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Israel Will Pay for Sin

10 Israel is like a large vine
    that produced plenty of fruit.
As the people became richer,
    they built more altars for idols.
As their land became better,
    they put up better stone pillars to honor gods.
Their heart was false,
    and now they must pay for their guilt.
The Lord will break down their altars;
    he will destroy their holy stone pillars.

Then they will say, “We have no king,
    because we didn’t honor the Lord.
As for the king,
    he couldn’t do anything for us.”
They make many false promises
    and agreements which they don’t keep.
So people sue each other in court;
    they are like poisonous weeds growing in a plowed field.
The people from Israel are worried about
    the calf-shaped idol at Beth Aven.
The people will cry about it,
    and the priests will cry about it.
    They used to shout for joy about its glory,
but it will be carried off to Assyria
    as a gift to the great king.
Israel will be disgraced,
    and the people will be ashamed for not obeying.
Israel will be destroyed;
    its king will be like a chip of wood floating on the water.
The places of false worship will be destroyed,
    the places where Israel sins.
Thorns and weeds will grow up
    and cover their altars.
Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!”
    and to the hills, “Fall on us!”

“Israel, you have sinned since the time of Gibeah,[a]
    and the people there have continued sinning.
But war will surely overwhelm them in Gibeah,
    because of the evil they have done there.
10 When I am ready,
    I will come to punish them.
Nations will come together against them,
    and they will be punished for their double sins.
11 Israel is like a well-trained young cow
    that likes to thresh grain.
I will put a yoke on her neck
    and make her work hard in the field.
Israel will plow,
    and Judah will break up the ground.
12 I said, ‘Plant goodness,
    harvest the fruit of loyalty,
    plow the new ground of knowledge.
Look for the Lord until he comes
    and pours goodness on you like water.’
13 But you have plowed evil
    and harvested trouble;
    you have eaten the fruit of your lies.
Because you have trusted in your own power
    and your many soldiers,
14 your people will hear the noise of battle,
    and all your strong, walled cities will be destroyed.
It will be like the time King Shalman
    destroyed Beth Arbel in battle,
    when mothers and their children were bashed to death.
15 The same will happen to you, people of Bethel,
    because you did so much evil.
When the sun comes up,
    the king of Israel will die.

Footnotes

  1. 10:9 Gibeah The sins of the people of Gibeah caused a civil war. See Judges 19–21.

10 Israel was a spreading vine;(A)
    he brought forth fruit for himself.
As his fruit increased,
    he built more altars;(B)
as his land prospered,(C)
    he adorned his sacred stones.(D)
Their heart is deceitful,(E)
    and now they must bear their guilt.(F)
The Lord will demolish their altars(G)
    and destroy their sacred stones.(H)

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(I)
    and make agreements;(J)
therefore lawsuits spring up
    like poisonous weeds(K) in a plowed field.
The people who live in Samaria fear
    for the calf-idol(L) of Beth Aven.[a](M)
Its people will mourn over it,
    and so will its idolatrous priests,(N)
those who had rejoiced over its splendor,
    because it is taken from them into exile.(O)
It will be carried to Assyria(P)
    as tribute(Q) for the great king.(R)
Ephraim will be disgraced;(S)
    Israel will be ashamed(T) of its foreign alliances.
Samaria’s king will be destroyed,(U)
    swept away like a twig on the surface of the waters.
The high places(V) of wickedness[b](W) will be destroyed—
    it is the sin of Israel.
Thorns(X) and thistles will grow up
    and cover their altars.(Y)
Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!”(Z)
    and to the hills, “Fall on us!”(AA)

“Since the days of Gibeah,(AB) you have sinned,(AC) Israel,
    and there you have remained.[c]
Will not war again overtake
    the evildoers in Gibeah?
10 When I please, I will punish(AD) 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(AE)
    on her fair neck.
I will drive Ephraim,
    Judah must plow,
    and Jacob must break up the ground.
12 Sow(AF) righteousness(AG) for yourselves,
    reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;(AH)
    for it is time to seek(AI) the Lord,
until he comes
    and showers his righteousness(AJ) on you.
13 But you have planted wickedness,
    you have reaped evil,(AK)
    you have eaten the fruit of deception.(AL)
Because you have depended on your own strength
    and on your many warriors,(AM)
14 the roar of battle will rise against your people,
    so that all your fortresses will be devastated(AN)
as Shalman(AO) devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle,
    when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.(AP)
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.(AQ)

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 10:5 Beth Aven means house of wickedness (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means house of God).
  2. Hosea 10:8 Hebrew aven, a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see verse 5.
  3. Hosea 10:9 Or there a stand was taken

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