Translating the Twelve: Hosea 2:3-4

Today’s “Translating the Twelve” is Hosea 2:3-4 (2:1-2 in English)

3 אִמְר֥וּ לַאֲחֵיכֶ֖ם עַמִּ֑י וְלַאֲחֽוֹתֵיכֶ֖ם רֻחָֽמָה׃

4 רִ֤יבוּ בְאִמְּכֶם֙ רִ֔יבוּ כִּֽי־הִיא֙ לֹ֣א אִשְׁתִּ֔י וְאָנֹכִ֖י לֹ֣א אִישָׁ֑הּ וְתָסֵ֤ר זְנוּנֶ֨יהָ֙ מִפָּנֶ֔יה וְנַאֲפוּפֶ֖יהָ מִבֵּ֥ין שָׁדֶֽיהָ׃


3. Say1 to y’all’s brothers, “My People” and to y’all’s sisters “She Received Mercy.”2

4. Contend3 with y’all’s mother. Contend4 because she is not my wife and I am not her husband. Then she may put away5 her immoralities from her presence and her adulteries from between her breasts.

Below I’ll parse the verbs and briefly discuss some of my syntactical choices if I have time and remember.

Syntactical Choices

Not much to say here. I think this makes more sense when verse three is read earlier context. The masculine plural you in the command is referring back to the gathering on the great day of Jezreel.


1. Qal imv mp אמר
2. Pual qtl 3fs רחם
3. Qal imv mp ריב
4. Qal imv mp ריב
5. Hif juss 3fs סור

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