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If I had a penny for every time I have heard “My people perish for lack of knowledge” I would probably be able to fund a lengthy, exotic vacation: Perhaps it is the same for you.
However, I do not ever remember hearing it quoted in a way that is consistent with the text.
What is knowledge?
The word “knowledge” in Hosea 4:6 is Strongs #1847. Throughout the Hebrew text (Tanach – O/T) this word is used in a number of different ways. It indicates;
- wisdom for insight
- Knowledge in pleasing God
- Knowing by experience
- Insight or discernment
The word also has other uses but these are its primary meanings. Clearly the word communicates the idea of a “knowing”: But knowing what?
The first meaning, mentioned above, refers to wisdom for insight. 40 of the 91 times that this Hebrew word is used are found in the book of Proverbs; the book of insight. In this context, according to Isaiah 11:2, it is Yeshua that is the Spirit of Wisdom. When this understanding is combined with the other ways that this word is used, we see that Hosea 4:6 is telling us something very different than the way it is usually related.
When you consider that true knowledge and wisdom can only be realized through Yeshua, and that the “knowledge” this word is referring to involves pleasing God, and “knowing by experience, and insight”, then you can begin to see that Hosea 4:6 is telling us something very different than the way the verse is usually utilized.
“I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly”John 10:10
Hosea 4:6 in context
So considering what Strongs #1847 means, let’s look at the context of Hoesea 4:6:
Hos 4:1 Hear the word of Yahweh, you children of Israel: for Yahweh has a (legal) charge against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
Hos 4:2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.
Hos 4:3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwells therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of Heaven; yes, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.
Hos 4:4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for your people are as they that strive with the priest.
Hos 4:5 Therefore shall you fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with you in the night, and I will destroy your mother.
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the Torah of your God, I will also forget your children.
Hosea 4:1-6 says nothing of political knowledge, occupational knowledge, secular knowledge, or anything else of that sort.
What it does specifically mention is knowledge of Yahweh God and His Word. Not only does it specifically reference God but the entire context of this Scripture is clearly referencing “experiential knowledge and insight in pleasing God” that leads to an intimate relationship with Him.
To say that this Scripture refers to any other kind of knowledge cheats God out of the deep relationship that He wants to have with His creation and it cheats His creation (you) from understanding the desire that He has for them.
All life-giving knowledge is from God
What God is telling us here is that all knowledge for life springs forth from an intimate relationship with Him. It is the same thing that Yeshua told the dear woman at the well:
He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.John 7:38
When we enter into an intimate relationship with God in Holy Spirit, through Yeshua, He gives us wisdom for life. He is the source of all life-giving wisdom and knowledge.
The entire Bible is all about how to experience this relationship with God, as is Hosea chapter 4, specifically Hosea 4:6, and even the specific Hebrew word da’ath – Strongs #1847, that I have described here.
Having an intimate relationship with God through Yeshua is the only way to true life; it always has been. Yeshua is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life“. This truth has always been reality but, for the Remnant, it will be even more so in the days ahead.
“”My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me…”Hosea 4:6a NLT
Seek Him while He may be found.
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