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New Light On the Interpretation of Hosea Vi 2

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image of Vetus Testamentum

We have tried to show that the two verbs yh and qwm in Hos. vi 2 form a fixed parallel pair in Hebrew. Evidence for this comes not only from other OT passages, but from Aramaic and (especially) Akkadian as well. From the Akkadian texts, in particular the medical omen series, it is clear that the pair derives from the context of medical prognosis. It is this setting-in-life which also provides the explanation for the temporal phrases in Hos. vi 2, since the same expressions occur in both texts. From these and other considerations we may state that Hos. vi 2 has reference to the healing of the sick rather than the resurrection of the dead. It is hoped that this study has contributed to resolving what has been a long acknowledged crux interpretum. We must point out, however, that our analysis concerns only what we have called the "primary" level of meaning in the passage. But since any understanding of the applied level of meaning must be based on this, perhaps this paper may serve as a foundation for further discussions in this area 31).


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