Hosea 14

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Young's Literal Translation         

← Hosea 13   Joel 1 →

1 Turn back, O Israel, unto Jehovah thy God, For thou hast stumbled by thine iniquity.

2 Take with you words, and turn to Jehovah, Say ye unto Him: `Take away all iniquity, and give good, And we do render the fruit of our lips.

3 Asshur doth not save us, on a horse we ride not, Nor do we say any more, Our God, to the work of our hands, For in Thee find mercy doth the fatherless.'

4 I heal their backsliding, I love them freely, For turned back hath Mine anger from him.

5 I am as dew to Israel, he flourisheth as a lily, And he striketh forth his roots as Lebanon.

6 Go on do his sucklings, And his beauty is as an olive, And he hath fragrance as Lebanon.

7 Return do the dwellers under his shadow, They revive [as] corn, and flourish as a vine, His memorial [is] as wine of Lebanon.

8 O Ephraim, what to Me any more with idols? I -- I afflicted, and I cause him to sing: `I [am] as a green fir-tree,' From Me is thy fruit found.

9 Who [is] wise, and doth understand these? Prudent, and knoweth them? For upright are the ways of Jehovah, And the righteous go on in them, And the transgressors stumble therein!

← Hosea 13   Joel 1 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
Chapter summary

Exploring the Meaning of Hosea 14      

By Helen Kennedy

At the outset of this chapter, Hosea says:

O Israel, return to the Lord your God,
For you have stumbled because of your iniquity;
Take words with you, And return to the Lord. (Hosea 14:1)

Plainly, the Lord exhorts us to return to Him when our wrongdoing has made us turn away.

"Take words with you," is an interesting phrase. It means that we should listen to our conscience - the voice within us that urges us to repent.

The next line,“Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously” shows very clearly what the Lord will do if the people ask Him.

Next, we have this: "For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips". We need to pay attention to detail, not only what we do but also how we speak.

“We will not ride on horses”, in verse (3), shows us to stop thinking we can escape by running away, using intelligent rationales to justify wrong acts.

“Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods,’” shows us to stop thinking that the things we do in the world and from ourselves are the only path to follow. Instead believe the truth that God is the only source of salvation.

“For in You the fatherless finds mercy” is saying that the Lord leaves no one without protection, and abandons no one.

“I will heal their backsliding,” in verse (4) means that God has the ability to keep people from returning to their old ways. “I will love them freely,” shows that He gives His love freely and without reservation.

“For My anger has turned away,” means the sinners’ perception of the Lord will clear and people will see He was never angry, only loving.

“I will be like the dew to Israel,” in verse (5) signifies that His instruction will be gentle like dew on the grass in the morning.

“Grow like the lily,” means the errant one will change, and will grow in purity like the lily;

“Lengthen his roots. . .” like roots growing in the ground the Lord work is in the dark and unseen.

“Branches shall spread” in verse (6) means good and truth will spread into the open and be seen, like the branches on a tree.

“Beauty shall be like an olive tree,” the beauty of the olive tree is in its bearing fruit.

“Fragrance like Lebanon,” like an aroma rising up, the ones who reform will be grateful;

“Those who dwell under his shadow shall return” in verse (7) means those in the dark of false thinking about salvation will be brought into full sunlight.

“They shall be revived like grain and grow like the vine,” explains that where good can flourish like grain in the sunlit field or be abundant like grapes on the vine.

“Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon“ means that this new life emanates a good scent, like the aroma of a good wine. In spiritual terms it means the person can now think through or understand why it is so important to live with good and truth joined together (Apocalypse Explained 730:15).

“What have I to do anymore with idols?” in verse (8) explains that as people are renewed they will no longer depend on their own idols of false thinking and reasoning.

“I have heard and observed Him” because they have heard the Lord speaking in His Word.

“I am like a green cypress tree; Your fruit is found in me” means that like trees that bear fruit, they will have perceptions that lead them to the life the Lord wants for them.

“Who is wise? Let him understand these things,” in verse 9 means those who accept the Lord will have wisdom to see the good paths they are to follow.

“Who is prudent? Let him know them,” explains that those being renewed will use the new thinking the Lord is giving them.

“For the ways of the Lord are right,” means they will understand that only the Lord knows the way to heaven.

“The righteous walk in them,” explains that those who are prudent will follow the Lord’s leading.

“But transgressors stumble in them,” signifies that wrongdoers will find the way to heaven difficult, and will stumble and fall away.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 197


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 886, 1069, 1186, 2761, 3579, 3580, 5113, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 242, 278, 298, 316, 401


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 279, 324, 355, 376, 507, 638

The White Horse - Appendix 1

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

2 Samuel 24:10

2 Kings 8:12

Psalms 10:14, 20:8, 52:10, 92:13, 107:43

Song of Solomon 4:11

Isaiah 12:1, 17:8, 27:6, 35:2, 44:22, 57:18, 19, 66:14

Jeremiah 3:12, 22, 29:12, 32:41

Ezekiel 11:18, 16:46, 36:25

Hosea 2:19, 5:5, 6:3, 9:13, 12:7, 13:9

Amos 1:13

Jonah 2:10

Micah 7:18

Zechariah 10:6

Luke 18:13

John 15:5

Acts of the Apostles 3:19

Hebrews 13:15

Word/Phrase Explanations

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

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...

jehovah
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...

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...

stumbled
To 'stumble' denotes being scandalized or offended, and falling, as a result, from truths into falsities.

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

words
'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...

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

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...

Render
'To reward' signifies meting out punishment.

lips
'A lip' signifies doctrine. A lip,' as in Isaiah 6:3, 7, signifies the interior parts of a person, consequently, internal worship, where adoration is grounded....

save
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

horse
'A horse' signifies knowledges or understanding of the Word. In an opposite sense it signifies the understanding of the Word falsified by reasonings, and likewise...

ride
'To ride' signifies being elevated regarding the intellectual part of the mind. To ride upon a cherub,' as in Psalm 18:9, 10, denotes the Lord’s...

work
'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

hands
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

fatherless
'Orphans' signify people who are in a state of innocence and charity, and desire to know and to do what is good but are not...

love
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...

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

anger
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

Dew
Dew, in Deut. 32:2 signifies the multiplication of truth from good, and the fructification of good by truth.

to
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

lily
'To blossom as the lily,' as in Hosea 14:5, relates to the first state of the new birth, or of regeneration. For 'a lily' signifies...

roots
'A root,' as in Malachi 4:1, signifies charity. The dried up root,' as in Hosea 9:16, 17, signifies charity which could not bear fruit.

Lebanon
'Lebanon' signifies spiritual good. 'Lebanon' signifies the church regarding the perception of truth from the rational self.

olive
'An olive,' as in Isaiah 17:6, signifies celestial remains. 'An olive' signifies love and charity, because 'the olive tree' signifies the celestial church, and so...

fragrance
Fragrance means the affection of truth derived from good.

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

Corn
Corn,' as in Genesis 42:2, here stands for a word in the original language which means 'breaking,' and also for a similar word meaning to...

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

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...

green
The color green is almost exclusively used in connection with plants in the Bible (the exceptions include two stomach-turning references to moldy plagues in Leviticus),...

fruit
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

found
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

wise
At its heart, wisdom is love's imperative desire to take form. That's a tricky statement, but think of it this way: If you love someone,...

upright
He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

Ways of Jehovah
'To walk in the ways of Jehovah,' as in Deuteronomy 8:6, is to live according to the truths of doctrine.

ways
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

Resources for parents and teachers

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