Hosea 4

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Douay-Rheims         

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1 Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel, for the Lord shall enter into judgment with the inhabitants of the land: for there is no truth, and there is no mercy, and there is no knowledge of God in the land.

2 Cursing, and lying, and killing, and theft, and adultery have overflowed, and blood hath touched blood.

3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth in it shall languish with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of the air: yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be gathered together.

4 But yet let not any man judge: and let not a man be rebuked: for thy people are as they that contradict the priest.

5 And thou shalt fall to day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee: in the night I have made thy mother to be silent.

6 My people have been silent, because they had no knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee, that thou shalt not do the office of priesthood to me: and thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.

7 According to the multitude of them so have they sinned against me: I will change their glory into shame.

8 They shall eat the sins of my people, and shall lift up their souls to their iniquity.

9 And there shall be like people like priest: and I will visit their ways upon them, and I will repay them their devices.

10 And they shall eat and shall not be filled: they have committed fornication, and have not ceased: because they have forsaken the Lord in not observing his law.

11 Fornication, and wine, and drunkenness take away the understanding.

12 My people have consulted their stocks, and their staff hath declared unto them: for the spirit of fornication hath deceived them, and they have committed fornication against their God.

13 They offered sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burnt incense upon the hills: under the oak, and the poplar, and the turpentine tree, because the shadow thereof was good: therefore shall your daughters commit fornication, and your spouses shall be adulteresses.

14 I will not visit upon your daughters when they shell commit fornication, and upon your spouses when they shall commit adultery: because themselves conversed with harlots, and offered sacrifice with the effeminate, and the people that doth not understand shall be beaten.

15 If thou play the harlot, O Israel, at least let not Juda offend: and go ye not into Galgal, and come not up into Bethaven, and do not swear: The Lord liveth.

16 For Israel hath gone astray like a wanton heifer: now will the Lord feed them, as a lamb in a spacious place.

17 Ephraim is a partaker with idols, let him alone.

18 Their banquet is separated, they have gone astray by fornication: they that should have protected them have loved to bring shame upon them.

19 The wind hath bound them up in its wings, and they shall be confounded because of their sacrifices.

← 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

hear
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

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...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

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...

the inhabitants
'The inhabitants of Teman,' as in Jeremiah 49:20, signifies the evils and falsities opposed to the Lord’s celestial kingdom.

inhabitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

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

truth
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

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...

knowledge
Throughout the Word, a distinction is made between wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge. 'Wisdom' means from good, 'intelligence' is from truth, and 'knowledge' is in a...

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.

mourn
In a general sense, mourning in the Bible represents a state of grief over the lack of desires for good and true ideas about life....

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

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...

fowls
Fowl signify spiritual truth; a bird, natural truth; and a winged thing, sensual truth. Fowl signify intellectual things. Fowl signify thoughts, and all that creeps...

air
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

sea
'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

people
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

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...

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...

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...

mother
Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...

forget
To forget, in the internal sense, signifies nothing else but removal and apparent privation.

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...

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

sins
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...

lift
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

souls
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

iniquity
In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.

visit
The end time of the church and each individual, is called 'the visitation,' and precedes judgment. 'Visitation' is nothing but an exploration of the quality...

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....

fornication
'And [Tyre] shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication,' as in Isaiah 23:17, signifies the vaunting and boasting of falsity.

observing
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

wine
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

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

declared
To "declare" something means to say it formally, publicly and with emphasis; you might say what you think, but you only declare things you're sure...

Tops of the mountains
'On the first of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen,' as in Genesis 8:5, signifies the truths of faith, which begin to...

hills
In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

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...

oak
'Oak' signifies the sensory good and truth of the church, and consequently, the lowest part of the natural, which is either the truths and goods,...

Shadow
'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...

Harlot
'A harlot' signifies the affection of falsities, thus the church corrupted.

juda
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.

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

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

swear
The Lord swearing by himself signifies that divine truth testifies, for He is divine truth itself, and this testifies from itself and means itself. It...

Heifer
'The heifer whereby labor has not been done,' as mentioned in Deuteronomy 21:3, signifies the innocence of the external self, which is in ignorance. 'The...

feed
When the Bible talks about "feeding" it is generally referring to instruction in spiritual things – teaching people the true concepts that can lead them...

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...

loved
To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...

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...

Wings
'Wings' signify spiritual truths. 'Wings,' when related to the Lord, signify the divine spiritual. In the opposite sense, 'wings' relate to falsities and rationalizations from...


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