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Hosea 1:2-3

Konteks
Symbols of Sin and Judgment: The Prostitute and Her Children

1:2 When the Lord first spoke 1  through 2  Hosea, he 3  said to him, 4  “Go marry 5  a prostitute 6  who will bear illegitimate children conceived through prostitution, 7  because the nation 8  continually commits spiritual prostitution 9  by turning away from 10  the Lord.” 1:3 So Hosea married 11  Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim. Then she conceived and gave birth to a son for him.

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[1:2]  1 tn The construct noun תְּחִלַּת (tékhillat, “beginning of”) displays a wider use of the construct state here, preceding a perfect verb דִּבֶּר (dibber, “he spoke”; Piel perfect 3rd person masculine singular) rather than a genitive noun. This is an unusual temporal construction (GKC 422 §130.d). It may be rendered, “When he (= the Lord) began to speak” (cf. ASV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, TEV, and most other modern English versions, all of which are similar). This time-determinative was not correctly understood by the LXX or by the KJV: “The beginning of the word of the Lord.”

[1:2]  2 tn The preposition בְּ (bet) on בְּהוֹשֵׁעַ (bÿhoshea’) is an instrumental use of the preposition (BDB 89 s.v. בְּ III.2.b): “by, with, through Hosea” rather than a directional “to Hosea.” This focuses on the entire prophetic revelation through Hosea to Israel.

[1:2]  3 tn Heb “the Lord.” This is redundant in English, so the pronoun has been used in the translation (cf. TEV, NLT).

[1:2]  4 tn Heb “to Hosea.” The proper name is replaced by the pronoun here to avoid redundancy in English (cf. NIV, NCV, NLT).

[1:2]  5 tn Heb “Go, take for yourself” (so NRSV; NASB, NIV “to yourself”). In conjunction with the following phrase this means “marry.”

[1:2]  6 tn Heb “a wife of harlotries.” The noun זְנוּנִים (zÿnunim) means “prostitute; harlot” (HALOT 275-76 s.v. זְנוּנִים). The term does not refer to mere adultery (cf. NIV; also NCV, TEV, CEV “unfaithful”) which is expressed by the root נַאַף (naaf, “adultery”; HALOT 658 s.v. נאף). The plural noun זְנוּנִים (zénunim, literally, “harlotries”) is an example of the plural of character or plural of repeated behavior. The phrase “wife of harlotries” (אֵשֶׁת זְנוּנִים, ’eshet zénunim) probably refers to a prostitute, possibly a temple prostitute serving at a Baal temple.

[1:2]  7 tn Heb “and children of harlotries.” However, TEV takes the phrase to mean the children will behave like their mother (“your children will be just like her”).

[1:2]  8 tn Heb “the land.” The term “the land” is frequently used as a synecdoche of container (the land of Israel) for the contained (the people of Israel).

[1:2]  9 tn Heb “prostitution.” The adjective “spiritual” is supplied in the translation to clarify that apostasy is meant here. The construction זָנֹה תִזְנֶה (zanoh tizneh, infinitive absolute + imperfect of the same root) repeats the root זָנַה (zanah, “harlotry”) for rhetorical emphasis. Israel was guilty of gross spiritual prostitution by apostatizing from Yahweh. The verb זָנַה is used in a concrete sense to refer to a spouse being unfaithful in a marriage relationship (HALOT 275 s.v. זנה 1), and figuratively meaning “to be unfaithful” in a relationship with God by prostituting oneself with other gods and worshiping idols (Exod 34:15; Lev 17:7; 20:5, 6; Deut 31:16; Judg 8:27, 33; 21:17; 1 Chr 5:25; Ezek 6:9; 20:30; 23:30; Hos 4:15; Ps 106:39; see HALOT 275 s.v. 2).

[1:2]  10 tn Heb “from after.”

[1:3]  11 tn Heb “so he went and took” (וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיִּקַּח, vayyelekh vayyiqqakh; so NAB, NRSV).



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