Surely he thinks it seems more fitting, given his historical location after the exile, to use a verb that would clearly refer to the past. But perhaps the translator also wanted to communicate vividness with the imperfect.[49] The “sons of Israel,” after God’s judgment without mercy fell for jilting their covenant Husband, were scarcely numerous anymore, a devastating statement given the Abrahamic covenant.[50]

The next clause then (ἣ οὐκ ἐκμετρηθήσεται οὐδὲ ἐξαριθμηθήσεται) has a more negative force in the LXX than does the MT, where it is more positive given the future reference. The sons of Israel, no longer as numerous as the sand of the sea, “shall not be measured or numbered” because they have become disregarded as a whole. It is probable that a substantial remnant theology had developed during the time of the LXX translator, in line with other Scripture, and so the counting of the sons of Israel was not necessary. In the MT the sons of Israel shall not be measured or numbered because they will become so numerous.

The use of the past instead of the future of the MT does not, however, radically change the overall sense of the flow of the passage (see v. 11, which constrains how v. 10 can be understood either in the LXX or MT). But it does seems to reflect something of the theology of the translator (and perhaps his contemporaries), namely, that the place of Israel as a whole in God’s purposes was diminished. The remnant (the faithful who observe the law) would be the locus of God’s saving purposes.

The second καὶ is a contrastive conjunction, “And yet”—a dramatic shift! Despite what has been said thus far about judgment and no mercy and loss of covenant relationship—and more nearly in the previous two clauses about the paucity of the people of Israel—“yet it will be in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they shall also be called—‘sons of the living God!’ Where God had said, ‘You are not my people,’ namely, in a foreign land of exile among pagans (ἐν τῷ τόπῳ οὗ ἐρρέθη αὐτοῖς οὐ λαός μου ὑμεῖς), there “they (ἀυτοὶ) shall also (καὶ) be called, ‘sons of the living God!’” Now who are “they”? And why the “also”? Neither καὶ nor ἀυτοὶ correspond to any elements of the MT.

In Rom 9:25 Paul also alludes to Hos 2:23 (and 1:10; see the commentary of v. 9 for the correspondences).[51]  He then quotes Hos 1:10 in the next verse:  καὶ ἔσται ἐν τῷ τόπῳ οὗ ἐρρέθη αὐτοῖς· οὐ λαός μου ὑμεῖς, ἐκεῖ κληθήσονται υἱοὶ θεοῦ ζῶντος. Paul cites a form of Hos 1:10 found in Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Venetus, and many miniscules, with some versional and patristic support, and reflected in Rahlf’s text.[52] This is not the manuscript evidence with which Gottingen sides, however, which includes Codex Vaticanus, Codex Marchalianus, and the Catena recension.[53] Paul apparently cites a text that has ἐκεῖ κληθήσονται υἱοὶ θεοῦ ζῶντος where the Gottingen text has κληθήσονται καὶ ἀυτοὶ υἱοὶ θεοῦ ζῶντος. The difference is between ἐκεῖ in one and καὶ ἀυτοὶ in the other. Given the scope of this paper, only the meaning of each and Paul’s appropriation of Hos 1:10 will be discussed, not the text critical issues.

But first a look at two other elements of the clause in which the variant is embedded before bringing out any differing shades of meaning for each variant. The future passive κληθήσονται is the same verb used in the command given to Hosea to name Gomer’s three children in vv. 4, 6, and 9 (where each time the aorist imperative κάλεσον is used). So doubtless the use here has to do with naming that has significance, as in the previous three namings. And the name given here is profound—“sons of the living God!”—that is, offspring of God, not of whoredom (cf. 1:2, “children of whoredom”). Sons of the living God is the translation given to preserve any link there may be (and the concomitant associations) with antecedent revelation (e.g., Exod 4:22).[54] The name “sons of the living God” anticipates the restored covenantal relationship to come. Whereas formerly the sons of Israel were called “Not My People”on account of their apostasy, they shall be called a name that speaks of the nearest, dearest, and most privileged of family relationships in the ancient world. The name υἱοὶ θεοῦ ζῶντος is found nowhere else in the LXX,[55] even as בְּנֵ֥י אֵֽל־חָֽי  is found nowhere else in the HB. Something profound was afoot.

So now, who are “they” (ἀυτοὶ)? And why the “also” (καὶ) in the Gottingen text? “They,” in context, are “Not My People.” For, where it was said, “You are not my people,” they shall also be called “sons of the living God.” The “also” then means something like “in addition to” the other names they were given (“Jezreel,” “No Mercy,” “Not My People”). This reversal of relationship for the remnant of Israel (see v. 9) speaks of a totally restored relationship after a period of exile and estrangement (Hos 3:4-5). How this happens is not spelled out here; it has only been suggested earlier—it will be “by the Lord their God” and not by bow or sword, not by any military means (1:7). The Lord will “remove the names of the Baalim from her mouth, and their names will be remembered no more” (2:17, NETS). That is, God will see to it that his divorced wife be cleansed of her idolatrous, whoring ways. Then she will call the Lord, “My husband” (2:16).

In Rom 9:26 Paul unpacks the significance of Hos 1:10. It is “in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they shall be called sons of the living God” (καὶ ἔσται ἐν τῷ τόπῳ οὗ ἐρρέθη αὐτοῖς· οὐ λαός μου ὑμεῖς, ἐκεῖ κληθήσονται υἱοὶ θεοῦ ζῶντος).  The argument in Romans 9 runs like this: Despite the unbelief and rejection of so many Israelites, Paul defends the word of God. It has not failed; for not all Israel are from Israel (9:6). And as Paul then develops, the sovereign God exercises absolute freedom to call a people in his mercy, according to his good pleasure, which accords with previous revelation (citing Jacob and Esau, for example). God has always done this, and has done so justly. The potter has the right to do with the clay as he pleases. And this sovereign calling occurs, Paul says, “not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles” (9:24, NASB). Then after alluding to Hos 1:9 and 2:23, Paul cites Hos 1:10.

Briefly, then, Paul’s citation of Hos 1:10 continues to support God’s freedom to call a people to himself. As the judgment Israel’s spiritual adultery brought on her a status on par with the nations—not God’s people—so calling and restoring Israel back from her whoredom and alienation from God is little different really than calling Gentiles—“sons of the living God!”—as in Hos 1:10.[56] Paul’s use of Hosea 1 in Romans 9, then, aligns with (but of course develops) that original context. And doubtless Paul “recalls [the prophesied] restoration from the wilderness and exile”[57] in Hosea 2-3 (and elsewhere). This he sees, undoubtedly, as occurring in the death (exodus) and resurrection (restoration) of the Son of God, the promised seed of Abraham and David, the true Israelite, who would bring about the obedience of the nations (Rom 1:4-5), which Israel had failed to do. “There” (ἐκεῖ),[58] from the place of exile—the place of estrangement, where Israel was called Not Pitied and Not My People, as it were, as Gentiles—there (ἐκεῖ) “they shall be called ‘sons of the living God!’” That place of estrangement from God is the Gentile’s predicament as it is Israel’s. And as God had always planned to bless the nations in the seed of Abraham (Gen 12:3), he accomplishes this in the crucified (exiled) and risen (restored) Christ in line with Hosea 1-3 and all of antecedent revelation. Paul’s second exodus and restoration assumptions (in line with huge swaths of revelation!) undergirding the exegesis, then, seem to be the same as Peter’s (see v. 6 commentary). Paul’s use of the Septuagint does not appear to be any more congenial to his purposes than was Peter’s, that is, than congenial to his Greek-speaking recipients. Moreover, his use of the LXX seems to lean on manuscripts that align with the Hebrew.

1:11 καὶ συναχθήσονται οἱ υἱοὶ Ιουδα καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ καὶ θήσονται ἑαυτοῖς ἀρχὴν μίαν καὶ ἀναβήσονται ἐκ τῆς γῆς ὅτι μεγάλη ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ Ιεζραελ
And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel shall be gathered together at the same place, and they themselves shall appoint for themselves one ruler, and they shall go up from the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

Called “sons of the living God” (born again, one might say), “the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel shall be gathered together at the same place.” This gathering together speaks of a renewed unity among the tribes that had been fractured so long. Again, how this happens is not spelled out here. When it does, however, the reconstituted people of God “themselves shall appoint for themselves one head” (θήσονται ἑαυτοῖς ἀρχὴν μίαν).

Now note first the indirect future middle θήσονται. This use of the middle emphasizes the participation of the reconstituted people in the action of appointing and their acting in their interest. The dative reflexive pronoun ἑαυτοῖς strengthens this idea. They appoint ἀρχὴν μίαν.

The Hebrew רֹ֥אשׁ (“head”), to which ἀρχὴν corresponds, seems secure, without variants. It has a variety of usages in the HB including “head of a person,” “individual,” “top,” “beginning,” “leader,” and more (see, e.g., Koehler and Baumgartner[59] for something of the range). It is even used in the collocation כֹּהֵן הָרֹאשׁ, “chief priest.” Some form of ראש occurs thirty-one times in the Book of the Twelve. Only in four of these occurrences is it translated with ἀρχή. In the LXX, ἀρχή has the senses of “beginning” (e.g., Gen 1:1), “rule or govern” (e.g., Gen 1:16), “royal rule” (e.g., Deut 17:18), “office” (e.g., Gen 40:13), “heads of families” (e.g., Exod 6:25), and more (see, e.g., Lust-Eynikel-Hauspie[60] for something of the range; cf. Muraoka[61]). Of course, as always, the context colors and controls the meaning intended. In the three other occurrences in the Twelve (besides Hos 1:11) where αρχη translates ראש, it means “head” in Amos 6:7 and Nah 3:10 (in the sense of “front” or “lead” or “top”); and “ruler” in Mic 3:1. The only other place where αρχη is used in Hosea is 1:2, where it means “beginning.” Among the thirteen uses in the Twelve of αρχη, four of these (Mic 4:8; Oba 1:20; Nah 1:6; 3:8) clearly mean “dominion,” “domain,” “kingdom,” or the like. Finally, because of the range of usages, context must determine the usage in Hos 1:11. And there it must mean something like “ruler” or “head” or “leader,” almost certainly with royal overtones. NETS translates with “realm.” It is not clear what this would mean in the context, however, of going up from the land. Moreover, in the context of Hosea and the Twelve, there is still expectation that there will be a reconstituted people under a Davidic king (Hos 3:5; cf. Mic 5:2), that is, under a “ruler.”

Now going “up from the land” probably refers to the land of exile, conceived as an Egypt of sorts (cf. ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου, 2:17; although some commentators take this as a metaphor for springing up as a plant or even resurrection). The supporting reason (ὅτι) for this is given: “great shall be the day of Jezreel.” Again “Jezreel” (Ιεζραελ) sounds like “Israel” (Ισραηλ) in Hebrew. It probably conveys the meaning “God sows” here, because of the positive context, over against “God scatters” in 1:4 (cf. Hos 2:22, which brings out the usage in 1:11).[62] This speaks of new life (one might say “rebirth” and think of Ezek 37) and fruitfulness. This day (ἡμέρα), as Stuart puts it, commenting on the MT, includes “three dramatic reversals:” the union of Israel and Judah under a single ruler, the return from exile, and restoration. From the standpoint of the LXX translator, much had come to pass. The exile had ended and some unity was regained. But who was this appointed ruler? Had this been fulfilled?

The Davidic kingdom with which undoubtedly this prophecy was associated had not been revived. It would appear then that the people of God still awaited the full fulfillment of this prophetic word. And that anticipation was only finally realized “in the last days” (Hos 3:5, NETS) when great David’s greater son appeared and ushered in the promised kingdom of Israel in a way foreshadowed by the prophetic word but not fully understood until the enthronement of the King of the Jews, the Son of God (Jn 19:19; Rom 1:4), who died “for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (Jn 11:51-52, NASB).

So “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them” (Hos 14:10, NASB).

Theological Reflection

God threatens that his people would be judged militarily (“Jezreel”), would receive no mercy (“No Mercy”), and would no longer be his people (“Not My People”). Yet there is hope for restoration, when God would have mercy on Not Pitied and say to Not My People, “My People,” and name them, “sons of the living God.” But judgment comes first. Exile draws near. It is only through the just judgment of exile, of being sent away (divorced) from the covenant God, Israel’s Husband, that mercy and restoration would come. And so God, Israel’s Father, sends Israel, his son, as it were, back into Egypt (Hos 2:14-15; Hos 11:1 (MT), 5), foreshadowing a pattern, or model, of the way restoration (Hos 11:11) would happen.

And so there is expectation based on God’s promise to restore, but there is also expectation based on God’s pattern of restoring (recall the exodus, for example, and the second exodus of the prophets). Will God do something out of character, out of pattern, when he restores Israel? And how will he uphold all his promises to Israel? (which is the problem Paul addresses in Roman 9-11). Well, after years of expectation and peering into what the prophets could have meant by their predictions of the sufferings of the Christ and the subsequent glories (1 Pet 1:10-12), we now see in the pages of the NT the Son of God par excellence, standing in the wilderness where Israel fell, worshipping God alone in total faithfulness, turning from all temptations to idolatry (Matthew 4). We see this Israelite indeed standing in Israel’s place as God’s beloved Son (Matthew 3), coming out of Egypt according to the pattern set in Hosea and antecedent Scripture (Matt 2 with Hos 11 and the exodus motif throughout the OT). We see the promised Son of David (Matt 1:1) in whom God delighted (Matt 3:17), living the life that Israel should have lived (Matt 3:15), ultimately forsaken by God (Matt 27:46)—exiled, if you will.

Yet exile was never intended to be the last word for Israel, but return through mercy. So the righteous Son of God, the true Israel, whom death could not hold, rose from the grave to be declared (or appointed) “Son of God” (Rom 1:4) in power. He, the true Israelite and second Adam, returned from his exile in the grave of judgment to God, his Father, whom he says is also the God and Father of his followers (Jn 20:17), that is, those who are once again his people, who once again “receive mercy” (1 Pet 2:10). And now Gentiles, as well as Jews, are joined to the true Israel of God (Gal 6:16) by faith in the Son of God. And in this Christ all of God’s promises are “Yes!” (2 Cor 1:20)—not least those of restoration in Hosea. This Christ, Jesus, the Son of God, came to save—not by bow or by sword—but by divine means (Hos 1:7), namely, by Spirit-empowered obedience, by his substitutionary life and death as the Lord come in the flesh (Isa 9:6-7; Isa 40:1ff; Isa 52:13-53:12).

[1] Marvin Sweeney, “Sequence and Interpretation in the Book of the Twelve,” in Reading and Hearing the Book of the Twelve (eds. James Nogalski and Marvin Sweeney; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000), 49-64.
[2] The covenant infidelity depicted and indicted in Hosea is described multiple times with the form μοιχαλίς (“adulteress”). This noun, as Jobes points out, is used a number of times in the LXX, but only in Hos 3:1, Mal 3:5, and Ezek 23:45 does it describe God’s people violating the covenant. The Mal 3:5 LXX usage translates a masculine plural participle (מנאפים, “adulterers”) with a feminine plural accusative (μοιχαλίδας, “adulteresses”). Observing this, Jobes states that the Greek translator has clearly interpreted Mal 3:5 through Hosea’s usage of the adulteress imagery, forming an inclusio, since Hosea is always first and Malachi always last in the Twelve. Karen Jobes, “The Minor Prophets in James, 1 & 2 Peter, and Jude”in Minor Prophets in the New Testament (eds. Maarten J. J. Menken and Steve Moyise; New York: T & T Clark, 2009), 135-153.
[3] Jeremias has argued that Hosea and Amos are also related and probably never circulated independently. In the LXX, Amos follows Hosea in all the extant manuscripts. Both prophets ministered in the eighth century BC. Both spoke into the northern kingdom a message of impending judgment. And yet their messages—to the same target audience—were different, at least in emphasis. So how are they related? They are related as root and fruit. Hosea strikes primarily at the corrupt root in Israel, namely, idolatry. The people had played the whore with foreign deities and nations. And Amos primarily strikes at the corrupt fruit of social injustice and oppression. Hosea, like Amos, also addresses social injustice, but he more explicitly roots this in a lack of faithfulness, steadfast love, and the knowledge of God.
Jörg Jeremias, “The Interrelationship Between Amos and Hosea,” in Forming Prophetic Literature: Essays on Isaiah and the Twelve in Honor of John D. W. Watts (eds. James W. Watts and Paul R. House; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), 171-186.
[4] James M. Hamilton Jr., God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 235.
[5] N. E. Lennart Bostrom, “Hosea,” NDBT: 236-239.
[6] Ibid., 237.
[7] Joosten states this general word about the texts: “With regard to the book of Hosea, it may in general be presupposed that the Hebrew Vorlage of the LXX was close to the MT.” Jan Joosten, “Exegesis in the Septuagint version of Hosea” in Intertextuality in Ugarit and Israel (ed. Johannes C. De Moore; Boston: Brill, 1998), 62-85.
[8] Unless otherwise indicated, all English translations for the LXX, MT, and GNT are mine. For Hosea, the Göttingen edition of the LXX edited by Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht is used. For other references in the Septuagint, the Rahlfs-Hanhart edition is used. All GNT quotations come from NA27. For glosses the standard lexicons were consulted.
[9] Hosea’s name in Hebrew (הוֹשֵׁ֙עַ֙) means “salvation” or “he has saved,” taken from the verb “to save” (ישע). This name was Joshua’s original name (Num 13:8) and the name of Israel’s last king (2 Kgs 17:1). The LXX Ωσηε would not convey this to the Greek-speaking target audience.
[10] Dillard and Longman, “An Introduction to the Old Testament”(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 397-408.
[11] Ortlund notes that “BHS is correct to centre these words as a superscription, with the beginning of the prophecy as such after the athnach. The net result is that verse 1 serves as the superscription for the entire book, while verse 2a bears that function for 1:2b-9.” “Whoredom: God’s Unfaithful Wife in Biblical Theology” (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 50.
[12] Ortlund, Whoredom, 50.
[13] For example, see Douglas Stuart, Hosea-Jonah (WBC: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991 ), 26-27; and Hans Walter Wolff, Hosea (Hermeneia: Philadelphia: Fortress Press) 13-14.
[14] Andrew Hill and John Walton, “A Survey of the Old Testament,” (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), 589.
[15] F. C. Conybeare and St. George Stock, Grammar of Septuagint Greek (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2007), 74-75. 
[16] NETS woodenly translates as “from behind the Lord.”George E. Howard, “The Twelve Prophets” in A New English Translation of the Septuagint: And the Other Greek Translations Traditionally Included under that Title (eds. Albert Peitersma and Benjamin G. Wright; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 782. 

[17] John Calvin, “Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets” (trans. John Owen; vol. 13 in Calvin’s Commentaries; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 43-44.
[18] E.g., Ortlund, Whoredom, 51.
[19] Glen Taylor, “Hosea” in Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary (ed. John H. Walton; vol. 5 of Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary; ed. John H. Walton; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), 2-41.
[20] Thomas McComiskey, The Minor Prophets (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992), 20.
[21] Waldman, Breaking, 82.
[22] E.g., McComiskey, The Minor Prophets, 19.
[23] E.g., Stuart, Hosea-Jonah, 27.
[24] Ibid., 27.
[25] God is the one issuing the command (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ), as in v. 4 (καὶ εἶπεν κύριος πρὸς αὐτόν). Note here also the stylistic variety: αὐτῷ versus πρὸς αὐτόν.
[26] Conybeare and Stock, Grammar, 74-75.
[27] George E. Howard, “The Twelve Prophets” in A New English Translation of the Septuagint (ed. Albert Peitersma and Benjamin Wright; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) , 777-789.
[28] C. L. Brenton, The Septuagint with Apocrypha (London: Hendrickson), 2003.
[29] Bernard A. Taylor and Paul D. McLean, “The Greek Text of Reigns” in A New English Translation of the Septuagint (eds. Albert Peitersma and Benjamin Wright; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) 244-320.
[30] Although note that many translations and commentaries understand the Hebrew to mean something like “to forgive them at all” (ESV; the NASB and NIV are similar; cf. HCSB). However, the context seems to support the rendering noted (and follows the HCSB here). God will not pity, will not forgive, Israel; but he will send them into exile unpardoned. (Note that the Hebrew can also be read differently if the MT pointing is not accepted.)
[31] Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 29-32. (NA27 also identifies this allusion.)
[32] Want of space does permit me to argue this, but most modern major commentaries hold this.
[33] Longman and Dillard, among others, acknowledge the expectation of a “second exodus” in Hosea. They point to Hos 2:14-15 (Introduction, 407.).
[34] Jobes, Minor Prophets, 143.
[35] Carson notes that an “exodus typology is presupposed” in 1 Pet 2:9. D. A. Carson, “1 Peter” in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (eds. G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson; Grand Rapids: Baker,2007) 1015-1045.
[36] Ibid., 1032.
[37] McComiskey, The Minor Prophets, 25.
[38] The MT does not have a corresponding phrase for the LXX οὐδὲ ἐν ἅρμασιν. Some LXX mss do not have this phrase either. This LXX phrase seems to be an addition reflecting a later context. 
[39] The datives are all categorized as datives of accompanying circumstances, which includes the instrumental use, but which also goes far beyond it (Conybeare and Stock, Grammar of Septuagint Greek, 82).
[40] The MT lacks an adverb to correspond with the LXX’s “again” (ἔτι). This addition probably stems from harmonization with v. 6. The MT appears secure at this point.
[41] Stuart reports that children were typically nursed until about three years in ancient times (Hosea, 32).
[42] Stuart, Hosea, 32.
[43] Paul also alludes to Hos 2:23 in Rom 9:25. This will be discussed with the next verse.
[44] NA27 also identifies this allusion.
[45] The BHS apparatus conjectures to read “your God” (אלהיכם).
[46] Joosten thinks the LXX translator recognized this. See Joosten, Exegesis, 80, for the discussion.
[47] Hays, Echoes of Scripture, 29-32.
[48] Stuart, Hosea, 33.
[49] Wallace, “Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics” (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 540-553.
[50] Another reason the imperfect may have been used could be the teaching of Isa 10:22, but this is less certain and cannot be developed here.
[51] Seifrid notes that this “wording represents a combination of Hosea 2:25b and 2:1b [MT versification], in which Paul not only inverts the order of excerpts but also alters the text significantly.”Mark A. Seifred, “Romans” in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (eds G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson; Grand Rapids: Baker,2007), 607-694.
[52] Karen Jobes and Moisés Silva, “Invitation to the Septuagint” (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000), 190.
[53] Ibid., 190.
[54] The translator of LXX Hosea apparently interpreted the singular son language of MT Hos 11:1 (וּמִמִּצְרַ֖יִם קָרָ֥אתִי לִבְנִֽי) corporately (ἐξ Αἰγύπτου μετεκάλεσα τὰ τέκνα αὐτοῦ), which cannot be pursued in detail here.Though perhaps it ought to be noted that LXX Hos 11:1 may be translating in line with Hos 1:10.
[55] The designation υἱοὶ θεοῦ is found twice (Deut 32:43; Ps 28:1).
[56] Seifrid, New Testament Use of the Old, 648.
[57] Ibid., 647.
[58] Were there space, argument would be made that the reading with ἐκεῖ may well be the original LXX reading. More important, argument would be made that it is more agreeable to the original Hebrew and, thus, is why Paul uses it.
[59] L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, “ראש,”HALOT: 2: 1164-1167.
[60] J. Lust, E. Eynikel, and K. Hauspie, “αρχη,”Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint: 85.
[61] T. Muraoka, “αρχη,” Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint: 94-95.
[62] Taylor, Hosea, 13.

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