Israel to Reap the Whirlwind

“Put the trumpet(A) to your lips!
    An eagle(B) is over the house of the Lord
because the people have broken my covenant(C)
    and rebelled against my law.(D)
Israel cries out to me,
    ‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’
But Israel has rejected what is good;
    an enemy will pursue him.(E)
They set up kings without my consent;
    they choose princes without my approval.(F)
With their silver and gold
    they make idols(G) for themselves
    to their own destruction.
Samaria, throw out your calf-idol!(H)
    My anger burns against them.
How long will they be incapable of purity?(I)
    They are from Israel!
This calf—a metalworker has made it;
    it is not God.(J)
It will be broken in pieces,
    that calf(K) of Samaria.(L)

“They sow the wind
    and reap the whirlwind.(M)
The stalk has no head;
    it will produce no flour.(N)
Were it to yield grain,
    foreigners would swallow it up.(O)
Israel is swallowed up;(P)
    now she is among the nations
    like something no one wants.(Q)
For they have gone up to Assyria(R)
    like a wild donkey(S) wandering alone.
    Ephraim has sold herself to lovers.(T)
10 Although they have sold themselves among the nations,
    I will now gather them together.(U)
They will begin to waste away(V)
    under the oppression of the mighty king.

11 “Though Ephraim built many altars for sin offerings,
    these have become altars for sinning.(W)
12 I wrote for them the many things of my law,
    but they regarded them as something foreign.(X)
13 Though they offer sacrifices as gifts to me,
    and though they eat(Y) the meat,
    the Lord is not pleased with them.(Z)
Now he will remember(AA) their wickedness
    and punish their sins:(AB)
    They will return to Egypt.(AC)
14 Israel has forgotten(AD) their Maker(AE)
    and built palaces;
    Judah has fortified many towns.
But I will send fire on their cities
    that will consume their fortresses.”(AF)

Punishment for Israel

Do not rejoice, Israel;
    do not be jubilant(AG) like the other nations.
For you have been unfaithful(AH) to your God;
    you love the wages of a prostitute(AI)
    at every threshing floor.
Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people;
    the new wine(AJ) will fail them.
They will not remain(AK) in the Lord’s land;
    Ephraim will return to Egypt(AL)
    and eat unclean food in Assyria.(AM)
They will not pour out wine offerings(AN) to the Lord,
    nor will their sacrifices please(AO) him.
Such sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners;(AP)
    all who eat them will be unclean.(AQ)
This food will be for themselves;
    it will not come into the temple of the Lord.(AR)

What will you do(AS) on the day of your appointed festivals,(AT)
    on the feast days of the Lord?
Even if they escape from destruction,
    Egypt will gather them,(AU)
    and Memphis(AV) will bury them.(AW)
Their treasures of silver(AX) will be taken over by briers,
    and thorns(AY) will overrun their tents.
The days of punishment(AZ) are coming,
    the days of reckoning(BA) are at hand.
    Let Israel know this.
Because your sins(BB) are so many
    and your hostility so great,
the prophet is considered a fool,(BC)
    the inspired person a maniac.(BD)
The prophet, along with my God,
    is the watchman over Ephraim,[a]
yet snares(BE) await him on all his paths,
    and hostility in the house of his God.(BF)
They have sunk deep into corruption,(BG)
    as in the days of Gibeah.(BH)
God will remember(BI) their wickedness
    and punish them for their sins.(BJ)

10 “When I found Israel,
    it was like finding grapes in the desert;
when I saw your ancestors,
    it was like seeing the early fruit(BK) on the fig(BL) tree.
But when they came to Baal Peor,(BM)
    they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol(BN)
    and became as vile as the thing they loved.
11 Ephraim’s glory(BO) will fly away like a bird(BP)
    no birth, no pregnancy, no conception.(BQ)
12 Even if they rear children,
    I will bereave(BR) them of every one.
Woe(BS) to them
    when I turn away from them!(BT)
13 I have seen Ephraim,(BU) like Tyre,
    planted in a pleasant place.(BV)
But Ephraim will bring out
    their children to the slayer.”(BW)

14 Give them, Lord
    what will you give them?
Give them wombs that miscarry
    and breasts that are dry.(BX)

15 “Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal,(BY)
    I hated them there.
Because of their sinful deeds,(BZ)
    I will drive them out of my house.
I will no longer love them;(CA)
    all their leaders are rebellious.(CB)
16 Ephraim(CC) is blighted,
    their root is withered,
    they yield no fruit.(CD)
Even if they bear children,
    I will slay(CE) their cherished offspring.”

17 My God will reject(CF) them
    because they have not obeyed(CG) him;
    they will be wanderers among the nations.(CH)

10 Israel was a spreading vine;(CI)
    he brought forth fruit for himself.
As his fruit increased,
    he built more altars;(CJ)
as his land prospered,(CK)
    he adorned his sacred stones.(CL)
Their heart is deceitful,(CM)
    and now they must bear their guilt.(CN)
The Lord will demolish their altars(CO)
    and destroy their sacred stones.(CP)

Then they will say, “We have no king
    because we did not revere the Lord.
But even if we had a king,
    what could he do for us?”
They make many promises,
    take false oaths(CQ)
    and make agreements;(CR)
therefore lawsuits spring up
    like poisonous weeds(CS) in a plowed field.
The people who live in Samaria fear
    for the calf-idol(CT) of Beth Aven.[b](CU)
Its people will mourn over it,
    and so will its idolatrous priests,(CV)
those who had rejoiced over its splendor,
    because it is taken from them into exile.(CW)
It will be carried to Assyria(CX)
    as tribute(CY) for the great king.(CZ)
Ephraim will be disgraced;(DA)
    Israel will be ashamed(DB) of its foreign alliances.
Samaria’s king will be destroyed,(DC)
    swept away like a twig on the surface of the waters.
The high places(DD) of wickedness[c](DE) will be destroyed—
    it is the sin of Israel.
Thorns(DF) and thistles will grow up
    and cover their altars.(DG)
Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!”(DH)
    and to the hills, “Fall on us!”(DI)

“Since the days of Gibeah,(DJ) you have sinned,(DK) Israel,
    and there you have remained.[d]
Will not war again overtake
    the evildoers in Gibeah?
10 When I please, I will punish(DL) them;
    nations will be gathered against them
    to put them in bonds for their double sin.
11 Ephraim is a trained heifer
    that loves to thresh;
so I will put a yoke(DM)
    on her fair neck.
I will drive Ephraim,
    Judah must plow,
    and Jacob must break up the ground.
12 Sow(DN) righteousness(DO) for yourselves,
    reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;(DP)
    for it is time to seek(DQ) the Lord,
until he comes
    and showers his righteousness(DR) on you.
13 But you have planted wickedness,
    you have reaped evil,(DS)
    you have eaten the fruit of deception.(DT)
Because you have depended on your own strength
    and on your many warriors,(DU)
14 the roar of battle will rise against your people,
    so that all your fortresses will be devastated(DV)
as Shalman(DW) devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle,
    when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.(DX)
15 So will it happen to you, Bethel,
    because your wickedness is great.
When that day dawns,
    the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.(DY)

God’s Love for Israel

11 “When Israel was a child,(DZ) I loved(EA) him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.(EB)
But the more they were called,
    the more they went away from me.[e](EC)
They sacrificed to the Baals(ED)
    and they burned incense to images.(EE)
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
    taking them by the arms;(EF)
but they did not realize
    it was I who healed(EG) them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with ties of love.(EH)
To them I was like one who lifts
    a little child to the cheek,
    and I bent down to feed(EI) them.(EJ)

“Will they not return to Egypt(EK)
    and will not Assyria(EL) rule over them
    because they refuse to repent?(EM)
A sword(EN) will flash in their cities;
    it will devour(EO) their false prophets
    and put an end to their plans.
My people are determined to turn(EP) from me.(EQ)
    Even though they call me God Most High,
    I will by no means exalt them.

“How can I give you up,(ER) Ephraim?(ES)
    How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
    How can I make you like Zeboyim?(ET)
My heart is changed within me;
    all my compassion(EU) is aroused.(EV)
I will not carry out my fierce anger,(EW)
    nor will I devastate(EX) Ephraim again.
For I am God, and not a man(EY)
    the Holy One(EZ) among you.
    I will not come against their cities.
10 They will follow the Lord;
    he will roar(FA) like a lion.(FB)
When he roars,
    his children will come trembling(FC) from the west.(FD)
11 They will come from Egypt,
    trembling like sparrows,
    from Assyria,(FE) fluttering like doves.(FF)
I will settle them in their homes,”(FG)
    declares the Lord.

Israel’s Sin

12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,(FH)
    Israel with deceit.
And Judah is unruly against God,
    even against the faithful(FI) Holy One.[f](FJ)


  1. Hosea 9:8 Or The prophet is the watchman over Ephraim, / the people of my God
  2. Hosea 10:5 Beth Aven means house of wickedness (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means house of God).
  3. Hosea 10:8 Hebrew aven, a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see verse 5.
  4. Hosea 10:9 Or there a stand was taken
  5. Hosea 11:2 Septuagint; Hebrew them
  6. Hosea 11:12 In Hebrew texts this verse (11:12) is numbered 12:1.

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