Hosea 4

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Basic English Bible         

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1 Give ear to the word of the Lord, O children of Israel; for the Lord has a cause against the people of this land, because there is no good faith in it, and no mercy and no knowledge of God in the land.

2 There is cursing and broken faith, violent death and attacks on property, men are untrue in married life, houses are broken into, and there is blood touching blood.

3 Because of this the land will be dry, and everyone living in it will be wasted away, with the beasts of the field and the birds of heaven; even the fishes of the sea will be taken away.

4 Let no man go to law or make protests, for your people are like those who go to law with a priest.

5 You will not be able to keep on your feet by day, and by night the prophet will be falling down with you, and I will give your mother to destruction.

6 Destruction has overtaken my people because they have no knowledge; because you have given up knowledge, I will give you up, so that you will be no priest to me, because you have not kept in mind the law of your God, I will not keep your children in my memory.

7 Even while they were increasing in number they were sinning against me; I will let their glory be changed into shame.

8 The sin of my people is like food to them; and their desire is for their wrongdoing.

9 And the priest will be like the people; I will give them punishment for their evil ways, and the reward of their acts.

10 They will have food, but they will not be full; they will be false to me, but they will not be increased, because they no longer give thought to the Lord.

11 Loose ways and new wine take away wisdom.

12 My people get knowledge from their tree, and their rod gives them news; for a false spirit is the cause of their wandering, and they have been false to their God.

13 They make offerings on the tops of mountains, burning perfumes in high places, under trees of every sort, because their shade is good: and so your daughters are given up to loose ways and your brides are false to their husbands.

14 I will not give punishment to your daughters or your brides for their evil behaviour; for they make themselves separate with loose women, and make offerings with those who are used for sex purposes in the worship of the gods: the people who have no wisdom will be sent away.

15 Do not you, O Israel, come into error; do not you, O Judah, come to Gilgal, or go up to Beth-aven, or take an oath, By the living Lord.

16 For Israel is uncontrolled, like a cow which may not be controlled; now will the Lord give them food like a lamb in a wide place.

17 Ephraim is joined to false gods; let him be.

18 Their drink has become bitter; they are completely false; her rulers take pleasure in shame.

19 They are folded in the skirts of the wind; they will be shamed because of their offerings.

← Hosea 3   Hosea 5 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 187


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 374, 627, 643, 991, 1613, 2466, 3122, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 134, 290, 316, 405, 485, 567, 721, ...

Doctrine of the Lord 48

Sacred Scripture 79

Doctrine of Life 2, 79

Heaven and Hell 471

True Christian Religion 156, 314, 376, 440, 643


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 79, 98, 141, 250, 283, 324, 342, ...

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Leviticus 6:22

Numbers 25:3

Deuteronomy 17:12, 32:15

Joshua 5:9, 7:2

Judges 18:5

1 Kings 12:29

2 Kings 17:7, 23:7

2 Chronicles 21:11

Psalms 18:27, 81:9

Proverbs 6:32, 11:31, 20:1

Isaiah 1:29, 24:2, 4, 27:11, 28:7, 44:20, 50:1, 57:5

Jeremiah 2:9, 4:11, 22, 28, 5:2, 7, 6:15, 9:7, 9, 12, 11:7, 23:13, 31:18

Ezekiel 13:9, 16:15, 20:32, 44:10, 12

Hosea 5:1, 4, 8, 6:10, 7:11, 8:12, 9:1, 15, 17, 10:5, 6, 10, 11:2, 12:1, 3, 12, 13:15

Joel 1:2

Amos 3:1, 5:5, 13, 16

Micah 3:5, 6:2, 14

Zephaniah 1:3, 5

Haggai 6

Zechariah 7:11

Word/Phrase Explanations

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

mercy
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

god
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

blood
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

heaven
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

sea
Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

prophet
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

mother
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

shame
On a natural level, there are a variety of things that can cause shame. We might be ashamed of physical weakness or ugliness; we might...

sin
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

punishment
Punishment' is the consummation of evil, because after punishment, reformation succeeds. This is why it says in Deuteronomy 25:3, 'that no more than forty stripes...

ways
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

wine
Wine played a key role in the ancient world, where safe, reliable water sources were scarce. It could be stored for long periods of time;...

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

rod
To ask counsel at their stocks,' as in Hosea 4:12, signifies the good of the delight that comes from some lusts.

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

mountains
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

shade
'The shadow is good' of the oak, poplar and elm means complacence.

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

Daughters
"Behold I have two daughters,” etc. (Gen. 19:8), signifies the affections of good and truth, and the blessedness perceivable from the enjoyment thereof, by those...

women
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

Judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

gilgal
Gilgal signifies the doctrine of natural truth, serving for introduction into the church.

oath
'To sware' is a binding.

Lamb
'A lamb' signifies the good of the innocence of infancy. 'A lamb' signifies the Lord regarding His divine humanity. The lamb,' as in Revelation 8:11,...

ephraim
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

Wind
Because a nearer and stronger divine influx through the heavens disperses truths among the wicked, 'wind' signifies this dispersion of truth and the resulting conjunction...


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