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Relentless Judgement on Israel

13 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;
    he was exalted in Israel;
    but he incurred guilt through Baal and died.
And now they keep on sinning
    and make a cast image for themselves,
idols of silver made according to their understanding,
    all of them the work of artisans.
‘Sacrifice to these’, they say.[a]
    People are kissing calves!
Therefore they shall be like the morning mist
    or like the dew that goes away early,
like chaff that swirls from the threshing-floor
    or like smoke from a window.

Yet I have been the Lord your God
    ever since the land of Egypt;
you know no God but me,
    and besides me there is no saviour.
It was I who fed[b] you in the wilderness,
    in the land of drought.
When I fed[c] them, they were satisfied;
    they were satisfied, and their heart was proud;
    therefore they forgot me.
So I will become like a lion to them,
    like a leopard I will lurk beside the way.
I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs,
    and will tear open the covering of their heart;
there I will devour them like a lion,
    as a wild animal would mangle them.

I will destroy you, O Israel;
    who can help you?[d]
10 Where now is[e] your king, that he may save you?
    Where in all your cities are your rulers,
of whom you said,
    ‘Give me a king and rulers’?
11 I gave you a king in my anger,
    and I took him away in my wrath.

12 Ephraim’s iniquity is bound up;
    his sin is kept in store.
13 The pangs of childbirth come for him,
    but he is an unwise son;
for at the proper time he does not present himself
    at the mouth of the womb.

14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?
    Shall I redeem them from Death?
O Death, where are[f] your plagues?
    O Sheol, where is[g] your destruction?
    Compassion is hidden from my eyes.

15 Although he may flourish among rushes,[h]
    the east wind shall come, a blast from the Lord,
    rising from the wilderness;
and his fountain shall dry up,
    his spring shall be parched.
It shall strip his treasury
    of every precious thing.
16 [i] Samaria shall bear her guilt,
    because she has rebelled against her God;
they shall fall by the sword,
    their little ones shall be dashed in pieces,
    and their pregnant women ripped open.


  1. Hosea 13:2 Cn Compare Gk: Heb To these they say sacrifices of people
  2. Hosea 13:5 Gk Syr: Heb knew
  3. Hosea 13:6 Cn: Heb according to their pasture
  4. Hosea 13:9 Gk Syr: Heb for in me is your help
  5. Hosea 13:10 Gk Syr Vg: Heb I will be
  6. Hosea 13:14 Gk Syr: Heb I will be
  7. Hosea 13:14 Gk Syr: Heb I will be
  8. Hosea 13:15 Or among brothers
  9. Hosea 13:16 Ch 14.1 in Heb

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