Hosea 6-9 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
A Call to Repentance
6 “Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn, that he may heal us;
he has stricken, and he will bind us up.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
3 Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord;
his going forth is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”
Impenitence of Israel and Judah
4 What shall I do with you, O E′phraim?
What shall I do with you, O Judah?
Your love is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes early away.
5 Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets,
I have slain them by the words of my mouth,
and my judgment goes forth as the light.
6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings.
7 But at Adam they transgressed the covenant;
there they dealt faithlessly with me.
8 Gilead is a city of evildoers,
tracked with blood.
9 As robbers lie in wait for a man,
so the priests are banded together;
they murder on the way to Shechem,
yea, they commit villainy.
10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing;
E′phraim’s harlotry is there, Israel is defiled.
11 For you also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed.
When I would restore the fortunes of my people,
7 1 when I would heal Israel,
the corruption of E′phraim is revealed,
and the wicked deeds of Samar′ia;
for they deal falsely,
the thief breaks in,
and the bandits raid without.
2 But they do not consider
that I remember all their evil works.
Now their deeds encompass them,
they are before my face.
3 By their wickedness they make the king glad,
and the princes by their treachery.
4 They are all adulterers;
they are like a heated oven,
whose baker ceases to stir the fire,
from the kneading of the dough
until it is leavened.
5 On the day of our king the princes
became sick with the heat of wine;
he stretched out his hand with mockers.
6 For like an oven their hearts burn with intrigue;
all night their anger smolders;
in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
7 All of them are hot as an oven,
and they devour their rulers.
All their kings have fallen;
and none of them calls upon me.
8 E′phraim mixes himself with the peoples;
E′phraim is a cake not turned.
9 Aliens devour his strength,
and he knows it not;
gray hairs are sprinkled upon him,
and he knows it not.
10 The pride of Israel witnesses against him;
yet they do not return to the Lord their God,
nor seek him, for all this.
Futile Reliance on the Nations
11 E′phraim is like a dove,
silly and without sense,
calling to Egypt, going to Assyria.
12 As they go, I will spread over them my net;
I will bring them down like birds of the air;
I will chastise them for their wicked deeds.
13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!
Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me!
I would redeem them,
but they speak lies against me.
14 They do not cry to me from the heart,
but they wail upon their beds;
for grain and wine they gash themselves,
they rebel against me.
15 Although I trained and strengthened their arms,
yet they devise evil against me.
16 They turn to Ba′al;
they are like a treacherous bow,
their princes shall fall by the sword
because of the insolence of their tongue.
This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
8 Set the trumpet to your lips,
for a vulture is over the house of the Lord,
because they have broken my covenant,
and transgressed my law.
2 To me they cry,
My God, we Israel know thee.
3 Israel has spurned the good;
the enemy shall pursue him.
4 They made kings, but not through me.
They set up princes, but without my knowledge.
With their silver and gold they made idols
for their own destruction.
5 I have spurned your calf, O Samar′ia.
My anger burns against them.
How long will it be
till they are pure 6 in Israel?
A workman made it;
it is not God.
The calf of Samar′ia
shall be broken to pieces.
7 For they sow the wind,
and they shall reap the whirlwind.
The standing grain has no heads,
it shall yield no meal;
if it were to yield,
aliens would devour it.
8 Israel is swallowed up;
already they are among the nations
as a useless vessel.
9 For they have gone up to Assyria,
a wild ass wandering alone;
E′phraim has hired lovers.
10 Though they hire allies among the nations,
I will soon gather them up.
And they shall cease for a little while
from anointing king and princes.
11 Because E′phraim has multiplied altars for sinning,
they have become to him altars for sinning.
12 Were I to write for him my laws by ten thousands,
they would be regarded as a strange thing.
13 They love sacrifice;
they sacrifice flesh and eat it;
but the Lord has no delight in them.
Now he will remember their iniquity,
and punish their sins;
they shall return to Egypt.
14 For Israel has forgotten his Maker,
and built palaces;
and Judah has multiplied fortified cities;
but I will send a fire upon his cities,
and it shall devour his strongholds.
Punishment for Israel’s Sin
9 Rejoice not, O Israel!
Exult not like the peoples;
for you have played the harlot, forsaking your God.
You have loved a harlot’s hire
upon all threshing floors.
2 Threshing floor and winevat shall not feed them,
and the new wine shall fail them.
3 They shall not remain in the land of the Lord;
but E′phraim shall return to Egypt,
and they shall eat unclean food in Assyria.
4 They shall not pour libations of wine to the Lord;
and they shall not please him with their sacrifices.
Their bread shall be like mourners’ bread;
all who eat of it shall be defiled;
for their bread shall be for their hunger only;
it shall not come to the house of the Lord.
5 What will you do on the day of appointed festival,
and on the day of the feast of the Lord?
6 For behold, they are going to Assyria;
Egypt shall gather them,
Memphis shall bury them.
Nettles shall possess their precious things of silver;
thorns shall be in their tents.
7 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.
8 The prophet is the watchman of E′phraim,
the people of my God,
yet a fowler’s snare is on all his ways,
and hatred in the house of his God.
9 They have deeply corrupted themselves
as in the days of Gib′e-ah:
he will remember their iniquity,
he will punish their sins.
10 Like grapes in the wilderness,
I found Israel.
Like the first fruit on the fig tree,
in its first season,
I saw your fathers.
But they came to Ba′al-pe′or,
and consecrated themselves to Ba′al,
and became detestable like the thing they loved.
11 E′phraim’s glory shall fly away like a bird—
no birth, no pregnancy, no conception!
12 Even if they bring up children,
I will bereave them till none is left.
Woe to them
when I depart from them!
13 E′phraim’s sons, as I have seen, are destined for a prey;
E′phraim must lead forth his sons to slaughter.
14 Give them, O Lord—
what wilt thou give?
Give them a miscarrying womb
and dry breasts.
15 Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal;
there I began to hate them.
Because of the wickedness of their deeds
I will drive them out of my house.
I will love them no more;
all their princes are rebels.
16 E′phraim is stricken,
their root is dried up,
they shall bear no fruit.
Even though they bring forth,
I will slay their beloved children.
17 My God will cast them off,
because they have not hearkened to him;
they shall be wanderers among the nations.