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12 Ephraim herds the wind[a]
    and is pursuing the east wind all day long;
he multiplies deception and violence
    and he[b] makes a treaty with Assyria,[c]
    and oil is brought to Egypt.
Yahweh has a quarrel[d] with Judah
    and will punish Jacob according to his ways
        and repay him according to his deeds.
In the womb he deceived his brother,
    and in his manhood he struggled with God.
He struggled with the angel and prevailed;
    he pleaded for his mercy.
He met him at Bethel,
    and there he spoke with him.[e]
Yahweh the God of hosts,
    Yahweh is his renowned name!
But you, you must return to your God;
    keep love and justice,
        and wait continually for your God.
The trader, in his hand are scales of deceit;[f]
    he loves to oppress.
And Ephraim said, “Surely, I am rich,
    I gained[g] wealth for myself;
in all my toil they have not found guilt in me
    that is sin.
But I am Yahweh your God
    since[h] the land of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
    like the days of the appointed festival.
10 I spoke to the prophets;
    I myself multiplied revelations[i]
        and through the hand of the prophets I will destroy.
11 If in Gilead there is evil,
    surely they will come to nothing.
In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls,
    also their altars will be like stone heaps
    on furrows of the field.
12 Jacob fled to the open field of Aram,[j]
    and Israel served for a wife,
    and for a wife he watched over sheep.
13 And by a prophet Yahweh brought
    Israel up from Egypt,
and by a prophet
    he[k] was watched over.
14 Ephraim has caused bitter provocation,
    and his Lord will hold him responsible for his crimes[l]
    and pay back to him his insults.


  1. Hosea 12:1 Or “Ephraim befriends the wind”
  2. Hosea 12:1 Hebrew “they”
  3. Hosea 12:1 Literally “cuts a covenant with Assyria”
  4. Hosea 12:2 This word in Hebrew conveys a legal setting
  5. Hosea 12:4 Hebrew “us”
  6. Hosea 12:7 Or “false balances”
  7. Hosea 12:8 Or “I found”
  8. Hosea 12:9 Or “from”
  9. Hosea 12:10 Hebrew “revelation”
  10. Hosea 12:12 Or “the land of Aram”
  11. Hosea 12:13 Israel
  12. Hosea 12:14 Literally “will bring down on him his blood”