Article: Hosea - a Comparative Study by Will Kinney

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Bible Babel in the Book of Hosea

Here are just a few examples of the confusion found in the modern bibles from the book of Hosea.

Hosea the prophet was told by God to go and marry a woman who was an adulteress according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel. Israel's history of unfaithfullness is portrayed, and God rebukes Israel for her sins, and pledges to heal their backslidings and bring her again into the covenant of grace.


Hosea 2:1

The King James Bible, Geneva, Darby, the 1936 Jewish translation, the Revised Version, Young's, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the RSV, NRSV, and ESV all have "plead with your mother, plead. To plead with somebody to entreat them earnestly.

The NKJV says: "Bring charges against your mother, bring charges"; the NIV and Holman Standard say: - "Rebuke your mother, rebuke her"; the NASB- "Contend with your mother, contend".

The word used here can have several meanings, depending on the context. Though the NKJV has erroneously translated it here as "Bring charges against", yet the NKJV has frequently translated it as "Plead", as in "plead for the widow" Isaiah 1:17, and "plead my cause" in Psalm 35:1; 43:1, 119:154 etc.

Those who desire the reconciliation of another would plead with them, not rebuke, contend or bring charges against them. The new versions make it sound as though they are headed for the divorce court rather than reconciliation.

Hosea 3:1

  • Hosea 3:1 "Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of HER FRIEND, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love FLAGONS OF WINE."

There is much confusion in the various bible versions in this verse. The meaning of the King James Bible is that the FRIEND who loves the woman is God Himself. There is a Hebrew parallelism in this verse. Notice: 1. "Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend" = "according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel." And then: "yet an adulteress" = "who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine."

Jamieson, Faussett and Brown note: "beloved of her friend--used for "her husband," on account of the estrangement between them. She was still beloved of her husband, though an adulteress; just as God still loved Israel, though idolatrous (Jer 3:20)."

"Beloved of her FRIEND" is the reading of the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, Revised Version, American Standard Version, Young's, Darby, Douay, Webster's and the KJV 21st Century versions.

However the NKJV says: "loved by A LOVER and is committing adultery." Then it footnotes that the literal Hebrew word is "friend".

The NIV and Holman Standard say: "though she is loved BY ANOTHER"

The NKJV and NIV imply that this other man is not her friend or husband; the Hebrew parallelism is lost, and the meaning is changed.

BUT the NASB says: "love a woman who is loved by HER HUSBAND". The NASB retains the idea that her friend is the Lord (or the prophet) who is her rightful husband.

Hosea 3:1

  • Hosea 3:1 "who look to other gods, and love FLAGONS OF WINE."

"FLAGONS OF WINE" is the reading of the Geneva Bible 1599, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1602 and 1909, and Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1569 (y aman frascos de vino.), the French Martin 1744 “aiment les flacons de vin”, the Italian Diodati 1649 and the New Italian Diodati, Luther's German 1545 (Kanne Wein), the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version, Webster's 1833 translation, the 1994 KJV 21st Century version, the 1998 Third Millenium Bible, and the Modern Greek O.T. reads "agapwsi philias oinou" - "they love flagons of wine".

Among the older English versions we see the similarity to the King James Bible. Wycliffe’s 1395 translation reads “drafts of grapes”; Coverdale 1535 has “love the wine cans”, the Bishops's Bible of 1568 says "who love wine pots", and the Geneva Bible of 1599 says: “who love the wine bottles”. Obviously these agree with the King James Bible reading of “flagons of wine”.

However the NKJV joins such versions as the RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV and Holman Standard and says: "who love RAISIN CAKES." Now, you have to admit that there is a distinct difference between "flagons of wine" and "raisin cakes".

Other Bible translators have come up with yet more novel ideas about what the Hebrew reading means. The Douay of 1950 says: "they look to strange gods, and love THE HUSKS OF GRAPES."

Another Jewish translation called the Judaica Press Tanach has: “who turn to other gods, and love GOBLETS OF GRAPES.”

The 2004 Message is unrecognizable with: "even as they flirt and party with every god that takes their fancy."

The "flagons of wine" are found four times in the King James Bible (2 Samuel 6:19; 1 Chron. 16:3; Song of Solomon 2:5 and Hosea 3:1) but the NKJV has changed all four of these to "raisin cakes". The Hebrew word for "raisin" is an entirely different word, which is found in 1 Samuel 25:18 and 30:12.

Nave's Topical Bible is typical of many "scholars" who criticize the KJB rendering. It says: "Erroneously translated (KJV) flagon of wine, but more accurately, cake of raisin (RSV).

Well, each is entitled to his own opinion, but that is all it is - an opinion; and their opinion is not shared by others who are just as competent.

Adam Clarke comments: "The flagons of wine were probably such as were used for libations, or drunk in idol feasts. Others think that the words should be translated cakes of dried grapes, sweet cakes, consecrated wafers." (Well, others can THINK that it should be translated another way, but obviously many others are not in agreement with their opinions.)

Matthew Henry comments: "And they loved flagons of wine; they joined with idolaters because they lived merrily and drank hard; they had a kindness for other gods for the sake of the plenty of good wine with which they had been sometimes treated in their temples. God's priests were to drink no wine when they went in to minister, and his Nazarites none at all. But the worshippers of other gods drank wine in bowls; nay, no less than flagons of wine would content them."

Hosea 4:4

  • Hosea 4:4 "Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: FOR THY PEOPLE ARE AS THEY THAT STRIVE WITH THE PRIEST."

So read the KJB, NKJV, NASB, NIV, Young's, and the Jewish translations of 1917 and 1936, to name just a few.

However the Holman Standard, RSV, NRSV, and ESV say: "But let no one dispute; let no one argue, for MY CASE IS AGAINST YOU PRIESTS." Then in a footnote, the Holman Standard says the text has been emended (changed), but that the Massoretic text reads: "and your people are like those contending with a priest." - just like the King James Bible has it.

Again, Daniel Wallace's NET version reads: "Do not let anyone accuse or contend against anyone else: FOR MY CASE IS AGAINST YOU PRIESTS!

Then he footnotes: "The MT reads:and your people [are] like those who contend against the priest. This is reflected in the LXX and the versions; however, it is syntactically awkward and makes little contextual sense. Several text-critics suggest that the text be emended to read: my contention is with/against you, O priest!

Well, perhaps Mr. Wallace and company can't make sense out of it, but the meaning is quite clear, and he has no right to "emend" the text accoring to his own blurred understanding.

John Gill comments: "for thy people are as they that strive with the priest;they are so far from receiving correction and reproof kindly from any good men that they will rise up against, and strive with the priests, to whom not to hearken was a capital crime, (Deuteronomy 17:12)."

Likewise Jamieson, Faussett and Brown have no problem understanding the simple reading. They comment: " let no man reprove--Great as is the sin of Israel, it is hopeless to reprove them; for their presumptuous guilt is as great as that of one who refuses to obey the priest when giving judgment in the name of Jehovah, and who therefore is to be put to death (De 17:12). They rush on to their own destruction as wilfully as such a one."

Hosea 4:7

  • Hosea 4:7 "As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore WILL I CHANGE their glory into shame."

This is the reading of the Hebrew texts and that of the RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, RSV, ESV and Holman Standard. However the NIV, and now the TNIV have rejected the Hebrew text and followed the Syriac. They tell you this in their footnotes. The NIV reads: "The more THE PRIESTS (not in any text) increased, the more they sinned against me; THEY EXCHANGED their Glory for something disgraceful."

Again, Daniel Wallace has followed what he calls a "scribal tradition" and the Syriac, and reads like the NIV saying: "THEY HAVE TURNED their glorious calling into a shameful disgrace!"

The real "shameful disgrace" is that there are "renowned scholars" like Daniel Wallace who are so ready to alter God's words according to their own corrupt understanding, and then try to justify it.

Hosea 4:18

  • Hosea 4:18 KJB "Their drink is SOUR: they have committed whoredom continually; her rulers with shame do love. GIVE YE.". The reading of "their drink is SOUR" is found in the Revised Version, the ASV of 1901, Young's, Darby, the Hebrew Names Version, Webster's, and the Third Millenium Bible.

However the NKJV says: "their drink is REBELLION"; the NIV-"their drinks are GONE" and NASB "their liquor GONE".

So is their drink sour, rebellion or gone? Hey, all bibles are the same; Don't worry about it, right?

The final two words of "GIVE YE" are in the Hebrew texts. This word means to give, to bring or "go to". It is # 3051 and it is found in the King James Bible, Bishop's Bible, the Geneva Bible, Webster's, and the Third Millenium Bible.

John Gill comments: "her rulers with shame do love, give ye;...these "loved, give ye", the sense is, either they loved gifts and bribes, and were continually saying, "give, give", when causes were to be tried, and so perverted justice and judgment, which was very shameful; or they loved wine and strong drink, and therefore required it to be continually given them, which was very scandalous in rulers more especially; or they loved whoredom, both in a corporeal and spiritual sense, and desired more harlots and more idols, and added to their old ones, which was very abominable and ignominious."

John Wesley briefly remarks: "Give ye - Beside there is shameful oppression and bribery among them."

Matthew Henry says: "Give ye, that is, they love bribes, and have it continually in their mouths, Give, give. They are given to filthy lucre; every one that has any business with them must expect to be asked, What will you give? "

However the NKJV, NIV, RSV, NASB, and Holman have all merely omitted the words "Give ye." The NKJV says: "Their drink is REBELLION. They commit harlotry continually, Her rulers DEARLY love dishonor." Then in the footnote tell us "the Hebrew is difficult, a Jewish tradition reads: Her rulers shamefully love, Give."

Well, it is more than a Jewish tradition. These words are actually in the Hebrew texts, and the King James Bible and a few others got it right.

Hosea 5:11

  • [[Hosea 5:11 "Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after THE COMMANDMENT."

The idea here is that Ephraim walked after the commandments of men, rather than the words of God. The Geneva Bible notes: "because he willingly walked after the l commandment. (l) That is, after King Jeroboams commandment, and did not rather follow God." John Gill comments: "the commandment; not after the commandment of God, but after the commandment of men." In fact, versions like the NKJV and NASB have added a word to the text to communicate this idea. The NKJV says "human precept", while the NASB has "man's command".

Agreeing with the King James Bible and the Hebrew reading of "walked after the COMMANDMENT" are Bishops' bible 1568, the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, Youngs, Darby, Green's, the NKJV, KJV 21, the Judaica Press Tanach translation, and the Third Millenium Bible. The Spanish Reina Valera also agrees saying: "porque quiso andar en pos de mandamientos."

However the NIV says "PURSUING IDOLS" and then footnotes "the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain." Likewise Daniel Wallace's wild and wooly NET version says "he was determined to pursue WORTHLESS IDOLS." Then he footnotes "The meaning of the Hebrew term translated “worthless idols” is uncertain; cf. KJV “the commandment”; NASB “man’s command”; NAB “filth”; NRSV “vanity.”

Sorry guys, but the Hebrew word is #6673 tzau and comes from the verb 6680 meaning "to command", as in Genesis 7:9 "as God commanded Noah", Exodus 12:28 "as the Lord commanded Moses" and a multitude of other verses. This same noun form is used in Isaiah 28:10, 13 eight times where it says "precept upon precept", and even the NIV has "rule upon rule".

The RSV says: "walked after VANITY", and then informs us in their footnote that "vanity" comes from the Greek, but that the Hebrew reads "command" The Holman Standard also follows the Greek LXX and says "follows WHAT IS WORTHLESS", and then foonotes "or a command; Hebrew is uncertain."

The ESV now says "FILTH" but then footnotes "or human precepts". Get 10 scholars in a room and you will come up with 12 different opinions, and no inspired and inerrant Bible.

Hosea 6:5

  • Hosea 6:5 "Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: AND THY JUDGMENTS ARE AS THE LIGHT THAT GOETH FORTH."

So read the Hebrew texts, as well as the following Bible translations: Geneva Bible 1599, ("THY" is also the reading of Wycliffe 1395, Bishops' Bible, and Coverdale); the Revised Version 1881 "and THY judgments are as the light that goeth forth.", ASV 1901, the 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation, Darby, NKJV, Green's MKJV, Third Millenium Bible 1998, and the Spanish Reina Valera - "y TUS juicios serán como luz que sale."

However the NASB says: "And the judgments ON YOU are like the light that goes forth." The NASB merely omits the Hebrew word THY, or else changes it to "on you" and changes the meaning of the verse. The judgments spoken of were the words of truth, light and doctrine that went forth by the prophets and were given to the nation of Israel. The verse does not refer to "punishments for their sins", as the NASB implies.

The NIV has changed the Hebrew text and reads: "MY judgments FLASHED LIKE LIGHTNING UPON YOU."

The Holman Standard similarly rejects the Hebrew texts and says: "I have killed them with the words of My mouth. MY judgment strikes like lightning." However the Holman at least does us the service of noting in their footnote that the reading of MY comes from the LXX and the Syriac, but that the Hebrew reads "YOUR judgments go out as light". By the way, the Hebrew word means "light" and not "lightning".

Not even the RSV, NRSV, or the 2001 ESV went as far as the NIV and Holman in perverting the Hebrew texts. They all read: "MY judgment goes forth as the light." (ESV). Then again they footnote that MY comes from the Greek and Syriac, but the Hebrew reads YOUR.

What is fascinating to watch is how each "scholar" goes about setting up his own mind as the final authority. Daniel Wallace, of Dallas Theological Seminary, is a prime example of today's "every man for himself bible version" mentality.

Wallace's NET version reads: "for15 MY judgment16 will come forth like the light of the dawn.17" . Then the good doctor informs us in his footnotes: "tc The MT reads “and YOUR judgments are a light which goes forth” which is enigmatic and syntactically awkward (cf. KJV, NASB). The LXX reads “my judgment goes forth like light”. Here Wallace recognizes the Hebrew reads "your" (or thy), yet he thinks it is enigmatic, and so corrects the Hebrew text with the Greek LXX.

But then in the very same verse he now criticizes the NIV reading and says: "tn The noun “light” is used here in reference to the morning light or dawn rather than lightning (cf. NIV)."

"In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:25

6:6 KJB "For I desired MERCY and not sacrifice." This verse is quoted in Matthew 12:7 in the same way by all versions, and here the RV, Douay, NKJV, and NIV have "mercy" but the NASB says: "I delight in LOYALTY, rather than sacrifice." Loyalty is not at all the same thing as mercy, even though the NASB "quotes" the same verse in Matthew using "mercy".

6:9 KJB "they murder in the way BY CONSENT". Here the NKJV agrees with the KJB, and so do the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the ASV, Darby, Geneva and Spanish Reina Valera, but the NIV & NASB say:"they murder on the road TO SHECHEM".

Hosea 7:12 "When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I WILL CHASTISE THEM, AS THEIR CONGREGATION HATH HEARD."

So read the Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, ESV, NRSV and Geneva Bibles. However the RSV says: "I will chastise them FOR THEIR WICKED DEEDS", then in a footnote tells us they have "emended" (changed) the text, but that the Hebrew reads as does the King James Bible.


Hosea 7:16 "They return, BUT NOT TO THE MOST HIGH: they are like a deceitful bow..."

So read the RV, ASV, NKJV, NIV, TNIV, Geneva, Young's, Darby and Spanish versions. However the NASB says: "They TURN, but NOT UPWARDS", yet the NASB has translated this same word as "the Most High" in Hosea 11:7.

The RSV of 1952 and Daniel Wallace's NET version say: "THEY TURN TO BAAL", then the RSV footnotes that they have emended the text and that the Hebrew is uncertain. The NRSV says: "They turn TO THAT WHICH DOES NOT PROFIT", and then the new ESV has: "They return, BUT NOT UPWARD" and then footnotes "or to the Most High".

So, is it "return, but not to the Most High", "turn to Baal", "turn not upward" or "turn to that which does not profit"?

  • [[Hosea 8:12 "I HAVE WRITTEN to him THE GREAT THINGS of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing."

The Hebrew text followed by the King James Bible and so many others reads #7230 rohv. It means "great things, excellent, greatness, multitude, plenty or abundance". However the word for "10,000" is a different Hebrew word, #7239 rib-bohth, and is found only twice in the Hebrew Scriptures.

So read the following Bible translations: Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1658, the Geneva Bible 1587, NKJV 1982, the 1917 Jewish Pub. Society version, 1936 Hebrew Pub. Company version, the Judaica Press Tanach, Complete Jewish Bible, Green's MKJV, Darby, Youngs, and the KJV 21st Century version. The Spanish Reina Valera agrees exactly with the KJB reading: "Le escribí las grandezas de mi Ley, y fueron tenidas por cosa extraña", as well as the Italian Diodati "le grandi cose della mia legge".

Even Daniel Wallace has paraphrased this verse as: "I spelled out my law for him in great detail."

However, versions like the ASV, NASB, RSV and Amplified have confused one Hebrew reading for another. The NASB says: "Though I WROTE for him TEN THOUSAND PRECEPTS of My law, They are regarded as a strange thing."

The Holman Standard and ESV put a different slant on things saying: "WERE I TO WRITE FOR HIM (as though He hadn't yet done so) my laws BY THE TEN THOUSANDS, they WOULD BE regarded as a strange thing."

The RSV went with "10,000 things", then the NRSV said "the multitude of my instructions", and now the ESV goes back to "by the ten thousands".

The NIV says: "I wrote for them the MANY things of my law, but they regarded them as something alien."

It is interesting that Jamieson, Fausset and Brown comment: "great things of . . . law-- . MAURER not so well translates, "THE MANY things of My law."

Hosea 10:1 "Israel is AN EMPTY vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself."

That Israel is an EMPTY vine, is the reading of the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Young's, the Italian Diodati 1602, Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Webster's 1833 translation, the KJV 21st Century version, and the Third Millenium Bible.

The Hebrew word used here means "empty", but I think many translators got it wrong because they were confused by the statement that follows: "he bringeth forth fruit unto himself."

The Hebrew word is # 1238 bah-kak, and it means to make empty or void. It is used in Isaiah 24:1-3 "The Lord maketh the earth empty...the land shall be utterly emptied", and Nahum 2:2 "the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine branches."

The idea is that the vine of Israel is empty of fruit for God, even though it has fruit for itself.

John Gill comments: "Israel is an empty vine" - The people of Israel are often compared to a vine, and such an one from whence fruit might be expected, being planted in a good soil, and well taken care of; but proved an "empty vine", empty of fruit; not of temporal good things, for a multitude of such fruit it is afterwards said to have; but of spiritual fruit, of the fruit of grace, and of good works, being destitute of the Spirit of God, and his grace."

The multitude of modern versions give contradictory and opposite meanings to the verse. The NASB, RSV and ESV say "Israel is a LUXURIANT vine" (the opposite of the meaning found in the King James Bible); the NIV says Israel is "a SPREADING VINE", Darby "an UNPRUNED vine", and the Holman Standard says it is "a LUSH vine" and then footnotes "Or, a RAVAGED vine".

Daniel Wallace's NET bible says: "Israel was a FERTILE vine, that yielded fruit."

The NKJV gives a different meaning than them all, saying: "Israel EMPTIES his vine".

The Message is interesting in that it differs from the others, saying: "Israel WAS ONCE A LUSH vine vine, bountiful in grapes."

The Jamieson, Faussett and Brown commentary, agreeing with the meaning found in the King James Bible, say: "empty--stripped of its fruits [CALVIN], (Nahum 2:2); MAURER translates, "A widespreading vine"; so the Septuagint. bringeth forth fruit unto himself--not unto ME. -In proportion to the abundance of their prosperity, which called for fruit unto God, was the abundance of their idolatry."

Hosea 10:5

  • Hosea 10:5 "The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Beth-aven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that REJOICED on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from them."

The meaning is very simple - the idolatrous priests who once REJOICED on their pagan altars, shall now mourn when God brings judgment. The Hebrew word used here clearly means "to rejoice, to be joyful, or to be glad." It is used many times and always with this meaning. "I will rejoice in Jerusalem" Isaiah 65:19; "I will rejoice in thy salvation" Psalm 9:14; "their heart shall rejoice as through wine" Zechariah 10:7.

"the priests thereof that REJOICED in it" is the reading of the KJB, RV, ASV, Geneva Bible, Coverdale, Bishops' Bible, the Spanish Reina Valera, and even the Holman Standard, the ESV and the NIV.

However previous RSV said "the priests shall WAIL over it", then footnotes that they have emended (changed) the text, and that the Hebrew means to exult or rejoice. The NKJV follows this "emended" reading and says: " And its priests SHRIEK FOR IT-- Because its glory has departed from it.", and the NASB has: " And its idolatrous priests will CRY OUT over it", then footnotes "or, who used to rejoice". Well, the KJB had it right all along, and the NKJV totally missed it.

10:7 KJB "As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the FOAM upon the water."

FOAM is also the reading of the RV, ASV, Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, the Jewish translations of 1917 and 1936, the Complete Jewish Bible of 1998, the Douay, the Spanish Reina Valera , Webster's, Third Millenium Bible, and even the 2003 Holman Standard version.

The NKJV reads: "As for Samaria, her king is cut off like a TWIG on the water." The NASB has: "Samaria will cut off her king like a STICK on the surface of the water"; while the NIV has something a little different still with "Samaria and its king will float away like a twig on the surface of the waters." The RSV says "a CHIP", and the Message has "A DEAD BRANCH". Who here does the cutting off? God (KJB)? Samaria (NASB)? or do they just float away (NIV)? Is it foam, a stick, a chip, a dead branch, or a twig?

The word used here for "FOAM" is the same Hebrew word for "wrath" or "indignation". Just as wrath bubbles up, so too does the foam upon the water. The translation of "twig" (NKJV) actually comes from the Greek Septuagint, and not the Hebrew text. All Hebrew versions I have seen translate this word as "foam".

Hosea 10:10

  • Hosea 10:10 "It is my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, WHEN THEY SHALL BIND THEMSELVES IN THEIR TWO FURROWS."

This is the reading found in the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version, the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909, Webster's, the 2003 Updated Bible Version, and the Third Millenium Bible.

However the NKJV joins such versions as the RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV and Holman saying: "When it is My desire, I will chasten them. Peoples shall be gathered against them When I BIND THEM FOR THEIR TWO TRANSGRESSIONS." Then it footnotes: "or, in their two habitations."

John Gill comments: "when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows - when, like heifers untamed, and bound in a yoke to plough, do not make and keep in one furrow, but turn out to the right or left, and make cross furrows; so it is intimated that this was the reason why the Lord would correct Israel, and suffer the nations to gather together against them, and carry them captive, because they did not plough in one furrow, or keep in the true and pure worship of God; but made two furrows, worshipping partly God, and partly idols... The "Keri" or marginal reading is, "their two iniquities"; which the Septuagint follows, rendering it: "when they are chastised FOR THEIR TWO INIQUITIES.

Jamieson, Faussett and Brown see a different meaning in the phrase, but stick with the KJB reading. They comment: "when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows--image from two oxen ploughing together side by side, in two contiguous furrows: so the Israelites shall join themselves, to unite their powers against all dangers, but it will not save them from My destroying them." They also note: "HENDERSON prefers the Keri (Hebrew Margin) "for their two iniquities".

Hosea 11:2

  • Hosea 11:2 "As THEY called them, so they went from THEM: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images."

Here, the "they" who called them, and the "them" from whom the children of Israel went, are the prophets God sent to call His people to repentance, and urge them to return to the true worship. Compare Hosea 11:7.

The reading of "as THEY called them, so they went from THEM" is found in the KJB, NKJV, RV, NASB, Geneva, Youngs, Jewish translations of 1917, 1936, the Spanish Reina Valera, and even the ESV.

However the NIV, RSV and NRSV say: "The more I called Israel ("Israel" is not in any text), the more they went FROM ME." Then the NIV, RSV footnote that the "I" and the "ME" come from some Septuagint versions, but that the Hebrew texts read "they" and "them". Daniel Wallace's goofy NET bible version also reads like the NIV, thus rejecting the Hebrew readings.

The new Holman Standard decided to mix things up by saying: "As they called THEM, the more they went from ME." It then footnotes that the LXX has "ME", but the Hebrew reads "them". Why didn't the NIV and Holman also note that instead of reading "I called MY SON out of Egypt" in verse one, the LXX says: "I called HIS CHILDREN out of Egypt"? The LXX is a horrible mishmash of confused readings, yet most modern versions freely and inconsistently choose to follow it whenever the mood strikes them.

Hosea 11:4

  • Hosea 11:4 "I drew them with cords of A MAN, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their JAWS, and I laid meat unto them."

"cords of A MAN" is the Hebrew reading and that of the RV, ASV, NASB, Geneva, Young's, Darby, and the Jewish translations. However the NKJV says: "with GENTLE cords" and then footnotes that the literal Hebrew is "a man". The NIV has: "with cords of HUMAN KINDNESS", and the ESV "cords of KINDNESS", but then footnotes that the literal Hebrew is "cords of a man", just like the KJB has it.

One of the most pretentious of versions now held in high esteem by all the Bible correctors is Daniel Wallace's NET bible. This goofy piece of garbage actually reads: "I led them with LEATHER cords, with LEATHER ropes."!!!! Then the good doctor Wallace tells us in his footnote: "This homonymic root is well attested in Arabic - skin; leather.

Will it ever dawn on people that the "notable scholars" of today have completely lost their marbles?

"take off the yoke on their JAWS" is the reading of the Geneva, RV, ASV, NASB, RSV and Holman Standard, but the NKJV joins the NIV saying: "take the yoke off their NECK", and then footnotes again that the literal Hebrew is "jaws".

Hosea 11:7

  • Hosea 11:7 KJB "And my people are bent to backsliding from me; though they (the prophets) called them to the most High, NONE AT ALL WOULD EXALT HIM." (the people would not exalt God).

In this verse the NKJV, RV, ASV, Darby, and NASB are in agreement with the KJB but the NIV, Holman, and ESV have: "My people are determined to turn from me. EVEN IF THEY CALL TO THE MOST HIGH, HE WILL BY NO MEANS EXALT THEM." This is a totally different meaning.

Just to make things more interesting, the RSV says: "My people are bent on turning away from me, SO THEY ARE APPOINTED TO THE YOKE, AND NONE SHALL REMOVE IT." Boy, am I glad that is all cleared up for us. Remember what James White says: we get a clearer picture by comparing all the versions.

Now with Daniel Wallace's ongoing "masterpiece of modern scholarship" we have a new twist to add to the pile. His NET version says: "My people are obsessed with turning away from me; they call to BAAL, BUT HE WILL NEVER EXALT THEM!" Then Doktor Wallace tells us: "The meaning and syntax of the MT is enigmatic."

Hosea 11:9

Hosea 11:9 "I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter INTO THE CITY."

"I will not enter INTO THE CITY" is the Hebrew reading, and that of the Geneva Bible, Bishops' Bible, the Revised Version, Douay, the Spanish Reina Valera, Webster's, and the Third Millenium Bible.

However the NKJV says: "I will not COME WITH TERROR". The RSV says: "I will not come TO DESTROY", and then footnotes that the literal Hebrew is "into the city". Likewise the NASB, NIV, ESV, NET and Holman say: "I will not COME IN WRATH." All these versions have changed the Hebrew text.

Hosea 11:12

  • Hosea 11:12 KJB "But Judah yet RULETH WITH GOD, AND IS FAITHFUL WITH THE SAINTS." The Bible versions that agree with the King James Bible in that Judah IS YET FAITHFUL are the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Darby, Young, Spanish Reina Valera, Green's interlinear, the Hebrew-English 1936, and the Third Millenium Bible. But the NKJV puts a new twist here saying: "But Judah still walks with God, even with the Holy One, who is faithful."

This time Daniel Wallace's NET version agrees in the main with the KJB saying: "But Judah still roams about with God; he remains faithful to the Holy One."

The NASB, NIV and TNIV completely spin this verse around to mean the opposite with: "And Judah is UNRULY AGAINST God, even against the faithful Holy One."

The Holman Standard has come up with a different rendering, saying: "Judah STILL WANDERS WITH EL, AND IS FAITHFUL TO HOLY ONES." Then it tells us in a footnote that the Hebrew is obscure. If you think the Hebrew is obscure, then the English translations are downright mind-boggling. So which, if any, of the multiple-choice bible versions is the true word of God?

Hosea 12:4

  • Hosea 12:4 "Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake WITH US."

"WITH US" is the reading of the Hebrew texts, as well as that of the RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, Geneva Bible, Young's, Darby, and the 2001 ESV. However, the RSV, NIV and Holman Standard all follow the Greek Septuagint and Syriac, instead of the Hebrew texts. The NIV and Holman Standard say: "and talked WITH HIM there."

Hosea 12:7

  • Hosea 12:7 KJB "He is a MERCHANT, the balances of deceit are in his hand." The NASB & NIV, along with the RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, and Holman Standard agree with the King James reading, while the NKJV alone changes "he is a merchant" to " A CUNNING CANAANITE!". The Hebrew word here for "merchant" is found only four times, and in the other three instances of this word, there the NKJV has translated it as "merchant" or "trade", but only here as "a cunning Canaanite".

Hosea 13:3

  • Hosea 13:3 KJB "and as the smoke out of the CHIMNEY." The Geneva Bible, the RV, ASV, NASB, Douay, Spanish Reina Valera, and the NKJV have "chimney" while the NIV has WINDOW. Now, my wife will tell you that I am not much of a handyman, but even I know that a window is not the same thing as a chimney.

Hosea 13:9


So read the Geneva Bible, the NKJV, Young's, Green's MKJV and interlinear, Douay, Webster's, KJV 21, and the Third Millenium Bible.

But the NASB, NIV say: "It is your destruction, O Israel, that you are against me, against your help." Just to make it interesting, the New English Bible and the Bible in Basic English say: "I have sent destruction on you, O Israel. Who will be your helper?"

Then the ESV clarifies this further by saying: "HE destroys you, O Israel, for you are against me, against your helper." The Holman Standard takes another stab at it with: "I will destroy you, Israel; you have no help but Me."

Adam Clarke comments: "O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself - These evils come not by my immediate infliction; they are the consequences of thy own crimes. "But in me is thine help" -Though thou hast destroyed thyself, yet in me alone can thy help be found" - others read, And who will help thee? reading mi, who, for bi, in me. Though this is countenanced by the Syriac, yet there is no evidence of it in any of the MSS. yet collated, nor do I think it to be the true reading."

Hosea 13:10

  • Hosea 13:10 God says to Israel "I WILL BE YOUR KING" in the KJB, NKJV, Webster's, Third Millenium Bible, but the NIV, RSV, ESV, Holman, and NASB ask "WHERE IS your king?" The RSV, NRSV, and Holman Standard all have an interesting footnote here. Their footnotes reads " Greek, Syriac and Vulgate read "Where is your king?", while the Hebrew Masoretic text says "I will be your king."

Daniel Wallace's idiotic NET bible version says: "WHERE THEN IS your king, that he may save you in all your cities?" Then he footnotes: "The Masoretic Text reads the enigmatic I want to be [your king].. which makes little sense...All the versions (Greek, Syriac, Vulgate) read the interrogative Where. The textual corruption was caused by metathesis of the y (yod) and h (hey). Few translations follow the MT: I will be thy/your king (KJV, NKJV). Most emend the text: Where is your king?(RSV, NASB, NIV, NJPS, CEV)."

There it is, right before your eyes in black and white. This "eminent textual scholar" openly admits that the Hebrew texts say "I will be your king", but says it makes little sense, and that it is better to "emend" (change) the text, as do many modern versions!!!

Other textual scholars take the opposite view. Jamieson, Faussett and Brown remark: " I will be thy king;--the Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, "Where now is thy king?" [MAURER]. English Version is, however, favored both by the Hebrew, by the antithesis between Israel's self-chosen and perishing kings, and God, Israel's abiding King (compare Ho 3:4, 5)."

Hosea 13:14

One of the most beautiful verses in Hosea has been destroyed by many modern versions. In the KJB, RV, ASV , Darby, Geneva, Young, 1917, 1936 Hebrew-English versions, and the Spanish of 1909 we read in Hosea 13:14 "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death; O death, I will be thy plagues; O Grave, I will be thy destruction, REPENTANCE shall be hid from mine eyes."

In other words, God has promised to destroy death and He will not change His mind nor alter His purpose. Every commentator I looked up had basically the same understanding of this beautiful passage. John Gill comments:" repentance shall be hid from mine eyes; that is, the Lord will never repent of his decree of redemption from hell, death, and the grave; nor of the work of it by Christ; nor of the entire destruction of these things; which being once done, will never be repented of nor recalled, but remain so for ever."

BUT, instead of "repentance shall be hid from mine eyes" the NKJV has "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction. PITY is hidden from My eyes."

The NIV has " I WILL HAVE NO COMPASSION" and the NASB "compassion will be hidden from my sight". This perverted rendering doesn't fit the context, and makes no sense at all.

Again, Daniel Wallace, from Dallas Theological Seminary, has given us "the latest in scholarly findings". His NET bible version has totally turned things upside down, disagreeing even with the NASB, NIV, ESV and Holman Standard.

His NET version actually reads this way: "Will I deliver them from the power of Sheol? No, I will not! Will I redeem them from death? No, I will not! O Death, bring on your plagues! O Sheol, bring on your destruction! My eyes will not show any compassion! "

It just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?

The King James Bible is the only true word of God. 1

Will Kinney

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