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)

God’s Love for Israel

11 “When Israel was a child,(AR) I loved(AS) him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.(AT)
But the more they were called,
    the more they went away from me.[d](AU)
They sacrificed to the Baals(AV)
    and they burned incense to images.(AW)
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
    taking them by the arms;(AX)
but they did not realize
    it was I who healed(AY) them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with ties of love.(AZ)
To them I was like one who lifts
    a little child to the cheek,
    and I bent down to feed(BA) them.(BB)

“Will they not return to Egypt(BC)
    and will not Assyria(BD) rule over them
    because they refuse to repent?(BE)
A sword(BF) will flash in their cities;
    it will devour(BG) their false prophets
    and put an end to their plans.
My people are determined to turn(BH) from me.(BI)
    Even though they call me God Most High,
    I will by no means exalt them.

“How can I give you up,(BJ) Ephraim?(BK)
    How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
    How can I make you like Zeboyim?(BL)
My heart is changed within me;
    all my compassion(BM) is aroused.(BN)
I will not carry out my fierce anger,(BO)
    nor will I devastate(BP) Ephraim again.
For I am God, and not a man(BQ)
    the Holy One(BR) among you.
    I will not come against their cities.
10 They will follow the Lord;
    he will roar(BS) like a lion.(BT)
When he roars,
    his children will come trembling(BU) from the west.(BV)
11 They will come from Egypt,
    trembling like sparrows,
    from Assyria,(BW) fluttering like doves.(BX)
I will settle them in their homes,”(BY)
    declares the Lord.

Israel’s Sin

12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,(BZ)
    Israel with deceit.
And Judah is unruly against God,
    even against the faithful(CA) Holy One.[e](CB)

12 [f]Ephraim(CC) feeds on the wind;(CD)
    he pursues the east wind all day
    and multiplies lies and violence.(CE)
He makes a treaty with Assyria(CF)
    and sends olive oil to Egypt.(CG)
The Lord has a charge(CH) to bring against Judah;(CI)
    he will punish(CJ) Jacob[g] according to his ways
    and repay him according to his deeds.(CK)
In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel;(CL)
    as a man he struggled(CM) with God.
He struggled with the angel and overcame him;
    he wept and begged for his favor.
He found him at Bethel(CN)
    and talked with him there—
the Lord God Almighty,
    the Lord is his name!(CO)
But you must return(CP) to your God;
    maintain love and justice,(CQ)
    and wait for your God always.(CR)

The merchant uses dishonest scales(CS)
    and loves to defraud.
Ephraim boasts,(CT)
    “I am very rich; I have become wealthy.(CU)
With all my wealth they will not find in me
    any iniquity or sin.”

“I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt;(CV)
I will make you live in tents(CW) again,
    as in the days of your appointed festivals.
10 I spoke to the prophets,
    gave them many visions
    and told parables(CX) through them.”(CY)

11 Is Gilead wicked?(CZ)
    Its people are worthless!
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?(DA)
    Their altars will be like piles of stones
    on a plowed field.(DB)
12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram[h];(DC)
    Israel served to get a wife,
    and to pay for her he tended sheep.(DD)
13 The Lord used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,(DE)
    by a prophet he cared for him.(DF)
14 But Ephraim has aroused his bitter anger;
    his Lord will leave on him the guilt of his bloodshed(DG)
    and will repay him for his contempt.(DH)

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
  4. Hosea 11:2 Septuagint; Hebrew them
  5. Hosea 11:12 In Hebrew texts this verse (11:12) is numbered 12:1.
  6. Hosea 12:1 In Hebrew texts 12:1-14 is numbered 12:2-15.
  7. Hosea 12:2 Jacob means he grasps the heel, a Hebrew idiom for he takes advantage of or he deceives.
  8. Hosea 12:12 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia