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Hosea 5:6

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he has withdrawn himself from them!

Hosea 5:15

Context

5:15 Then I will return again to my lair

until they have suffered their punishment. 4 

Then they will seek me; 5 

in their distress they will earnestly seek me.

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 The verb יֶאְשְׁמוּ (yeshÿmu, Qal imperfect 3rd person masculine plural from אָשַׁם, ’asham, “to be guilty”) means “to bear their punishment” (Ps 34:22-23; Prov 30:10; Isa 24:6; Jer 2:3; Hos 5:15; 10:2; 14:1; Zech 11:5; Ezek 6:6; BDB 79 s.v. אָשַׁם 3). Many English versions translate this as “admit their guilt” (NIV, NLT) or “acknowledge their guilt” (NASB, NRSV), but cf. NAB “pay for their guilt” and TEV “have suffered enough for their sins.”

5 tn Heb “seek my face” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NAB “seek my presence.”



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