Hosea - Chapter 4

1Hear the word of Hashem, O people of Yisrael! For Hashem has a case Against the inhabitants of this land, Because there is no honesty and no goodness And no obedience to Hashem in the land.

shim-U d'-var a-do-NAI b'-NAY yis-ra-AYL KEE REEV la-do-NAI im yo-sh'-VAY ha-A-retz KEE ayn e-MET v'-ayn KHE-sed v'-ayn DA-at e-lo-HEEM ba-A-retz

אשִׁמְעוּ דְבַר־יְהֹוָה בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי רִיב לַיהֹוָה עִם־יוֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ כִּי אֵין־אֱמֶת וְאֵין־חֶסֶד וְאֵין־דַּעַת אֱלֹהִים בָּאָרֶץ׃

 4:1  No obedience to Hashem in the land

Hoshea begins to outline Hashem’s case against His people by stating that there is no truth, no mercy, and no “da’at Elokim” in the land. Da’at Elokim is translated here as ‘obedience to Hashem,’ but literally means ‘knowledge of Hashem.’ From this negative statement, we can see Hoshea’s conception of the ideal person: One who is honest, kind, and “knows” God. To “know God” is reminiscent of the Bible’s description of the ideal, intimate relationship between husband and wife, described as, “Now the man knew his wife Chava” (Genesis 4:1). The ideal relationship described by this term encompasses not only the physical dimension, but includes total comprehension or knowledge of the other. Through study of the Bible and the world which God created, we can come as close as possible to understand and to know Hashem.

2[False] swearing, dishonesty, and murder, And theft and adultery are rife; Crime follows upon crime!

באָלֹה וְכַחֵשׁ וְרָצֹחַ וְגָנֹב וְנָאֹף פָּרָצוּ וְדָמִים בְּדָמִים נָגָעוּ׃

3For that, the earth is withered: Everything that dwells on it languishes— Beasts of the field and birds of the sky— Even the fish of the sea perish.

געַל־כֵּן תֶּאֱבַל הָאָרֶץ וְאֻמְלַל כָּל־יוֹשֵׁב בָּהּ בְּחַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמָיִם וְגַם־דְּגֵי הַיָּם יֵאָסֵפוּ׃

4“Let no man rebuke, let no man protest!” For this your people has a grievance against [you], O Kohen!

דאַךְ אִישׁ אַל־יָרֵב וְאַל־יוֹכַח אִישׁ וְעַמְּךָ כִּמְרִיבֵי כֹהֵן׃

5So you shall stumble by day, And by night a Navi shall stumble as well, And I will destroy your kindred.

הוְכָשַׁלְתָּ הַיּוֹם וְכָשַׁל גַּם־נָבִיא עִמְּךָ לָיְלָה וְדָמִיתִי אִמֶּךָ׃

6My people is destroyed because of [your] disobedience! Because you have rejected obedience, I reject you as My Kohen; Because you have spurned the teaching of your God, I, in turn, will spurn your children.

ונִדְמוּ עַמִּי מִבְּלִי הַדָּעַת כִּי־אַתָּה הַדַּעַת מָאַסְתָּ וְאֶמְאָסְאךָ מִכַּהֵן לִי וַתִּשְׁכַּח תּוֹרַת אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶשְׁכַּח בָּנֶיךָ גַּם־אָנִי׃

7The more they increased, the more they sinned against Me: I will change their dignity to dishonor.

זכְּרֻבָּם כֵּן חָטְאוּ־לִי כְּבוֹדָם בְּקָלוֹן אָמִיר׃

8They feed on My people's sin offerings, And so they desire its iniquity.

חחַטַּאת עַמִּי יֹאכֵלוּ וְאֶל־עֲוׂנָם יִשְׂאוּ נַפְשׁוֹ׃

9Therefore, the people shall fare like the Kohanim: I will punish it for its conduct, I will requite it for its deeds.

טוְהָיָה כָעָם כַּכֹּהֵן וּפָקַדְתִּי עָלָיו דְּרָכָיו וּמַעֲלָלָיו אָשִׁיב לוֹ׃

10Truly, they shall eat, but not be sated; They shall swill, but not be satisfied, Because they have forsaken Hashem To practice

יוְאָכְלוּ וְלֹא יִשְׂבָּעוּ הִזְנוּ וְלֹא יִפְרֹצוּ כִּי־אֶת־יְהֹוָה עָזְבוּ לִשְׁמֹר׃

11lechery. Wine and new wine destroy The mind of

יאזְנוּת וְיַיִן וְתִירוֹשׁ יִקַּח־לֵב׃

12My people: It consults its stick, Its rod directs it! A lecherous impulse has made them go wrong, And they have strayed from submission to their God.

יבעַמִּי בְּעֵצוֹ יִשְׁאָל וּמַקְלוֹ יַגִּיד לוֹ כִּי רוּחַ זְנוּנִים הִתְעָה וַיִּזְנוּ מִתַּחַת אֱלֹהֵיהֶם׃

13They sacrifice on the mountaintops And offer on the hills, Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths Whose shade is so pleasant. That is why their daughters fornicate And their daughters-in-law commit adultery!

יגעַל־רָאשֵׁי הֶהָרִים יְזַבֵּחוּ וְעַל־הַגְּבָעוֹת יְקַטֵּרוּ תַּחַת אַלּוֹן וְלִבְנֶה וְאֵלָה כִּי טוֹב צִלָּהּ עַל־כֵּן תִּזְנֶינָה בְּנוֹתֵיכֶם וְכַלּוֹתֵיכֶם תְּנָאַפְנָה׃

14I will not punish their daughters for fornicating Nor their daughters-in-law for committing adultery; For they themselves turn aside with whores And sacrifice with prostitutes, And a people that is without sense must stumble.

ידלֹא־אֶפְקוֹד עַל־בְּנוֹתֵיכֶם כִּי תִזְנֶינָה וְעַל־כַּלּוֹתֵיכֶם כִּי תְנָאַפְנָה כִּי־הֵם עִם־הַזֹּנוֹת יְפָרֵדוּ וְעִם־הַקְּדֵשׁוֹת יְזַבֵּחוּ וְעָם לֹא־יָבִין יִלָּבֵט׃

15If you are a lecher, Yisrael— Let not Yehuda incur guilt— Do not come to Gilgal, Do not make pilgrimages to Beit Aven, And do not swear by Hashem!

טואִם־זֹנֶה אַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל אַל־יֶאְשַׁם יְהוּדָה וְאַל־תָּבֹאוּ הַגִּלְגָּל וְאַל־תַּעֲלוּ בֵּית אָוֶן וְאַל־תִּשָּׁבְעוּ חַי־יְהֹוָה׃

16Ah, Yisrael has balked Like a stubborn cow; Therefore, Hashem will graze him On the range, like a sheep.

טזכִּי כְּפָרָה סֹרֵרָה סָרַר יִשְׂרָאֵל עַתָּה יִרְעֵם יְהֹוָה כְּכֶבֶשׂ בַּמֶּרְחָב׃

17Efraim is addicted to images— Let him be.

יזחֲבוּר עֲצַבִּים אֶפְרָיִם הַנַּח־לוֹ׃

18They drink to excess— Their liquor turns against them. They “love” beyond measure— Disgrace is the “gift”

יחסָר סָבְאָם הַזְנֵה הִזְנוּ אָהֲבוּ הֵבוּ קָלוֹן מָגִנֶּיהָ׃

19Which the wind is bringing; They shall garner shame from their sacrifices.

יטצָרַר רוּחַ אוֹתָהּ בִּכְנָפֶיהָ וְיֵבֹשׁוּ מִזִּבְחוֹתָם