The Idolatry of Israel

11 “Harlotry, wine, and new wine (A)enslave the heart.
12 My people ask counsel from their (B)wooden idols,
And their [a]staff informs them.
For (C)the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray,
And they have played the harlot against their God.
13 (D)They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops,
And burn incense on the hills,
Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,
Because their shade is good.
(E)Therefore your daughters commit harlotry,
And your brides commit adultery.

14 “I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry,
Nor your brides when they commit adultery;
For the men themselves go apart with harlots,
And offer sacrifices with a (F)ritual harlot.
Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled.

15 “Though you, Israel, play the harlot,
Let not Judah offend.
(G)Do not come up to Gilgal,
Nor go up to (H)Beth[b] Aven,
(I)Nor swear an oath, saying, ‘As the Lord lives’—

16 “For Israel (J)is stubborn
Like a stubborn calf;
Now the Lord will let them forage
Like a lamb in [c]open country.

17 “Ephraim is joined to idols,
(K)Let him alone.
18 Their drink [d]is rebellion,
They commit harlotry continually.
(L)Her [e]rulers [f]dearly love dishonor.
19 (M)The wind has wrapped her up in its wings,
And (N)they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

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  1. Hosea 4:12 Diviner’s rod
  2. Hosea 4:15 Lit. House of Idolatry or Wickedness
  3. Hosea 4:16 Lit. a large place
  4. Hosea 4:18 Or has turned aside
  5. Hosea 4:18 Lit. shields
  6. Hosea 4:18 Heb. difficult; a Jewish tradition shamefully love, ‘Give!’

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