Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Hosea 5:6

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

They shall go with their flocks - They shall offer many sacrifices, professing to seek and be reconciled to the Lord; but they shall not find him. As they still retain the spirit of their idolatry, he has withdrawn himself from them.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

They shall go with their flocks - “They had let slip the day of grace, wherein God had called them to repentance, and promised to be found of them and to accept them. When then the decree was gone forth and judgment determined against them, all their outward shew of worship and late repentance shall not prevail to gain admittance for them to Him. He will not be found of them, hear them, nor accept them. They stopped their ears obstinately against Him calling on them, and proffering mercy in the day of mercy: He will now stop His ear against them, crying for it in the Day of Judgment.” Repenting thus late, (as is the case with most who repent, or think that they repent, at the close of life) they did not repent out of the love of God, but out of slavish fear, on account of the calamity which was coming upon them. But the main truth, contained in this and other passages of Holy Scripture which speak of a time when it is too late to turn to God, is this: that “it shall be too late to knock when the door shall be shut, and too late to cry for mercy when it is the time of justice.”

God waits long for sinners; He threatens long before He strikes; He strikes and pierces in lesser degrees, and with increasing severity, before the final blow comes. In this life, He places man in a new state of trial, even after His first judgments have fallen on the sinner. But the general rule of His dealings is this; that, when the time of each judgment is actually come, then, as to “that” judgment, it is too late to pray. It is “not” too late for other mercy, or for final forgiveness, so long as man‘s state of probation lasts; but it is too late as to this one. And thus, each judgment in time is a picture of the eternal judgment, when the day of mercy is past forever, to those who have finally, in this life, hardened themselves against it. But temporal mercies correspond with temporal judgments; eternal mercy with eternal judgment. In time, it may be too late to turn away temporal judgments; it is not too late, while God continues grace, to flee from eternal; and the desire not to lose God, is a proof to the soul that it is not forsaken by God, by whom alone the longing for Himself is kept alive or re-awakened in His creature.

They shall not find Him - This befell the Jews in the time of Josiah. Josiah himself “turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses” 2 Kings 23:25-27. He put away idolatry thoroughly; and the people so tier followed his example. He held such a Passover, as had not been held since the time of the judges. “Notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of this great wrath, wherewith His anger was kindled against Judah because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked Him withal. And the Lord said, I will remove Judah out of My sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem, which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.”

The prophet describes the people, as complying with God‘s commands; “they shall go,” i. e., to the place which God had chosen and commanded, “with their flocks and their herds,” i. e., with the most costly sacrifices, “the flocks” supplying the sheep and goats prescribed by the law; the “herds” supplying the bullocks, calves and heifers offered. They seem to have come, so far, sincerely. Yet perhaps it is not without further meaning, that the prophet speaks of those outward sacrifices only, not of the heart; and the reformation under Josiah may therefore have failed, because the people were too ingrained with sin under Manasseh, and returned outwardly only under Josiah, as they fell back again after his death. And so God speaketh here, as He does by David, “I will take no bullock out of thine house, nor he-goat out of thy fold. Thinkest thou, that I will eat bulls‘ flesh, or drink the blood of goats?” Psalm 50:9, Psalm 50:13, and by Isaiah, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts” Isaiah 1:11.

He hath withdrawn Himself from them - Perhaps he would say, that God, as it were “freed Himself” from them, as He saith in Isaiah, “I am weary to bear them” Isaiah 1:14, the union of sacrifices and of sin.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The piercing eye of God saw secret liking and disposition to sin, the love the house of Israel had to their sins, and the dominion their sins had over them. Pride makes men obstinate in other sins. And as Judah was treading in the same steps, they would fall with Israel. By dealing treacherously with the Lord, men only deceive themselves. Those that go to seek the Lord with their flocks and their herds only, and not with their hearts and souls, cannot expect to find him; nor shall any speed who do not seek the Lord while he may be found. See how much it is our concern to seek God early, now, while it is the accepted time, and the day of salvation.
Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 465

Understood When We Walk in Paradise—The earth has a history that man will never understand until he walks with his Redeemer in the paradise of God. “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).—Manuscript 28, 1898. 2MCP 465.1

Worry, Not Work, Kills—It is not work that kills; it is worry. The only way to avoid worry is to take every trouble to Christ. Let us not look on the dark side. Let us cultivate cheerfulness of spirit.—Letter 208, 1903. 2MCP 466.1

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 123

At this time there was quite an excitement among the Methodists in Oswego. They held many meetings, and their leaders were very zealous, praying for and exhorting sinners to be converted. Some of the adventists who were preaching time, often joined them in their meetings, and then would tell us that a glorious work was going on among the Methodists, that God was with them, or they would not be thus blessed. The question was often asked, “What do you think of Bro. M.? The Lord works through him in a special manner. He and his wife visit from house to house conversing with sinners, and praying for them, and Bro M. was engaged so zealously in prayer last night for the mourners who came forward to the anxious-seats, that he broke a blood-vessel, and was carried to his home in a feeble condition.” They triumphed over the believers in present truth. I told them to wait and see the result of the matter, and referred them to Hosea 5:6, 7. 2SG 123.1

But in the midst of the revival M. was arrested and placed in confinement in what was called the “black hole,” while his Methodist brethren were left to carry on the revival. He was suspected of retaining public money for his own use. The matter was investigated, and he took God to witness that he had not a cent of their money. And as his wife was about to be searched, she left the room. She was watched, and seen to hide something in the snow. And as she returned and joined her husband in protesting their innocence, one of the men who watched her, took a bag of money from the snow, brought it in and held it up before them. 2SG 123.2

We visited Camden, about forty miles from Oswego. Previous to going I was shown the little company there who professed the truth, and saw one among them, a female, who professed much piety, but was a hypocrite, and was deceiving the people of God. Sabbath morning quite a number collected, but the deceitful woman was not present. I inquired of a sister if this was all their company. She said it was. This woman lived four miles from the place, and the sister did not think of her. Soon she entered, and I knew her. In the course of the meeting she talked quite lengthy, said she had perfect love, and enjoyed holiness of heart. That she did not have trials and temptations, but enjoyed perfect peace and submission to the will of God. The brethren and sisters were strangers to me, and they seemed to have confidence in her, and I feared that they would not receive my testimony if I should state what had been shown me in regard to her. I inquired concerning this person, and was informed that she appeared to be the most zealous one among them. I left the meeting with sad feelings, and returned to Bro. Preston's. That night I dreamed that a secret closet was opened to me, filled with rubbish, and I was told that it was my work to clear it out. With the aid of a lamp I removed the rubbish, and told them the room could be supplied with more valuable things. 2SG 124.1

Read in context »