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Hosea 4

1 - Hear The LORD's word, you children of Israel;for the LORD has a charge against the inhabitants of the land:"Indeed there is no truth,nor goodness,nor knowledge of God in the land.

2 - There is cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery;they break boundaries, and bloodshed causes bloodshed.

3 - Therefore the land will mourn,and everyone who dwells therein will waste away.all living things in her,even the animals of the field and the birds of the sky;yes, the fish of the sea also die.

4 - "Yet let no man bring a charge, neither let any man accuse; For your people are like those who bring charges against a priest.

5 - You will stumble in the day,and the prophet will also stumble with you in the night;and I will destroy your mother.

6 - My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you,that you may be no priest to me.Because you have forgotten your God's law,I will also forget your children.

7 - As they were multiplied, so they sinned against me.I will change their glory into shame.

8 - They feed on the sin of my people,and set their heart on their iniquity.

9 - It will be, like people, like priest;and I will punish them for their ways,and will repay them for their deeds.

10 - They will eat, and not have enough.They will play the prostitute, and will not increase;because they have abandoned giving to The LORD.

11 - Prostitution, wine, and new wine take away understanding.

12 - My people consult with their wooden idol,and answer to a stick of wood.Indeed the spirit of prostitution has led them astray,and they have been unfaithful to their God.

13 - They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains,and burn incense on the hills, under oaks and poplars and terebinths,because its shade is good.Therefore your daughters play the prostitute,and your brides commit adultery.

14 - I will not punish your daughters when they play the prostitute,nor your brides when they commit adultery;because the men consort with prostitutes,and they sacrifice with the shrine prostitutes;so the people without understanding will come to ruin.

15 - "Though you, Israel, play the prostitute,yet don't let Judah offend;and don't come to Gilgal,neither go up to Beth Aven,nor swear, 'As the LORD lives.'

16 - For Israel has behaved extremely stubbornly, like a stubborn heifer.Then how will the LORD feed them like a lamb in a meadow.

17 - Ephraim is joined to idols.Leave him alone!

18 - Their drink has become sour.They play the prostitute continually.Her rulers dearly love their shameful way.

19 - The wind has wrapped her up in its wings;and they shall be disappointed because of their sacrifices.

Hosea Images and Notes

The Book of Hosea

Hosea 8:7-9 - For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein [is] no pleasure. For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.

Hosea 14:9 - Who [is] wise, and he shall understand these [things]? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD [are] right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Hosea
Hebrew Name - Hoshea "Salvation"
Greek Name - Osee (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Hosea (According to Tradition)
Date - 785 BC Approximately
Theme - The apostasy of Israel
Types and Shadows - In Hosea Jesus is the faithful husband

Summary of The Book of Hosea

The prophet Hosea had a real-life situation that God used to illustrate his problem with the nation of Israel. Hosea's adulterous wife had broken his heart, and this is exactly what the children of Israel had done to God when they played the harlot with other gods. Later when her adulterous affairs had led her to be sold on the slave block, Hosea was willing to buy her back for he could not give her up. This dramatically illustrated Israel's situation for soon they would be conquered by the Assyrians and then sold into slavery because they had forgotten their God. The prophet Hosea spoke about a future blessing in which God will restore Israel. - The above text is © Rusty Russell - Bible History Online and must be sourced for use on a website.

My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, none at all exalt Him. "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? . . . My heart churns within Me; my sympathy is stirred. . . "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him." Hosea 11:7-8, 14:4

The prophet Hosea was commanded by God to marry a wife of harlotry because Israel hath committed great harlotry. He was sent by God to prophesy about the northern King of Israel. Hosea ministered to Israel for a great length of time (over 50 years), and they were his primary target although he does mention four kings of Judah (Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah). The northern kingdom of Israel was enjoying tremendous prosperity during the reign of Jeroboam II, yet when he died various kings came to the throne for a brief period of time and then many were assassinated. The problem with the northern kingdom was that they were idolaters, and every one of their kings were evil whether they prospered or not. The people were making sacrifices on heathen altars, adultery was prevalent, and ritualistic prostitution abounded. Hosea attributed their wretchedness to a lack of knowledge, not a lack of  intellectual knowledge, but lacking a relationship with the living God. Yet God loves his people with an everlasting love in spite of their corruption.

The contents of the book may be analyzed further as follows :

Outline of the Book of Hosea

In Hosea 1-3, the faithless actions of Israel toward God are illustrated by the relationship between Hosea and his adultress wife, Gomer. The names of his children indicate the attitude of God toward Israel. The first is named "Jezreel" after the city which was the scene of Jehu's brutality and which signified that God would punish his people. Lo-Ruhamah (Not pitied) and Lo-Ammi (Not my people) are the names given to the two other children, signifying the estrangement which was the inevitable result of the actions of Israel. God's love is illustrated in Hosea's willingness to buy his wife back from the practice of harlotry - though she could not continue in her harlotry while he was with her.

The second division of the prophecy, found in Hosea 4-14, presents a detailed picture of the depths of depravity to which Israel had gone, with alternating passages of reproof, threats of punishment, and assurances of restoration.

The First Day. Light.

Hosea Resources

The Divided Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom of Israel
The Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity
The Return From Babylon
The Prophets
The Messiah

The Book of Hosea

More About the Book of Hosea
Hosea in the Picture Study Bible
Chart of the Prophets of Israel and Judah
Timeline of the Ancient World
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