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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Hosea: A Textual Commentary
Gruber, Mayer I.

London: Bloomsbury, 2017 pp. xv + 657. $128.00

Series Information
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 653


Description: Mayer I. Gruber provides a new commentary on and translation of Hosea. Building upon his work that debunked the myth of sacred prostitution, Gruber now goes on to show that the book of Hosea repeatedly advocates a single standard of marital fidelity for men and women and teaches cheated women to fight back. Gruber employs the latest and most precise findings of lexicography and poetics to solve the difficulties of the text and to determine both how Hosea can be read and what this means. The translation differs from classical and recent renderings in eliminating forms and expressions, which are neither modern English nor ancient Hebrew. Referring to places, events, and material reality of the 9th and 8th centuries BCE, Gruber uncovers the abiding messages of the heretofore obscure book of Hosea. As in previous studies, Gruber employs the insights of behavioral sciences to uncover forgotten meanings of numerous allusions, idioms, similes, and metaphors. Judicious use is made also of textual history, reception history, and personal voice criticism. One of the least biblical books now speaks more clearly to present and future audiences than it did to many previous audiences.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Prophetic Literature, Book of the Twelve, Literature, Hosea

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Review by Susan E. Haddox
Published 10/4/2018
Citation: Susan E. Haddox, review of Mayer I. Gruber, Hosea: A Textual Commentary, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2018).


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