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Yahweh’s Contention with Israel

(A)Listen to the word of Yahweh, O sons of Israel,
For Yahweh has a (B)contention against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is (C)no truth or [a]lovingkindness
Or (D)knowledge of God in the land.
There is (E)swearing of oaths, (F)deception, (G)murder, (H)stealing, and (I)adultery.
They break forth in violence so that (J)bloodshed [b]follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land (K)mourns,
And everyone who inhabits it languishes
Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky,
And also the fish of the sea [c]disappear.

Yet let no man (L)contend, and let no man offer reproof;
Indeed, your people are like those who (M)contend with the priest.
So you will (N)stumble by day,
And the prophet also will stumble with you by night;
And I will destroy your (O)mother.
(P)My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have (Q)rejected knowledge,
I also will (R)reject you from ministering as My priest.
Since you have (S)forgotten the (T)law of your God,
I Myself also will forget your children.

The more they (U)multiplied, the more they sinned against Me;
I will (V)change their glory into disgrace.
They (W)eat the [d]sin of My people
And (X)lift up [e]their soul toward their iniquity.
And it will be like people, (Y)like priest;
So I will (Z)punish them for their ways
And cause their deeds to return to them.
10 (AA)They will eat, but not be satisfied;
They will (AB)play the harlot, but not break forth in number,
Because they have [f](AC)forsaken Yahweh to keep harlotry.

11 Harlotry, (AD)wine, and new wine take away a heart of wisdom.
12 My people (AE)ask their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand declares to them;
For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray,
And they have played the harlot, departing [g]from their God.
13 They offer sacrifices on the (AF)tops of the mountains
And [h](AG)burn incense on the hills,
(AH)Under oak, poplar, and terebinth
Because their shade is good.
Therefore your daughters play the harlot,
And your [i]brides commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot
Or your [j]brides when they commit adultery,
For the men themselves go apart with harlots
And offer sacrifices with (AI)cult prostitutes;
So the people without understanding are [k]ruined.

15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot,
Do not let Judah become guilty;
Also do not go to (AJ)Gilgal
Nor go up to Beth-aven
(AK)And swear the oath:
“As Yahweh lives!”
16 Since Israel is (AL)stubborn
Like a stubborn heifer,
[l]Can Yahweh now (AM)feed them
Like a lamb in a large field?
17 Ephraim is joined to (AN)idols;
(AO)Let him alone.
18 Their drink gone;
They play the harlot continually;
(AP)Their [m]rulers dearly love disgrace.
19 (AQ)The wind binds them up in its wings,
And they will be ashamed because of their sacrifices.


  1. Hosea 4:1 Or loyalty
  2. Hosea 4:2 Lit touches
  3. Hosea 4:3 Lit are gathered up
  4. Hosea 4:8 Or sin offering
  5. Hosea 4:8 Lit his
  6. Hosea 4:10 Or forsaken Yahweh to practice (v 11) harlotry; lit forsaken giving heed
  7. Hosea 4:12 Lit from under
  8. Hosea 4:13 Or offer sacrifices
  9. Hosea 4:13 Or daughters-in-law
  10. Hosea 4:14 Or daughters-in-law
  11. Hosea 4:14 Lit thrust down
  12. Hosea 4:16 Or Now Yahweh will pasture...field
  13. Hosea 4:18 Lit shields