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Ephraim Faces Punishment

Do not rejoice, O Israel,
do not exult like the nations!
For you played the whore, departing from your God;
    you loved a harlot’s wage
on all the threshing floors of grain.
    Threshing floor and wine vat will not feed them,
and new wine will fail her.[a]
    They will not remain
        in the land of Yahweh.
But Ephraim will return to Egypt,
    and in Assyria they will eat unclean food.
They will not pour drink offerings of wine to Yahweh,
    and their sacrifices will not please him.
They are like mourners’ bread for them;
    all those who eat it will be defiled.
For their bread will be for their hunger;[b]
    it will not come to the house of Yahweh.
What will you do on the day of the appointed time,
    and on the day of the festival of Yahweh?
For look! If they flee from the destruction,
    Egypt will gather them;
    Memphis[c] will bury them.
Nettles will possess
    their precious things of silver;
        thorns will be in their tents.
The days of punishment have come;
the days of retribution have come;
    Israel knows!
The prophet is a fool,
    the man of the spirit is acting like a madman.
Because of the greatness of your sin,
    your hostility is great.
The prophet keeps watch over Ephraim for my God;
    the snare of a fowler is on all his ways,
    and hostility in the house of his God.
They deeply corrupted themselves[d]
    as in the days of Gibeah;
he will remember their sin,
    he will punish their sins.
10 Like the grapes in the wilderness,
    I found Israel.
Like early ripened fruit on the fig tree in the first season,[e]
    I saw your ancestors.[f]
They themselves came to Baal Peor,
    and they consecrated themselves to shame.
And they became detestable things,
    like the thing they love.[g]
11 Ephraim’s glory is like a bird;
    it will fly away—
        no birth, no pregnancy, and no conception.
12 Even though they bring up their children,
    I will bereave them before maturity.[h]
Woe to them indeed,
    when I depart from them!
13 Ephraim, as I see it,
    is like a palm in a meadow;
but Ephraim must bring out
    his children to the slayer.
14 Give them, O Yahweh—
    what will you give them?
Give them a miscarrying womb
    and dry breasts.
15 Every evil of theirs began at Gilgal,
    so I began to hate them there;
because of the evil of their deeds
    I will drive them out from my house.
I will love them no more;
    all their officials are rebels.
16 Ephraim is stricken,
    their root is dried up,
        they shall not bear fruit.
Even if they give birth,
    I will kill the cherished offspring of their womb.
17 My God will reject them
    because they did not listen to him,
        and they will be wanderers among the nations.


  1. Hosea 9:2 That is, Israel
  2. Hosea 9:4 Literally “for their soul”
  3. Hosea 9:6 Hebrew “Noph”
  4. Hosea 9:9 Literally “They made deep, they corrupted themselves”
  5. Hosea 9:10 Or “in the beginning”
  6. Hosea 9:10 Or “fathers”
  7. Hosea 9:10 Literally “like loving things”
  8. Hosea 9:12 Or “until no one is left”