Hosea 4
 1 ¶ Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
 2  By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.
 3  Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.
  1 - Hear the word of the Lord This begins a new set of prophecies. Before this the prophet uses symbols. Now the message is direct.
 1 - Controversy It is like a court trial. The people of Israel have set aside truth and ...
  3 - Therefore The land was to mourn and with no harvest the people would suffer. It is true that the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous mt0545 but this is only part of God's love expressed for His faithful ones.
 4  Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive 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 lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
.7  As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.
 8  They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.
 9  And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.
  4 - No man strive See de1712.
  5 - Destroy thy mother The whole nation of Israel. See ho0202-5.
  6 - Destroyed ... lack of knowledge Is this fair? Yes, they were told to remember and by their lifestyle they had forgotten. de0607. The priests were to teach the people.
  And what does this mean for us? We need to grow in knowledge 2pe0318. Also ho0603.
  8 - Sin From chatta'th which means either "sin" or "sin offering." Both people and priests were guilty. The people were likely demanded to bring large offerings for the priests to eat, while the people resisted bringing offerings le0626. Also see 1sa0212.
10  For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.
 11  Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.
 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.
.13  They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery.
  12 - Staff declareth Today this is used for what is called water witching, a process of holding a forked stick which supernatural powers cause to point down to indicate where to dig a well for water. It is also used with maps in deciding where to drill for oil.
 14  I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.
 15  Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORD liveth.
.16  For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.
.17  Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.
 18  Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye.
 19  The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
  16 - Backsliding Literally "stubborn" or "rebellious." Israel was apparently into calf worship.
  17 - Ephraim This was the principle tribe of the northern kingdom (of divided Israel) like Judah was the principal tribe of the southern (which also included Benjamin). Sometimes the name was used for the whole kingdom. 
  17 - Joined Ephraim as a nation was joined or married to idols. The ten tribes were beyond hope and promise of restoration. ho1108, je3118. Still faithful individuals could find salvation.
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