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Hosea 4:6 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; for thou hast rejected knowledge, and I will reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me; seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— My people, are destroyed, for lack of knowledge,—Because, thou, hast rejected knowledge, therefore will I reject thee from ministering as priest unto me, and, because thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also, will forget thy children.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Cut off have been My people for lack of knowledge, Because thou knowledge hast rejected, I reject thee from being priest to Me, And thou forgettest the law of thy God, I forget thy sons, I also!
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— My people have been silent, because they had no knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee, that thou shalt not do the office of priesthood to me: and thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— My people are destroyed for lacke of knowledge: because thou hast reiected knowledge, I will also reiect thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the lawe of thy God, I wil also forget thy children.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— My people are like as if they had no knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt not minister as priest to me: and [as] thou has forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy Elohim, I will also forget thy children.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
My people 5971
{5971} Prime
From H6004; a people (as a congregated unit); specifically a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively a flock.
are destroyed 1820
{1820} Prime
A primitive root; to be dumb or silent; hence to fail or perish; transitively to destroy.
<8738> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 1429
for lack x4480
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
(1097) Complement
From H1086; properly failure, that is, nothing or destruction; usually (with preposition) without, not yet, because not, as long as, etc.
of knowledge: 1847
{1847} Prime
From H3045; knowledge.
because x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
thou x859
(0859) Complement
A primitive pronoun of the second person; thou and thee, or (plural) ye and you.
hast rejected 3988
{3988} Prime
A primitive root; to spurn; also (intransitively) to disappear.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
knowledge, 1847
{1847} Prime
From H3045; knowledge.
I will also reject 3988
{3988} Prime
A primitive root; to spurn; also (intransitively) to disappear.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
thee, that thou shalt be no priest 3547
{3547} Prime
A primitive root, apparently meaning to mediate in religious services; but used only as denominative from H3548; to officiate as a priest; figuratively to put on regalia.
<8763> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 790
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
to me: seeing thou hast forgotten 7911
{7911} Prime
A primitive root; to mislay, that is, to be oblivious of, from want of memory or attention.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
the law 8451
{8451} Prime
From H3384; a precept or statute, especially the Decalogue or Pentateuch.
of thy lhm אֱלֹהִים, 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
I x589
(0589) Complement
Contracted from H0595; I.
will also x1571
(1571) Complement
By contraction from an unused root meaning to gather; properly assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correlation both... and.
forget 7911
{7911} Prime
A primitive root; to mislay, that is, to be oblivious of, from want of memory or attention.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
thy children. 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Hosea 4:6

_ _ lack of knowledge — “of God” (Hosea 4:1), that is, lack of piety. Their ignorance was willful, as the epithet, “My people,” implies; they ought to have known, having the opportunity, as the people of God.

_ _ thou — O priest, so-called. Not regularly constituted, but still bearing the name, while confounding the worship of Jehovah and of the calves in Beth-el (1 Kings 12:29, 1 Kings 12:31).

_ _ I will ... forget thy children — Not only those who then were alive should be deprived of the priesthood, but their children who, in the ordinary course would have succeeded them, should be set aside.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Hosea 4:6-11

_ _ God is here proceeding in his controversy both with the priests and with the people. The people were as those that strove with the priests (Hosea 4:4) when they had priests that did their duty; but the generality of them lived in the neglect of their duty, and here is a word for those priests, and for the people that love to have it so, Jeremiah 5:31. And it is observable here how the punishment answers to the sin, and how, for the justifying of his own proceedings, God sets the one over-against the other.

_ _ I. The people strove with the priests that should have taught them the knowledge of God; justly therefore were they destroyed for lack of knowledge, Hosea 4:6. Note, Those that rebel against the light can expect no other than to perish in the dark. Or it is a charge upon the priests, who should have been still teaching the people knowledge (Ecclesiastes 12:9), but they did not, or did it in such a manner that it was as if they had not done it at all, so there was no knowledge of God in the land; and because there was no vision, or none to any purpose, the people perished, Proverbs 29:18. Note, Ignorance is so far from being the mother of devotion that it is the mother of destruction; lack of knowledge is ruining to any person or people. They are my people that are thus destroyed; their relation to God as his people aggravates both their sin in not taking pains to get the knowledge of that God whose command they were under and with whom they were taken into covenant, and likewise the sin of those who should have taught them; God set his children to school to them, and they never minded them nor took any pains with them.

_ _ II. Both priests and people rejected knowledge; and justly therefore will God reject them. The reason why the people did not learn, and the priests did not teach, was not because they had not the light, but because they hated it — not because they had not ways of coming to the knowledge of God and of communicating it, but because they had no heart to it; they rejected it. They desired not the knowledge of God's ways, but put it from them, and shut their eyes against the light; and therefore “I will also reject thee; I will refuse to take cognizance of thee and to own thee; you will not know me, but bid me depart; I will therefore say, Depart from me, I know you not. Thou shalt be no priest to me.” 1. The priests shall be no longer admitted to the privileges, or employed in the services, of the priesthood, nor shall they ever be received again, as we find, Ezekiel 44:13. Note, Ministers that reject knowledge, that are grossly ignorant and scandalous, ought not to be owned as ministers; but that which they seem to have should be taken away, Luke 8:18. 2. The people shall be no longer as they have been, a kingdom of priests, a royal priesthood, Exodus 19:6. God's people, by rejecting knowledge, forfeit their honour and profane their own crown.

_ _ III. They forgot the law of God, neither desired nor endeavoured to retain it in mind, nor to transmit the remembrance of it to their posterity, and therefore justly will God forget them and their children, the people's children; they did not educate them, as they ought to have done, in the knowledge of God and their duty to him, and therefore God will disown them, as not in covenant with him. Note, If parents do not teach their children, when they are young, to remember their Creator, they cannot expect that their Creator should remember them. Or it may be meant of the priests' children; they shall not succeed them in the priests' office, but shall be reduced to poverty, as is threatened against Eli's house, 1 Samuel 2:20.

_ _ IV. They dishonoured God with that which was their honour, and justly therefore will God strip them of it, Hosea 4:7. It was their honour that they were increased in number, wealth, power, and dignity. The beginning of their nation was small, but in process of time it greatly increased, and grew very considerable; the family of the priests increased wonderfully. But, as they were increased, so they sinned against God. The more populous the nation grew, the more sin was committed and the more profane they were; their wealth, honour, and power, did but make them the more daring in sin. Therefore, says God, will I change their glory into shame. Are their numbers their glory? God will diminish them and make them few. Is their wealth their glory? God will impoverish them and bring them low; so that they shall themselves be ashamed of that which they gloried in. Their priests shall be made contemptible and base, Malachi 2:9. Note, That which is our honour, if we dishonour God with it, will sooner or later be turned into shame to us: for those that despise God shall be lightly esteemed, 1 Samuel 2:30.

_ _ V. The priests ate up the sin of God's people, and therefore they shall eat and not have enough. 1. They abused the maintenance that was allowed to the priests, to the priests of the house of Aaron, by the law of God, and to the mock-priests of the calves by their constitution (Hosea 4:8): They eat up the sin of my people, that is, their sin-offerings. If it be meant of the priests of the calves, it intimates their seizing that which they had no right to; they usurped the revenues of the priests, though they were no priests. If it be meant of those who were legal priests, it intimates their greediness of the profits and perquisites of their office, when they took no care at all to do the duty of it. They feasted upon their part of the offerings of the Lord, but forgot the work for which they were so well paid. They set their heart upon the people's iniquities; they lifted up their soul to them, that is, they were glad then people did commit iniquity, that they might be obliged to bring an offering to make atonement for it, which they should have their share of; the more sins the more sacrifices, and therefore they cared not how much sin people were guilty of. Instead of warning the people against sin, from the consideration of the sacrifices, which showed them what an offence sin was to God, since it needed such an expiation, they emboldened and encouraged the people to sin, since an atonement might be made at so small an expense. Thus they glutted themselves upon the sins of the people, and helped to keep up that which they should have beaten down. Note, It is a very wicked thing to be well pleased with the sins of others because, in some way or other, they may turn to our advantage. 2. God will therefore deny them his blessing upon their maintenance (Hosea 4:10): They shall eat and not have enough. Though they have great plenty by the abundance of offerings that are brought in, yet they shall have no satisfaction in it. Either their food shall yield no good nourishment or their greedy appetites shall not be satisfied with it. Note, What is unlawfully gained cannot be comfortably used; no, nor that which is inordinately coveted; it is just that the desires which are insatiable should always be unsatisfied, and that those should never have enough who never know when they have enough. See Micah 6:14; Haggai 1:6.

_ _ VI. The more they increased the more they sinned (Hosea 4:7), and therefore though they commit whoredom, though they take the most wicked methods to multiply their people, yet they shall not increase. Though they have many wives and concubines, as Solomon had, yet they shall not have their families built up thereby in a numerous progeny, any more than he had. Note, Those that hope any way to increase by unlawful means will be disappointed. And therefore God will thus blast all their projects because they have left off to take heed to the Lord; time was when they had some regard to God, and to his authority over them and interest in them, but they have left it off; they take no heed to his word nor to his providences; they do not eye him in either. They forsake him, so as not to take heed to him; they have apostatized to such a degree that they have no manner of regard to God, but are perfectly without God in the world. Note, Those that leave off to take heed to the Lord leave off all good, and can expect no other than that all good should leave them.

_ _ VII. The people and the priests did harden one another in sin; and therefore justly shall they be sharers in the punishment (Hosea 4:9): There shall be, like people, like priest. So they were in character; people and priest were both alike ignorant and profane, regardless of God and their duty, and addicted to idolatry: and so they shall be in condition; God will bring judgments upon them, that shall be the destruction both of priest and people; the famine that deprives the people of their meat shall deprive the priests of their meat-offerings, Joel 1:9. It is part of the description of a universal desolation that it shall be as with the people, so with the priest, Isaiah 24:2. God's judgments, when they come with commission, will make no difference. Note, Sharers in sin must expect to be sharers in ruin. Thus God will punish them both for their ways, and reward them for their doings. God will cause their doings to return upon them (so the word is); when a sin is committed the sinner thinks it is gone and he shall hear no more of it, but he shall find it called over again, and made to return, either to his humiliation or to his condemnation.

_ _ VIII. They indulged themselves in the delights of sense, to hold up their hearts; but they shall find that they take away their hearts (Hosea 4:11): Whoredom, and wine, and new wine take away the heart. Some join this with the foregoing words. They have forsaken the Lord, to take heed to whoredom, and wine, and new wine. Or, Because these have taken away their heart. Their sensual pleasures have taken them off from their devotions and drowned all that is good in them. Or we may take it as a distinct sentence, containing a great truth which we see confirmed by every day's experience, that drunkenness and uncleanness are sins which besot and infatuate men, weaken and enfeeble them. They take away both the understanding and the courage.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Hosea 4:6

Destroyed — Many were already cut off by Pul king of Assyria, and many destroyed by the bloody tyranny of Menahem. Of knowledge — Of God, his law, his providence, his holy nature, his hatred of sin and power to punish it. Because thou — The prophet now turns from the people to the priests, to whom he speaks as to one person. Rejected knowledge — Art and wilt be ignorant. Seeing thou — O Israel, and you O priests, you have broken all the precepts of it. Thy children — The people of Israel, the whole kingdom of the ten tribes.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Hosea 4:6

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because (f) thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing (g) thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

(f) That is, the priests will be cast off, because for lack of knowledge they are not able to execute their charge, and instruct others; (Deuteronomy 33:3; Malachi 2:7).

(g) Meaning the whole body of the people, who were weary with hearing the word of God.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
My people:

Hosea 4:12 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.
Isaiah 1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: [but] Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Isaiah 3:12 [As for] my people, children [are] their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause [thee] to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
Isaiah 5:13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because [they have] no knowledge: and their honourable men [are] famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
Jeremiah 4:22 For my people [is] foolish, they have not known me; they [are] sottish children, and they have none understanding: they [are] wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
Jeremiah 8:7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.

Heb. cut off


Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because [there is] no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
2 Chronicles 15:3 Now for a long season Israel [hath been] without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.
Job 36:12 But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.
Proverbs 19:2 Also, [that] the soul [be] without knowledge, [it is] not good; and he that hasteth with [his] feet sinneth.
Isaiah 27:11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, [and] set them on fire: for it [is] a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.
Isaiah 45:20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye [that are] escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god [that] cannot save.
Jeremiah 5:3-4 O LORD, [are] not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, [but] they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. ... Therefore I said, Surely these [are] poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, [nor] the judgment of their God.
Jeremiah 5:21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
Matthew 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
2 Corinthians 4:3-6 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: ... For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli [were] sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.
Proverbs 1:30-32 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. ... For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
Isaiah 28:7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble [in] judgment.
Isaiah 56:10-12 His watchmen [are] blind: they are all ignorant, they [are] all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. ... Come ye, [say they], I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, [and] much more abundant.
Jeremiah 2:8 The priests said not, Where [is] the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after [things that] do not profit.
Jeremiah 8:8-9 How do ye say, We [are] wise, and the law of the LORD [is] with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he [it]; the pen of the scribes [is] in vain. ... The wise [men] are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom [is] in them?
Malachi 2:7-8 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he [is] the messenger of the LORD of hosts. ... But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
Matthew 23:16-26 Woe unto you, [ye] blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! ... [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

I will also reject:

Zechariah 11:8-9 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me. ... Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.
Zechariah 11:15-17 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. ... Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword [shall be] upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
Malachi 2:1-3 And now, O ye priests, this commandment [is] for you. ... Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, [even] the dung of your solemn feasts; and [one] shall take you away with it.
Malachi 2:9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.
Matthew 21:41-45 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out [his] vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. ... And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
Mark 12:8-9 And they took him, and killed [him], and cast [him] out of the vineyard. ... What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
Luke 20:16-18 He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard [it], they said, God forbid. ... Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.


Hosea 8:14 For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.
Hosea 13:6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.
2 Kings 17:16-20 And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, [even] two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. ... And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.
Psalms 119:61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: [but] I have not forgotten thy law.
Psalms 119:139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
Isaiah 17:10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:
Matthew 15:3-6 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? ... And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

I will also:

Hosea 1:6 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And [God] said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.
1 Samuel 2:28-36 And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel [to be] my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? ... And it shall come to pass, [that] every one that is left in thine house shall come [and] crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.
1 Samuel 3:12-15 In that day I will perform against Eli all [things] which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. ... And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.
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1S 2:12, 28; 3:12. 2K 17:16. 2Ch 15:3. Jb 36:12. Ps 119:61, 139. Pv 1:30; 19:2. Is 1:3; 3:12; 5:13; 17:10; 27:11; 28:7; 45:20; 56:10. Jr 2:8; 4:22; 5:3, 21; 8:7, 8. Ho 1:6; 4:1, 12; 6:6; 8:14; 13:6. Zc 11:8, 15. Mal 2:1, 7, 9. Mt 15:3, 14; 21:41; 23:16. Mk 12:8. Lk 20:16. 2Co 4:3.

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