Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Hosea 4:12

    Hosea 4:12 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    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 (ASV)

    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.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    My people get knowledge from their tree, and their rod gives them news; for a false spirit is the cause of their wandering, and they have been false to their God.

    Webster's Revision

    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.

    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.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    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.

    Clarke's Commentary on Hosea 4:12

    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.

    Barnes' Notes on Hosea 4:12

    My people ask counsel at - (literally, "on") their stocks They ask habitually ; and that, in dependence "on their stocks." The word "wood" is used of the idol made of it, to bring before them the senselessness of their doings, in that they asked counsel of the senseless wood. Thus Jeremiah reproaches them for "saying to a stock, my father" Jeremiah 2:27; and Habakkuk, "Woe unto him that saith to the wood, awake" Habakkuk 2:19.

    And their staff declareth unto them - Many sorts of this superstition existed among the Arabs and Chaldees. They were different ways of drawing lots, without any dependence upon the true God to direct it. This was a part of their senselessness, of which the prophet had just said, that their sins took away their hearts. The tenderness of the word, "My people," aggravates both the stupidity and the ingratitude of Israel. They whom the Living God owned as His own people, they who might have asked of Him, asked of a stock or a staff.

    For the spirit of whoredoms - It has been thought of old, that the evil spirits assault mankind in a sort of order and method, different spirits bending all their energies to tempt him to different sins . And this has been founded on the words of Holy Scripture, "a lying spirit," "an unclean spirit," "a spirit of jealousy," and our Lord said of the evil spirit whom the disciples could not cast out; "This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" Matthew 17:21. Hence, it has been thought that "some spirits take delight in uncleanness and defilement of sins; others urge on to blasphemies; others, to anger and fury; others take delight in gloom; others are soothed with vainglory and pride; and that each instills into man's heart that vice in which he takes pleasure himself; yet that all do not urge their own perversenesses at once, but in turn, as opportunity of time or place, or man's own susceptibility, invites them" . Or the word, "spirit of whoredoms," may mean the vehemence with which people were whirled along by their evil passions, whether by their passionate love of idolatry, or by the fleshly sin which was so often bound up with their idolatry.

    They have gone a whoring from under their God - The words "from under" continue the image of the adulteress wife, by which God had pictured the faithlessness of His people. The wife was spoken of as "under her husband Numbers 5:19, Numbers 5:29; Ezekiel 23:5, i. e., under his authority; she withdrew herself "from under" him, when she withdrew herself from his authority, and gave herself to another. So Israel, being wedded to God, estranged herself from Him, withdrew herself from His obedience, cast off all reverence to Him, and prostituted herself to her idols.

    Wesley's Notes on Hosea 4:12

    4:12 Stocks - Wooden statues. The spirit of whoredom - A heart ensnared with whoredoms, spiritual and corporal. Caused them to err - Hath blinded, and deceived them.