Prophet Pearls #7 – Vayeitzei (Hosea 12:12-14:9)

Prophet Pearls Vayeitzei (Hosea 12:12-14:9)This week Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Vayeitzei, covering Hosea 12:12-14:9. With the ear of the fluent, Gordon informs us of the unique structures and forms of Hebrew used in the northern kingdom, and by its only prophet whose book has survived—Hosea. We learn of Hosea’s penchant for transient imagery, his “Jewish mother” tendencies, and his eight-step prayer. Word studies include: “the shepherd,” “the Leviathan,” “Ephraim,” “sheol,” “moshia,” “kissing calves,” “heal,” and the faulty connection between “bulls” and “fruit.” We also learn that while God prefers mercy over sacrifice, there is one thing for which he shows none.

"For the ways of Yehovah are straight; the righteous will walk in them, but transgressors will stumble in them." Hosea 14:9[10]

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The Original Torah Pearls - Vayeitzei (Genesis 28:10-32:3)

The image above is of a straight and narrow path in the Judean Desert. This common sight was used as a metaphor by many of the prophets such as: "For the ways of Yehovah are straight; the righteous will walk in them, but transgressors will stumble in them." Hosea 14:9[10]. This particular path is in Nachal Perat, near Anatot, the home of the prophet Jeremiah. The prophet visited this river valley in Jeremiah 13:1-11 and used this type of path as a metaphor:

"They shall come with weeping, and with supplication will I guide them. I will lead them to streams of water, by a straight path where they will not stumble. For I am a Father to Israel, Ephraim is My first-born." Jeremiah 31:9

This type of narrow path also inspired the commandment not to turn from the way of God to the right or to the left. If you turn to the left you hit a wall and if your turn to the right you fall into the abyss, as in the verse:

"Be careful, then, to do as Yehovah your God has commanded you. Do not turn aside to the right or to the left." Deut. 5:29.

Photo by Nehemia Gordon.

18 thoughts on “Prophet Pearls #7 – Vayeitzei (Hosea 12:12-14:9)

  1. I love the comments here about 2Chron passage and I understand our Father has infinite mercy and love for His own. However, is the difference here between the people in 2Chron and Nadab/Abihu for example, their motivation or intention? Are you saying that as long as we intend to obey but knowingly are disobeying, then it is accepted? This is hard for me to believe its in the text because I read of others who knowingly disobeyed and were destroyed. So I’m guessing it is all in the attitude…..is that what you are saying?
    Do you think the people would be accepted and healed the following year for doing the same thing? What I mean is….is there a overlooking the first time but we should be pursuing the right way after that or am I assigning too much severity to the personality of YHVH?
    Someone help!

  2. Hosea 14:3 – The Christian translators did not understand this verse. Perhaps because this verse removes the need for animal sacrifice when it is not physically possible, it may diminish the purpose of Jesus Christ in Christian doctrine. They decided to revert to the Greek version to translate it to English. For me personally, this verse does not impact my faith according the New Testament, and I see no reason why the Christian translators need to avoid the original Hebrew. We should accept the the Hebrew Scriptures completely and not shy away from possible textual difficulties. The Law and Prophets are the foundation of the faith of both the Jews and the Christians.

    Hosea 14:3 LXX
    λάβετε μεθ᾽ ἑαυτῶν λόγους καὶ ἐπιστράφητε πρὸς κύριον τὸν θεὸν ὑμῶν εἴπατε αὐτῷ ὅπως μὴ λάβητε ἀδικίαν καὶ λάβητε ἀγαθά καὶ ἀνταποδώσομεν καρπὸν χειλέων ἡμῶν

    Hosea 14:13 Brenton’s LXX translation
    Take with you words, and turn to the Lord your God: speak to him, that ye may not receive the reward of unrighteousness, but that ye may receive good things: and we will render in return the fruit of our lips.

  3. So much to say here….. But once again your teaching brings tears to my eyes as you bring close to my heart the mercy of the Lord. Reading the passage initially I understood that God has no mercy for idol worship or belief in self. But to really chew on the sweetness that we can come to him all a mess the wrong way but with a right heart, he will accept our offering and heal our mess! Ahhh, so sweet. And I love the prayer beginning ch. 14

  4. Nehemiah and Keith,

    TODA, TODA, TODA!

    We are 2 wandering sheep without an earthly shepherd. We so appreciate you two breaking the bread of the word for us so we can freely eat! We are so refreshed by you both bringing forth the truth of the word, the word says what it means and means what it says, without an agenda. During the studies, our eyes see and our ears hear, so the truth of Jehovah’s word sustains and uplifts us!

    As for the conversations at the beginning, we like them as we are learning the language and the context that are usually discussed, so now the Hebrew word pun is becoming more apparent to us and we are recognizing more and more words as Nehemiah reads the portion in Hebrew.

    Nehemiah, the prayer you offered up at the end of this session was so beautiful and touched our souls so very much. You are full of Jehovah’s spirit, like Elijah!

    Yah’s kids,
    Kevin and Brenda

  5. When you talked about the meaning of savior i was reminded of something our congregational leader says: There is No religious language in the Bible!
    This is a concept that needs to be reinforced among us believers — that the words of our God are straightforward in meaning.
    Thank you for the powerful concepts you brought out. Gotta listen again!

  6. I would agree with some on this post. Both Christians and Jews are exposed to the “Spiritual Interpretation” of the scriptures on a daily basis. I hunger for the original Text and the depth of the words. When both of you stay on topic and the Torah, the word comes alive. While I know that this is INFO, this is what His Children need since we forgot to follow the “Instructions” repeat this to our children and Sojourners amoung us.

    I especially was attentive to the discussion about ‘Greek Soteria and the Hebrew Hoshea – Salvation. I don’t think Nehemiah gets the depth of those words.

    My prayers continually…

    Paul – (Houston)

  7. I have been incorporating the KJU’s Abridged Karaite Prayers into my Shabbat prayer time. In it there is a section which states, “Take my prayer as an offering of incense, my upraised hands as an evening sacrifice.” After listening to this episode of Prophet Pearls (another winner!) I have an even deeper understanding of and appreciation for what it means to pay with the offering of my lips instead of bulls. I do not think my prayer time will ever be the same again. Toda Raba!

  8. Wow! SO powerful!! You guys did a great job!! The language, context and history is vital….to our very soul!!
    Thank you sponsers of this episode!!
    May Yehovah bless all!!

  9. I wish you guys would do the Torah portion instead of discussing so much stuff that deviates from the teaching. As a Jew I really want the lesson and not all the conversations at the beginning, please do the Parashat.

  10. My ESV has

    Take with you words
    and return to the LORD;
    say to him,
    “Take away all iniquity;
    accept what is good,
    and we will pay with bulls
    the vows* of our lips.
    (Hosea 14:2 ESV)

    the footnote for vows says “Septuagint, Syriac pay the fruit”

    So, I would say the book of Hebrews is quoting the Septuagint – I understand that happened a lot.

  11. Wow such an affirming pearl !Yehovah will love is through the mess even if we are not perfection. When the intention and heart are right as we earnestly seek him and we are not puffed up but repentive wanting to change grow and get it right,Yehovah is faithful .I am a living testimony evidence A .I am so greatful and thankful .I so want to walk with love be gentle and really check my sledgehammer in once and for all .I surrender it to to Yah and ask in its place something more usefull and kind,then a tool to beat folks over the head ..so one dimensional and brutal,no one receives anything that way .Nehemias prayer was beautiful.Thanks. Keith and Nehemia and who ever sponsered it !May Yehovah bless you keep you and prosper you infinitely.!In Yeshuas name Amein.

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