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Israel’s Sin and Captivity

10 Israel is a fertile vine
    that brings forth its fruit.
As his fruit multiplied,
    so his altars increased;
as his land prospered,
    so he[a] improved his pillars.
Their heart is divided;
    now they must bear their guilt.
He will break down their altars
    and destroy their pillars.

For now they will say,
    “We have no king,
because we do not fear the Lord;
    and a king, what could he do for us?”
They speak mere words,
    swearing falsely
    in making a covenant.
Thus judgment springs up like a poisonous plant
    in the furrows of the field.
The inhabitants of Samaria fear
    because of the calf of Beth Aven.
For its people mourn for it,
    and its priests shriek for it,
    because its glory has departed from it.
It will be carried to Assyria
    as a tribute to King Jareb.[b]
Ephraim shall be put to shame,
    and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol.[c]
As for Samaria, her king will perish
    like a twig on 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.

O Israel, you have sinned since the days of Gibeah.
    There they have continued.[d]
Will not the war in Gibeah against evildoers
    overtake them?
10 When I desire, I will punish them.
    The nations will be gathered against them
    when they are disciplined[e] for their two transgressions.
11 Ephraim is a trained heifer
    that loves to thresh grain,
    but I harnessed her fair neck;
I will make Ephraim pull a plow.
    Judah will plow;
    Jacob shall furrow for himself.
12 Sow to yourselves righteousness,
    reap mercy,
break up your fallow ground;
    for it is time to seek the Lord,
until He comes
    and rains righteousness upon you.
13 You have plowed wickedness.
    You have reaped iniquity,
    and you have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your power
    and in the numbers of your warriors,
14 therefore a tumult will arise among your people,
    and all your fortresses will be destroyed
as Shalman destroyed Beth Arbel in the day of battle;
    mothers were dashed to pieces upon their children.
15 So will it be done to you, O Bethel,
    because of your great wickedness.
At dawn
    the king of Israel will be utterly cut off.


  1. Hosea 10:1 Heb. they.
  2. Hosea 10:6 Or the great king.
  3. Hosea 10:6 Or counsel.
  4. Hosea 10:9 Or There they stood.
  5. Hosea 10:10 Gk.; Heb. bound.