Hosea 4:1-6

Hosea 4:1 (KJB)

Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.


Now the LORD tells the children of Israel that they are to hear the word.  The word “hear” does not just mean physically listening but it means to hear with intelligence or understanding.  They were to take to heart what the LORD is telling them and not just make it a glib listen.  The LORD has a controversy with them.  The word “controversy” carries with it the meaning of a legal argument.  God had given Israel the land when he brought them out of Egypt and then drove many of the inhabitants out to make room for them.  They had walked away so far from the LORD that they were now lacking the essentials of a theocratic society.  They had removed truth from not only their words but also from their dealings in business and law and even covered their falsehoods with fair words to make things sound truthful.  Then they had removed mercy from the land and had begun to take advantage of the poor people and showed no compassion toward those who could not defend themselves.  The rich would manipulate the poor to their advantage.  Then the worst thing of all was they removed the knowledge of God and replaced him with the false gods of the pagan nations.  If they did speak of the LORD it was in a false manner to manipulate words and any situation they wanted.  This was not just in one place but it was in the entire land as the verse states above.  Evil had permeated the land and they would soon be reaping the reward of it.


Hosea 4:2 (KJB)

By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.


They were making false oaths to each other in violation of the law of God on oaths.  They could also have been swearing by means of profane language too because when you find people that have this type of résumé, profane language is normally present.  Then they made lying a normal practice.  You were unable to trust anything you were told by anyone since lying was the standard.  Then it seems that murders were also part of their lifestyle as they would intentionally kill someone or allow someone to die who needed some type of sustenance.  Then stealing became a standard as they would steal from each other whether by intentionally just taking something or manipulating someone out of their land or money by means of false business dealing.  Then the sanctity of marriage was also defiled as many would partake in adulterating their marriages by sleeping around with other people.  When it states “breaking out” it is speaking about them violating the boundaries which were set in the law of God.  They violated all the commandments by transgressing them.  Blood touching blood may indicate that there may have been many family disputes plus it may indicate the amount of murders which had taken place as blood ran freely.  Leviticus 18:6 (KJV) None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.


Hosea 4:3 (KJB)

Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.


The Lord now pronounces a woe upon the land itself and also the animals.  Man had been given authority over God’s creation but that authority will now be taken away from Israel.  The land will mourn because with no one there to till the land, it will be grown over with weeds and other things which would normally choke out plants and trees.  The word “languish” carries with it the meaning of “deteriorate or waste away.” There will be a divine purge of both land animals and flying creatures and also the fish of the sea will begin to decline in number to the point they would not exist.


Hosea 4:4 (KJB)

Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.


Since the people were obstinate and refused to listen to reproof or instruction, God has taken the controversy into his own hands.  No longer will the people be able to reprove or strive with each other because they have all become obstinate and there was no more purpose in them trying to reprove one another in the hopes of improving themselves because the one who reproves is just as bad as the one he is reproving.  There was no sense of fear of God among them and would not listen to anything a proper priest would warn them about so they would contend with the priests.  It is like today when Christians take up a very haughty attitude and refuse to be reproved for not only bad behavior but for refusing to understand proper interpretation of the Bible.  Then there were those who brought charges against the priests and would contend with them in that arena.


Hosea 4:5 (KJB)

Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.


Since the entire nation of Israel was steeped in sin, they would now all fall in their sins in that day which would be the day that Assyria and Babylon takes them captive.  The ultimate falling will come at the Great White Throne Judgment when all sinners will fall in that day.  Then the judgment is also pronounced against the false prophets who spoke false prophecies like the false prophecy of Hananiah who spoke to the people claiming the Babylonian captivity would only last two years instead of seventy.  Jeremiah 28:11 (KJV) And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.  The prophets falling with the people at night may be allusion to the fact they were in the darkness prophesying false prophecies.  Proverbs 4:19 (KJV) The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.  Destroying thy mother has to do with the destruction of the entire race of people or the government which runs the entire country. Since the corruption had permeated every phase of their life, no one would escape the coming judgment of God.


Hosea 4:6 (KJB)

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.


The truth is if Israel would have heart knowledge about God they would have been able to avoid walking into sinful situations but they even lacked intellectual knowledge about God since the priests and other leaders were also corrupt.  Whatever knowledge they did have in the written law they had rejected it and made up their own rules.  This resulted in God rejecting them as they did his law.  Since the nation of Israel was the only nation that had a priesthood which ministered to the LORD, the priesthood of Israel would now be rejected and eventually replaced by the body of believers after the resurrection of Christ.  1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:  Since they had forgotten or better yet neglected and rejected the law of God, he will now forget their children which is pointing to the future generations as children grow up and give birth to other children and eventually the nation of Israel will be destroyed never to rise again.  The modern nation of Israel is not a rebirth of ancient Israel but is a political nation as any other on earth and holds no superior position over the other nations of the world.