3:1 “If a man divorces his wife
and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife,
he may not take her back again. 1
Doing that would utterly defile the land. 2
But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods. 3
So what makes you think you can return to me?” 4
says the Lord.
2:1 Then you will call 5 your 6 brother, “My People” (Ammi)! You will call your sister, “Pity” (Ruhamah)!
2:4 I will have no pity on her children, 7
because they are children conceived in adultery. 8
3:1 The Lord said to me, “Go, show love to 9 your wife 10 again, even though she loves 11 another man 12 and continually commits adultery. 13 Likewise, the Lord loves 14 the Israelites 15 although they turn to other gods and love to offer raisin cakes to idols.” 16
[3:1] 1 tn Heb “May he go back to her again?” The question is rhetorical and expects a negative answer.
[3:1] sn For the legal background for the illustration that is used here see Deut 24:1-4.
[3:1] 2 tn Heb “Would the land not be utterly defiled?” The stative is here rendered actively to connect better with the preceding. The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer.
[3:1] 3 tn Heb “But you have played the prostitute with many lovers.”
[3:1] 4 tn Heb “Returning to me.” The form is the bare infinitive which the KJV and ASV have interpreted as an imperative “Yet, return to me!” However, it is more likely that a question is intended, expressing surprise in the light of the law alluded to and the facts cited. For the use of the infinitive absolute in the place of a finite verb, cf. GKC 346 §113.ee. For the introduction of a question without a question marker, cf. GKC 473 §150.a.
[2:1] 5 tn Heb “Say to….” The imperative אִמְרוּ (’imru, Qal imperative masculine plural) functions rhetorically, as an example of erotesis of one verbal form (imperative) for another (indicative). The imperative is used as a rhetorical device to emphasize the certainty of a future action.
[2:1] 6 sn The suffixes on the nouns אֲחֵיכֶם (’akhekhem, “your brother”) and אֲחוֹתֵיכֶם (’akhotekhem, “your sister”) are both plural forms. The brother/sister imagery is being applied to Israel and Judah collectively.
[2:4] 7 tn Heb “her sons.” English versions have long translated this as “children,” however; cf. KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT.
[2:4] sn The word order is rhetorical: the accusative וְאֶת־בָּנֶיהָ (vé’et-baneha, “her sons”) is moved forward for emphasis.
[2:4] 8 tn Heb “sons of adulteries”; KJV “children of whoredoms.”
[2:4] sn The word order is rhetorical: the construct clause בְנֵי זְנוּנִים (vÿne zÿnunim, “sons of adulteries”), which functions as the predicate nominative, is moved forward, before the independent personal pronoun הֵמָּה (hemma, “they”) which functions as the subject, to focus on the immoral character of her children.
[3:1] 9 tn Heb “Go again! Love!” Cf. NAB “Give your love to.”
[3:1] 10 tn Heb “a woman.” The probable referent is Gomer. Some English translations (e.g., NIV, NLT) specify the referent as “your wife.”
[3:1] 11 tc The MT vocalizes אֲהֻבַת (’ahuvat) as a construct form of the Qal passive participle and takes רֵעַ (rea’) as a genitive of agent: “who is loved by רֵעַ.” However, the ancient versions (LXX, Syriac, Vulgate) all vocalize אֲהֻבַת as an absolute form of the Qal active participle, and take רֵעַ as the accusative direct object: “who loves רֵעַ.” The English translations consistently follow the MT. The editors of BHS suggest the revocalization but with some reservation. For discussion of the vocalization, see D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 5:230.
[3:1] tn Heb “a woman who is loved by a companion” (אִשָּׁה אֲהֻבַת רֵעַ, ’ishah ’ahuvat rea’). The substantival participle אֲהֻבַת (“one who is loved”) is in apposition to אִשָּׁה (“a woman”). The genitive noun רֵעַ (“companion”) functions as the agent of the preceding construct noun: “who is loved by a companion” (אֲהֻבַת רֵעַ). Cf. NAB “a woman beloved of a paramour”; NRSV “a woman who has a lover.”
[3:1] 12 tn The meaning of the noun רֵעַ (rea’) is debated because it has a broad range of meanings: (1) “friend,” (2) “lover,” (3) “companion,” (4) “neighbor,” and (5) “another” (HALOT 1253-55 s.v. II רֵעַ; BDB 945-46 s.v. II רֵעַ). The Hebrew lexicons favor the nuance “lover; paramour” here (HALOT 1255 s.v. 2; BDB 946 s.v. 1). Most scholars adopt the same approach; however, a few suggest that רֵעַ does not refer to another man, but to her husband (Hosea). Both approaches are reflected in English translations: NASB “a woman who is loved by her husband”; NIV “though she is loved by another”; NAB “a woman beloved of a paramour”; KJV “a woman beloved of her friend”; NJPS “a woman who, while befriended by a companion”; TEV “a woman who is committing adultery with a lover”; CEV “an unfaithful woman who has a lover.”
[3:1] 13 tn Heb “love a woman who is loved of a lover and is an adulteress.”
[3:1] 14 tn Heb “like the love of the
[3:1] 15 tn Heb “sons of Israel” (so NASB); KJV “children of Israel”; NAB “people of Israel.”
[3:1] 16 tn Heb “they are lovers of cakes of raisins.” A number of English translations render this literally (e.g., ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).