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Hosea 5:6-7

Context
The Futility of Sacrificial Ritual without Moral Obedience

5:6 Although they bring their flocks and herds 1 

to seek 2  the favor of the Lord, 3 

They will not find him –

he has withdrawn himself from them!

5:7 They have committed treason 4  against the Lord,

because they bore illegitimate children.

Soon 5  the new moon festival will devour them and their fields.

1 sn The terms flocks and herds are used figuratively for animal sacrifices (metonymy of association). Hosea describes the futility of seeking God’s favor with mere ritual sacrifice without the prerequisite moral obedience (e.g., 1 Sam 15:24; Ps 50:6-8; 51:17-18; Isa 1:12; Mic 6:6-8).

2 tn Heb “they go out to seek the Lord”; NCV “to worship the Lord”; NLT “to offer sacrifices to the Lord.”

3 tn Heb “the Lord”; the phrase “the favor of” does not appear in Hebrew here, but is supplied for the sake of clarity. It is implied by the metonymical (cause-effect) reference to the Lord, the source of favor and forgiveness.

4 tn Heb “dealt treacherously against” (so KJV, NASB); NRSV “dealt faithlessly”; NLT “betrayed the honor of.”

5 tn The particle עַתָּה (’attah) often refers to the imminent or the impending future: “very soon” (BDB 774 s.v. עַתָּה 1.b). In Hosea it normally introduces imminent judgment (Hos 2:12; 4:16; 5:7; 8:8, 13; 10:2).



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