New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Infidelity of Israel[a]
1 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
the house of Israel, with deceit;
Judah still wanders about with gods,
and is faithful to holy ones.[b]
2 [c]Ephraim shepherds the wind,
and pursues the east wind all day long.
He multiplies lies and violence:
They make a covenant with Assyria,
and oil is carried to Egypt.
3 The Lord has a dispute with Judah,
and will punish Jacob[d] for his conduct,
and repay him for his deeds.
4 In the womb he supplanted his brother,(A)
and in his vigor he contended with a divine being;
5 He contended with an angel and prevailed,(B)
he wept and entreated him.
At Bethel he met with him,
and there he spoke with him.(C)
6 The Lord is the God of hosts,
the Lord is his name!(D)
7 You must return to your God.
Maintain loyalty and justice
and always hope in your God.
8 A merchant who holds a false balance,
he loves to extort!
9 Ephraim has said,
“How rich I have become;
I have made a fortune!”(E)
All his gain will not suffice
for the guilt of his sin.
10 I the Lord have been your God,
since the land of Egypt;(F)
I will again have you live in tents,
as on feast days.
11 I spoke to the prophets,
I granted many visions,(G)
and through the prophets I told parables.
12 In Gilead is falsehood, they have come to nothing;
in Gilgal they sacrifice bulls,
But their altars are like heaps of stones(H)
in the furrows of the field.
13 Jacob fled to the land of Aram,
and Israel served for a wife;
for a wife he tended sheep.(I)
14 But by a prophet[e] the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt,
and by a prophet Israel was tended.(J)
15 Ephraim has aroused bitter anger,
so his Lord shall cast his bloodguilt upon him
and repay him for his scorn.
- 12:1–15 This chapter draws a parallel between the history of Israel and events in the life of Jacob-Israel, the ancestor.
- 12:1 An attack on the idolatry of both kingdoms, Israel and Judah. Holy ones: subordinate gods, members of the divine council.
- 12:2 Hosea frequently condemns the alliances with Assyria and Egypt, the two world powers (7:8–16).
- 12:3 Jacob: whose name was changed to Israel (Gn 35:10).
- 12:14 A prophet: Moses.