Hosea 4:12
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.

New Living Translation
They ask a piece of wood for advice! They think a stick can tell them the future! Longing after idols has made them foolish. They have played the prostitute, serving other gods and deserting their God.

English Standard Version
My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staff gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore.

Berean Study Bible
My people consult their wooden idols, and their divining rods inform them. For a spirit of prostitution leads them astray and they have played the harlot against their God.

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.

New King James Version
My people ask counsel from their wooden idols, And their staff informs them. For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray, And they have played the harlot against 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.

Christian Standard Bible
My people consult their wooden idols, and their divining rods inform them. For a spirit of promiscuity leads them astray; they act promiscuously in disobedience to their God.

Contemporary English Version
You expect wooden idols and other objects of wood to give you advice. Lusting for sex at pagan shrines has made you unfaithful to me, your God.

Good News Translation
They ask for revelations from a piece of wood! A stick tells them what they want to know! They have left me. Like a woman who becomes a prostitute, they have given themselves to other gods.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
My people consult their wooden idols, and their divining rods inform them. For a spirit of promiscuity leads them astray; they act promiscuously in disobedience to their God.

International Standard Version
My people seek counsel from their piece of wood, and their diviner's rod speaks to them. For a spirit of prostitution causes them to go astray; in their immorality they desert their God.

NET Bible
They consult their wooden idols, and their diviner's staff answers with an oracle. The wind of prostitution blows them astray; they commit spiritual adultery against their God.

New Heart 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.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
My people ask their wooden idols for help. A piece of wood tells them what to do. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray. They commit adultery by giving themselves to other gods.

JPS Tanakh 1917
My people ask counsel at their stock, And their staff declareth unto them; For the spirit of harlotry hath caused them to err, And they have gone astray from under their God.

New American Standard 1977
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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
My people ask counsel of their wooden idol, and their stick declares unto them; for the spirit of whoredoms has caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring under their gods.

King James 2000 Bible
My people ask counsel of their idols of wood, and their staff advises unto them: for the spirit of harlotry has caused them to err, and they have played the harlot against their God.

American King James Version
My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declares to them: for the spirit of prostitutions has caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.

American Standard Version
My people ask counsel at their stock, and their staff declareth unto them; for the spirit of whoredom hath caused them to err, and they have played the harlot, departing from under their God.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
They asked counsel by means of signs, and they reported answer to them by their staves: they have gone astray in a spirit of whoredom, and gone grievously a-whoring from their God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
My people have consulted their stocks, and their staff hath declared unto them: for the spirit of fornication hath deceived them, and they have committed fornication against 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:

English Revised Version
My people ask counsel at their stock, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredom hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.

Webster's Bible Translation
My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth to them: for the spirit of lewdness hath caused them to err, and they have gone astray 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.
Study Bible
God's Charges Against Israel
11Promiscuity, wine, and new wine take away understanding. 12My people consult their wooden idols, and their divining rods inform them. For a spirit of prostitution leads them astray and they have played the harlot against their God. 13They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is pleasant. And so your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery.…
Cross References
Psalm 73:27
Those far from You will surely perish; You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.

Psalm 106:39
They defiled themselves by their actions and prostituted themselves by their deeds.

Isaiah 44:19
And no one considers in his heart, no one has the knowledge or insight to say, "I burned half of it in the fire, and I baked bread on its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make something detestable with the rest of it? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?"

Isaiah 44:20
He feeds on ashes. His deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"

Jeremiah 2:27
say to a tree, 'You are my father,' and to a stone, 'You gave birth to me.' For they have turned their backs to Me and not their faces, yet in the time of trouble they beg, 'Rise up and save us!'

Hosea 5:4
Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God, for a spirit of prostitution 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 against your God; you have made love for hire on every threshing floor.

Hosea 14:3
Assyria will not save us, nor will we ride on horses. We will never again say, 'Our gods!' to the work of our own hands. For in You the orphan finds compassion."

Treasury of Scripture

My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declares to them: for the spirit of prostitutions has caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.

ask.

Jeremiah 2:27
Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.

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, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.

for.

Hosea 5:4
They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD.

Isaiah 44:18-20
They have not known nor understood: for he hath 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 unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

gone.

Hosea 9:1
Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.

Leviticus 17:7
And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.

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, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.







Lexicon
My people
עַמִּי֙ (‘am·mî)
Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 5971: A people, a tribe, troops, attendants, a flock

consult
יִשְׁאָ֔ל (yiš·’āl)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7592: To inquire, to request, to demand

their wooden idols,
בְּעֵצ֣וֹ (bə·‘ê·ṣōw)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6086: Tree, trees, wood

and their divining rods
וּמַקְל֖וֹ (ū·maq·lōw)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4731: A shoot, stick

inform them.
יַגִּ֣יד (yag·gîḏ)
Verb - Hifil - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5046: To be conspicuous

For
כִּ֣י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

a spirit
ר֤וּחַ (rū·aḥ)
Noun - common singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 7307: Wind, breath, exhalation, life, anger, unsubstantiality, a region of the sky, spirit

of prostitution
זְנוּנִים֙ (zə·nū·nîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2183: Adultery, idolatry

leads them astray
הִתְעָ֔ה (hiṯ·‘āh)
Verb - Hifil - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8582: To vacillate, reel, stray

and they have played the harlot
וַיִּזְנ֖וּ (way·yiz·nū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2181: To commit adultery, to commit idolatry

against
מִתַּ֥חַת (mit·ta·ḥaṯ)
Preposition-m
Strong's Hebrew 8478: The bottom, below, in lieu of

their God.
אֱלֹהֵיהֶֽם׃ (’ĕ·lō·hê·hem)
Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative
(12) Their stocks.--Blocks of wood fashioned into idols (Heb., his wood, the collective singular being maintained).

Their staff.--Cyril regarded this as referring to divinations by means of rods (????????????), which were placed upright, and after the repetition of incantations, allowed to fall, the forecast of the future being interpreted from the manner in which they fell. But perhaps the "staff" may refer, like the "stocks," to the idol itself. The Canaanite goddess Asherah was worshipped under this form.

Verses 12-14. - The first of these verses exhibits the private life of the people as depraved by sin and folly; the second their public life as degraded by idolatry and lewdness; while the third points to the corresponding chastisement and its cause. My people ask counsel at their stocks (literally, wood), and their staff declareth unto them. Rashi explains "stocks," or literally, "wood," to mean "a graven image made out of wood;" while Aben Ezra prefaces his exposition of this by an observation which serves well as a link of connection between the eleventh and twelfth verses. It is as follows: "The sign that they are in reality without heart, is that my people turn to ask counsel of its stocks and wood." Kimchi not inaptly remarks, "They are like the blind man to whom his staff points out the way in which he should go." The stupidity of idolatry and the sin of divination are here combined. By the "wood" is meant an idol carved out of wood; while the staff may likewise have an image carved at the top for idolatrous purposes, or it may denote mode of divination by a staff which by the way it fell determined their course. Theophylaet explains this method of divination as follows: "They set up two rods, and muttered some verses and enchantments; and then the rods falling through the influence of demons, they considered how they fell, whether forward or backward, to the right or the left, and so gave answers to the foolish people, using the fall of the rods for signs." Cyril, who attributes the invention of rabdomancy to the Chaldeans, gives the same account of this method of divination. Herodotus mentions a mode of divination prevalent among the Scythians by means of willow rods; and Tacitus informs us that the Germans divined by a rod cut from a fruit-bearing tree. "They (the Germans) cut a twig from a fruit tree, and divide it into small pieces, which, distinguished by certain marks, are thrown promiscuously on a white garment. Then the priest or 'the canton, it' the occasion be public - if private, the master of the family - after an invocation of the gods, with his eyes lifted up to heaven, thrice takes out each piece, and as they come up, interprets their signification according to the marks fixed upon them." The sin and folly of any people consulting an idol of wood about the success or otherwise of an undertaking, or deciding whether by a species of teraphim or staff divination, is sufficiently obvious. But the great aggravation of Israel's sin arose from the circumstance not obscurely hinted by the possessive "my" attached to "people." That a people like Israel, whom God had chosen from among the nations of the earth and distinguished by special tokens of Divine favor, and to whom he had given the ephod with the truly oracular Urim and Thummim, should forsake him and the means he had given them of knowing his will, and turn aside to gods of wood, evinced at once stupidity unaccountable and sin inexcusable. "The prophet," says Calvin, "calls here the Israelites the people of God, not to honor them, but rather to increase their sin; for the more heinous was the perfidy of the people, that, having been chosen, they had afterwards forsaken their heavenly Father.... Now this people, that ought to be mine, consult their own wood, and their staff answers them!" For the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a-whoring from under their God. In this part of the verse the prophet attempts to account for the extreme folly and heinous sin of Israel, as described in the first clause. It was an evil spirit, some demoniac power, that had inspired them with an insuperable fondness for idolatry, which in prophetic language is spiritual adultery. The consequence was a sad departure from the true God and a sinful wandering away from his worship, notwithstanding his amazing condescension and love by which he placed himself in the relation of a husband towards them. 4:12-19 The people consulted images, and not the Divine word. This would lead to disorder and sin. Thus men prepare scourges for themselves, and vice is spread through a people. Let not Judah come near the idolatrous worship of Israel. For Israel was devoted to idols, and must now be let alone. When sinners cast off the easy yoke of Christ, they go on in sin till the Lord saith, Let them alone. Then they receive no more warnings, feel no more convictions: Satan takes full possession of them, and they ripen for destruction. It is a sad and sore judgment for any man to be let alone in sin. Those who are not disturbed in their sin, will be destroyed for their sin. May we be kept from this awful state; for the wrath of God, like a strong tempest, will soon hurry impenitent sinners into ruin.
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Alphabetical: a and answered are astray by consult departing diviner's For from God harlot harlotry has have idol informs leads led my of people played prostitution spirit stick the their them They to unfaithful wand wood wooden

OT Prophets: Hosea 4:12 My people consult with their wooden idol (Ho Hs Hos.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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