Hosea 6:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

New Living Translation
I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.

English Standard Version
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

New American Standard Bible
For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

King James Bible
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

International Standard Version
For it is love that I seek, and not sacrifice; knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

NET Bible
For I delight in faithfulness, not simply in sacrifice; I delight in acknowledging God, not simply in whole burnt offerings.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I want your loyalty, not your sacrifices. I want you to know me, not to give me burnt offerings.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

King James 2000 Bible
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

American King James Version
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

American Standard Version
For I desire goodness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice: and the knowledge of God more than holocausts.

Darby Bible Translation
For I delight in loving-kindness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.

English Revised Version
For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Webster's Bible Translation
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice: and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.

World English Bible
For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Young's Literal Translation
For kindness I desired, and not sacrifice, And a knowledge of God above burnt-offerings.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

6:4-11 Sometimes Israel and Judah seemed disposed to repent under their sufferings, but their goodness vanished like the empty morning cloud, and the early dew, and they were as vile as ever. Therefore the Lord sent awful messages by the prophets. The word of God will be the death either of the sin or of the sinner. God desired mercy rather than sacrifice, and that knowledge of him which produces holy fear and love. This exposes the folly of those who trust in outward observances, to make up for their want of love to God and man. As Adam broke the covenant of God in paradise, so Israel had broken his national covenant, notwithstanding all the favours they received. Judah also was ripe for Divine judgments. May the Lord put his fear into our hearts, and set up his kingdom within us, and never leave us to ourselves, nor suffer us to be overcome by temptation.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice,.... That is, the one rather than the other, as the next clause explains it. Sacrifices were of early use, even before the law of Moses; they were of divine appointment, and were approved and accepted of by the Lord; they were types of Christ, and led to him, and were continued unto his death; but in comparison of moral duties, which respect love to God, and to our neighbour, the Lord did not will them, desire them, and delight in them; or he had more regard for the former than the latter; see 1 Samuel 15:22; nor did he will or accept at all of the sacrifices ordered to the calves at Dan and Bethel; nor others, when they were not such as the law required, or were not offered up in the faith of Christ, attended with repentance for sin, and in sincerity, and were brought as real expiatory sacrifices for sin, and especially as now abrogated by the sacrifice of Christ. And as these words are twice quoted by our Lord, at one time to justify his mercy, pity, and compassion, to the souls of poor sinners, by conversing with them, Matthew 9:13; and at another time to justify the disciples in an act of mercy to their bodies when hungry, by plucking ears of corn on the sabbath day, Matthew 12:7; "mercy" may here respect both acts of mercy shown by the Lord, and acts of mercy done by men; both which the Lord wills, desires, and delights in: he takes pleasure in showing mercy himself, as appears by his free and open declarations of it; by the throne of grace and mercy he has set up; by the encouragement he gives to souls to hope in his mercy; by the objects of it, the chief of sinners; by the various ways he has taken to display it, in election, in the covenant of grace, in the mission of Christ, in the pardon of sin by him, and in regeneration; and by his opposing it to everything else, in the affair of salvation. And he likewise has a very great regard to mercy as exercised by men; as this is one of the weightier matters of the law, and may be put for the whole of it, or however the second table of it, which is love to our neighbours, and takes in all kind offices done to them; and especially designs acts of liberality to necessitous persons; which are sacrifices God is well pleased with, even more than with the ceremonious ones; these being such in which men resemble him the merciful God, who is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil;

and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings; which were reckoned the greatest and most excellent sacrifices, the whole being the Lord's; but knowledge of God is preferred to them; by which is meant, not the knowledge of God, the light of nature, which men might have, and not him; nor by the law of Moses, as a lawgiver, judge, and consuming fire; but a knowledge of him in Christ, as the God and Father of Christ, as the God of all grace, gracious and merciful in him; as a covenant God and Father in him, which is through the Gospel by the Spirit, and is eternal life, John 17:3; this includes in it faith and hope in God, love to him, fear of him and his goodness, and the whole worship of him, both internal and external. These words seem designed to expose and remove the false ground of trust and confidence in sacrifices the people of Israel were prone unto; as we find they were in the times of Isaiah, who was contemporary with Hoses; see Isaiah 1:12. The Targum interprets them of those that exercise mercy, and do the law of the Lord.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

6. mercy—put for piety in general, of which mercy or charity is a branch.

not sacrifice—that is, "rather than sacrifice." So "not" is merely comparative (Ex 16:8; Joe 2:13; Joh 6:27; 1Ti 2:14). As God Himself instituted sacrifices, it cannot mean that He desired them not absolutely, but that even in the Old Testament, He valued moral obedience as the only end for which positive ordinances, such as sacrifices, were instituted—as of more importance than a mere external ritual obedience (1Sa 15:22; Ps 50:8, 9; 51:16; Isa 1:11, 12; Mic 6:6-8; Mt 9:13; 12:7).

knowledge of God—experimental and practical, not merely theoretical (Ho 6:3; Jer 22:16; 1Jo 2:3, 4). "Mercy" refers to the second table of the law, our duty to our fellow man; "the knowledge of God" to the first table, our duty to God, including inward spiritual worship. The second table is put first, not as superior in dignity, for it is secondary, but in the order of our understanding.

Hosea 6:6 Additional Commentaries
Context
Israel and Judah are Unrepentant
5Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth. 6For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. 7But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.…
Cross References
Matthew 9:13
But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Matthew 12:7
If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.

Mark 12:33
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

1 Samuel 15:22
But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

Psalm 50:8
I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.

Proverbs 21:3
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Isaiah 1:11
"The multitude of your sacrifices-- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

Jeremiah 7:22
For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices,

Hosea 2:20
I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD.

Hosea 14:2
Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: "Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.

Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Treasury of Scripture

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

I desired.

1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings …

Psalm 50:8 I will not reprove you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, …

Proverbs 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Ecclesiastes 5:1 Keep your foot when you go to the house of God, and be more ready …

Isaiah 1:11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? said the …

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, …

Jeremiah 7:22 For I spoke not to your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that …

Daniel 4:27 Why, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your …

Amos 5:21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn …

Micah 6:6 With which shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the …

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Matthew 9:13 But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not …

Matthew 12:7 But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not …

the.

Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel: for the LORD has …

1 Chronicles 28:9 And you, Solomon my son, know you the God of your father, and serve …

Jeremiah 22:16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with …

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

1 John 3:6 Whoever stays in him sins not: whoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.

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