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Punishment for Israel

“Don’t celebrate, Israel, like other nations would rejoice,
because you left your God by committing fornication,
        loving the profit you gained on all of the threshing floors.
Neither threshing floor nor winepress will sustain them,
    and the new wine will disappoint her.
They will not live in the Lord’s land—
    Ephraim will return to Egypt,
        and they will eat unclean food in Assyria.
They won’t present wine offerings to the Lord,
    nor will they please him.
Their sacrifices will seem like food for mourners—
    everyone who eats them will become unclean;
        none of them will enter the Temple of the Lord.

“What will you do on the designated holiday,
    when the Lord’s festival comes?
Look! They have gone away because of the destruction—
    Egypt will gather them up,
        and Memphis[a] will bury them.
Weeds will overgrow their inheritance,[b]
    and thorns will grow[c] in their tents.
The time for your judgment has now come;
    payday is here—
        and Israel knows it.
The prophet is a fool,
    and the spiritual man is insane.
Because of your great sin,
    the hatred against you[d] is great.
While Ephraim stands watch with my God,
    the prophet has snares set that will trap his ways,
        and hostility lodges in the Temple of his God.
They have corrupted themselves deeply,
    as did Gibeah[e] in its day.
Therefore God[f] will remember their lawlessness,
    and he will pay them back for their sins.

10 “I found Israel,
    as one finds[g] grapes in the wilderness;
Your ancestors seemed to me like the fruit
    gleaned from a fig tree’s first harvest.
When they went to Baal-peor,[h]
    they devoted themselves to that filth,
and they became loathsome,
    like what they loved.
11 The glory of Ephraim will fly away like a bird—
    no birth, no pregnancy, not even a conception.
12 Even if they rear their children,
    I will, in turn, make them childless—
in fact, woe to them
    when I turn away from them!
13 Ephraim, as I see it, is like Tyre,
    planted in a comfortable place;
Ephraim will bear children
    but they will be executed.”

14 Give them, Lord
    What will you give?
        You will give them a womb that miscarries and dry breasts.

15 “All of their wickedness started[i] in Gilgal,
    because I began to hate them there.
Because of the wickedness of their behavior,
    I will drive them from my Temple.
I will not love them anymore;
    all their leaders are rebels.
16 Ephraim is blighted;[j]
    its roots shriveled.
        It can bear no fruit.
Even if they bear children,
    I will kill their cherished offspring.

17 “My God will reject them,
    because they did not obey him,
        and they will become wanderers among the nations.”


  1. Hosea 9:6 So LXX. Heb. Moph; i.e. the capital of Lower Egypt
  2. Hosea 9:6 Lit. their precious silver
  3. Hosea 9:6 Lit. be
  4. Hosea 9:7 The Heb. lacks against you
  5. Hosea 9:9 Cf. Judg 19:1
  6. Hosea 9:9 Lit. he
  7. Hosea 9:10 The Heb. lacks finds
  8. Hosea 9:10 Cf. Num 25:1-3
  9. Hosea 9:15 The Heb. lacks started
  10. Hosea 9:16 Or stricken