Hosea 4:12
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner's wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God.

King James Bible
My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.

Darby Bible Translation
My people ask counsel of their stock, and their staff declareth unto them; for the spirit of whoredoms causeth them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God:

World English Bible
My people consult with their wooden idol, and answer to a stick of wood. Indeed the spirit of prostitution has led them astray, and they have been unfaithful to their God.

Young's Literal Translation
My people at its staff asketh and its rod declareth to it, For a spirit of whoredoms hath caused to err, And they go a-whoring from under their God.

Hosea 4:12 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

My people ask counsel at - (literally, "on") their stocks They ask habitually ; and that, in dependence "on their stocks." The word "wood" is used of the idol made of it, to bring before them the senselessness of their doings, in that they asked counsel of the senseless wood. Thus Jeremiah reproaches them for "saying to a stock, my father" Jeremiah 2:27; and Habakkuk, "Woe unto him that saith to the wood, awake" Habakkuk 2:19.

And their staff declareth unto them - Many sorts of this superstition existed among the Arabs and Chaldees. They were different ways of drawing lots, without any dependence upon the true God to direct it. This was a part of their senselessness, of which the prophet had just said, that their sins took away their hearts. The tenderness of the word, "My people," aggravates both the stupidity and the ingratitude of Israel. They whom the Living God owned as His own people, they who might have asked of Him, asked of a stock or a staff.

For the spirit of whoredoms - It has been thought of old, that the evil spirits assault mankind in a sort of order and method, different spirits bending all their energies to tempt him to different sins . And this has been founded on the words of Holy Scripture, "a lying spirit," "an unclean spirit," "a spirit of jealousy," and our Lord said of the evil spirit whom the disciples could not cast out; "This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" Matthew 17:21. Hence, it has been thought that "some spirits take delight in uncleanness and defilement of sins; others urge on to blasphemies; others, to anger and fury; others take delight in gloom; others are soothed with vainglory and pride; and that each instills into man's heart that vice in which he takes pleasure himself; yet that all do not urge their own perversenesses at once, but in turn, as opportunity of time or place, or man's own susceptibility, invites them" . Or the word, "spirit of whoredoms," may mean the vehemence with which people were whirled along by their evil passions, whether by their passionate love of idolatry, or by the fleshly sin which was so often bound up with their idolatry.

They have gone a whoring from under their God - The words "from under" continue the image of the adulteress wife, by which God had pictured the faithlessness of His people. The wife was spoken of as "under her husband Numbers 5:19, Numbers 5:29; Ezekiel 23:5, i. e., under his authority; she withdrew herself "from under" him, when she withdrew herself from his authority, and gave herself to another. So Israel, being wedded to God, estranged herself from Him, withdrew herself from His obedience, cast off all reverence to Him, and prostituted herself to her idols.

Hosea 4:12 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Instruction for the Ignorant:
BEING A SALVE TO CURE THAT GREAT WANT OF KNOWLEDGE, WHICH SO MUCH REIGNS BOTH IN YOUNG AND OLD. PREPARED AND PRESENTED TO THEM IN A PLAIN AND EASY DIALOGUE, FITTED TO THE CAPACITY OF THE WEAKEST. 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.'--Hosea 4:6 ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. This little catechism is upon a plan perfectly new and unique. It was first published as a pocket volume in 1675, and has been republished in every collection of the author's works; and recently in a separate tract.
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

"For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus Hath Made Me Free from the Law of Sin and Death. "
Rom. viii. 2.--"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." You know there are two principal things in the preceding verse,--the privilege of a Christian, and the property or character of a Christian. He is one that never enters into condemnation; He that believeth shall not perish, John iii. 15. And then he is one that walks not after the flesh, though he be in the flesh, but in a more elevate way above men, after the guiding and leading
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

An Era of Spiritual Darkness
The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. He declared that the day of Christ should not come, "except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." And furthermore, the apostle warns his
Ellen Gould White—The Great Controversy

The Prophet Hosea.
GENERAL PRELIMINARY REMARKS. That the kingdom of Israel was the object of the prophet's ministry is so evident, that upon this point all are, and cannot but be, agreed. But there is a difference of opinion as to whether the prophet was a fellow-countryman of those to whom he preached, or was called by God out of the kingdom of Judah. The latter has been asserted with great confidence by Maurer, among others, in his Observ. in Hos., in the Commentat. Theol. ii. i. p. 293. But the arguments
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Cross References
Psalm 73:27
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.

Psalm 106:39
Thus they became unclean in their practices, And played the harlot in their deeds.

Isaiah 44:19
No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, "I have burned half of it in the fire and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!"

Isaiah 44:20
He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

Jeremiah 2:27
Who say to a tree, 'You are my father,' And to a stone, 'You gave me birth.' For they have turned their back to Me, And not their face; But in the time of their trouble they will say, 'Arise and save us.'

Hosea 5:4
Their deeds will not allow them To return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, And they do not know the LORD.

Hosea 9:1
Do not rejoice, O Israel, with exultation like the nations! For you have played the harlot, forsaking your God. You have loved harlots' earnings on every threshing floor.

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