1 Yisrael is a ravaged vine 1 And its fruit is like it. When his fruit was plentiful, He made altars aplenty; When his land was bountiful, Cult pillars abounded.
GE-fen bo-KAYK yis-ra-AYL p’-REE y’-sha-veh LO k’-ROV l’-fir-YO hir-BAH la-miz-b’-KHOT k’-TOV l’-ar-TZO hay-TEE-vu ma-tzay-VOT
10:1 Yisrael is a ravaged vine
Throughout the Bible, Israel is compared to a grapevine (see, for example, Isaiah 5). Hoshea uses this metaphor to describe how as Israel prospered, they lavished even more money on their idolatries, shedding their relationship with God like an overburdened vine casts off its grapes. The Hebrew word for ‘ravaged,’ bokek (בוקק), is a play on words, and means both ‘to empty’ and to ‘lay waste’ (see Isaiah 24:1, Nahum 2:3), and also ‘luxuriant.’ Though originally prosperous, the people use their wealth inappropriately, which leads to exile of the people and to the land becoming empty and barren.