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Ephraim Multiplies Lies

12 “Ephraim surrounded Me with lies[a]
and the house of Israel with deceit.”
Though Judah roams restlessly with God,
yet he is faithful with holy things.[b]
Ephraim is grazing on wind
and pursuing the east wind.
All day he multiplies lies and ruin:
    making[c] a pact with Assyria,
    while carrying oil to Egypt.
Adonai also has a dispute with Judah:
He will punish Jacob for his ways,
    repaying him for his deeds.
In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel,
and in his vigor he strove with God.
Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won;
he wept and sought his favor.
At Bethel he will find us,
    and there He will speak with us.
Even Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot
Adonai is His memorial-Name.
So you should return to your God,
keep covenant loyalty and justice,
and wait for your God continually.
A merchant loves to extort,
with deceptive balances in his hand.

Now Ephraim has said:
“How rich I have become! I found wealth by myself.
I won’t be guilty of any sin with any of my property.”

10 “Yet I have been Adonai your God,
    since the land of Egypt.
I will yet again make you dwell in tents,
    as in the days of the moed.
11 I also spoke through the prophets
    and I multiplied visions.
Now through the prophets
    I will make parables.
12 Since Gilead is full of iniquity,
they are utterly worthless.
In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls—
even their altars will become heaps of rocks
    along the furrows of My field.”

13 Now Jacob fled to the field of Aram,
when Israel served for a wife—
yes, he kept watch for a wife.
14 So by a prophet Adonai brought Israel up out of Egypt,
and by a prophet he was kept.
15 Ephraim has provoked bitter anger,
so his bloodguilt will remain on him—
his Lord will repay him for his contempt.


  1. Hosea 12:1 Traditional Christian text numbers as 11:12 to 12:14.
  2. Hosea 12:1 Or, to the Holy One.
  3. Hosea 12:2 Lit. they are making.