Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hosea '6:5'

*Return to the Lord*
1. "'Let us go and return to the Lord our God;
For He has grasped and will heal us;
He will smite and plug the wound with lint.+

2. After two days he will heal us.
In the third day we shall rise
And live before Him.+

3. Let us know, let us pursue
That we might know the Lord.
We shall find Him ready as the daybreak,
And He will come to us
As the early and latter rain to the earth.'+

*Israel and Judah Are Unrepentant*
4. "What shall I do to you, O Ephraim?
What shall I do to you, O Judah?
Your mercy is as a mourning cloud
And as the early dew that goes away.

5. Therefore I have cut off your prophets;
I have slain them with the words of My mouth,
And My judgment shall go forth as the light.

6. For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God
More than whole burnt offerings.+

7. But they are as a man who transgresses the covenant;
There they despised Me.

8. Gilead is a city working vanity with troubling water.

9. Your strength is that of a pirate;
The priests have hidden the way;
They have murdered the people of Shechem,
For they have done lawlessness.

10. In the house of Israel I have seen horrible things;
There is the fornication of Ephraim;
Israel and Judah are defiled.

11. Begin to harvest for yourself
When I return the captives of My people.

+6:1 - "These may refer to those among the Hebrews who afterward came to believe in Christ. In such a thirst and long captivity they will seek the face [5:15], namely, the Son" (Theoph).

+6:2 - The Church understands this text as a messianic prophecy regarding Christ's Resurrection: two days refers to the time the body of Jesus lay in the tomb; the third day points to His glorious Resurrection promising we shall rise with Him. St. Paul writes that Jesus "rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1Co 15:4), most likely alluding to this passage from Hosea.

+6:3 - Among the Church's early writers, Tertullian (ca. AD 160-225) is the first to relate this passage to the Resurrection of Jesus, and more precisely to the myrrhbearing women who went at daybreak (Lk 24:1) to their Master's tomb to anoint His body.

+6:6 - God does not reject worship as a whole, but He criticizes the way Israel perceives it. Instead of a means to enter into a relationship with God and to foster community ties, the worship gradually becomes a goal in itself (Am 5:21ff.; Mic 6:6ff.). This applies also to Orthodox people who see the liturgy as "boring".


  1. Hosea 4
    The Charge Against Israel
    1 Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites,
    because the LORD has a charge to bring
    against you who live in the land:
    "There is no faithfulness, no love,
    no acknowledgment of God in the land.

    2 There is only cursing, [a] lying and murder,
    stealing and adultery;
    they break all bounds,
    and bloodshed follows bloodshed.

    3 Because of this the land mourns, [b]
    and all who live in it waste away;
    the beasts of the field and the birds of the air
    and the fish of the sea are dying.

    4 "But let no man bring a charge,
    let no man accuse another,
    for your people are like those
    who bring charges against a priest.

    5 You stumble day and night,
    and the prophets stumble with you.
    So I will destroy your mother-

    6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
    "Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also reject you as my priests;
    because you have ignored the law of your God,
    I also will ignore your children.

    7 The more the priests increased,
    the more they sinned against me;
    they exchanged [c] their [d] Glory for something disgraceful.

    8 They feed on the sins of my people
    and relish their wickedness.

    9 And it will be: Like people, like priests.
    I will punish both of them for their ways
    and repay them for their deeds.

    10 "They will eat but not have enough;
    they will engage in prostitution but not increase,
    because they have deserted the LORD
    to give themselves 11 to prostitution,
    to old wine and new,
    which take away the understanding 12 of my people.
    They consult a wooden idol
    and are answered by a stick of wood.
    A spirit of prostitution leads them astray;
    they are unfaithful to their God.

    13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops
    and burn offerings on the hills,
    under oak, poplar and terebinth,
    where the shade is pleasant.
    Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution
    and your daughters-in-law to adultery.

    14 "I will not punish your daughters
    when they turn to prostitution,
    nor your daughters-in-law
    when they commit adultery,
    because the men themselves consort with harlots
    and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—
    a people without understanding will come to ruin!

    15 "Though you commit adultery, O Israel,
    let not Judah become guilty.
    "Do not go to Gilgal;
    do not go up to Beth Aven. [e]
    And do not swear, 'As surely as the LORD lives!'

    16 The Israelites are stubborn,
    like a stubborn heifer.
    How then can the LORD pasture them
    like lambs in a meadow?

    17 Ephraim is joined to idols;
    leave him alone!

    18 Even when their drinks are gone,
    they continue their prostitution;
    their rulers dearly love shameful ways.

    19 A whirlwind will sweep them away,
    and their sacrifices will bring them shame.

  2. You know, it's weird that prophecies of death and destruction are so poetic...


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