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Hosea 4:1–5:15

The Lord Accuses Israel

kHear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel,

for lthe Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land.

There is no faithfulness or steadfast love,

and mno knowledge of God in the land;

nthere is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery;

they break all bounds, and obloodshed follows bloodshed.

Therefore pthe land mourns,

and all who dwell in it languish,

qand also the beasts of the field

and the birds of the heavens,

rand even the fish of the sea are taken away.

sYet let no one contend,

and let none accuse,

for with you is tmy contention, O priest.1

You shall stumble by day;

the prophet also shall stumble with you by night;

and I will destroy uyour mother.

My people are destroyed vfor lack of knowledge;

wbecause you have rejected knowledge,

I reject you xfrom being a priest to me.

And since you have forgotten the law of your God,

yI also will forget your children.

zThe more they increased,

the more they sinned against me;

aI will change their glory into shame.

bThey feed on the sin2 of my people;

they are greedy for their iniquity.

cAnd it shall be like people, like priest;

I will punish them for their ways

and repay them for their deeds.

10  dThey shall eat, but not be satisfied;

they shall play the whore, but not multiply,

because they have forsaken the Lord

to cherish 11 whoredom, wine, and new wine,

which etake away the understanding.

12  My people finquire of a piece of wood,

and their walking staff gives them oracles.

For ga spirit of whoredom has led them astray,

and they have left their God to play the whore.

13  hThey sacrifice on the tops of the mountains

and burn offerings on the hills,

iunder oak, poplar, and terebinth,

because their shade is good.

Therefore your daughters play the whore,

and your brides commit adultery.

14  I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore,

nor your brides when they commit adultery;

for jthe men themselves go aside with prostitutes

and sacrifice with kcult prostitutes,

and a people lwithout understanding shall come to ruin.

15  Though you play the whore, O mIsrael,

let not mJudah become guilty.

nEnter not into oGilgal,

nor go up to pBeth-aven,

and swear not, “As the Lord lives.”

16  Like a stubborn heifer,

Israel is stubborn;

can the Lord now feed them

like a lamb in a broad pasture?

17  qEphraim is joined to idols;

rleave him alone.

18  When their drink is gone, they give themselves to whoring;

stheir rulers3 dearly love shame.

19  tA wind has wrapped them4 in its wings,

and they shall ube ashamed because of their sacrifices.

Punishment Coming for Israel and Judah

vHear this, O priests!

Pay attention, O house of Israel!

Give ear, O house of the king!

For the judgment is for you;

for wyou have been a snare at Mizpah

and a net spread upon xTabor.

And ythe revolters zhave gone deep into slaughter,

but aI will discipline all of them.

bI know Ephraim,

and Israel is not hidden from me;

for now, O Ephraim, you have played the whore;

Israel is defiled.

cTheir deeds do not permit them

to return to their God.

For dthe spirit of whoredom is within them,

and they know not the Lord.

eThe pride of Israel testifies to his face;1

Israel and fEphraim shall stumble in his guilt;

fJudah also shall stumble with them.

gWith their flocks and herds they shall go

to seek the Lord,

gbut they will not find him;

hhe has withdrawn from them.

iThey have dealt faithlessly with the Lord;

for they have borne alien children.

Now the new moon shall devour them with their fields.

jBlow the horn in kGibeah,

the trumpet in lRamah.

Sound the alarm at mBeth-aven;

we follow you,2 O Benjamin!

Ephraim shall become a desolation

in the day of punishment;

among the tribes of Israel

I make known what is sure.

10  The princes of Judah have become

like nthose who move the landmark;

upon them I will pour out

my wrath like water.

11  Ephraim is ooppressed, crushed in judgment,

because he was determined to go after filth.3

12  But I am plike a moth to Ephraim,

and plike dry rot to the house of Judah.

13  When Ephraim saw his sickness,

and Judah qhis wound,

then Ephraim went rto Assyria,

and sent to the great king.4

sBut he is not able to cure you

or heal qyour wound.

14  For I will be tlike a lion to uEphraim,

and like a young lion to the house of uJudah.

vI, even I, will tear and go away;

I will carry off, and no one shall rescue.

15  wI will return again to my place,

until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face,

and xin their distress earnestly seek me.

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