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Yahweh’s Judgment on Idolatrous Israel

13 When Ephraim spoke,[a] there was terror;
he was exalted in Israel,
        but he incurred guilt through Baal and died.
And now they sin again,
    and they make for themselves a molten idol,
idols from their silver metal according to their understanding,
    all of them the work of skilled craftsmen.
To these they say, “Sacrifice!”
    People are kissing bull calves.
Therefore, they will be like the morning cloud,
    and like the dew of early morning going away,
like chaff swirling from the threshing floor,
    or like smoke from a window.
I am Yahweh your God
    since[b] the land of Egypt;
you know no god except me,
    and no one saves besides me.
I fed you[c] in the desert,
    in the land of drought.
When I fed them,[d] they were satisfied;
    they were satisfied and their heart was lifted up;
        therefore they forgot me.
And I will be like a lion to them;
    I lie in wait beside the way, like a leopard.
I will attack them like a bear robbed of her offspring,
    and I will tear open the covering of their heart;
there I will devour them like a lion,
    like an animal of the field would mutilate them.
I will destroy you,[e] O Israel;
    who will help you?[f]
10 Where now is your king that he may save you?
    Where in all your cities are your judges,
of whom you said, “Give to
    me a king and rulers?”
11 I gave you a king in my anger,
    and I took him in my wrath.
12 The sin of Ephraim is wrapped up;
    his sin is concealed.
13 The labor pains of childbirth come for him;
    he is an unwise son
because at the proper time, he does not present himself
    at the mouth of the womb.[g]
14 Should I redeem them from the power[h] of Sheol? [i]
    Should I deliver them from death?
Where are your plagues, O Death?
    Where is your destruction, O Sheol?[j]
Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
15     Although he may flourish among reeds,[k]
the east wind will come, a wind of Yahweh
    rising from the desert;
his fountain will dry up,
    his spring will be parched.
It will plunder his treasury,[l]
    every object of desire.
16 [m] Samaria will be guilty,
    because she has rebelled against her God;
they will fall by the sword,
    their children will be dashed to pieces,
    and their pregnant women will be ripped open.


  1. Hosea 13:1 Hebrew “speaks”
  2. Hosea 13:4 Or “from”
  3. Hosea 13:5 So LXX; Hebrew “I knew you”
  4. Hosea 13:6 Hebrew “According to their pasture”
  5. Hosea 13:9 Hebrew “He destroys you”
  6. Hosea 13:9 Hebrew “for in me, in your help”
  7. Hosea 13:13 Literally “the place where the sons burst forth”
  8. Hosea 13:14 Literally “the hand”
  9. Hosea 13:14 “Sheol” is a Hebrew term for the place where the dead reside, i.e., the underworld
  10. Hosea 13:14 “Sheol” is a Hebrew term for the place where the dead reside, i.e., the underworld
  11. Hosea 13:15 Hebrew “brothers”
  12. Hosea 13:15 Or “its treasury”
  13. Hosea 13:16 Hosea 13:16–14:9 in the English Bible is 14:1–10 in the Hebrew Bible