Hosea 12:3-6

3 In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel; as a man he struggled with God.
4 He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor. He found him at Bethel and talked with him there—
5 the LORD God Almighty, the LORD is his name!
6 But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

Hosea 12:3-6 Meaning and Commentary


This chapter contains complaints and charges both against Israel and Judah, and threatens them with punishment in case they repent not, which they are exhorted to: and first Ephraim is charged with idolatry, vain confidence in, and alliances with, foreign nations, Ho 12:1; and then the Lord declares he has a controversy with Judah, and will punish the inhabitants of it for their sins, Ho 12:2; which are aggravated by their being the descendants of so great a man as Jacob, who got the advantage of his elder brother, had much power with God, and received favours from him, and they also, Ho 12:3-5; and therefore are exhorted to turn to God, wait on him, and do that which is right and good, Ho 12:6. Ephraim is again in his turn charged with fraudulent dealing in trade, and with oppression, and the love of it; and yet pretended he got riches by his own labour, without wronging any, Ho 12:7,8; nevertheless, the Lord promises them public ordinances of worship, and joy in them, and the ministry of his prophets, Ho 12:9,10; though for the present they were guilty of gross idolatry, Ho 12:11; which is aggravated by the raising of Jacob their progenitor from a low estate, and the wonderful preservation of him, and the bringing of them out of Egypt, Ho 12:12,13; and the chapter is closed with observing Ephraim's bitter provocation of God, for which his reproach should return unto him, and his blood be left upon him, Ho 12:14.

Cross References 7

  • 1. Genesis 25:26
  • 2. Genesis 32:24-29
  • 3. S Genesis 12:8; Genesis 28:12-15; S Genesis 35:15
  • 4. S Exodus 3:15
  • 5. S Isaiah 19:22; Jeremiah 4:1; Joel 2:12
  • 6. S Psalms 106:3; S Jeremiah 22:3; Micah 6:8
  • 7. S Ezekiel 18:30; Hosea 6:1-3; Hosea 10:12; Micah 7:7
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