Hosea 6:4-10

4 “What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.
5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth— then my judgments go forth like the sun.[a]
6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
7 As at Adam,[b] they have broken the covenant; they were unfaithful to me there.
8 Gilead is a city of evildoers, stained with footprints of blood.
9 As marauders lie in ambush for a victim, so do bands of priests; they murder on the road to Shechem, carrying out their wicked schemes.
10 I have seen a horrible thing in Israel: There Ephraim is given to prostitution, Israel is defiled.

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Hosea 6:4-10 Meaning and Commentary


This chapter gives an account of some who were truly penitent, and stirred up one another to return to the Lord, encouraged by his power, grace, and goodness, Ho 6:1-3; and of others, who had only a form of religion, were very unstable in it; regarded more the ceremonial law, and the external sacrifices of it, than the moral law; either that part of it which respects the love of the neighbour, or that which concerns the knowledge of God; and dealt treacherously with the Lord, transgressing the covenant, Ho 6:4-7; particularly the city of Gilead is represented as full of the workers of iniquity, and is charged with bloodshed, Ho 6:8; yea, even the priests were guilty of murder and lewdness, Ho 6:9; and Israel, or the ten tribes in general, are accused of whoredom, both corporeal and spiritual, with which they were defiled, Ho 6:10; nor was Judah clear of these crimes, and therefore a reckoning day is set for them, Ho 6:11.

Cross References 15

  • 1. Hosea 11:8
  • 2. Hosea 7:1; Hosea 13:3
  • 3. Jeremiah 1:9-10; Jeremiah 5:14; Jeremiah 23:29
  • 4. Hebrews 4:12
  • 5. S 1 Samuel 15:22; S Isaiah 1:11; Matthew 9:13*; Matthew 12:7*; Mark 12:33
  • 6. S Jeremiah 4:22; S Hosea 2:20
  • 7. S Psalms 40:6; Micah 6:8
  • 8. S Genesis 9:11; S Jeremiah 11:10; Hosea 8:1
  • 9. S Hosea 5:7
  • 10. Hosea 12:11
  • 11. Psalms 10:8
  • 12. S Hosea 4:2
  • 13. Jeremiah 5:30-31; Jeremiah 7:9-10; S Ezekiel 22:9; S Hosea 5:1; Hosea 7:1
  • 14. S Jeremiah 5:30
  • 15. S Jeremiah 23:14; S Ezekiel 23:7; S Hosea 5:3

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
  • [b]. Or "Like Adam" ; or "Like human beings"
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