1 The word of the Lord that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
The Family of Hosea
2 When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea:
“Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the Lord.”
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 Then the Lord said to him:
“Call his name Jezreel, For in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, And bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 It shall come to pass in that day That I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”
6 And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him:
“Call her name Lo-Ruhamah,[a] For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, But I will utterly take them away.[b] 7 Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, Will save them by the Lord their God, And will not save them by bow, Nor by sword or battle, By horses or horsemen.”
8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. 9 Then God said:
“Call his name Lo-Ammi,[c] For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.
The Restoration of Israel
10 “Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’[d] There it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God.’ 11 Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out of the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel!
2 Say to your brethren, ‘My people,’[e] And to your sisters, ‘Mercy[f]is shown.’
God’s Unfaithful People
2 “Bring charges against your mother, bring charges; For she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband! Let her put away her harlotries from her sight, And her adulteries from between her breasts; 3 Lest I strip her naked And expose her, as in the day she was born, And make her like a wilderness, And set her like a dry land, And slay her with thirst.
4 “I will not have mercy on her children, For they are the children of harlotry. 5 For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has behaved shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my linen, My oil and my drink.’
6 “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, And wall her in, So that she cannot find her paths. 7 She will chase her lovers, But not overtake them; Yes, she will seek them, but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, For then it was better for me than now.’ 8 For she did not know That I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, And multiplied her silver and gold— Which they prepared for Baal.
9 “Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time And My new wine in its season, And will take back My wool and My linen, Given to cover her nakedness. 10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, And no one shall deliver her from My hand. 11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, Her feast days, Her New Moons, Her Sabbaths— All her appointed feasts.
12 “And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, Of which she has said, ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me.’ So I will make them a forest, And the beasts of the field shall eat them. 13 I will punish her For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot,” says the Lord.
God’s Mercy on His People
14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her. 15 I will give her her vineyards from there, And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, As in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
16 “And it shall be, in that day,” Says the Lord, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’[g] And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’[h] 17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more. 18 In that day I will make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely.
19 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; 20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the Lord.
21 “It shall come to pass in that day That I will answer,” says the Lord; “I will answer the heavens, And they shall answer the earth. 22 The earth shall answer With grain, With new wine, And with oil; They shall answer Jezreel.[i] 23 Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy;[j] Then I will say to those who were not My people,[k] ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’”
Israel Will Return to God
3 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover[l] and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.”
2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley. 3 And I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man—so, too, will I be toward you.”
4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. 5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.
God’s Charge Against Israel
4 Hear the word of the Lord, You children of Israel, For the Lordbrings a charge against the inhabitants of the land:
“There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land. 2 By swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery, They break all restraint, With bloodshed upon bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land will mourn; And everyone who dwells there will waste away With the beasts of the field And the birds of the air; Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.
4 “Now let no man contend, or rebuke another; For your people are like those who contend with the priest. 5 Therefore you shall stumble in the day; The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night; And I will destroy your mother. 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
7 “The more they increased, The more they sinned against Me; I will change[m] their glory[n] into shame. 8 They eat up the sin of My people; They set their heart on their iniquity. 9 And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, And reward them for their deeds. 10 For they shall eat, but not have enough; They shall commit harlotry, but not increase; Because they have ceased obeying the Lord.
The Idolatry of Israel
11 “Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart. 12 My people ask counsel from their wooden idols, And their staff informs them. For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray, And they have played the harlot against their God. 13 They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops, And burn incense on the hills, Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths, Because their shade is good. 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 ritual harlot.[o] Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled.
15 “Though you, Israel, play the harlot, Let not Judah offend. Do not come up to Gilgal, Nor go up to Beth Aven, Nor swear an oath, saying, ‘As the Lord lives’—
16 “For Israel is stubborn Like a stubborn calf; Now the Lord will let them forage Like a lamb in open country.
17 “Ephraim is joined to idols, Let him alone. 18 Their drink is rebellion, They commit harlotry continually. Her rulers dearly[p] love dishonor. 19 The wind has wrapped her up in its wings, And they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
Impending Judgment on Israel and Judah
5 “Hear this, O priests! Take heed, O house of Israel! Give ear, O house of the king! For yours is the judgment, Because you have been a snare to Mizpah And a net spread on Tabor. 2 The revolters are deeply involved in slaughter, Though I rebuke them all. 3 I know Ephraim, And Israel is not hidden from Me; For now, O Ephraim, you commit harlotry; Israel is defiled.
4 “They do not direct their deeds Toward turning to their God, For the spirit of harlotry is in their midst, And they do not know the Lord. 5 The pride of Israel testifies to his face; Therefore Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also stumbles with them.
6 “With their flocks and herds They shall go to seek the Lord, But they will not find Him; He has withdrawn Himself from them. 7 They have dealt treacherously with the Lord, For they have begotten pagan children. Now a New Moon shall devour them and their heritage.
8 “Blow the ram’s horn in Gibeah, The trumpet in Ramah! Cry aloud at Beth Aven, ‘Look behind you, O Benjamin!’ 9 Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure.
10 “The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark; I will pour out My wrath on them like water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, Because he willingly walked by human precept. 12 Therefore I will be to Ephraim like a moth, And to the house of Judah like rottenness.
13 “When Ephraim saw his sickness, And Judah saw his wound, Then Ephraim went to Assyria And sent to King Jareb; Yet he cannot cure you, Nor heal you of your wound. 14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, And like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear them and go away; I will take them away, and no one shall rescue. 15 I will return again to My place Till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”
A Call to Repentance
6 Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. 2 After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. 3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.
Impenitence of Israel and Judah
4 “O Ephraim, what shall I do to you? O Judah, what shall I do to you? For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud, And like the early dew it goes away. 5 Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of My mouth; And your judgments are like light that goes forth. 6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
7 “But like men[q] they transgressed the covenant; There they dealt treacherously with Me. 8 Gilead is a city of evildoers And defiled with blood. 9 As bands of robbers lie in wait for a man, So the company of priests murder on the way to Shechem; Surely they commit lewdness. 10 I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel: There is the harlotry of Ephraim; Israel is defiled. 11 Also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed for you, When I return the captives of My people.
7 “When I would have healed Israel, Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered, And the wickedness of Samaria. For they have committed fraud; A thief comes in; A band of robbers takes spoil outside. 2 They do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness; Now their own deeds have surrounded them; They are before My face. 3 They make a king glad with their wickedness, And princes with their lies.
4 “They are all adulterers. Like an oven heated by a baker— He ceases stirring the fire after kneading the dough, Until it is leavened. 5 In the day of our king Princes have made him sick, inflamed with wine; He stretched out his hand with scoffers. 6 They prepare their heart like an oven, While they lie in wait; Their baker[r] sleeps all night; In the morning it burns like a flaming fire. 7 They are all hot, like an oven, And have devoured their judges; All their kings have fallen. None among them calls upon Me.
8 “Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned. 9 Aliens have devoured his strength, But he does not know it; Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, Yet he does not know it. 10 And the pride of Israel testifies to his face, But they do not return to the Lord their God, Nor seek Him for all this.
Futile Reliance on the Nations
11 “Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense— They call to Egypt, They go to Assyria. 12 Wherever they go, I will spread My net on them; I will bring them down like birds of the air; I will chastise them According to what their congregation has heard.
13 “Woe to them, for they have fled from Me! Destruction to them, Because they have transgressed against Me! Though I redeemed them, Yet they have spoken lies against Me. 14 They did not cry out to Me with their heart When they wailed upon their beds.
“They assemble together for[s] grain and new wine, They rebel against Me;[t] 15 Though I disciplined and strengthened their arms, Yet they devise evil against Me; 16 They return, but not to the Most High;[u] They are like a treacherous bow. Their princes shall fall by the sword For the cursings of their tongue. This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
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