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to prostitution; wine, and new wine,
which take away their understanding. Bible

“understanding.” The Hebrew word translated “understanding” is leb (#03820 לֵב), which is often translated “heart.” Leb occurs over 800 times in the Old Testament, and it has a very large number of different meanings—and often combines a number of meanings into one use. The Hebrew language and culture ascribes physical, mental, and moral functions to the heart, as well as control over the physical body. Actually, leb has so many meanings that saying it means “heart” is too restrictive. The full range of meanings of leb includes, but is not limited to, heart, inner man, mind, will, thinking, reflection, inclination, resolution, understanding, sense or good sense, and in some contexts it can also refer to the seat of passion and emotion. In this context in Hosea, idolatry and wine take away the understanding and good sense of the people. Different English versions translate leb differently in this context (“wisdom” BBE; “wits” CJB; “heart” KJV; “mind” TNK). [For more on the Hebrew word leb and its use in Scripture, see commentary on Prov. 15:21].


Commentary for: Hosea 4:11