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Hosea 6:4

    Hosea 6:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    O Ephraim, what shall I do to you? O Judah, what shall I do to you? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goes away.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the dew that goeth early away.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    O Ephraim, what am I to do to you? O Judah, what am I to do to you? For your love is like a morning cloud, and like the dew which goes early away.

    Webster's Revision

    O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the dew that goeth early away.

    World English Bible

    "Ephraim, what shall I do to you? Judah, what shall I do to you? For your love is like a morning cloud, and like the dew that disappears early.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the dew that goeth early away.

    Clarke's Commentary on Hosea 6:4

    O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? - This is the answer of the Lord to the above pious resolutions; sincere while they lasted, but frequently forgotten, because the people were fickle. Their goodness (for goodness it was while it endured) was like the morning cloud that fadeth away before the rising sun, or like the early dew which is speedily evaporated by heat. Ephraim and Judah had too much goodness in them to admit of their total rejection, and too much evil to admit of their being placed among the children. Speaking after the manner or men, the justice and mercy of Good seem puzzled how to act toward them. When justice was about to destroy them for their iniquity, it was prevented by their repentance and contrition: when mercy was about to pour upon them as penitents its choicest blessings, it was prevented by their fickleness and relapse! These things induce the just and merciful God to exclaim, "O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee?" The only thing that could be done in such a case was that which God did.

    Barnes' Notes on Hosea 6:4

    O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? - It is common with the prophets, first to set forth the fullness of the riches of God's mercies in Christ, and then to turn to their own generation, and upbraid them for the sins which withheld the mercies of God from "them," and were hurrying them to their destruction. In like way Isaiah, Isaiah 2, having prophesied that the Gospel should go forth from Zion, turns to upbraid the avarice, idolatry, and pride, through which the judgment of God should come upon them.

    The promises of God were to those who should turn with true repentance, and seek Him early and earnestly. Whatever of good there was, either in Ephraim or Judah, was but a mere empty show, which held out hope, only to disappoint it. God, who "willeth not that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" appeals to His whole people, "What shall I do unto thee?" He had shown them adundance of mercies; He had reproved them by His prophets; He had chastened them; and all in vain. As he says in Isaiah, "What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it?" Isaiah 5. Here He asks them Himself, what He could do to convert and to save them, which He had not done. He would take them on their own terms, and whatever they would prescribe to His Almightiness and Wisdom, as means for their conversion, "that" He would use, so that they would but turn to Him. "What means shall I use to save thee, who wilt not be saved?" It has been a bold saying, to describe the "love of Christ which passeth knowledge," "Christ so loveth souls, that He would rather be crucified again, than allow anyone (as far as in Him lies) to be damned."

    For your goodness is as a morning cloud - "Mercy" or "loving-kindness," (which the English margin suggests as the first meaning of the word) stands for all virtue and goodness toward God or man. For love to God or man is one indivisible virtue, issuing from one principle of grace. Whence it is said, "love is the fulfilling of the law. He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law" Romans 13:10, Romans 13:8. And, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God" 1 John 4:7. Of this their goodness, he says the character was, that it never lasted. The "morning cloud" is full of brilliancy with the rays of the rising sun, yet quickly disappears through the heat of that sun, which gave it its rich hues. The "morning dew" glitters in that same sun, yet vanishes almost as soon as it appears. Generated by the cold of the night, it appears with the dawn; yet appears, only to disappear. So it was with the whole Jewish people; so it ever is with the most hopeless class of sinners; ever beginning anew, ever relapsing; ever making a show of leaves, good feelings, good aspirations, but yielding no fruit. "There was nothing of sound, sincere, real, lasting goodness in them;" no reality, but all show; quickly assumed, quickly disused.

    Wesley's Notes on Hosea 6:4

    6:4 What shall I do - What shall I do more to save you from ruin, and save my own honour, truth, and justice?