The Charge Against Israel

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

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

“Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law(R) 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](S) for something disgraceful.(T)
They feed on the sins of my people
    and relish their wickedness.(U)
And it will be: Like people, like priests.(V)
    I will punish both of them for their ways
    and repay them for their deeds.(W)

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

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(AM)
    and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes(AN)
    a people without understanding(AO) will come to ruin!(AP)

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

“Do not go to Gilgal;(AQ)
    do not go up to Beth Aven.[c](AR)
    And do not swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’(AS)
16 The Israelites are stubborn,(AT)
    like a stubborn heifer.(AU)
How then can the Lord pasture them
    like lambs(AV) 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(AW) will sweep them away,
    and their sacrifices will bring them shame.(AX)

Judgment Against Israel

“Hear this, you priests!
    Pay attention, you Israelites!
Listen, royal house!
    This judgment(AY) is against you:
You have been a snare(AZ) at Mizpah,
    a net(BA) spread out on Tabor.
The rebels are knee-deep in slaughter.(BB)
    I will discipline all of them.(BC)
I know all about Ephraim;
    Israel is not hidden(BD) from me.
Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution;
    Israel is corrupt.(BE)

“Their deeds do not permit them
    to return(BF) to their God.
A spirit of prostitution(BG) is in their heart;
    they do not acknowledge(BH) the Lord.
Israel’s arrogance testifies(BI) against them;
    the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble(BJ) in their sin;
    Judah also stumbles with them.(BK)
When they go with their flocks and herds
    to seek the Lord,(BL)
they will not find him;
    he has withdrawn(BM) himself from them.
They are unfaithful(BN) to the Lord;
    they give birth to illegitimate(BO) children.
When they celebrate their New Moon feasts,(BP)
    he will devour[d](BQ) their fields.

“Sound the trumpet(BR) in Gibeah,(BS)
    the horn in Ramah.(BT)
Raise the battle cry in Beth Aven[e];(BU)
    lead on, Benjamin.
Ephraim will be laid waste(BV)
    on the day of reckoning.(BW)
Among the tribes of Israel
    I proclaim what is certain.(BX)
10 Judah’s leaders are like those
    who move boundary stones.(BY)
I will pour out my wrath(BZ) on them
    like a flood of water.
11 Ephraim is oppressed,
    trampled in judgment,
    intent on pursuing idols.[f](CA)
12 I am like a moth(CB) to Ephraim,
    like rot(CC) to the people of Judah.

13 “When Ephraim(CD) saw his sickness,
    and Judah his sores,
then Ephraim turned to Assyria,(CE)
    and sent to the great king for help.(CF)
But he is not able to cure(CG) you,
    not able to heal your sores.(CH)
14 For I will be like a lion(CI) to Ephraim,
    like a great lion to Judah.
I will tear them to pieces(CJ) and go away;
    I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them.(CK)
15 Then I will return to my lair(CL)
    until they have borne their guilt(CM)
    and seek my face(CN)
in their misery(CO)
    they will earnestly seek me.(CP)

Israel Unrepentant

“Come, let us return(CQ) to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces(CR)
    but he will heal us;(CS)
he has injured us
    but he will bind up our wounds.(CT)
After two days he will revive us;(CU)
    on the third day(CV) he will restore(CW) us,
    that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
    let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
    he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,(CX)
    like the spring rains that water the earth.(CY)

“What can I do with you, Ephraim?(CZ)
    What can I do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist,
    like the early dew that disappears.(DA)
Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,
    I killed you with the words of my mouth(DB)
    then my judgments go forth like the sun.[g](DC)
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,(DD)
    and acknowledgment(DE) of God rather than burnt offerings.(DF)
As at Adam,[h] they have broken the covenant;(DG)
    they were unfaithful(DH) to me there.
Gilead is a city of evildoers,(DI)
    stained with footprints of blood.
As marauders lie in ambush for a victim,(DJ)
    so do bands of priests;
they murder(DK) on the road to Shechem,
    carrying out their wicked schemes.(DL)
10 I have seen a horrible(DM) thing in Israel:
    There Ephraim is given to prostitution,
    Israel is defiled.(DN)

11 “Also for you, Judah,
    a harvest(DO) is appointed.

“Whenever I would restore the fortunes(DP) of my people,


  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).
  4. Hosea 5:7 Or Now their New Moon feasts / will devour them and
  5. Hosea 5:8 Beth Aven means house of wickedness (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means house of God).
  6. Hosea 5:11 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  7. Hosea 6:5 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
  8. Hosea 6:7 Or Like Adam; or Like human beings

Bible Gateway Recommends