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UHoseya 14:7


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7 Baya kubuya abahlala emthunzini wakhe, baphile njengengqolowa, batyatyambe njengomdiliya, isikhumbuzo sawo sibe njengewayini yaseLebhanon.

   Study the Inner Meaning

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 verse:

Arcana Coelestia 1069, 3580, 5113, 6377

Apocalypse Revealed 278, 316

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 376

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

  Bible Study Videos:

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From Swedenborg's Works


Arcana Coelestia #6377

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

Study this Passage

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6377. 'He washes his clothing in wine' means that His Natural consists in Divine Truth from His Divine Good. This is clear from the meaning of 'washing' as purifying, dealt with in 3147; from the meaning of 'wine' as the good of love towards the neighbour and the good of faith, and in the highest sense as Divine Truth from the Lord's Divine Good, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'clothing' as the exterior which covers the interior, dealt with in 5248, thus the natural since this is exterior and covers the rational, which is interior. Therefore 'clothing' also means truth since this is exterior and covers good, which is interior, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5319, 5954.

[2] The fact that 'wine' means love towards the neighbour and the good of faith may be recognized from what has been shown regarding the bread and wine in the Holy Supper, in 2165, 2177, 3464, 4581, 5915. These paragraphs show that 'bread' is the good of celestial love, and that 'wine' is the good of spiritual love. The same may also be recognized from the minchah and the drink-offering in sacrifices. The minchah in them meant the good of love, and the drink-offering the good of faith. The minchah consisted of the kinds of things that meant the good of love, while the drink-offering consisted of wine that meant the good of faith. The sacrifices themselves were also called 'bread', 2165. For the use in sacrifices of a drink-offering consisting of wine, see Exodus 29:40; Leviticus 23:12-13, 18-19; Numbers 15:2-15; 28:6-7, 18-end; 29:1-7 and following verses.

(References: Numbers 28:18-31)

[3] The meaning that 'wine' has of love towards the neighbour and the good of faith is also evident in Isaiah,

Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! And come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1.

No one can fail to see that they did not have to buy wine and milk, but that they were to acquire what is meant by 'wine and milk', which is love towards the neighbour and faith. These gifts come from the Lord 'without money and without price'.

[4] In Hosea,

Threshing-floor and winepress will not feed them, and new wine will be deceptive to her. 1 Ephraim will return to Egypt, and in Assyria they will eat what is unclean. They will not pour libations of wine to Jehovah, their sacrifices will not be pleasing to Him. Hosea 9:1-4.

Here also in the internal sense reference is made to the good of love and the good of faith, to the demise of them. The good of love is meant by 'threshing-floor' by virtue of the grain there and the bread made from it, while the good of faith is meant by 'winepress', 'new wine', and 'libation of wine'. 'Ephraim will return to Egypt' stands for the fact that the understanding would resort to factual knowledge for advice concerning the arcana of faith; 'in Assyria they will eat what is unclean' stands for that which is the outcome of consequent false reasoning - 'Ephraim' being the area of understanding in the Church, see 5754, 6112, 6238, 6267; 'Egypt' the area of factual knowledge, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 5702; and 'Assyria' that of reasoning, 1186. The line of thought in this passage also shows that the words used here contain something more than what one sees in the letter. For everything hangs together in the internal sense, but not so in the external sense, for example when it says that 'threshing-floor and winepress will not feed them, and new wine will be deceptive to her', immediately followed by 'Ephraim will return to Egypt, and in Assyria they will eat what is unclean'. Moreover, without the internal sense what meaning would Ephraim's return to Egypt and their eating in Assyria what is unclean have?

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165, Arcana Coelestia 5354, 6222; Hosea 9:2-4)

[5] 'Winepress' and 'wine' are also used in Jeremiah to describe the demise of mutual love and the good of faith,

He who lays waste has fallen on your vintage, therefore joy and gladness have been plucked from Carmel, and from the land of Moab, for I have made the wine cease from the winepresses; none will tread the headed. 2 Jeremiah 48:32-33.

[6] The fact that 'wine' means the good of mutual love and of faith is also evident in John,

I heard a voice from the midst of the four living creatures, saying, Do no harm to oil and wine. Revelation 6:6.

[7] 'Oil' stands for the good of celestial love, and 'wine' for the good of spiritual love.

'Oil' and 'wine' have a similar meaning in the Lord's parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke,

A certain Samaritan was journeying, and seeing him who had been wounded by the robbers was moved with compassion for him; going therefore to him, he bandaged his wounds, and poured on oil and wine. Luke 10:33-34.

'He poured on oil and wine' means that he performed the works of love and charity, 'oil' being the good of love, see 886, 3728. A like meaning was involved in the practice of the ancients, who poured oil and wine onto a pillar when they consecrated it, Genesis 35:14-4581, Genesis 35:4582.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4581-4582, Genesis 35:14)

[8] The fact that 'wine' means the good of love and faith is evident from the words the Lord used when He instituted the Holy Supper. He said then regarding the wine,

I tell you that I shall not drink from now on of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom. Matthew 26:29; Luke 22:17-18.

Anyone can see that He was not about to drink wine in that kingdom, but that the good of love and faith is meant, which He was about to impart to those who belonged to His kingdom. Much the same is meant by 'wine' in Isaiah 24:9, 11; Lamentations 2:11-12; Hosea 14:7; Amos 9:13-14; Zechariah 9:15-16; Luke 5:37-39.

(References: Zechariah 9:15, 9:17)

[9] Since 'wine' means the good of love and faith, Divine Truth from the Lord's Divine Good is therefore meant in the highest sense, for that Truth, when it flows into a person and is accepted by him, brings him the good of love and faith.

[10] Since most things in the Word also have a contrary meaning, so too does 'wine', the contrary meaning of which is falsity from evil, as in Isaiah,

Woe to those who rise in the morning around dawn, and then follow strong drink, who continue into dusk, so that wine may inflame them! Woe to heroes at drinking wine, and to valiant men in mixing strong drink! Isaiah 5:11, 22

In the same prophet,

Also these err through wine, and go astray through strong drink. The priest and the prophet err through strong drink. They are swallowed up by wine, they go astray through strong drink. They err among the seers, they are tottery in judgement. Isaiah 28:7.

In the same prophet,

The shepherds know no understanding, they all look to their own way. Come, I will get wine, and we will be drunken from strong drink; and let there be tomorrow, as there is this day, great abundance. Isaiah 56:11-12.

In addition to these places 'wine' is used with the contrary meaning in Jeremiah 13:12; Hosea 4:11; 7:5; Amos 2:8; Micah 2:11; Psalms 75:8; Deuteronomy 32:33.

Falsity from evil is also meant by the cup of the wine of wrath in Jeremiah 25:15-16; Revelation 14:8, 10; 16:19; the winepress of the wrath of God's anger, Revelation 19:15; and the wine of whoredom, Revelation 17:2; 18:3.


1. The Latin means them but the Hebrew means her, which Swedenborg has in other places where he quotes this verse, as well as possibly here in his rough draft.


(References: Genesis 49:8-12)

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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 6378, 8481, 8568, 8904, 9003, 9057, 9139, 9223, 9296, 9320, 9331, 9544, 9780, 9960, 10040, 10079, 10137

The White Horse 9

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 219, 258

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 252, 376, 433, 447, 475, 918

Other New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.