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The Lord Accuses Israel

(A)Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel,
    for (B)the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land.
There is no faithfulness or steadfast love,
    and (C)no knowledge of God in the land;
(D)there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery;
    they break all bounds, and (E)bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore (F)the land mourns,
    and all who dwell in it languish,
(G)and also the beasts of the field
    and the birds of the heavens,
    (H)and even the fish of the sea are taken away.
(I)Yet let no one contend,
    and let none accuse,
    for with you is (J)my contention, O priest.[a]
You shall stumble by day;
    the prophet also shall stumble with you by night;
    and I will destroy (K)your mother.
My people are destroyed (L)for lack of knowledge;
    (M)because you have rejected knowledge,
    I reject you (N)from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
    (O)I also will forget your children.
(P)The more they increased,
    the more they sinned against me;
    (Q)I will change their glory into shame.
(R)They feed on the sin[b] of my people;
    they are greedy for their iniquity.
(S)And it shall be like people, like priest;
    I will punish them for their ways
    and repay them for their deeds.
10 (T)They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
    they shall play the whore, but not multiply,
because they have forsaken the Lord
    to cherish 11 whoredom, wine, and new wine,
    which (U)take away the understanding.
12 My people (V)enquire of a piece of wood,
    and their walking staff gives them oracles.
For (W)a spirit of whoredom has led them astray,
    and they have left their God to play the whore.
13 (X)They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains
    and burn offerings on the hills,
(Y)under oak, poplar, and terebinth,
    because their shade is good.
Therefore your daughters play the whore,
    and your brides commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore,
    nor your brides when they commit adultery;
for (Z)the men themselves go aside with prostitutes
    and sacrifice with (AA)cult prostitutes,
and a people (AB)without understanding shall come to ruin.
15 Though you play the whore, O (AC)Israel,
    let not (AD)Judah become guilty.
(AE)Enter not into (AF)Gilgal,
    nor go up to (AG)Beth-aven,
    and swear not, “As the Lord lives.”
16 Like a stubborn heifer,
    Israel is stubborn;
can the Lord now feed them
    like a lamb in a broad pasture?
17 (AH)Ephraim is joined to idols;
    (AI)leave him alone.
18 When their drink is gone, they give themselves to whoring;
    (AJ)their rulers[c] dearly love shame.
19 (AK)A wind has wrapped them[d] in its wings,
    and they shall (AL)be ashamed because of their sacrifices.


  1. Hosea 4:4 Or for your people are like those who contend with the priest
  2. Hosea 4:8 Or sin offering
  3. Hosea 4:18 Hebrew shields
  4. Hosea 4:19 Hebrew her