Hosea 6-10 Good News Translation (GNT)
The People's Insincere Repentance
6 The people say, “Let's return to the Lord! He has hurt us, but he will be sure to heal us; he has wounded us, but he will bandage our wounds, won't he? 2 In two or three days he will revive us, and we will live in his presence. 3 Let us try to know the Lord. He will come to us as surely as the day dawns, as surely as the spring rains fall upon the earth.”
4 But the Lord says, “Israel and Judah, what am I going to do with you? Your love for me disappears as quickly as morning mist; it is like dew, that vanishes early in the day. 5 That is why I have sent my prophets to you with my message of judgment and destruction. What I want from you is plain and clear: 6 I want your constant love, not your animal sacrifices. I would rather have my people know me than burn offerings to me.
7 “But as soon as they entered the land at Adam,[a] they broke the covenant I had made with them. 8 Gilead is a city full of evil people and murderers. 9 The priests are like a gang of robbers who wait in ambush for someone. Even on the road to the holy place at Shechem they commit murder. And they do all this evil deliberately! 10 I have seen a horrible thing in Israel: my people have defiled themselves by worshiping idols.
11 “And as for you, people of Judah, I have set a time to punish you also for what you are doing.
7 “Whenever I want to heal my people Israel and make them prosperous again, all I can see is their wickedness and the evil they do. They cheat one another; they break into houses and steal; they rob people in the streets. 2 It never enters their heads that I will remember all this evil; but their sins surround them, and I cannot avoid seeing them.”
Conspiracy in the Palace
3 The Lord says, “People deceive the king and his officers by their evil plots. 4 They are all treacherous and disloyal. Their hatred smolders like the fire in an oven, which is not stirred by the baker until the dough is ready to bake. 5 On the day of the king's celebration they made the king and his officials drunk and foolish with wine. 6 Yes, they burned[b] like an oven with their plotting. All night their anger smoldered, and in the morning it burst into flames.
7 “In the heat of their anger they murdered their rulers. Their kings have been assassinated one after another, but no one prays to me for help.”
Israel and the Nations
8 The Lord says, “The people of Israel are like a half-baked loaf of bread. They rely on the nations around them 9 and do not realize that this reliance on foreigners has robbed them of their strength. Their days are numbered, but they don't even know it. 10 The arrogance of the people of Israel cries out against them. In spite of everything that has happened, they have not returned to me, the Lord their God. 11 Israel flits around like a silly pigeon; first her people call on Egypt for help, and then they run to Assyria! 12 But I will spread out a net and catch them like birds as they go by. I will punish them for the evil they have done.[c]
13 “They are doomed! They have left me and rebelled against me. They will be destroyed. I wanted to save them, but their worship of me was false. 14 They have not prayed to me sincerely, but instead they throw themselves down and wail as the heathen do. When they pray for grain and wine, they gash themselves like pagans. What rebels they are! 15 Even though I was the one who brought them up and made them strong, they plotted against me. 16 They keep on turning away from me to a god that is powerless.[d] They are as unreliable as a crooked bow. Because their leaders talk arrogantly, they will die a violent death, and the Egyptians will laugh.”
The Lord Condemns Israel for Idol Worship
8 The Lord says, “Sound the alarm! Enemies are swooping down on my land like eagles! My people have broken the covenant I made with them and have rebelled against my teaching. 2 Even though they call me their God and claim that they are my people and that they know me, 3 they have rejected what is good. Because of this their enemies will pursue them.
4 “My people chose kings, but they did it on their own. They appointed leaders, but without my approval. They took their silver and gold and made idols—for their own destruction. 5 I hate the gold bull worshiped by the people of the city of Samaria. I am furious with them. How long will it be before they give up their idolatry? 6 An Israelite craftsman made the idol, and it is not a god at all! The gold bull worshiped in Samaria will be smashed to pieces! 7 When they sow the wind, they will reap a storm! A field of grain that doesn't ripen can never produce any bread. But even if it did, foreigners would eat it up. 8 Israel has become like any other nation and is as useless as a broken pot. 9 Stubborn as wild donkeys, the people of Israel go their own way. They have gone off to seek help from Assyria and have paid other nations to protect them. 10 But now I am going to gather them together and punish them. Soon they will writhe in pain when the emperor of Assyria oppresses them.
11 “The more altars the people of Israel build for removing sin, the more places they have for sinning! 12 I write down countless teachings for the people, but they reject them as strange and foreign. 13 They offer sacrifices to me and eat the meat of the sacrifices.[e] But I, the Lord, am not pleased with them, and now I will remember their sin and punish them for it; I will send them back to Egypt!
14 “The people of Israel have built palaces, but they have forgotten their own Maker. The people of Judah have built fortified cities. But I will send fire that will burn down their palaces and their cities.”
Hosea Announces Punishment for Israel
9 People of Israel, stop celebrating your festivals like pagans. You have turned away from your God and have been unfaithful to him. All over the land you have sold yourselves like prostitutes to the god Baal and have loved the grain you thought he paid you with! 2 But soon you will not have enough grain and olive oil, and there will be no wine. 3 The people of Israel will not remain in the Lord's land, but will have to go back to Egypt and will have to eat forbidden food[f] in Assyria. 4 In those foreign lands they will not be able to make wine offerings to the Lord or bring their sacrifices to him. Their food will defile everyone who eats it, like food eaten at funerals. It will be used only to satisfy their hunger; none of it will be taken as an offering to the Lord's Temple. 5 And when the time comes for the appointed festivals in honor of the Lord, what will they do then? 6 When the disaster comes and the people are scattered, the Egyptians will gather them up—gather them for burial there at Memphis! Their treasures of silver and the places where their homes once stood will be overgrown with weeds and thorn bushes.
7 The time for punishment has come, the time when people will get what they deserve. When that happens, Israel will know it! “This prophet,” you say, “is a fool. This inspired man is insane.” You people hate me so much because your sin is so great. 8 God has sent me as a prophet to warn his people Israel. Yet wherever I go, you try to trap me like a bird. Even in God's Temple the people are the prophet's enemies. 9 They are hopelessly evil in what they do, just as they were at Gibeah.[g] God will remember their sin and punish them for it.
Israel's Sin and Its Consequences
10 The Lord says, “When I first found Israel, it was like finding grapes growing in the desert. When I first saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season. But when they came to Mount Peor, they began to worship Baal and soon became as disgusting as the gods they loved. 11 Israel's greatness will fly away like a bird, and there will be no more children born to them, no more women pregnant, no more children conceived. 12 But even if they did bring up children, I would take them away and not leave one alive. When I abandon these people, terrible things will happen to them.”
13 Lord, I can see their children being hunted down[h] and killed. 14 What shall I ask you to do to these people? Make their women barren! Make them unable to nurse their babies!
The Lord's Judgment on Israel
15 The Lord says, “All their evildoing began in Gilgal. It was there that I began to hate them. And because of the evil they have done, I will drive them out of my land. I will not love them any more; all their leaders have rebelled against me. 16 The people of Israel are like a plant whose roots have dried up and which bears no fruit. They will have no children, but even if they did, I would kill the children so dear to them.”
The Prophet Speaks about Israel
17 The God I serve will reject his people, because they have not listened to him. They will become wanderers among the nations.
10 The people of Israel were like a grapevine that was full of grapes. The more prosperous they were, the more altars they built. The more productive their land was, the more beautiful they made the sacred stone pillars they worship. 2 The people whose hearts are deceitful must now suffer for their sins. God will break down their altars and destroy their sacred pillars.
3 These people will soon be saying, “We have no king because we did not fear the Lord. But what could a king do for us anyway?” 4 They utter empty words and make false promises and useless treaties. Justice has become injustice, growing like poisonous weeds in a plowed field.
5 The people who live in the city of Samaria will be afraid and will mourn the loss of the gold bull[i] at Bethaven.[j] They and the priests who serve the idol will weep over it. They will wail when it is stripped of its golden splendor. 6 The idol will be carried off to Assyria as tribute to the great emperor. The people of Israel will be disgraced and put to shame because of the advice they followed. 7 Their king will be carried off, like a chip of wood on water. 8 The hilltop shrines of Aven,[k] where the people of Israel worship idols, will be destroyed. Thorns and weeds will grow up over their altars. The people will call out to the mountains, “Hide us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”
The Lord Pronounces Judgment on Israel
9 The Lord says, “The people of Israel have not stopped sinning against me since the time of their sin at Gibeah.[l] So at Gibeah war will catch up with them. 10 I will attack[m] this sinful people and punish them. Nations will join together against them, and they will be punished for their many sins.
11 “Israel was once like a well-trained young cow, ready and willing to thresh grain. But I decided to put a yoke[n] on her beautiful neck and to harness her for harder work. I made Judah pull the plow and Israel pull the harrow. 12 I said, ‘Plow new ground for yourselves, plant righteousness, and reap the blessings that your devotion to me will produce. It is time for you to turn to me, your Lord, and I will come and pour out blessings upon you.’ 13 But instead you planted evil and reaped its harvest. You have eaten the fruit produced by your lies.
“Because you trusted in your chariots[o] and in the large number of your soldiers, 14 war will come to your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed. It will be like the day when King Shalman destroyed the city of Betharbel in battle, and mothers and their children were crushed to death. 15 That is what will happen to you, people of Bethel, because of the terrible evil that you have done. As soon as the battle begins, the king of Israel will die.”
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