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Hosea 4:4-5:2 – Unfaithful Priests and Prophets

Summary

Hosea announces special judgment against Israel's spiritual leaders--the priests and prophets.

Analysis

The role of the priest and prophet was to teach people the ways of the Lord and to inculcate proper knowledge of God--how to live, how to treat the neighbor, how to avoid oppression, how to worship only the Lord. Because the spiritual leaders of the people have failed in this role, God will no longer know them. Hosea announces: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because you [O Priest] have rejected knowledge" (4:6).

Hosea 4:4-5:2


4 Yet let no one contend,
   and let none accuse,
   for with you is my contention, O priest.*
5 You shall stumble by day;
   the prophet also shall stumble with you by night,
   and I will destroy your mother.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
   because you have rejected knowledge,
   I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
   I also will forget your children.


7 The more they increased,
   the more they sinned against me;
   they changed* their glory into shame.
8 They feed on the sin of my people;
   they are greedy for their iniquity.
9 And it shall be like people, like priest;
   I will punish them for their ways,
   and repay them for their deeds.
10 They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
   they shall play the whore, but not multiply;
because they have forsaken the Lord
   to devote themselves to 11whoredom.

The Idolatry of Israel


Wine and new wine
   take away the understanding.
12 My people consult a piece of wood,
   and their divining-rod gives them oracles.
For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray,
   and they have played the whore, forsaking their God.
13 They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains,
   and make offerings upon the hills,
under oak, poplar, and terebinth,
   because their shade is good.


Therefore your daughters play the whore,
   and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore,
   nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery;
for the men themselves go aside with whores,
   and sacrifice with temple prostitutes;
thus a people without understanding comes to ruin.


15 Though you play the whore, O Israel,
   do not let Judah become guilty.
Do not enter into Gilgal,
   or go up to Beth-aven,
   and do not swear, ‘As the Lord lives.’
16 Like a stubborn heifer,
   Israel is stubborn;
can the Lord now feed them
   like a lamb in a broad pasture?


17 Ephraim is joined to idols—
   let him alone.
18 When their drinking is ended, they indulge in sexual orgies;
   they love lewdness more than their glory.*
19 A wind has wrapped them* in its wings,
   and they shall be ashamed because of their altars.*

Impending Judgement on Israel and Judah

5Hear this, O priests!
   Give heed, O house of Israel!
Listen, O house of the king!
   For the judgement pertains to you;
for you have been a snare at Mizpah,
   and a net spread upon Tabor,
2 and a pit dug deep in Shittim;*
   but I will punish all of them.

oremus Bible Browser
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v 2.2.7
10 February 2011

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