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Hosea 4 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Hear the word of Adonai,
people of Isra’el!
For Adonai has a grievance
against the inhabitants of the land:
there is no truth, no faithful love
or knowledge of God in the land;
only swearing and lying, killing and stealing
and committing adultery!
They break all bounds, with one blood crime
following another.
Therefore the land mourns,
and everyone living there languishes,
wild animals too, and the birds in the air;
even the fish in the sea are removed.
But no one should quarrel or rebuke,
because your people are having to quarrel with the cohen.
Therefore you will stumble by day,
and the prophet will stumble with you at night.

“I will destroy your mother.
My people are destroyed for want of knowledge.
Because you rejected knowledge,
I will also reject you as cohen for me.
Because you forgot the Torah of your God,
I will also forget your children.
The more they increased in number,
the more they sinned against me.
I will change their glory into shame.
They feed on the sin of my people
and are greedy for their crimes.
But the cohen will fare
no better than the people;
I will punish him for his ways
and pay him back for his deeds.
10 They will eat but not have enough
and consort with whores but have no children,
because they stopped listening to Adonai.
11 Whoring and wine, both old and new,
take away my people’s wits.
12 My people consult their piece of wood,
their diviner’s wand speaks to them;
for the spirit of whoring makes them err,
they go off whoring, deserting their God.
13 They sacrifice on the mountain peaks
and offer incense on the hills
under oaks, poplars and pistachio trees;
because they give good shade.
Therefore your daughters behave like whores,
And your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
14 I won’t punish your daughters when they act like whores,
or your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery;
because the men are themselves going off with whores
and sacrificing with prostitutes.
Yes, a people without understanding
will come to ruin.”

15 If you, Isra’el, prostitute yourself,
still Y’hudah has no need to incur such guilt.
Don’t go to Gilgal or up to Beit-Aven,
and don’t swear, “As Adonai lives.”
16 For Isra’el is stubborn as a stubborn cow;
will Adonai now feed them like a lamb in a big pasture?
17 Efrayim is joined to idols;
let him alone!
18 When they finish carousing, they start their whoring;
their rulers deeply love dishonor.
19 The wind will carry them off in its wings
and their sacrifices bring them nothing but shame.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Hosea 4 New International Version (NIV)

The Charge Against Israel

Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites,
    because the Lord has a charge to bring
    against you who live in the land:
“There is no faithfulness, no love,
    no acknowledgment of God in the land.
There is only cursing,[a] lying and murder,
    stealing and adultery;
they break all bounds,
    and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Because of this the land dries up,
    and all who live in it waste away;
the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
    and the fish in the sea are swept away.

“But let no one bring a charge,
    let no one accuse another,
for your people are like those
    who bring charges against a priest.
You stumble day and night,
    and the prophets stumble with you.
So I will destroy your mother
    my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

“Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
    I also will ignore your children.
The more priests there were,
    the more they sinned against me;
    they exchanged their glorious God[b] for something disgraceful.
They feed on the sins of my people
    and relish their wickedness.
And it will be: Like people, like priests.
    I will punish both of them for their ways
    and repay them for their deeds.

10 “They will eat but not have enough;
    they will engage in prostitution but not flourish,
because they have deserted the Lord
    to give themselves 11 to prostitution;
old wine and new wine
    take away their understanding.
12 My people consult a wooden idol,
    and a diviner’s rod speaks to them.
A spirit of prostitution leads them astray;
    they are unfaithful to their God.
13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops
    and burn offerings on the hills,
under oak, poplar and terebinth,
    where the shade is pleasant.
Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution
    and your daughters-in-law to adultery.

14 “I will not punish your daughters
    when they turn to prostitution,
nor your daughters-in-law
    when they commit adultery,
because the men themselves consort with harlots
    and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes
    a people without understanding will come to ruin!

15 “Though you, Israel, commit adultery,
    do not let Judah become guilty.

“Do not go to Gilgal;
    do not go up to Beth Aven.[c]
    And do not swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’
16 The Israelites are stubborn,
    like a stubborn heifer.
How then can the Lord pasture them
    like lambs in a meadow?
17 Ephraim is joined to idols;
    leave him alone!
18 Even when their drinks are gone,
    they continue their prostitution;
    their rulers dearly love shameful ways.
19 A whirlwind will sweep them away,
    and their sacrifices will bring them shame.


  1. Hosea 4:2 That is, to pronounce a curse on
  2. Hosea 4:7 Syriac (see also an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition); Masoretic Text me; / I will exchange their glory
  3. Hosea 4:15 Beth Aven means house of wickedness (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means house of God).
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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