God’s Charge Against Israel

Hear the word of the Lord,
You children of Israel,
For the Lord brings a (A)charge[a] against the inhabitants of the land:

“There is no truth or mercy
Or (B)knowledge of God in the land.
By swearing and lying,
Killing and stealing and committing adultery,
They break all restraint,
With bloodshed [b]upon bloodshed.
Therefore (C)the land will mourn;
And (D)everyone who dwells there will waste away
With the beasts of the field
And the birds of the air;
Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.

“Now let no man contend, or rebuke another;
For your people are like those (E)who contend with the priest.
Therefore you shall stumble (F)in the day;
The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night;
And I will destroy your mother.
(G)My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
(H)Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

“The more they increased,
The more they sinned against Me;
(I)I[c] will change [d]their glory into shame.
They eat up the sin of My people;
They set their [e]heart on their iniquity.
And it shall be: (J)like people, like priest.
So I will punish them for their ways,
And [f]reward them for their deeds.
10 For (K)they shall eat, but not have enough;
They shall commit harlotry, but not increase;
Because they have ceased obeying the Lord.

The Idolatry of Israel

11 “Harlotry, wine, and new wine (L)enslave the heart.
12 My people ask counsel from their (M)wooden idols,
And their [g]staff informs them.
For (N)the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray,
And they have played the harlot against their God.
13 (O)They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops,
And burn incense on the hills,
Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,
Because their shade is good.
(P)Therefore your daughters commit harlotry,
And your brides commit adultery.

14 “I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry,
Nor your brides when they commit adultery;
For the men themselves go apart with harlots,
And offer sacrifices with a (Q)ritual harlot.
Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled.

15 “Though you, Israel, play the harlot,
Let not Judah offend.
(R)Do not come up to Gilgal,
Nor go up to (S)Beth[h] Aven,
(T)Nor swear an oath, saying, ‘As the Lord lives’—

16 “For Israel (U)is stubborn
Like a stubborn calf;
Now the Lord will let them forage
Like a lamb in [i]open country.

17 “Ephraim is joined to idols,
(V)Let him alone.
18 Their drink [j]is rebellion,
They commit harlotry continually.
(W)Her [k]rulers [l]dearly love dishonor.
19 (X)The wind has wrapped her up in its wings,
And (Y)they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

Impending Judgment on Israel and Judah

“Hear this, O priests!
Take heed, O house of Israel!
Give ear, O house of the king!
For [m]yours is the judgment,
Because (Z)you have been a snare to Mizpah
And a net spread on Tabor.
The revolters are (AA)deeply involved in slaughter,
Though I rebuke them all.
(AB)I know Ephraim,
And Israel is not hidden from Me;
For now, O Ephraim, (AC)you commit harlotry;
Israel is defiled.

“They[n] do not direct their deeds
Toward turning to their God,
For (AD)the spirit of harlotry is in their midst,
And they do not know the Lord.
The (AE)pride of Israel testifies to his face;
Therefore Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity;
Judah also stumbles with them.

“With their flocks and herds
(AF)They shall go to seek the Lord,
But they will not find Him;
He has withdrawn Himself from them.
They have (AG)dealt treacherously with the Lord,
For they have begotten [o]pagan children.
Now a New Moon shall devour them and their heritage.

“Blow(AH) the ram’s horn in Gibeah,
The trumpet in Ramah!
(AI)Cry aloud at (AJ)Beth Aven,
Look behind you, O Benjamin!’
Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke;
Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure.

10 “The princes of Judah are like those who (AK)remove a landmark;
I will pour out My wrath on them like water.
11 Ephraim is (AL)oppressed and broken in judgment,
Because he willingly walked by (AM)human precept.
12 Therefore I will be to Ephraim like a moth,
And to the house of Judah (AN)like rottenness.

13 “When Ephraim saw his sickness,
And Judah saw his (AO)wound,
Then Ephraim went (AP)to Assyria
And sent to King Jareb;
Yet he cannot cure you,
Nor heal you of your wound.
14 For (AQ)I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
And like a young lion to the house of Judah.
(AR)I, even I, will tear them and go away;
I will take them away, and no one shall rescue.
15 I will return again to My place
Till they [p]acknowledge their offense.
Then they will seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”

A Call to Repentance

Come,(AS) and let us return to the Lord;
For (AT)He has torn, but (AU)He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will [q]bind us up.
(AV)After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
(AW)Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established (AX)as the morning;
(AY)He will come to us (AZ)like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.

Impenitence of Israel and Judah

“O Ephraim, what shall I do to you?
O Judah, what shall I do to you?
For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud,
And like the early dew it goes away.
Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets,
I have slain them by (BA)the words of My mouth;
And [r]your judgments are like light that goes forth.
For I desire (BB)mercy[s] and (BC)not sacrifice,
And the (BD)knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

“But like [t]men they transgressed the covenant;
There they dealt treacherously with Me.
(BE)Gilead is a city of evildoers
And [u]defiled with blood.
As bands of robbers lie in wait for a man,
So the company of (BF)priests (BG)murder on the way to Shechem;
Surely they commit (BH)lewdness.
10 I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel:
There is the [v]harlotry of Ephraim;
Israel is defiled.
11 Also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed for you,
When I return the captives of My people.


  1. Hosea 4:1 A legal complaint
  2. Hosea 4:2 Lit. touching
  3. Hosea 4:7 So with MT, LXX, Vg.; scribal tradition, Syr., Tg. They will change
  4. Hosea 4:7 So with MT, LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg.; scribal tradition My glory
  5. Hosea 4:8 Desires
  6. Hosea 4:9 repay
  7. Hosea 4:12 Diviner’s rod
  8. Hosea 4:15 Lit. House of Idolatry or Wickedness
  9. Hosea 4:16 Lit. a large place
  10. Hosea 4:18 Or has turned aside
  11. Hosea 4:18 Lit. shields
  12. Hosea 4:18 Heb. difficult; a Jewish tradition shamefully love, ‘Give!’
  13. Hosea 5:1 Or to you
  14. Hosea 5:4 Or Their deeds will not allow them to turn
  15. Hosea 5:7 Lit. strange
  16. Hosea 5:15 Lit. become guilty or bear punishment
  17. Hosea 6:1 Bandage
  18. Hosea 6:5 Or the judgments on you
  19. Hosea 6:6 Or faithfulness or loyalty
  20. Hosea 6:7 Or Adam
  21. Hosea 6:8 Lit. foot-tracked
  22. Hosea 6:10 Spiritual adultery

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