Hosea 4

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Young's Literal Translation         

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1 `Hear a word of Jehovah, sons of Israel, For a strife [is] to Jehovah with inhabitants of the land, For there is no truth, nor kindness, Nor knowledge of God, in the land,

2 Swearing, and lying, and murdering, And stealing, and committing adultery -- have increased, And blood against blood hath touched.

3 Therefore mourn doth the land, And weak is every dweller in it, With the beast of the field, And with the fowl of the heavens, And the fishes of the sea -- they are removed.

4 Only, let no one strive, nor reprove a man, And thy people [are] as those striving with a priest.

5 And thou hast stumbled in the day, And stumbled hath also a prophet with thee in the night, And I have cut off thy mother.

6 Cut off have been My people for lack of knowledge, Because thou knowledge hast rejected, I reject thee from being priest to Me, And thou forgettest the law of thy God, I forget thy sons, I also!

7 According to their abundance so they sinned against Me, Their honour into shame I change.

8 The sin of My people they do eat, And unto their iniquity lift up their soul.

9 And it hath been, like people, like priest, And I have charged on it its ways, And its habitual doings I return to it.

10 And they have eaten, and are not satisfied, They have gone a-whoring, and increase not, For they have left off taking heed to Jehovah.

11 Whoredom, and wine, and new wine, take the heart,

12 My people at its staff asketh and its rod declareth to it, For a spirit of whoredoms hath caused to err, And they go a-whoring from under their God.

13 On tops of the mountains they do sacrifice, And on the hills they make perfume, Under oak, and poplar, and terebinth, For good [is] its shade.

14 Therefore commit whoredom do your daughters, And your spouses commit adultery, I do not see after your daughters when they commit whoredom, And after your spouses when they commit adultery, For they with the harlots are separated, And with the whores they do sacrifice, A people that doth not understand kicketh.

15 Though a harlot thou [art], O Israel, Let not Judah become guilty, And come not ye in to Gilgal, nor go up to Beth-Aven, Nor swear ye, Jehovah liveth.

16 For as a refractory heifer hath Israel turned aside, Now doth Jehovah feed them as a lamb in a large place.

17 Joined to idols [is] Ephraim, let him alone.

18 Sour [is] their drink, They have gone diligently a-whoring, Her protectors have loved shame thoroughly.

19 Distressed her hath wind with its wings, And they are ashamed 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...

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...

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...

Sons
'Sons of Canaan,' as in Genesis 10, are people who kept external worship separate from internal.

Sons of Israel
'The camp of the sons of Israel' represents the church.

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...

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...

kindness
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....

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...

Fowl
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...

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

removed
As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

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,...

forgettest
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...

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...

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

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...

soul
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...

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....

return
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...

eaten
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...

satisfied
'What satisfies' is what nourishes the soul.

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

new wine
'Must' or 'new wine' denotes evil produced by false.

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

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

declareth
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...

Spirit of whoredoms
'Spirit of whoredoms,' as in Hosea 4:12, signifies a life of falsity grounded in evil.

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,...

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...

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

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

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...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

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

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.

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

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

Go up
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

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...

Ashamed
To be ashamed (Gen 2:25) signifies to be in evil


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