Hosea 10:1–14:9

10 Israel was a spreading vine;d

he brought forth fruit for himself.

As his fruit increased,

he built more altars;e

as his land prospered,f

he adorned his sacred stones.g

Their heart is deceitful,h

and now they must bear their guilt.i

The Lord will demolish their altarsj

and destroy their sacred stones.k

Then they will say, “We have no king

because we did not revere the Lord.

But even if we had a king,

what could he do for us?”

They make many promises,

take false oathsl

and make agreements;m

therefore lawsuits spring up

like poisonous weedsn in a plowed field.

The people who live in Samaria fear

for the calf-idolo of Beth Aven.a p

Its people will mourn over it,

and so will its idolatrous priests,q

those who had rejoiced over its splendor,

because it is taken from them into exile.r

It will be carried to Assyrias

as tributet for the great king.u

Ephraim will be disgraced;v

Israel will be ashamedw of its foreign alliances.

Samaria’s king will be destroyed,x

swept away like a twig on the surface of the waters.

The high placesy of wickednessb z will be destroyed—

it is the sin of Israel.

Thornsa and thistles will grow up

and cover their altars.b

Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!”c

and to the hills, “Fall on us!”d

“Since the days of Gibeah,e you have sinned,f Israel,

and there you have remained.c

Will not war again overtake

the evildoers in Gibeah?

10 When I please, I will punishg them;

nations will be gathered against them

to put them in bonds for their double sin.

11 Ephraim is a trained heifer

that loves to thresh;

so I will put a yokeh

on her fair neck.

I will drive Ephraim,

Judah must plow,

and Jacob must break up the ground.

12 Sowi righteousnessj for yourselves,

reap the fruit of unfailing love,

and break up your unplowed ground;k

for it is time to seekl the Lord,

until he comes

and showers his righteousnessm on you.

13 But you have planted wickedness,

you have reaped evil,n

you have eaten the fruit of deception.o

Because you have depended on your own strength

and on your many warriors,p

14 the roar of battle will rise against your people,

so that all your fortresses will be devastatedq

as Shalmanr devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle,

when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.s

15 So will it happen to you, Bethel,

because your wickedness is great.

When that day dawns,

the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.t

God’s Love for Israel

11 “When Israel was a child,u I lovedv him,

and out of Egypt I called my son.w

But the more they were called,

the more they went away from me.a x

They sacrificed to the Baalsy

and they burned incense to images.z

It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,

taking them by the arms;a

but they did not realize

it was I who healedb them.

I led them with cords of human kindness,

with ties of love.c

To them I was like one who lifts

a little child to the cheek,

and I bent down to feedd them.e

“Will they not return to Egyptf

and will not Assyriag rule over them

because they refuse to repent?h

A swordi will flash in their cities;

it will devourj their false prophets

and put an end to their plans.

My people are determined to turnk from me.l

Even though they call me God Most High,

I will by no means exalt them.

“How can I give you up,m Ephraim?n

How can I hand you over, Israel?

How can I treat you like Admah?

How can I make you like Zeboyim?o

My heart is changed within me;

all my compassionp is aroused.q

I will not carry out my fierce anger,r

nor will I devastates Ephraim again.

For I am God, and not a mant

the Holy Oneu among you.

I will not come against their cities.

10 They will follow the Lord;

he will roarv like a lion.w

When he roars,

his children will come tremblingx from the west.y

11 They will come from Egypt,

trembling like sparrows,

from Assyria,z fluttering like doves.a

I will settle them in their homes,”b

declares the Lord.

Israel’s Sin

12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,c

Israel with deceit.

And Judah is unruly against God,

even against the faithfuld Holy One.b e

12 a Ephraimf feeds on the wind;g

he pursues the east wind all day

and multiplies lies and violence.h

He makes a treaty with Assyriai

and sends olive oil to Egypt.j

The Lord has a chargek to bring against Judah;l

he will punishm Jacobb according to his ways

and repay him according to his deeds.n

In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel;o

as a man he struggledp with God.

He struggled with the angel and overcame him;

he wept and begged for his favor.

He found him at Bethelq

and talked with him there—

the Lord God Almighty,

the Lord is his name!r

But you must returns to your God;

maintain love and justice,t

and wait for your God always.u

The merchant uses dishonest scalesv

and loves to defraud.

Ephraim boasts,w

“I am very rich; I have become wealthy.x

With all my wealth they will not find in me

any iniquity or sin.”

“I have been the Lord your God

ever since you came out of Egypt;y

I will make you live in tentsz again,

as in the days of your appointed festivals.

10 I spoke to the prophets,

gave them many visions

and told parablesa through them.”b

11 Is Gilead wicked?c

Its people are worthless!

Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?d

Their altars will be like piles of stones

on a plowed field.e

12 Jacob fled to the country of Aramc;f

Israel served to get a wife,

and to pay for her he tended sheep.g

13 The Lord used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,h

by a prophet he cared for him.i

14 But Ephraim has aroused his bitter anger;

his Lord will leave on him the guilt of his bloodshedj

and will repay him for his contempt.k

The Lord’s Anger Against Israel

13 When Ephraim spoke, people trembled;l

he was exaltedm in Israel.

But he became guilty of Baal worshipn and died.

Now they sin more and more;

they makeo idols for themselves from their silver,p

cleverly fashioned images,

all of them the work of craftsmen.q

It is said of these people,

“They offer human sacrifices!

They kissa r calf-idols!s

Therefore they will be like the morning mist,

like the early dew that disappears,t

like chaffu swirling from a threshing floor,v

like smokew escaping through a window.

“But I have been the Lord your God

ever since you came out of Egypt.x

You shall acknowledgey no God but me,z

no Saviora except me.

I cared for you in the wilderness,b

in the land of burning heat.

When I fed them, they were satisfied;

when they were satisfied, they became proud;c

then they forgotd me.e

So I will be like a lionf to them,

like a leopard I will lurk by the path.

Like a bear robbed of her cubs,g

I will attack them and rip them open;

like a lionh I will devour them—

a wild animal will tear them apart.i

“You are destroyed, Israel,

because you are against me,j against your helper.k

10 Where is your king,l that he may save you?

Where are your rulers in all your towns,

of whom you said,

‘Give me a king and princes’?m

11 So in my anger I gave you a king,n

and in my wrath I took him away.o

12 The guilt of Ephraim is stored up,

his sins are kept on record.p

13 Pains as of a woman in childbirthq come to him,

but he is a child without wisdom;

when the timer arrives,

he doesn’t have the sense to come out of the womb.s

14 “I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;t

I will redeem them from death.u

Where, O death, are your plagues?

Where, O grave, is your destruction?v

“I will have no compassion,

15 even though he thrivesw among his brothers.

An east windx from the Lord will come,

blowing in from the desert;

his spring will fail

and his well dry up.y

His storehouse will be plunderedz

of all its treasures.

16 The people of Samariaa must bear their guilt,b

because they have rebelledc against their God.

They will fall by the sword;d

their little ones will be dashede to the ground,

their pregnant womenf ripped open.”b

Repentance to Bring Blessing

14 a Return,g Israel, to the Lord your God.

Your sinsh have been your downfall!i

Take words with you

and return to the Lord.

Say to him:

“Forgivej all our sins

and receive us graciously,k

that we may offer the fruit of our lips.b l

Assyria cannot save us;m

we will not mount warhorses.n

We will never again say ‘Our gods’o

to what our own hands have made,p

for in you the fatherlessq find compassion.”

“I will healr their waywardnesss

and love them freely,t

for my anger has turned awayu from them.

I will be like the dewv to Israel;

he will blossom like a lily.w

Like a cedar of Lebanonx

he will send down his roots;y

6 his young shoots will grow.

His splendor will be like an olive tree,z

his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.a

People will dwell again in his shade;b

they will flourish like the grain,

they will blossomc like the vine—

Israel’s fame will be like the wined of Lebanon.e

Ephraim, what more have Ic to do with idols?f

I will answer him and care for him.

I am like a flourishing juniper;g

your fruitfulness comes from me.”

Who is wise?h Let them realize these things.

Who is discerning? Let them understand.i

The ways of the Lord are right;j

the righteous walkk in them,

but the rebellious stumble in them.

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