Hosea 12:2-4

2 The Lord has an indictment against Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways, and repay him according to his deeds.
3 In the womb he tried to supplant his brother, and in his manhood he strove with God.
4 He strove with the angel and prevailed, he wept and sought his favor; he met him at Bethel, and there he spoke with him.

Hosea 12:2-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO HOSEA 12

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.

Hosea 12:2-4 In-Context

1 Ephraim herds the wind, and pursues the east wind all day long; they multiply falsehood and violence; they make a treaty with Assyria, and oil is carried to Egypt.
2 The Lord has an indictment against Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways, and repay him according to his deeds.
3 In the womb he tried to supplant his brother, and in his manhood he strove with God.
4 He strove with the angel and prevailed, he wept and sought his favor; he met him at Bethel, and there he spoke with him.
5 The Lord the God of hosts, the Lord is his name!
6 But as for you, return to your God, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.
7 A trader, in whose hands are false balances, he loves to oppress.

Footnotes 1

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.