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Israel Is Punished

10 Israel is a luxuriant vine;[a]
he yields fruit for himself.
The more his fruit increased,
    the more he made numerous altars.
The more his land prospered,
    the more he[b] improved[c] his stone pillars.
Their heart is false;
    now they must bear their guilt.
He himself[d] will break down their altars;
    he will destroy their stone pillars.
For now they will say,
    “We have no king;
indeed, we did not fear Yahweh,
    and what can a king do for us?”
They utter words of vain oaths
    when making covenants,[e]
and judgment blossoms like a poisonous plant
    on the furrows of the field.
The inhabitants[f] of Samaria tremble
    for the calf[g] of Beth-aven.
Indeed, his people will mourn for it,
    and his idolatrous priests will wail[h] over it—
    over its glory because it has departed from it.
It will also be brought to Assyria,
    as tribute to the great king.[i]
Ephraim will obtain disgrace
    and Israel will be ashamed from his advice.[j]
Samaria will be destroyed;
    her king is like a chip on the surface of the water.
The high places of Aven,
    the sin of Israel, will be destroyed.
Thorn and thistle will grow
    on their altars.
They will say to the mountains, “Cover us,”
    and to the hills, “Fall on us.”
From the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel;
    there they have remained.[k]
Will not war in Gibeah overtake them
    against the children of evil?
10     In my desire[l] I will punish them;
nations will be gathered against them
    when they are punished for their double iniquities.[m]
11 Ephraim was a trained heifer,
    that loved to thresh grain,
and I myself spared[n]
    the fairness of her neck;
I will make Ephraim break the ground,
    Judah will plow,
    Jacob must till for himself.
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness;
    reap loyal love.[o]
Break up for yourself fallow ground;
    it is time to seek Yahweh
so he will come and rain
    righteousness upon you.
13 You have plowed wickedness,
    you have reaped injustice,
you have eaten the fruit of lies,[p]
    because you have trusted in your strength,
    in the multitude of your warriors.
14 The tumult of war will rise up against your people,
        and all your fortresses will be destroyed,
    as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel;
on the day of war
    mothers were dashed to pieces with their children.[q]
15 So it will be done to you, O Bethel,
    because of the evil of your wickedness;
at dawn, the king of Israel
    will be utterly destroyed.


  1. Hosea 10:1 Or “ravaged vine”
  2. Hosea 10:1 Hebrew “they”
  3. Hosea 10:1 Or “made beautiful”
  4. Hosea 10:2 That is, “Yahweh himself”
  5. Hosea 10:4 Literally “cutting covenant”
  6. Hosea 10:5 Hebrew “inhabitant”
  7. Hosea 10:5 Hebrew “calves”
  8. Hosea 10:5 Or “rejoice”
  9. Hosea 10:6 See 5:13; some translate literally “King Jareb”
  10. Hosea 10:6 Or “counsel”
  11. Hosea 10:9 Literally “they stood”
  12. Hosea 10:10 The LXX translates “I will come”
  13. Hosea 10:10 So Qere; Masoretic Hebrew text (Kethib) “their two eyes”
  14. Hosea 10:11 Literally “passed over”
  15. Hosea 10:12 Literally “reap according to loyal love”
  16. Hosea 10:13 Hebrew “lie”
  17. Hosea 10:14 Or “upon their children”