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1 Heare the worde of the Lord, yee children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controuersie with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no trueth, nor mercie, nor knowledge of God in the land.

2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adulterie, they breake out, and blood toucheth blood.

3 Therefore shall the land mourne, and euery one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beastes of the field, and with the foules of heauen, yea the fishes of the Sea also shall be taken away.

4 Yet let no man striue, nor reproue another: for this people are as they that striue with the priest.

5 Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.

6 My people are destroyed for lacke of knowledge: because thou hast reiected knowledge, I will also reiect thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the lawe of thy God, I wil also forget thy children.

7 As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therfore wil I change their glory into shame.

8 They eate vp the sinne of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquitie.

9 And there shall be like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their wayes, and reward them their doings.

10 For they shall eate, and not haue enough: they shall commit whordome, and shall not increase, because they haue left off to take heed to the Lord.

11 Whoredome, and wine, and newe wine take away the heart.

12 My people aske counsel at their stocks, and their staffe declareth vnto them: for the spirit of whordomes hath caused them to erre, and they haue gone a whoring from vnder their God.

13 They sacrifice vpon the tops of the mountaines, and burne incense vpon the hilles vnder okes and poplars, and elmes, because the shadowe thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredome, and your spouses shall commit adulterie.

14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit whordome, nor your spouses when they commit adulterie: for themselues are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therfore the people that doth not vnderstand, shall fall.

15 Though thou Israel play the harlot, yet let not Iudah offend, and come not ye vnto Gilgal, neither goe ye vp to Beth-auen, nor sweare, The Lord liueth:

16 For Israel slideth backe, as a backe sliding heifer: now the Lord will feede them as a lambe in a large place.

17 Ephraim is ioyned to idoles: let him alone.

18 Their drinke is sowre: they haue committed whordome continually: her rulers with shame doe loue, Giue ye.

19 The wind hath bound her vp in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Hosea 4

God's judgments against the sins of the people. (1-5) and of the priests. (6-11) Idolatry is reproved, and Judah is admonished. (12-19)1-5 Hosea reproves for immorality, as well as idolatry. There was no truth, mercy, or knowledge of God in the land: it was full of murders, #2Ki 21:16|. Therefore calamities were near, which would desolate the country. Our sins, as separate persons, as a family, as a neighbourhood, as a nation, cause the Lord to have a controversy with us; let us submit and humble ourselves before Him, that he may not go on to destroy.

6-11 Both priests and people rejected knowledge; God will justly reject them. They forgot the law of God, neither desired nor endeavoured to retain it in mind, and to transmit the remembrance to their posterity; therefore God will justly forget them and their children. If we dishonour God with that which is our honour, it will, sooner or later, be turned into shame to us. Instead of warning the people against sin, from the consideration of the sacrifices, which showed what an offence sin was to God, since it needed an atonement, the priests encouraged the people to sin, since atonement might be made at so small an expense. It is very wicked to be pleased with the sins of others, because they may turn to our advantage. What is unlawfully gained, cannot be comfortably used. The people and the priests hardened one another in sin; therefore justly shall they share in the punishment. Sharers in sin must expect to share in ruin. Any lust harboured in the heart, in time will eat out all its strength and vigour. That is the reason why many professors grow so heavy, so dull, so dead in the way of religion. They have a liking for some secret lust, which takes away their hearts.

12-19 The people consulted images, and not the Divine word. This would lead to disorder and sin. Thus men prepare scourges for themselves, and vice is spread through a people. Let not Judah come near the idolatrous worship of Israel. For Israel was devoted to idols, and must now be let alone. When sinners cast off the easy yoke of Christ, they go on in sin till the Lord saith, Let them alone. Then they receive no more warnings, feel no more convictions: Satan takes full possession of them, and they ripen for destruction. It is a sad and sore judgment for any man to be let alone in sin. Those who are not disturbed in their sin, will be destroyed for their sin. May we be kept from this awful state; for the wrath of God, like a strong tempest, will soon hurry impenitent sinners into ruin.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Hosea 4

  • Norm
    Holy Father, let America turn from their stocks and embrace You most High God as the day draweth near for the godly to cease in the land! Amen. Proverbs 7:22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks Jeremiah 3:9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. 10:8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Hosea 4:12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.
  • Chuck
    america is under gods judgement like israel was we have aborted countless
    number of unborn children and sold body parts, we have legalized sodomy
    we have the cult of islam wanting to take over america in a subtle way like
    satan, we have a leader who is one himself america repent and turn to the real
    jesus christ for salvation before it is too late a great falling away is here. 1tim4-1
  • David young
    Israel in the days of hosea sound like Amereica today.The total disrespect for the Ten Commandments is what destroyed them as a nation and a people.And with the invention of the ACLU they have successfuly remove god from the voices in our students mouths to the removal of the Ten Commandments from ours court rooms.This is why god said my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
  • Terkesha Harrison for verse 6
    Yes just as I thought his people knowing him but there hearts are far from him
  • Kenneth Zimba for verse 6
    Lacking of knowledge is a deliberate thing, because God has revealed Himself to man Ignorance has no defence Acts 14:16-17 ' ' Who in bygone generations allowed all Nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filing our hearts with food and gladness ' '. Our maker has to all generations shown Himself to man in a language he understands, lacking of knowledge is not a defense.
  • Munashe Nzenze
    The scripture may refer to you and me today the same sins commited by the Israelites at that time may be similar to today 's sin when God says my people we are included as the gospel according to John clearly states we are now God 's sons by grace not birth nor bloodline

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