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Hosea 6:6 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— For I desire goodness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice: and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— For I delight in loving-kindness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— For, lovingkindness, I desired, and not sacrifice,—and the knowledge of God, more than ascending-offerings.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— For kindness I desired, and not sacrifice, And a knowledge of God above burnt-offerings.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice: and the knowledge of God more than holocausts.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— For I desired mercie, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more then burnt offerings.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— For I will [have] mercy rather than sacrifice, and the knowledge of God rather than whole-burnt-offerings.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of Elohim more than burnt offerings.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
For 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.
I desired 2654
{2654} Prime
A primitive root; properly to incline to; by implication (literally but rarely) to bend; figuratively to be pleased with, desire.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
mercy, 2617
{2617} Prime
From H2616; kindness; by implication (towards God) piety; rarely (by opprobrium) reproof, or (subjectively) beauty.
and not x3808
(3808) Complement
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
sacrifice; 2077
{2077} Prime
From H2076; properly a slaughter, that is, the flesh of an animal; by implication a sacrifice (the victim or the act).
and the knowledge 1847
{1847} Prime
From H3045; knowledge.
of 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.
more than burnt offerings. 5930
{5930} Prime
Feminine active participle of H5927; a step or (collectively stairs, as ascending); usually a holocaust (as going up in smoke).
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Hosea 6:6

_ _ 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 (Exodus 16:8; Joel 2:13; John 6:27; 1 Timothy 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 (1 Samuel 15:22; Psalms 50:8, Psalms 50:9; Psalms 51:16; Isaiah 1:11, Isaiah 1:12; Micah 6:6-8; Matthew 9:13; Matthew 12:7).

_ _ knowledge of God — experimental and practical, not merely theoretical (Hosea 6:3; Jeremiah 22:16; 1 John 2:3, 1 John 2:4). “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.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Hosea 6:4-11.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Hosea 6:6

For — I so hewed and slew them, because they did not what I most of all required; they were full of sacrifices, but either to idols, or else in formality and pride. Mercy — Compassion and charity towards men, this one principal duty of the second table put for all. In this I delight, I have found little of this among you. Not sacrifice — Rather than sacrifice. The knowledge of God — The affectionate knowledge of God, which fills the mind with reverence of his majesty, fear of his goodness, love of his holiness, trust in his promise, and submission to his will.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Hosea 6:6

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

(f) He shows to what his doctrine was aimed at, that they should unite the obedience of God, and the love of their neighbour, with outward sacrifices.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
I desired:

1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.
Psalms 50:8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, [to have been] continually before me.
Proverbs 21:3 To do justice and judgment [is] more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
Ecclesiastes 5:1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.
Isaiah 1:11 To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
Isaiah 58:6 [Is] not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Jeremiah 7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
Daniel 4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
Amos 5:21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
Micah 6:6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, [and] bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
Matthew 5:7 Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Matthew 12:7 But if ye had known what [this] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.


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.
1 Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
Jeremiah 22:16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then [it was] well [with him: was] not this to know me? saith the LORD.
1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

1S 15:22. 1Ch 28:9. Ps 50:8. Pv 21:3. Ec 5:1. Is 1:11; 58:6. Jr 7:22; 22:16. Dn 4:27. Ho 4:1. Am 5:21. Mi 6:6. Mt 5:7; 9:13; 12:7. 1Jn 2:3; 3:6.

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