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O Israel, rejoice no more as others do, for you have deserted your God and sacrificed to other gods on every threshing floor.

Therefore your harvests will be small; your grapes will blight upon the vine.

You may no longer stay here in this land of God; you will be carried off to Egypt and Assyria and live there on scraps of food. There, far from home, you are not allowed to pour out wine for sacrifice to God. For no sacrifice that is offered there can please him; it is polluted, just as food of mourners is; all who eat such sacrifices are defiled. They may eat this food to feed themselves, but may not offer it to God. What then will you do on holy days, on days of feasting to the Lord, when you are carried off to Assyria as slaves? Who will inherit your possessions left behind? Egypt will! She will gather your dead; Memphis will bury them. And thorns and thistles will grow up among the ruins.

The time of Israel’s punishment has come; the day of recompense is almost here, and soon Israel will know it all too well. “The prophets are crazy”; “The inspired men are mad.” Yes, so they mock, for the nation is weighted with sin and shows only hatred for those who love God.

“I appointed the prophets to guard my people, but the people have blocked them at every turn and publicly declared their hatred, even in the Temple of the Lord. The things my people do are as depraved as what they did in Gibeah[a] long ago. The Lord does not forget. He will surely punish them.

10 “O Israel, how well I remember those first delightful days when I led you through the wilderness! How refreshing was your love! How satisfying, like the early figs of summer in their first season! But then you deserted me for Baal-peor,[b] to give yourselves to other gods, and soon you were as foul as they. 11 The glory of Israel flies away like a bird, for your children will die at birth, or perish in the womb, or never even be conceived. 12 And if your children grow, I will take them from you; all are doomed. Yes, it will be a sad day when I turn away and leave you alone.”

13 In my vision I have seen the sons of Israel doomed. The fathers are forced to lead their sons to slaughter. 14 O Lord, what shall I ask for your people? I will ask for wombs that don’t give birth, for breasts that cannot nourish.

15 “All their wickedness began at Gilgal;[c] there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their idolatry. I will love them no more, for all their leaders are rebels. 16 Ephraim is doomed. The roots of Israel are dried up; she shall bear no more fruit. And if she gives birth, I will slay even her beloved child.”

17 My God will destroy the people of Israel because they will not listen or obey. They will be wandering Jews, homeless among the nations.


  1. Hosea 9:9 what they did in Gibeah, see Judges 19:14ff.
  2. Hosea 9:10 But then you deserted me for Baal-peor, the god of Peor, a city of Moab (Numbers 23).
  3. Hosea 9:15 Gilgal, the town where Baal-worship flourished (4:15; 12:11), and where the monarchy, hated of God, was instituted (1 Samuel 11:15).

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