Common English Bible
1 The Lord’s word that came to Hosea, Beeri’s son, in the days of Judah’s Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, and in the days of Israel’s King Jeroboam, Joash’s son.
God commands Hosea to marry
2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to him,“Go, marry a prostitute and have children of prostitution, for the people of the land commit great prostitution by deserting the Lord.” 3 So Hosea went and took Gomer, Diblaim’s daughter, and she became pregnant and bore him a son. 4 The Lord said to him, “Name him Jezreel; for in a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will destroy the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Jezreel Valley.” 6 Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Name her No Compassion, because I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel or forgive them. 7 But I will have compassion on the house of Judah. I, the Lord their God, will save them; I will not save them by bow, or by sword, or by war, or by horses, or by horsemen.” 8 When Gomer finished nursing No Compassion, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. 9 Then the Lord said, “Name him Not My People because you are not my people, and I am not your God.”[a]
Hope for the future
10 [b] Yet the number of the people of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which can be neither measured nor numbered; and in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it will be said to them, “Children of the living God.” 11 The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be gathered together, and they will choose one head. They will become fruitful in the land.[c] The day will be a wonderful one for Jezreel.
Proclamation of wrongdoing
2 [d] Say to your brother, My People, and to your sister, Compassion:
2 Level a charge against your mother; plead with her!
She is not my wife,
and I am not her husband.
Let her remove prostitution from her presence,
and adultery from between her breasts,
3 or else I will strip her naked
and expose her as on the day she was born.
I will make her like a desert,
and turn her into a dry land,
and make her die of thirst.
4 I will also have no compassion on her children
because they are children of prostitution.
5 Their mother has played the prostitute;
she who conceived them has behaved shamefully.
She said, “I will seek out my lovers;
they give me my bread and my water,
my wool and my linen cloth, my oil and my drink.”
6 Therefore, I will line her path with thorns;
and I will build a wall against her,
so that she can’t find her paths.
7 She will go after her lovers,
but she won’t catch up with them;
she will seek them,
but she won’t find them.
Then she will say,
“I will return to my first husband,
for I had it better then than now.”
8 She didn’t know that I gave her
the corn, the new wine, and the fresh oil,
and that I gave her much silver,
and gold that they used for Baal.
9 So now I will take back
my corn in its time,
and my wine in its season;
and I will take away my wool and my linen cloth,
which were to cover her nakedness.
10 Now I will uncover her nakedness
in plain view of her lovers,
and no one will rescue her from me.
11 I will end all her religious celebrations,
her festivals, her new moons, her Sabbath days,
and all her sacred seasons.
12 I will destroy her vines and her fig trees,
of which she said,
“These are my pay,
which my lovers have given to me.”
I will change them into a forest,
and the wild animals will eat them.
13 I will punish her for the days dedicated to the Baals,
when she offered sweet-smelling sacrifices to them
and dressed herself up with rings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers,
and forgot me, says the Lord.
Promises: restoration and covenant love
14 Therefore, I will charm her,
and bring her into the desert,
and speak tenderly to her heart.
15 From there I will give her vineyards,
and make the Achor Valley a door of hope.
There she will respond to me as in the days of her youth,
like the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
16 On that day, says the Lord, you will call me, “My husband,” and no longer will you call me, “My Lord.” 17 I will take away the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they will not be mentioned by name anymore. 18 On that day, I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the creeping creatures of the fertile ground. I will do away with the bow, the sword, and war from the land; I will make you lie down in safety.
19 I will take you for my wife forever;
I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice,
in devoted love, and in mercy.
20 I will take you for my wife in faithfulness;
and you will know the Lord.
21 On that day I will answer, says the Lord.
I will answer the heavens
and they will answer the earth.
22 The earth will answer the corn, the new wine, and the fresh oil,
and they will answer Jezreel;
23 I will sow him for myself in the land;
and I will have compassion on No Compassion,
and I will say to Not My People, “You are my people”;
and he will say, “You are my God.”
The lesson of infidelity
3 Then the Lord said to me again, “Go, make love to a woman who has a lover and is involved in adultery, just as the Lord loves the people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” 2 So I bought her for fifteen pieces of silver, a large amount of barley, and a portion of wine.[e] 3 I said to her, “You must stay with me for many days; you won’t act like a prostitute; you won’t have sex with a man, nor I with you.” 4 Similarly, the Israelites will remain many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred standing stone, without a priestly vest or household divine images. 5 Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; they will come trembling to the Lord and to the Lord’s goodness in the latter days.