In Hosea 2:12 it says

“I will destroy her vines and fig trees,

Of which she said, ‘These are my wages Which my lovers have given me.’

And I will make them a forest, And the beasts of the field will devour them. - NASB


I will devastate her vines and fig trees.

She thinks that these are her wages that her lovers have given her.

I will turn them into a thicket, and the wild animals will eat them. - HCSB

Why does Israel say that the vines and figs are her wages? Wouldn't the nation have other crops to rely on besides just wine and figs, especially considering that v. 9 mentions that Yahweh will take back his grain in its time? I understand this is God's punishment for the promiscuity of the nation, but I don't see how it's any more effective than let's say taking away a child's TV privileges by sending them to their room where all their other toys are. Forgive me for the crude analogy.

1 Answer 1


Why does God devastate Israel's vines and fig trees and not other crops in Hosea 2:12

From the scriptures we note that figs and raisins were a staple food , the figs were pressed into cakes, which were handy for carrying, for example Abigail send David 200 cakes of pressed figs, and 100 cakes of pressed raisins.

1 Samuel 25:18 (NABRE)

18 "Abigail quickly got together two hundred loaves, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of pressed raisins, and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys."

1 Samuel 30:12 (NABRE)

12 "They also offered a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of pressed raisins. When he had eaten, he revived, for he had not taken food nor drunk water for three days and three nights."

1 Chronicles 12:40 (NRSV)

40 "And also their neighbors, from as far away as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen—abundant provisions of meal, cakes of figs, clusters of raisins, wine, oil, oxen, and sheep, for there was joy in Israel."

Apparently ,figs were usually planted in vine yards:

Luke 13:6 (NRSV)

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

6 "Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none."

2 Kings 18:31 (NRSV)

31" Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me; then every one of you will eat from your own vine and your own fig tree, and drink water from your own cistern."

Joel 2:22 (NRSV)

22 "Do not fear, you animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and vine give their full yield."

Due to the importance of the figs and raisins, being a common food in the nations supply ,its failure would have disastrous effects on the chain supply . Like Hosea 2:12, when destruction was foretold on the land , the fig trees received a mentioned . Jeremiah 8:13,Habakkuk 3:17. Joel wrote:

Joel 1:7 (NRSV)

7" It has laid waste my vines, and splintered my fig trees; it has stripped off their bark and thrown it down, their branches have turned white."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.