Hosea 4:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
My people consult a wooden idol, and a diviner's rod speaks to them. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to 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
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

At their stocks - They consult their wooden gods.

And their staff declareth - They use divination by rods; see the note on Ezekiel 21 (note), where this sort of divination (rabdomancy) is explained.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

ask.

Jeremiah 2:27 Saying to a stock, You are my father; and to a stone, You have brought me forth: for they have turned their back to me...

Jeremiah 10:8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.

Ezekiel 21:21 For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright...

Habakkuk 2:19 Woe to him that said to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver...

for.

Hosea 5:4 They will not frame their doings to turn to their God: for the spirit of prostitutions is in the middle of them...

Isaiah 44:18-20 They have not known nor understood: for he has shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand...

Micah 2:11 If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy to you of wine and of strong drink...

2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders...

gone.

Hosea 9:1 Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for you have gone a whoring from your God...

Leviticus 17:7 And they shall no more offer their sacrifices to devils, after whom they have gone a whoring...

Leviticus 20:5 Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him...

Numbers 15:39 And it shall be to you for a fringe, that you may look on it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them...

Deuteronomy 31:16 And the LORD said to Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers; and this people will rise up...

2 Chronicles 21:13 But have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring...

Psalm 73:27 For, see, they that are far from you shall perish: you have destroyed all them that go a whoring from you.

Jeremiah 3:1-3 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return to her again...

Ezekiel 16:1-63 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying...

Ezekiel 23:1-49 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying...

Library
'Let Him Alone'
'Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.'--HOSEA iv. 17. The tribe of Ephraim was the most important member of the kingdom of Israel; consequently its name was not unnaturally sometimes used in a wider application for the whole of the kingdom, of which it was the principal part. Being the 'predominant partner,' its name was used alone for that of the whole firm, just as in our own empire, we often say 'England,' meaning thereby the three kingdoms: England, Scotland, and Ireland. So 'Ephraim' here
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Beth-El. Beth-Aven.
Josephus thus describes the land of Benjamin; "The Benjamites' portion of land was from the river Jordan to the sea, in length: in breadth, it was bounded by Jerusalem and Beth-el." Let these last words be marked, "The breadth of the land of Benjamin was bounded by Jerusalem and Beth-el." May we not justly conclude, from these words, that Jerusalem and Beth-el were opposite, as it were, in a right line? But if you look upon the maps, there are some that separate these by a very large tract of land,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

"Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge"
God's favor toward Israel had always been conditional on their obedience. At the foot of Sinai they had entered into covenant relationship with Him as His "peculiar treasure. . . above all people." Solemnly they had promised to follow in the path of obedience. "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do," they had said. Exodus 19:5, 8. And when, a few days afterward, God's law was spoken from Sinai, and additional instruction in the form of statutes and judgments was communicated through Moses, the
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Joy
'The fruit of the Spirit is joy.' Gal 5:52. The third fruit of justification, adoption, and sanctification, is joy in the Holy Ghost. Joy is setting the soul upon the top of a pinnacle - it is the cream of the sincere milk of the word. Spiritual joy is a sweet and delightful passion, arising from the apprehension and feeling of some good, whereby the soul is supported under present troubles, and fenced against future fear. I. It is a delightful passion. It is contrary to sorrow, which is a perturbation
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Cross References
Psalm 73:27
Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

Psalm 106:39
They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves.

Isaiah 44:19
No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, "Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?"

Isaiah 44:20
Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"

Jeremiah 2:27
They say to wood, 'You are my father,' and to stone, 'You gave me birth.' They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, 'Come and save us!'

Hosea 5:4
"Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the LORD.

Hosea 9:1
Do not rejoice, Israel; do not be jubilant like the other nations. For you have been unfaithful to your God; you love the wages of a prostitute at every threshing floor.

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