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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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  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.

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