Hosea 4 – “Yahweh Accuses Israel”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Yahweh accuses Israel of corruption, murder, licentiousness, and idolatry.

II. Photo
God laments Israel’s debauchery: “Wine and new wine destroy the mind of my people!” (vv. 11b-12a)

III. Important Verses
1-2: Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel! For the LORD has a case Against the inhabitants of this land, Because there is no honesty and no goodness And no obedience to God in the land. [False] swearing, dishonesty, and murder, And theft and adultery are rife; Crime follows upon crime!
3: For that, the earth is withered: Everything that dwells on it languishes — Beasts of the field and birds of the sky — Even the fish of the sea perish.
13-14: They sacrifice on the mountaintops And offer on the hills, Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths Whose shade is so pleasant. That is why their daughters fornicate And their daughters-in-law commit adultery! I will not punish their daughters for fornicating Nor their daughters-in-law for committing adultery; For they themselves turn aside with whores And sacrifice with prostitutes, And a people that is without sense must stumble.
15: If you are a lecher, Israel — Let not Judah incur guilt — Do not come to Gilgal, Do not make pilgrimages to Beth-aven, And do not swear by the LORD!
17: Ephraim is addicted to images — Let him be. Ephraim is addicted to images — Let him be.

IV. Outline
1a. Introduction: God’s lawsuit against Israel
1b-2. Israel’s sins
3. Consequences: drought
4-6. God rejects Israel as his “priest”
7-10a. The people’s feasts
10b-14. Intoxication, idolatry, fornication
15-19. A warning for Judah to not be influenced by Ephraim

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Photo taken from http://www.thecarltonrestaurant.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Wine-Toast.jpg