This chapter stands in immediate connection with the close of the preceding. The words of imperfect penitence (Hosea 6:1-3) are put by the prophet into the lips of those who are in trouble, and are counting too soon on the boundless compassion of Jehovah. They are not an exhortation to repentance, for they are followed by indignant expostulation.
After two days.—A phrase sometimes used for the second day, i.e., to-morrow.
In the third day—i.e., after a short time. This and the above expression are not identical in the designation of time. Some Christian interpreters (Jerome, Luther, Pusey) consider the passage has sole reference to the resurrection of Christ. But with Calvin, Henderson, Schmoller, &c., we consider this to be contradicted by the form of the expression. To bring in the resurrection of Christ with no authority from the New Testament is far-fetched over-refinement, and breaks the consistency of the passage.
(2, 3) Render, So that we shall live in his presence, and shall know and strive after the knowledge of Jehovah, whose coming forth is sure, like the dawn (another play on 6:15, “I will return to my place, &c.”), so that he may come as the plentiful (dashing) rain for us, as the latter rain (needed for the ripening corn) which watereth the earth.
Your goodness . . .—Better rendered, Your love (to me) is like the morning cloud (which promises rain, and does not give it; like the dew (or, “morning mist;” see Note, Hosea 14:5), which early goeth away, vanishing in the blaze of summer day—your tears leaving you parched and dried as before.
Thy judgments . . .—An error has crept here into the Masoretic text from which the LXX. and other ancient versions are free. The mistake consists in misplacing an initial letter as a final one. Translate, My judgment shall go forth as the light, clear, victorious, and beneficent. (Comp. the language of Psalm 37:6 and Isaiah 62:1-2.)
EXCURSUS B (Hosea 6:7).
Buhl, in Zeitschrift für Kirchliche Wissenschaft, Part 5, 1881, throws some light on the enigmatical phrase keAdam, by pointing out that Adam is employed in many places to express all the other races of mankind as opposed to Israel. Thus, he translates Jeremiah 32:20, “Thou who didst perform wonders in Israel, as well as in Adam.” Similarly Isaiah 43:4, on which Delitzsch remarks that those who do not belong to the chosen people are called Adam, because they are regarded as nothing but descendants of Adam. In this passage the emphatic position of the Hebrew pronoun hemmah lends significance to the contrasted term Adam. The meaning, therefore, is—the Israelites, who should be a chosen race, belong now, through their violation of the covenant, to the heathen: have become, in fact, Lo’Ammi. (Comp. Hosea 1:9.) The word “there” in the last clause may refer to some local sanctuary, notorious for idolatrous corruption. This is confirmed by the mention of localities in the next verse. We prefer, however, to understand it (with the Targum of Jonathan) as referring to the Holy Land.