New American Bible (Revised Edition)
16 Therefore,[a] I will allure her now;
I will lead her into the wilderness(A)
and speak persuasively to her.
17 Then I will give her the vineyards she had,
and the valley of Achor[b] as a door of hope.(B)
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
as on the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
18 On that day—oracle of the Lord—
You shall call me “My husband,”
and you shall never again call me “My baal.”[c]
19 I will remove from her mouth the names of the Baals;
they shall no longer be mentioned by their name.
20 I will make a covenant for them on that day,(C)
with the wild animals,
With the birds of the air,
and with the things that crawl on the ground.
Bow and sword and warfare
I will destroy from the land,
and I will give them rest in safety.
21 I will betroth you to me forever:
I will betroth you to me with[d] justice and with judgment,
with loyalty and with compassion;
22 I will betroth you to me with fidelity,
and you shall know the Lord.
- 2:16 Therefore: this word in Hebrew normally introduces an oracle of doom; here, surprisingly, it leads to hope. Allure: as though seducing a virgin (Ex 22:15–16). Ordinarily this word connotes deception (Jgs 14:15; 16:5; 1 Kgs 22:20–22).
- 2:17 Valley of Achor: lit., valley of trouble (Jos 7:26). Here this valley becomes a valley of hope, a new entry into the promised land.
- 2:18–19 Baal: the word means “lord, master.” It was commonly used by women of their husbands, but it is to be shunned as a title for the Lord because of its association with the fertility gods, the Baals. Many Israelites saw little if any difference between the worship of the Lord and the worship of the Baals, thereby dishonoring the true source of the land’s fertility.
- 2:21–22 Betroth…with: the betrothal was the legal moment before cohabitation when the dowry was paid to the father of the bride. In this remarriage the Lord gives the bride price to Israel herself “forever.” Justice…judgment: refer to equity and fairness of conduct. The next two terms, “loyalty” (hesed), the steadfast love between the covenant partners, and “compassion,” maternal love (cf. 1:6; 2:3, 25) are characteristic of Hosea. You shall know: not an abstract but a practical knowledge which means acknowledgment of God’s will and obedience to his law (4:1; 5:4; 6:3, 6).