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Swearing, lying, murder,
    stealing and adultery break out;[a]
    bloodshed follows bloodshed.(A)
Therefore the land dries up,
    and everything that dwells in it languishes:
The beasts of the field,
    the birds of the air,
    and even the fish of the sea perish.(B)

Guilt of Priest and of People

But let no one accuse, let no one rebuke;
    with you is my dispute, priest![b]

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Footnotes

  1. 4:2 Similar to the decalogue (Ex 20:1–17; cf. Jer 7:9).
  2. 4:4–6 Hosea is particularly severe with the priests in the Northern Kingdom who had led the way in the general apostasy from God’s law. The prophets here associated with the priests (v. 5) were doubtless cult prophets; cf. Jer 2:8; 4:9–10; 6:13–14; 23:9–40.

There is only cursing,[a] lying(A) and murder,(B)
    stealing(C) and adultery;(D)
they break all bounds,
    and bloodshed follows bloodshed.(E)
Because of this the land dries up,(F)
    and all who live in it waste away;(G)
the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
    and the fish in the sea are swept away.(H)

“But let no one bring a charge,
    let no one accuse another,
for your people are like those
    who bring charges against a priest.(I)

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Footnotes

  1. Hosea 4:2 That is, to pronounce a curse on

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