Hosea 4:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away.

New Living Translation
That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away. Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea are disappearing.

English Standard Version
Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away.

New American Standard Bible
Therefore the land mourns, And everyone who lives in it languishes Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, And also the fish of the sea disappear.

King James Bible
Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For this reason the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes, along with the wild animals and the birds of the sky; even the fish of the sea disappear.

International Standard Version
Therefore the land will mourn, and all who live there will languish, along with the wild animals of the field and the birds of the air. Even the fish in the sea will disappear.

NET Bible
Therefore the land will mourn, and all its inhabitants will perish. The wild animals, the birds of the sky, and even the fish in the sea will perish.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
That is why the land is drying up, and everyone who lives in it is passing away. Wild animals, birds, and fish are dying.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore the earth shall mourn, and every one that dwells therein shall be cut off, with the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven; and even the fishes of the sea shall be caught.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwells in it shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fish of the sea also shall be taken away.

American King James Version
Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwells therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yes, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

American Standard Version
Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth in it shall languish with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of the air: yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be gathered together.

Darby Bible Translation
For this shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowl of the heavens, yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

English Revised Version
Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth in it shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yes, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

World English Bible
Therefore the land will mourn, and everyone who dwells therein will waste away. all living things in her, even the animals of the field and the birds of the sky; yes, the fish of the sea also die.

Young's Literal Translation
Therefore mourn doth the land, And weak is every dweller in it, With the beast of the field, And with the fowl of the heavens, And the fishes of the sea -- they are removed.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:1-5 Hosea reproves for immorality, as well as idolatry. There was no truth, mercy, or knowledge of God in the land: it was full of murders, 2Ki 21:16. Therefore calamities were near, which would desolate the country. Our sins, as separate persons, as a family, as a neighbourhood, as a nation, cause the Lord to have a controversy with us; let us submit and humble ourselves before Him, that he may not go on to destroy.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 3-5. - These verses relate, with much particularity, the sufferings consequent on sins, especially such as are specified in the preceding verses. The montaging of the land mentioned in ver. 3 may be understood either figuratively or literally. If in the former way, there are many Scripture parallels which represent nature in full accord with human feelings, sympathizing with man, now in joy, again in sorrow; for example: "The little hills rejoice on every side;" the valleys "shout for joy, they also sing;" on the other hand, "The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish." But if the expression be taken literally, it conveys a solemn fact, and one in perfect harmony with the entire tone and character of the old economy, according to which moral evil transmutes itself into physical evil, and impresses itself in dismal characters on the face of inanimate nature. The Hebrew commentators seem to understand the statement literally; thus Rashi: "The land shall be laid waste, and there shall be great mourning;" likewise Kimchi: "The land of Israel shall be laid waste and desolated." The latter has this further comment: "After the land of Israel shall have been laid waste, man and beast shall be cut off out of it. But under the beasts of the field the prophet does not mean the wild beasts, but the large domestic animals which dwell with the sons of men, likewise called חיה. It is also possible that even the beasts that roam at largo are included, for the wild beast does not come to inhabited places that are laid waste, unless they are partially inhabited." He also adds, in reference to the fowls of heaven, "When he speaks of the fowls of heaven, it is because most of the fowls do not dwell in the wilderness, but in inhabited places, where they find seeds and fruits and blossoms of trees. Or the fowls of heaven are mentioned by way of hyperbole to represent the matter in its totality; and, according to this sense, it is used in the Prophet Jeremiah; and it explains itself in like manner in one of these two ways." With the mourning of the land the dwellers therein languish. Nor is this languishing condition confined to rational beings; it comprises the irrational as well, and that without exception. The dominion assigned man at the beginning over the whole creation of God is here reversed in the case of Israel; while the denunciation of wrath has that reversal for its dark background. The terms of the dominion to man by the Creator are, "Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth;" but in this denunciation these terms are reversed and read backwards, being," with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also." Thus all nature, inanimate and animate, and all creation, rational and irrational, are involved in the consequences of Israel's sin. The particles "yea, even," preceding "the fishes of the sea" (such as the Sea of Galilee or other inland seas and rivers), show the entirely unexpected as well as unusual nature of the event. The Chaldee paraphrases the clause as follows: "And even the fishes of the sea shall be diminished in number, on account of their (Israel's) sins." Earth refuses sustenance to man and beast, no longer yielding grass for the cattle or herb for the service of man; the waters of the sea, being lessened by drought or becoming putrid by stagnation, no longer supply their accustomed quota of fishes for human food. An illustration of the literal sense has been quoted by Rosenmüller and Pusey from Jerome. It is the following: "Whoso believeth not that this befell the people of Israel, let him survey Illyricum, let him survey the Thraces, Macedonia, the Pannonias, and the whole land which stretches from the Propoutis and Dosphorus to the Julian Alps, and he will experience that, together with man, all the creatures also fail, which afore were nourished by the Creator for the service of man." The le before היis explained by Abarbanel in the sense of through, as though the inhabitants would be slain by wild beasts: by Hitzig as extending to; by Keil as of in enumeration. It is simply with. Ver. 4 looks like an interjected clause, coming in the middle of the enumeration of Divine judgments; and the purpose is not so much to justify the severity of those judgments as to intimate their inefficacy, owing to the incorrigible character of the people. There is

(1) the rendering of the Authorized Version, Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another. This seems to show that mutual reproof was out of place, since one was as bad as another; or that every one was to look to his own sins, and not throw the blame on others; but this rendering is not tenable nor capable of being supported by such an expression as ish beish. The correct rendering

(2) is rather, only let no man strive (with them), and let no man reprove them. This imports

(a) that reasoning with them would be useless, and reproof thrown away, in consequence of the desperate obstinacy of these offenders; or

(b) that they were so self-willed that they would not allow any one to reprove them for their conduct. The rendering

(1) is favored by Kimchi: "Let a man not strive, nor reprove his fellow for his wickedness, for it profits him not, because he also does evil like him." The fact often experienced in a season of public calamity, that every one comes forth as a correcter of morals, and transfers to his neighbor the cause of such calamity, Hitzig illustrates by the following words of Curtius: "Quod in adversis rebus fieri solet, alius in allure culpam transferebat." The explanation (2, b), which is pretty much that of Ewald, is supported by the comments of Rashi and Aben Ezra. The former explains: "Ye warn the true prophets against striving with you and against reproving you;" the latter: "There is no one that strives with another or reproves him: and yet it was the right of the priest to reprove Israel; but now they turn to reprove the priest, for he also is wicked in his works." But

(3) Pusey's rendering, though only a slight modification of the preceding, conveys a different sense. It is "Only men let him not strive, and let not man reprove," which he explains as follows: "God had taken the controversy with his people into his own hands; the Lord, he said (ver. 1), had a controversy (rib) with the inhabitants of the land. Here he forbids man to intermeddle; man let him not strive (he again uses the same word). The people were obstinate and would not hear... so God bids man to cease to speak in his Name. He himself alone will implead them, whose pleading none could evade or contradict." The rendering

(2) is, in our opinion, decidedly entitled to the preference both on the ground of simplicity and agreement with the following clause. That clause, for thy people are as they that strive with the priest, is thought by Abarbanel to allude to the opposition of Korah and his company to Aaron the high priest, as recorded in Numbers 16, and referred to in Psalm 106. In the former passage, at the eleventh verse, it is asked, "And what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?" while in the latter, at ver. 16, we read the statement: "They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the Lord." This allusion, by which the Israelites of the prophet's day were compared to the Korathires, will appear to most as far-fetched.

(1) The usual acceptation is both simpler and more satisfactory. It takes the expression to denote such contumacy as is reproved in Deuteronomy 17:12, "The man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel." The contumaciousness of Israel is thus compared to that of persons who were so obstinate and presumptuous as neither to obey nor reverence, but rather rebel against, the true priests of Jehovah, who, in his Divine Name and by Divine authority, instructed or reproved. Such persons neither feared God nor regarded man. It was the refractoriness of pupils acting in opposition to their teacher, or of a people rising in rebellion against their spiritual instructors. Thus the Chaldee understands it: "And thy people contend [quarrel] with their teachers." The last clause of ver. 4 is fairly well explained by Kimchi (except that he explains kaph of certainty and not similitude) as follows: "The prophet says, The priest should have taught, striven with, and reproved the people; but at this time the people strive with the priest; for it is not enough that they do not receive his reproof, but they strive with and reprove him, after the way they say, 'A generation that judges its judges.' Or the explanation is, 'The priest is as wicked as they, and if he reproves them so also they reprove him.'"

(2) The LXX. has ὡς ἀντι λεγόμενος ἱερεὺς, as a priest spoken against. The text being thus somewhat doubtful, Michaelis made a very slight change in the pointing, putting a patach instead of tsere in the word for "contend;" thus: כִמְרבַי instead of כִמְרִיבֵי, so that the translation would be, "And thy people are as my adversaries (those who contend with me), O priest." The people that should have learnt the Law from the lips of the priest would not even submit to reproof from the Most High himself. The expression, "priest-disputers" or "priest-gainsayers," is admittedly an unusual one, and given as a specimen of the peculiarities of this prophet's style, to which, however, there is a parallel in "boundary-movers" (cf. Hosea 5:10). Still, we see no real advantage gained by the conjectural emendation of Michaelis, though some are disposed to accept it on the ground that the representation of the incorrigibleness of a people by gainsaying opposition to the priest appears incongruous with the immediately succeeding denunciation of the priesthood. The objection is obviated by understanding, as above, opposition to the true priests of the Lord. Another conjectural reading is that of Beck, via וְעַמִּי כַכְּמָרָיו, equivalent to "and my people are like their priests." Such conjectural emendation is needless as useless.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Therefore shall the land mourn,.... Because of the calamities on it, the devastations made in it; nothing growing upon it, through a violent drought; or the grass and corn being trodden down, or eaten up, by a foreign army:

and everyone that dwelleth therein shall languish; that is, every man, an inhabitant thereof, shall become weak, languish away, and die through wounds received by the enemy; or for want of food, or being infected with the wasting and destroying pestilence:

with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; the one shall die in the field for want of grass to eat, and the other shall drop to the earth through the infection of the air:

yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away; or "gathered" (p); to some other place, so as to disappear; or they shall be consumed and die, as Kimchi interprets it; and as all these creatures are for the good of men, for sustenance, comfort, and delight, when they are taken away, it is by way of punishment for their sins. So the Targum,

"the fishes of the sea shall be lessened for their sins.''

(p) "congregabuntur", V. L.; "collgentur", Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius, Schmidt.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. land … languish—(Isa 19:8; 24:4; Joe 1:10, 12).

sea—including all bodies of water, as pools and even rivers (see on [1116]Isa 19:5). A general drought, the greatest calamity in the East, is threatened.

Hosea 4:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
God's Charges against Israel
2There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3Therefore the land mourns, And everyone who lives in it languishes Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, And also the fish of the sea disappear. 4Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof; For your people are like those who contend with the priest.…
Cross References
Isaiah 24:4
The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the heavens languish with the earth.

Isaiah 33:9
The land dries up and wastes away, Lebanon is ashamed and withers; Sharon is like the Arabah, and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.

Jeremiah 4:28
Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back."

Jeremiah 9:10
I will weep and wail for the mountains and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands. They are desolate and untraveled, and the lowing of cattle is not heard. The birds have all fled and the animals are gone.

Jeremiah 12:4
How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished. Moreover, the people are saying, "He will not see what happens to us."

Jeremiah 23:10
The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly.

Ezekiel 38:20
The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground.

Joel 1:18
How the cattle moan! The herds mill about because they have no pasture; even the flocks of sheep are suffering.

Amos 5:16
Therefore this is what the Lord, the LORD God Almighty, says: "There will be wailing in all the streets and cries of anguish in every public square. The farmers will be summoned to weep and the mourners to wail.

Amos 8:8
"Will not the land tremble for this, and all who live in it mourn? The whole land will rise like the Nile; it will be stirred up and then sink like the river of Egypt.

Zephaniah 1:3
"I will sweep away both man and beast; I will sweep away the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea-- and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble." "When I destroy all mankind on the face of the earth," declares the LORD,

Zechariah 5:4
The LORD Almighty declares, 'I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.'"
Treasury of Scripture

Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwells therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yes, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

the land.

Isaiah 24:4-12 The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away, …

Jeremiah 4:27 For thus has the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet …

Joel 1:10-13 The field is wasted, the land mourns; for the corn is wasted: the …

Amos 1:2 And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from …

Amos 5:16 Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD, said thus; Wailing …

Amos 8:8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwells …

Nahum 1:4 He rebukes the sea, and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers: …

with the beasts.

Jeremiah 4:25 I beheld, and, see, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens …

Jeremiah 12:4 How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, …

Ezekiel 38:20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the …

Zephaniah 1:3 I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, …

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