Hosea 4
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Hear the word of Hashem, B’nei Yisrael! for Hashem hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land because there is no truth nor mercy nor knowledge of God 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

א  שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר יְהוָה בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי רִיב לַיהוָה עִם יוֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ כִּי אֵין אֱמֶת וְאֵין חֶסֶד וְאֵין דַּעַת אֱלֹהִים בָּאָרֶץ.

4:1  There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land

Hosea begins to outline God’s case against His people by stating that there is no truth, no mercy, and no knowledge of God in the land. From this negative recital we see Hosea’s conception of the ideal person; one who is honest, kind, and “knows” God. To “know God” is reminiscent of the Bible’s ideal intimate relationship between husband and wife, as in Genesis 4:1, “and Adam knew Eve his wife.” The Bible’s ideal relationship 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 know the Lord.

Comment

2  Swearing and lying and killing and stealing and committing adultery! they break all bounds and blood toucheth blood.

ב  אָלֹה וְכַחֵשׁ וְרָצֹחַ וְגָנֹב וְנָאֹף פָּרָצוּ וְדָמִים בְּדָמִים נָגָעוּ.

3  Therefore doth the land mourn and every one that dwelleth therein doth languish with the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven; yea the fishes of the sea also are taken away.

ג  עַל כֵּן תֶּאֱבַל הָאָרֶץ וְאֻמְלַל כָּל יוֹשֵׁב בָּהּ בְּחַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמָיִם וְגַם דְּגֵי הַיָּם יֵאָסֵפוּ.

4  Yet let no man strive neither let any man reprove; for thy people are as they that strive with the Kohen.

ד  אַךְ אִישׁ אַל יָרֵב וְאַל יוֹכַח אִישׁ וְעַמְּךָ כִּמְרִיבֵי כֹהֵן.

5  Therefore shalt thou stumble in the day and the Navi also shall stumble with thee in the night; and I will destroy thy mother.

ה  וְכָשַׁלְתָּ הַיּוֹם וְכָשַׁל גַּם נָבִיא עִמְּךָ לָיְלָה וְדָמִיתִי אִמֶּךָ.

6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge I will also reject thee that thou shalt be no Kohen to Me; seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God I also will forget thy children.

ו  נִדְמוּ עַמִּי מִבְּלִי הַדָּעַת כִּי אַתָּה הַדַּעַת מָאַסְתָּ ואמאסאך (וְאֶמְאָסְךָ) מִכַּהֵן לִי וַתִּשְׁכַּח תּוֹרַת אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶשְׁכַּח בָּנֶיךָ גַּם אָנִי.

7  The more they were increased the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame.

ז  כְּרֻבָּם כֵּן חָטְאוּ לִי כְּבוֹדָם בְּקָלוֹן אָמִיר.

8  They feed on the sin of My people and set their heart on their iniquity.

ח  חַטַּאת עַמִּי יֹאכֵלוּ וְאֶל עֲו‍ֹנָם יִשְׂאוּ נַפְשׁוֹ.

9  And it is like people like Kohen; and I will punish him for his ways and will recompense him his doings.

ט  וְהָיָה כָעָם כַּכֹּהֵן וּפָקַדְתִּי עָלָיו דְּרָכָיו וּמַעֲלָלָיו אָשִׁיב לוֹ.

10  And they shall eat and not have enough they shall commit harlotry and shall not increase; because they have left off to take heed to Hashem.

י  וְאָכְלוּ וְלֹא יִשְׂבָּעוּ הִזְנוּ וְלֹא יִפְרֹצוּ כִּי אֶת יְהוָה עָזְבוּ לִשְׁמֹר.

11  Harlotry wine and new wine take away the heart.

יא  זְנוּת וְיַיִן וְתִירוֹשׁ יִקַּח לֵב.

12  My people ask counsel at their stock and their staff declareth unto them; for the spirit of harlotry hath caused them to err and they have gone astray from under their God.

יב  עַמִּי בְּעֵצוֹ יִשְׁאָל וּמַקְלוֹ יַגִּיד לוֹ כִּי רוּחַ זְנוּנִים הִתְעָה וַיִּזְנוּ מִתַּחַת אֱלֹהֵיהֶם.

13  They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains and offer upon the hills under oaks and poplars and terebinths because the shadow thereof is good; therefore your daughters commit harlotry and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.

יג  עַל רָאשֵׁי הֶהָרִים יְזַבֵּחוּ וְעַל הַגְּבָעוֹת יְקַטֵּרוּ תַּחַת אַלּוֹן וְלִבְנֶה וְאֵלָה כִּי טוֹב צִלָּהּ עַל כֵּן תִּזְנֶינָה בְּנוֹתֵיכֶם וְכַלּוֹתֵיכֶם תְּנָאַפְנָה.

14  I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery; for they themselves consort with lewd women and they sacrifice with harlots; and the people that is without understanding is distraught.

יד  לֹא אֶפְקוֹד עַל בְּנוֹתֵיכֶם כִּי תִזְנֶינָה וְעַל כַּלּוֹתֵיכֶם כִּי תְנָאַפְנָה כִּי הֵם עִם הַזֹּנוֹת יְפָרֵדוּ וְעִם הַקְּדֵשׁוֹת יְזַבֵּחוּ וְעָם לֹא יָבִין יִלָּבֵט.

15  Though thou Yisrael play the harlot yet let not Yehudah become guilty; and come not ye unto Gilgal neither go ye up to Beit Aven nor swear: ‘As Hashem liveth.’

טו  אִם זֹנֶה אַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל אַל יֶאְשַׁם יְהוּדָה וְאַל תָּבֹאוּ הַגִּלְגָּל וְאַל תַּעֲלוּ בֵּית אָוֶן וְאַל תִּשָּׁבְעוּ חַי יְהוָה.

16  For Yisrael is stubborn like a stubborn heifer; now shall Hashem feed them as a lamb in a large place?

טז  כִּי כְּפָרָה סֹרֵרָה סָרַר יִשְׂרָאֵל עַתָּה יִרְעֵם יְהוָה כְּכֶבֶשׂ בַּמֶּרְחָב.

17  Efraim is joined to idols; let him alone.

יז  חֲבוּר עֲצַבִּים אֶפְרָיִם הַנַּח לוֹ.

18  When their carouse is over they take to harlotry; her rulers deeply love dishonour.

יח  סָר סָבְאָם הַזְנֵה הִזְנוּ אָהֲבוּ הֵבוּ קָלוֹן מָגִנֶּיהָ.

19  The wind hath bound her up in her skirts; and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

יט  צָרַר רוּחַ אוֹתָהּ בִּכְנָפֶיהָ וְיֵבֹשׁוּ מִזִּבְחוֹתָם.

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Hosea 3
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Hosea 4