Israel's Unfaithfulness Punished

[a] Say to your brothers, (A)“You are my people,”[b] and to your sisters, (B)“You have received mercy.”[c]

“Plead with your mother, plead—
    for (C)she is not my wife,
    and I am not her husband—
that she put away (D)her whoring from her face,
    and her adultery from between her breasts;
lest (E)I strip her naked
    and make her as (F)in the day she was born,
and (G)make her like a wilderness,
    and make her like a parched land,
    and kill her with thirst.
(H)Upon her children also I will have no mercy,
    (I)because they are children of whoredom.
For (J)their mother has played the whore;
    she who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For (K)she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
    who (L)give me my bread and my water,
    my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’
Therefore (M)I will hedge up her[d] way with thorns,
    and (N)I will build a wall against her,
    so that she cannot find her paths.
She shall pursue her lovers
    but not overtake them,
and she shall seek them
    but shall not find them.
(O)Then she shall say,
    ‘I will go and return to (P)my first husband,
    (Q)for it was better for me then than now.’
And (R)she did not know
    that it was (S)I who gave her
    (T)the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and who lavished on (U)her silver and gold,
    (V)which they used for Baal.
Therefore (W)I will take back
    my grain in its time,
    and my wine in its season,
and (X)I will take away my wool and my flax,
    which were to cover her nakedness.
10 Now (Y)I will uncover her lewdness
    in the sight of her lovers,
    and no one shall rescue her out of my hand.
11 (Z)And I will put an end to all her mirth,
    her feasts, her (AA)new moons, her (AB)Sabbaths,
    and all her (AC)appointed feasts.
12 And (AD)I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,
    (AE)of which she said,
‘These are (AF)my wages,
    which my lovers have given me.’
I will make them a forest,
    (AG)and the beasts of the field shall devour them.
13 And (AH)I will punish her for (AI)the feast days of the Baals
    when she burned offerings to them
and (AJ)adorned herself with her ring and jewelry,
    and went after her lovers
    and forgot me, declares the Lord.

The Lord's Mercy on Israel

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
    and (AK)bring her into the wilderness,
    and (AL)speak tenderly to her.
15 And there I will give her her vineyards
    and make the Valley of Achor[e] a door of hope.
And there she shall answer (AM)as in the days of her youth,
    as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

16 “And (AN)in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17 For (AO)I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. 18 And (AP)I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And (AQ)I will abolish[f] the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in (AR)safety. 19 And I will betroth you to me (AS)forever. (AT)I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 (AU)I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And (AV)you shall know the Lord.

21 “And (AW)in that day (AX)I will answer, declares the Lord,
    I will answer the heavens,
    and they shall answer the earth,
22 and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,
    and they shall answer (AY)Jezreel,[g]
23     and (AZ)I will sow her for myself in the land.
And (BA)I (BB)will have mercy on No Mercy,[h]
    and (BC)I will say to Not My People,[i] (BD)‘You are my people’;
    and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”

Hosea Redeems His Wife

And the Lord said to me, (BE)“Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a (BF)homer and a lethech[j] of barley. And I said to her, “You must (BG)dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” For the children of Israel (BH)shall dwell many days (BI)without king or prince, (BJ)without sacrifice or (BK)pillar, without (BL)ephod or (BM)household gods. Afterward (BN)the children of Israel shall return and (BO)seek the Lord their God, and (BP)David their king, (BQ)and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the (BR)latter days.

The Lord Accuses Israel

(BS)Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel,
    for (BT)the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land.
There is no faithfulness or steadfast love,
    and (BU)no knowledge of God in the land;
(BV)there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery;
    they break all bounds, and (BW)bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore (BX)the land mourns,
    and all who dwell in it languish,
(BY)and also the beasts of the field
    and the birds of the heavens,
    (BZ)and even the fish of the sea are taken away.

(CA)Yet let no one contend,
    and let none accuse,
    for with you is (CB)my contention, O priest.[k]
You shall stumble by day;
    the prophet also shall stumble with you by night;
    and I will destroy (CC)your mother.
My people are destroyed (CD)for lack of knowledge;
    (CE)because you have rejected knowledge,
    I reject you (CF)from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
    (CG)I also will forget your children.

(CH)The more they increased,
    the more they sinned against me;
    (CI)I will change their glory into shame.
(CJ)They feed on the sin[l] of my people;
    they are greedy for their iniquity.
(CK)And it shall be like people, like priest;
    I will punish them for their ways
    and repay them for their deeds.
10 (CL)They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
    they shall play the whore, but not multiply,
because they have forsaken the Lord
    to cherish 11 whoredom, wine, and new wine,
    which (CM)take away the understanding.
12 My people (CN)inquire of a piece of wood,
    and their walking staff gives them oracles.
For (CO)a spirit of whoredom has led them astray,
    and they have left their God to play the whore.
13 (CP)They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains
    and burn offerings on the hills,
(CQ)under oak, poplar, and terebinth,
    because their shade is good.
Therefore your daughters play the whore,
    and your brides commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore,
    nor your brides when they commit adultery;
for (CR)the men themselves go aside with prostitutes
    and sacrifice with (CS)cult prostitutes,
and a people (CT)without understanding shall come to ruin.

15 Though you play the whore, O (CU)Israel,
    let not (CV)Judah become guilty.
(CW)Enter not into (CX)Gilgal,
    nor go up to (CY)Beth-aven,
    and swear not, “As the Lord lives.”
16 Like a stubborn heifer,
    Israel is stubborn;
can the Lord now feed them
    like a lamb in a broad pasture?

17 (CZ)Ephraim is joined to idols;
    (DA)leave him alone.
18 When their drink is gone, they give themselves to whoring;
    (DB)their rulers[m] dearly love shame.
19 (DC)A wind has wrapped them[n] in its wings,
    and they shall (DD)be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

Punishment Coming for Israel and Judah

(DE)Hear this, O priests!
    Pay attention, O house of Israel!
Give ear, O house of the king!
    For the judgment is for you;
for (DF)you have been a snare at Mizpah
    and a net spread upon (DG)Tabor.
And (DH)the revolters (DI)have gone deep into slaughter,
    but (DJ)I will discipline all of them.

(DK)I know Ephraim,
    and Israel is not hidden from me;
for now, O Ephraim, you have played the whore;
    Israel is defiled.
(DL)Their deeds do not permit them
    to return to their God.
For (DM)the spirit of whoredom is within them,
    and they know not the Lord.

(DN)The pride of Israel testifies to his face;[o]
    Israel and (DO)Ephraim shall stumble in his guilt;
    (DP)Judah also shall stumble with them.
(DQ)With their flocks and herds they shall go
    to seek the Lord,
(DR)but they will not find him;
    (DS)he has withdrawn from them.
(DT)They have dealt faithlessly with the Lord;
    for they have borne alien children.
    Now the new moon shall devour them with their fields.

(DU)Blow the horn in (DV)Gibeah,
    the trumpet in (DW)Ramah.
Sound the alarm at (DX)Beth-aven;
    we follow you,[p] O Benjamin!
Ephraim shall become a desolation
    in the day of punishment;
among the tribes of Israel
    I make known what is sure.
10 The princes of Judah have become
    like (DY)those who move the landmark;
upon them I will pour out
    my wrath like water.
11 Ephraim is (DZ)oppressed, crushed in judgment,
    because he was determined to go after filth.[q]
12 But I am (EA)like a moth to Ephraim,
    and (EB)like dry rot to the house of Judah.

13 When Ephraim saw his sickness,
    and Judah (EC)his wound,
then Ephraim went (ED)to Assyria,
    and sent to the great king.[r]
(EE)But he is not able to cure you
    or heal (EF)your wound.
14 For I will be (EG)like a lion to (EH)Ephraim,
    and like a young lion to the house of (EI)Judah.
(EJ)I, even I, will tear and go away;
    I will carry off, and no one shall rescue.

15 (EK)I will return again to my place,
    until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face,
    and (EL)in their distress earnestly seek me.

Israel and Judah Are Unrepentant

“Come, let us (EM)return to the Lord;
    for (EN)he has torn us, that he may heal us;
    he has struck us down, and (EO)he will bind us up.
After two days (EP)he will revive us;
    on the third day he will raise us up,
    that we may live before him.
(EQ)Let us know; (ER)let us press on to know the Lord;
    (ES)his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us (ET)as the showers,
    (EU)as the spring rains that water the earth.”

What shall I do with you, (EV)O (EW)Ephraim?
    What shall I do with you, O (EX)Judah?
Your love is (EY)like a morning cloud,
    (EZ)like the dew that goes early away.
Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets;
    I have slain them (FA)by the words of my mouth,
    and my judgment goes forth as the light.
For (FB)I desire steadfast love[s] and not sacrifice,
    (FC)the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

But (FD)like Adam they (FE)transgressed the covenant;
    (FF)there they dealt faithlessly with me.
(FG)Gilead is a city of evildoers,
    (FH)tracked with blood.
As robbers (FI)lie in wait for a man,
    so the priests band together;
they murder on the way to (FJ)Shechem;
    they commit villainy.
10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing;
    (FK)Ephraim's whoredom is there; (FL)Israel is defiled.

11 For you also, O (FM)Judah, (FN)a harvest is appointed.

When (FO)I restore the fortunes of my people,
(FP)when I would heal Israel,
    the iniquity of Ephraim is revealed,
    and the evil deeds of (FQ)Samaria,
for (FR)they deal falsely;
    the thief breaks in,
    and the bandits raid outside.
But they do not consider
    that (FS)I remember all their evil.
Now (FT)their deeds surround them;
    (FU)they are before my face.
By their evil (FV)they make (FW)the king glad,
    and the princes by their treachery.
(FX)They are all adulterers;
    they are like a heated oven
whose baker ceases to stir the fire,
    from the kneading of the dough
    until it is leavened.
On the day of (FY)our king, the princes
    became sick with the heat of wine;
    he stretched out his hand with mockers.
For with hearts like an oven (FZ)they approach their intrigue;
    all night their anger smolders;
    in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
All of them are hot as an oven,
    and they devour their rulers.
All (GA)their kings (GB)have fallen,
    and none of them calls upon me.

Ephraim (GC)mixes himself with the peoples;
    Ephraim is a cake not turned.
(GD)Strangers devour his strength,
    and (GE)he knows it not;
gray hairs are sprinkled upon him,
    and (GF)he knows it not.
10 (GG)The pride of Israel testifies to his face;[t]
    (GH)yet they do not return to the Lord their God,
    nor seek him, for all this.

11 Ephraim is like a dove,
    (GI)silly and without sense,
    calling to (GJ)Egypt, going to (GK)Assyria.
12 As they go, (GL)I will spread over them my net;
    I will bring them down like birds of the heavens;
    (GM)I will discipline them (GN)according to the report made to their congregation.
13 (GO)Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!
    Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me!
(GP)I would redeem them,
    but (GQ)they speak lies against me.

14 (GR)They do not cry to me from the heart,
    but (GS)they wail upon their beds;
for grain and wine they gash themselves;
    they rebel against me.
15 Although (GT)I trained and strengthened their arms,
    yet they devise evil against me.
16 They (GU)return, but not upward;[u]
    they are (GV)like a treacherous bow;
their princes shall fall by the sword
    because of (GW)the insolence of their tongue.
This shall be their derision (GX)in the land of Egypt.

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 2:1 Ch 2:3 in Hebrew
  2. Hosea 2:1 Hebrew ammi, which means my people
  3. Hosea 2:1 Hebrew ruhama, which means she has received mercy
  4. Hosea 2:6 Hebrew your
  5. Hosea 2:15 Achor means trouble; compare Joshua 7:26
  6. Hosea 2:18 Hebrew break
  7. Hosea 2:22 Jezreel means God will sow
  8. Hosea 2:23 Hebrew Lo-ruhama
  9. Hosea 2:23 Hebrew Lo-ammi
  10. Hosea 3:2 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams; a homer was about 6 bushels or 220 liters; a lethech was about 3 bushels or 110 liters
  11. Hosea 4:4 Or for your people are like those who contend with the priest
  12. Hosea 4:8 Or sin offering
  13. Hosea 4:18 Hebrew shields
  14. Hosea 4:19 Hebrew her
  15. Hosea 5:5 Or in his presence
  16. Hosea 5:8 Or after you
  17. Hosea 5:11 Or to follow human precepts
  18. Hosea 5:13 Or to King Jareb
  19. Hosea 6:6 Septuagint mercy
  20. Hosea 7:10 Or in his presence
  21. Hosea 7:16 Or to the Most High