when God was called baal

An interesting passage from Joe Hoffman’s And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning. It shows how the English translations miss certain imagery depicted in the Bible:

Even though it is Hosea who is married to the harlot, Hosea specifically calls God the “husband,” using two Hebrew words for the metaphor. The first word is ishi –literally, “my man.”… The second is ba’ali – literally, “my lord.” But ba’al is also the name of a pagan god, which we spell with a capital letter: Baal. So the two names for God are “my husband/man” and “my husband/pagan god”!

Hosea’s imagery depends closely on the word he chooses. Things will right themselves when (Hosea 2:1, numbered 2:3 by Jews) people will call their brothers “My-people” (as opposed to “Not-my-people”), when they call their sisters “Loved” (as opposed to “Unloved”), and when their God (2:16, 2:18, for Jews) is ishi, “my husband,” with no connotations of pagan worship, instead of ba’ali, “my husband,” who shares a name with the pagan god Baal.

Also see: understanding Hosea 1

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
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