Hosea 1-7 New Living Translation (NLT)
1 The Lord gave this message to Hosea son of Beeri during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash[a] was king of Israel.
Hosea’s Wife and Children
2 When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute,[b] so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”
3 So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son. 4 And the Lord said, “Name the child Jezreel, for I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel. In fact, I will bring an end to Israel’s independence. 5 I will break its military power in the Jezreel Valley.”
6 Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to Hosea, “Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah—‘Not loved’—for I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them. 7 But I will show love to the people of Judah. I will free them from their enemies—not with weapons and armies or horses and charioteers, but by my power as the Lord their God.”
8 After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son. 9 And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi—‘Not my people’—for Israel is not my people, and I am not their God.
10 [c]“Yet the time will come when Israel’s people will be like the sands of the seashore—too many to count! Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said, ‘You are children of the living God.’ 11 Then the people of Judah and Israel will unite together. They will choose one leader for themselves, and they will return from exile together. What a day that will be—the day of Jezreel[d]—when God will again plant his people in his land.
2 [e]“In that day you will call your brothers Ammi—‘My people.’ And you will call your sisters Ruhamah—‘The ones I love.’
Charges against an Unfaithful Wife
2 “But now bring charges against Israel—your mother—
6 “For this reason I will fence her in with thornbushes.
9 “But now I will take back the ripened grain and new wine
The Lord’s Love for Unfaithful Israel
14 “But then I will win her back once again.
21 “In that day, I will answer,”
Hosea’s Wife Is Redeemed
3 Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she[j] commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.[k]”
2 So I bought her back for fifteen pieces of silver[l] and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine.[m] 3 Then I said to her, “You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution. During this time, you will not have sexual relations with anyone, not even with me.[n]”
4 This shows that Israel will go a long time without a king or prince, and without sacrifices, sacred pillars, priests,[o] or even idols! 5 But afterward the people will return and devote themselves to the Lord their God and to David’s descendant, their king.[p] In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness.
The Lord’s Case against Israel
4 Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel!
4 “Don’t point your finger at someone else
8 “When the people bring their sin offerings, the priests get fed.
“Wine has robbed my people
“That is why your daughters turn to prostitution,
15 “Though you, Israel, are a prostitute,
The Failure of Israel’s Leaders
5 “Hear this, you priests.
5 “The arrogance of Israel testifies against her;
8 “Sound the alarm in Gibeah!
10 “The leaders of Judah have become like thieves.[z]
13 “When Israel and Judah saw how sick they were,
A Call to Repentance
6 “Come, let us return to the Lord.
4 “O Israel[ab] and Judah,
8 “Gilead is a city of sinners,
11 “O Judah, a harvest of punishment is also waiting for you,
Israel’s Love for Wickedness
7 “I want to heal Israel, but its[af] sins are too great.
3 “The people entertain the king with their wickedness,
8 “The people of Israel mingle with godless foreigners,
11 “The people of Israel have become like silly, witless doves,
13 “What sorrow awaits those who have deserted me!
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