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Hosea 10:4

4 They make many promises, take false oaths and make agreements; therefore lawsuits spring up like poisonous weeds in a plowed field.

Read Hosea 10:4 Using Other Translations

They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
They utter mere words; with empty oaths they make covenants; so judgment springs up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field.
They spout empty words and make covenants they don’t intend to keep. So injustice springs up among them like poisonous weeds in a farmer’s field.

What does Hosea 10:4 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Hosea 10:4

They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant,
&c.] Those are other crimes they were guilty of, for which the wrath of God could not be awarded from them by a king, if they had one, or by any other. They had used vain and idle words in their common talk and conversation; and lying and deceitful ones to one another in trade and commerce, in contracts and promises; and so had deceived and overreached one another: they had belched out many "oaths of vanity" {u}: or vain oaths and curses; their mouths had been full of cursing and bitterness; and they made covenants with God, and their king, and with other kings and princes, and with one another, and had not kept them; and now for these things God had a controversy with them: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field;
either the judgment of God, his wrath and vengeance for the above sins, rose up and spread itself in all their cities, towns, and villages; or rather the judgment and justice they pretended to execute, instead of being what it should have been, useful and beneficial to the people, like a wholesome herb, sprung up like hemlock, bitter and poisonous, and spread itself in all parts of the kingdom. Injustice is meant; see ( Amos 6:12 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F21 (awv twla) "execrationes vanitatis", Schmidt.
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