God’s Case against Jacob’s Heirs

12 Ephraim chases[a] the wind(A)
and pursues the east wind.(B)
He continually multiplies lies and violence.
He makes a covenant with Assyria,(C)
and olive oil is carried to Egypt.(D)

The Lord also has a dispute with Judah.
He is about to punish Jacob according to his ways;(E)
He will repay him based on his actions.
In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel,(F)
and as an adult he wrestled with God.(G)
Jacob struggled with the Angel and prevailed;
he wept and sought His favor.(H)
He found him[b] at Bethel,(I)
and there He spoke with him.[c](J)
Yahweh is the God of Hosts;
Yahweh is His name.(K)
But you must return to your God.(L)
Maintain love and justice,(M)
and always put your hope in God.(N)

A merchant loves to extort(O)
with dishonest scales in his hands.(P)
But Ephraim says:
“How rich I have become;(Q)
I made it all myself.
In all my earnings,
no one can find any crime in me(R)
that I can be punished for!”[d]

Judgment on Apostate Israel

I have been Yahweh your God
ever since[e] the land of Egypt.(S)
I will make you live in tents again,(T)
as in the festival days.
10 I spoke through the prophets(U)
and granted many visions;
I gave parables through the prophets.(V)
11 Since Gilead is full of evil,(W)
they will certainly come to nothing.
They sacrifice bulls in Gilgal;(X)
even their altars will be like heaps of rocks(Y)
on the furrows of a field.

Further Indictment of Jacob’s Heirs

12 Jacob fled to the land of Aram.(Z)
Israel worked to earn a wife;(AA)
he tended flocks for a wife.(AB)
13 The Lord brought Israel from Egypt by a prophet,(AC)
and Israel was tended by a prophet.

14 Ephraim has provoked bitter anger,(AD)
so his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him(AE)
and repay him for his contempt.(AF)


  1. Hosea 12:1 Or feeds on, or tends
  2. Hosea 12:4 Or Him
  3. Hosea 12:4 LXX, Syr; MT reads us
  4. Hosea 12:8 Lit crime which is sin
  5. Hosea 12:9 LXX reads God who brought you out of

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