Hosea 10:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.

New Living Translation
I said, 'Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.'

English Standard Version
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

New American Standard Bible
Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.

King James Bible
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Sow righteousness for yourselves and reap faithful love; break up your unplowed ground. It is time to seek the LORD until He comes and sends righteousness on you like the rain.

International Standard Version
Sow in righteousness in your own interest, reap in gracious love, break up your own unprepared ground; It is now time to inquire of the LORD, until he comes to pour out righteousness for you.

NET Bible
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap unfailing love. Break up the unplowed ground for yourselves, for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers deliverance on you.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Break new ground. Plant righteousness, and harvest the fruit that your loyalty will produce for me." It's time to seek the LORD! When he comes, he will rain righteousness on you.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Sow yourselves unto righteousness, reap yourselves unto mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is the time to seek the LORD until he comes and teaches you righteousness.

King James 2000 Bible
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he comes and rains righteousness upon you.

American King James Version
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness on you.

American Standard Version
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to kindness; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek Jehovah, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Sow for yourselves in justice, and reap in the mouth of mercy, break up your fallow ground: but the time to seek the Lord is, when he shall come that shall teach you justice.

Darby Bible Translation
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek Jehovah, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

English Revised Version
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Webster's Bible Translation
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he shall come and reign righteousness upon you.

World English Bible
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to kindness. Break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek Yahweh, until he comes and rains righteousness on you.

Young's Literal Translation
Sow for yourselves in righteousness, Reap according to loving-kindness, Till for yourselves tillage of knowledge, To seek Jehovah, Till he come and shew righteousness to you.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

10:9-15 Because God does not desire the death and ruin of sinners, therefore in mercy he desires their chastisement. The children of iniquity still remained in Israel. The enemies would be gathered against them. It is just with God to make those know what hardships mean, who indulge themselves in ease and pleasure. Let them cleanse their hearts from all corrupt affections and lusts, and be a broken and contrite spirit. Let them abound in works of piety towards God, and of justice and charity towards one another: herein let them sow to the Spirit. Seeking the Lord is to be every day's work, but there are special occasions when to seek him. Christ shall come as the Lord our righteousness, and grant us of it abundantly. If we sow in righteousness, we shall reap according to mercy; a reward not of debt, but of grace. Even the gains of sin yield the sinner no satisfaction. As our comforts, so our confidences in the service of sin will certainly fail us. Come and seek the Lord, and thy hope in him shall not deceive thee. See what cruel work war makes. Whatever mischief is done, it is sin that does it. What miseries men's sins bring on them, even in this world!

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 12, 13. - Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy. These two verses contain a call to repentance and reformation of life, in figurative language borrowed from the same department of human industry, לצדי is "for righteousness;" that is, sow such seed as that righteousness may spring from it. לפי הי is "according to," or "in proportion to, mercy." When two imperatives are joined, is here, the latter indicates a promise, and may be expressed by a future, as, "Do this and live," i.e. "ye shall live" (Genesis 42:18). Kimchi explains it correctly, thus: "Sow to yourselves, etc., that is, do good in mine eyes, and the recompense from me shall be far greater than your good deeds, just as if one sows a measure (seah), and hopes to reap therefore two measures (seahs) or still more. Therefore, he uses in sowing righteousness, and in connection with reaping grace, in order to intimate that grace surpasses righteousness. Or that God rewards men's actions, not according to merit, but according to grace. As men sew, they reap; accordingly Israel is directed to sow ac-eroding to righteousness - to act righteously in their dealings with their fellow-men; and their reaping or reward would be, not in proportion to what they had sown, not merely commensurate with their righteous actions or dealings, not proportionate to what justice would give; but in proportion to mercy - Divine mercy, and so far above their highest deserts. They are promised a reward far above their poor doings, and irrespective of their sad failings - a reward, not of debt, not of merit, but of grace. The seed-time of righteousness would be followed by a reaping-time proportionate to the boundless measure of the Divine mercy. Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Here they are urged to turn over a new leaf, as we say; to begin a new life; to root out the weeds of sin; to eradicate those evil passions that checked and stifled any noble feelings, as the husbandman runs his plough through the fallow field, and breaks it up, clearing out the weeds and roots, that the ground may be pure and clean for the sowing of the seed in spring. The LXX., reading נוּרו, instead of נֵיר נירוּ for נִיר, and דָּעַח for וְעֵח translates accordingly by φωτίσατε ἑαυτοῖς φῶς γνώσεως. They are further reminded that it is high time to begin this process, laying aside their stiff-necked, perverse ways; expelling from their heart the noxious growth that had overspread it; and by every way and means working earnestly and zealously for a renewal of life and return to the long-neglected work and worship of Jehovah. Neither were they to relax their efforts till the blessed end was attained, עד, with imperfect, marking the goal to be reached; nor would their efforts be in vain. The Lord would rain - bestow abundantly upon them, or touch (another and more frequent meaning of the word), their righteousness. Thus the ground that had long lain fallow must be broken up; its waste, wild state must cease and give place to cultivation; the ploughshare must be driven through it; its wild growths and weeds must be cut down and uprooted. A process of renewal must succeed; the vices of their natural state, the idolatrous and wicked practices that had sprung up, must be abandoned. Renewal and radical reform are imperatively demanded. Matters had remained too long in a miserable and unsatisfactory condition. A long night of sinful slumber had overcome them; it was high time to awake out of that sleep. Too long had they shamefully forgotten and forsaken God; it was more than time to wait upon him. Nor would such waiting, if persevered in, end in disappointment; notwithstanding their great and manifold provocations, he would come and rain righteousness in welcome, refreshing, and plenteous showers upon returning penitents; and with righteousness would be conjoined its reward of blessing and salvation, both temporal and spiritual.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Saw to yourselves in righteousness,.... Not the seed of grace, which bad men have not, and cannot saw it; and which good men need not, it being sown in them already, and remaining; rather the seed of the word, which should be laid up in their hearts, dwell richly in them, and be kept and retained by them; though it is best of all to understand it of works of righteousness; as sowing to the flesh is doing the works of the flesh, or carnal and sinful acts; so sowing "unto righteousness" (g), as it may be rendered, is doing works of righteousness; living soberly and righteously; doing works according to the word of righteousness, from good principles, and with good views, with a view to the glory of God: and which will be "sowing to themselves", turn to their own account; for though such works are not profitable to God, as to merit anything at his hands; yet they are not only profitable to others, but to those that do them; for though not "for", yet "in keeping" the commands of God there is "great reward", Psalm 19:11. Reap in mercy; or "according to mercy" (h) not according to the merit of works, for there is none in them; but according to the mercy of God, to which all blessings, temporal, spiritual, and eternaL, are owing; and such who sow to the Spirit, or spiritual things, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting; not as the reward of debt, but of grace; not as of merit, but as owing to the mercy of Christ, Galatians 6:9 Jde Galatians 1:21;

break up your fallow ground; that is, of their hearts; which were like ground unopened, unbroken, not filled and manured, nor sown with seed, but overrun with weeds and thistles; and so were they, hard and impenitent, destitute of grace, and full of sin and wickedness, and stood in need of being renewed in the spirit of their minds; which this exhortation is designed to convince them of, and to stir them up to make use of proper methods of obtaining it, through the efficacious grace of God; see Jeremiah 4:5;

for it is time to seek the Lord: for his grace; as the husbandman seeks, prays, and waits for rain, when he has tilled his ground, and sowed his seed, to water it, and make it fruitful, that he may have a good reaping time, a plentiful harvest; and as there is a time to seek for the one, so for the other:

till he come and rain righteousness upon you; that is, Christ, whose coming is as the rain, Hosea 6:3; and who, when he should come, whether personally by his incarnation, or spiritually by his gracious presence, would rain a plentiful rain of the doctrines of grace, and the blessings of it, such as peace pardon, righteousness, and eternal life by him; particularly the justifying righteousness wrought out by him, which is fully manifested in the Gospel, the ministration of that righteousness, and is applied unto, and put upon, all them that believe: or "till he come and teach you righteousness" (i); as Christ did when come; he taught the word of righteousness in general, and the righteousness of God in particular, and directed men to seek it; declared he came to fulfil all righteousness, and taught men to believe in him for it, and that he is their righteousness, and the end of the law for it; as well as he taught them to live righteously and godly; see Joel 2:23. The Targum is,

"O house of Israel, do for yourselves good works; walk in the way of truth; establish for yourselves the doctrine of the law; behold, at all times the prophets say to you, return to the fear of the Lord; now shall he be revealed, and bring righteousness to you.''

But these exhortations were vain and fruitless, as appears by what follows:

(g) "ad justitiam", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Calvin, Junius & Tremellius, Drusius, Tarnovius, Cocceius. (h) "ad os miserecordiae", Montanus; "secundum misericordiam", Pagninus; "secundum pietatem", Cocceius, Schmidt. (i) "et doceat justitiam vos", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius, Cocceius, Schmidt.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. Continuation of the image in Ho 10:11 (Pr 11:18). Act righteously and ye shall reap the reward; a reward not of debt, but of grace.

in mercy—according to the measure of the divine "mercy," which over and above repays the goodness or "mercy" which we show to our fellow man (Lu 6:38).

break … fallow ground—Remove your superstitions and vices, and be renewed.

seek … Lord, fill he come—Though not answered immediately, persevere unceasingly "till He come."

rain—send down as a copious shower.

righteousness—the reward of righteousness, that is, salvation, temporal and spiritual (1Sa 26:23; compare Joe 2:23 ).

Hosea 10:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
Retribution for Israel's Sin
11Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh, But I will come over her fair neck with a yoke; I will harness Ephraim, Judah will plow, Jacob will harrow for himself. 12Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you. 13You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, You have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your way, in your numerous warriors,…
Cross References
2 Corinthians 9:10
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

James 3:18
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Proverbs 11:18
A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

Isaiah 44:3
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Isaiah 45:8
"You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the LORD, have created it.

Isaiah 48:18
If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.

Jeremiah 4:3
This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem: "Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.

Hosea 6:3
Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."

Hosea 12:6
But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

Hosea 14:1
Return, Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall!
Treasury of Scripture

Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness on you.

Sow.

Hosea 8:7 For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it …

Psalm 126:5,6 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy…

Proverbs 11:18 The wicked works a deceitful work: but to him that sows righteousness …

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love …

Ecclesiastes 11:6 In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your …

Isaiah 32:20 Blessed are you that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither …

James 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

break.

Jeremiah 4:3,4 For thus said the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up …

time.

Psalm 105:4 Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face ever more.

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and …

Isaiah 55:6 Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near:

Jeremiah 29:12-14 Then shall you call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I …

Jeremiah 50:4 In those days, and in that time, said the LORD, the children of Israel …

Amos 5:4,6,8,15 For thus said the LORD to the house of Israel, Seek you me, and you …

Zephaniah 2:1-3 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O nation not desired…

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say to you, will …

rain.

Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth …

Psalm 72:6 He shall come down like rain on the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.

Isaiah 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor dig; but there …

Isaiah 30:23 Then shall he give the rain of your seed, that you shall sow the …

Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on him that is thirsty, and floods on the dry …

Isaiah 45:8 Drop down, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: …

Ezekiel 34:26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; …

Acts 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those …

1 Corinthians 3:6,7 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase…

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