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Hosea 9:7 (ESV) reads,

The days of punishment have come; the days of recompense have come; Israel shall know it. The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad, because of your great iniquity and great hatred.

It seems there are two contrary ways of taking this.

  1. "Because you sin so much, and hate God, you think his prophets are foolish, that the men he has inspired are insane."
  2. "In your sin and hatred of God, all your prophets are foolish, and the men who seem inspired are actually insane."

What does this verse mean?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The next verse suggests to me that the first interpretation is correct.

The prophet is the watchman of Ephraim with my God;
yet a fowler's snare is on all his ways,
    and hatred in the house of his God.

This puts the prophet in a positive light from God's point of view (he is a watchman with God) and gives a negative view of the peoples' view of the prophet (who set snare a snare for him). So I'd conclude that the people not only despise the prophets, but also think them insane for prophesying against Jerusalem.

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Good point. Somehow when I read "a fowler's snare is on all his ways," I thought it might me he was setting the snare. But if it is on his ways, that doesn't make to much sense. I don't do so well with these wooden translations. +1 – Kazark May 29 '12 at 22:52

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