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Punishment for Israel’s Sin

Do not rejoice, O Israel!
    Do not exult[a] as other nations do,
for you have prostituted yourself, departing from your God.
    You have loved a prostitute’s pay
    on all threshing floors.(A)
Threshing floor and wine vat shall not feed them,
    and the new wine shall fail them.(B)
They shall not remain in the land of the Lord,
    but Ephraim shall return to Egypt,
    and in Assyria they shall eat unclean food.(C)

They shall not pour drink offerings of wine to the Lord,
    and their sacrifices shall not please him.
Such sacrifices shall be like mourners’ bread;
    all who eat of it shall be defiled,
for their bread shall be for their hunger only;
    it shall not come to the house of the Lord.(D)

What will you do on the day of appointed festival
    and on the day of the festival of the Lord?(E)
For even if they escape destruction,
    Egypt shall gather them;
    Memphis shall bury them.
Nettles shall possess their precious things of silver;[b]
    thorns shall be in their tents.(F)

The days of punishment have come;
    the days of recompense have come.
Israel will cry out,[c]
“The prophet is a fool;
    the man of the spirit is mad!”
Because of your great iniquity,
    your hostility is great.(G)
The prophet is a sentinel for my God over Ephraim,
yet a hunter’s snare is on all his ways
    and hostility in the house of his God.(H)
They have deeply corrupted themselves
    as in the days of Gibeah;
he will remember their iniquity;
    he will punish their sins.(I)

10 Like grapes in the wilderness,
    I found Israel.
Like the first fruit on the fig tree,
    in its first season,
    I saw your ancestors.
But they came to Baal-peor
    and consecrated themselves to a thing of shame
    and became detestable like the thing they loved.(J)
11 Ephraim’s glory shall fly away like a bird—
    no birth, no pregnancy, no conception!(K)
12 Even if they bring up children,
    I will bereave them until no one is left.
Woe to them indeed
    when I depart from them!(L)
13 Once I saw Ephraim as a young palm planted in a lovely meadow,[d]
    but now Ephraim must lead out his children for slaughter.(M)
14 Give them, O Lord
    what will you give?
Give them a miscarrying womb
    and dry breasts.

15 Every evil of theirs began at Gilgal;
    there I came to hate them.
Because of the wickedness of their deeds
    I will drive them out of my house.
I will love them no more;
    all their officials are rebels.(N)

16 Ephraim is stricken,
    their root is dried up,
    they shall bear no fruit.
Even though they give birth,
    I will kill the cherished offspring of their womb.(O)
17 Because they have not listened to him,
    my God will reject them;
    they shall become wanderers among the nations.(P)

Israel’s Sin and Captivity

10 Israel is a luxuriant vine
    that yields its fruit.
The more his fruit increased,
    the more altars he built;
as his country improved,
    he improved his pillars.(Q)
Their heart is false;
    now they must bear their guilt.
The Lord[e] will break down their altars
    and destroy their pillars.(R)

For now they will say:
    “We have no king,
for we do not fear the Lord,
    and a king—what could he do for us?”
They utter mere words;
    with empty oaths they make covenants;
so litigation springs up like poisonous weeds
    in the furrows of the field.(S)
The inhabitants of Samaria tremble
    for the calf[f] of Beth-aven.
Its people shall mourn for it,
    and its idolatrous priests shall wail[g] over it,
    over its glory that has departed from it.(T)
The thing itself shall be carried to Assyria
    as tribute to the great king.[h]
Ephraim shall be put to shame,
    and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol.[i](U)

Samaria’s king shall perish
    like a chip on the face of the waters.(V)
The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel,
    shall be destroyed.
Thorn and thistle shall grow up
    on their altars.
They shall say to the mountains, “Cover us,”
    and to the hills, “Fall on us.”(W)

Since the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel;
    there they have continued.
    Shall not war overtake them in Gibeah?(X)
10 I will come[j] against the wayward people to punish them,
    and nations shall be gathered against them
    when they are punished[k] for their double iniquity.(Y)

11 Ephraim was a trained heifer
    that loved to thresh,
    and I spared her fair neck,
but I will make Ephraim break the ground;
    Judah must plow;
    Jacob must harrow for himself.(Z)
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness;
    reap steadfast love;
    break up your fallow ground,
for it is time to seek the Lord,
    that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.(AA)

13 You have plowed wickedness;
    you have reaped injustice;
    you have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your chariots,[l]
    in the multitude of your warriors,(AB)
14 therefore the tumult of war shall rise against your people,
    and all your fortresses shall be destroyed,
as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle,
    when mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.(AC)
15 Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
    because of your great wickedness.
At dawn the king of Israel
    shall be utterly cut off.(AD)

God’s Compassion Despite Israel’s Ingratitude

11 When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.(AE)
The more I[m] called them,
    the more they went from me;[n]
they kept sacrificing to the Baals
    and offering incense to idols.(AF)

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
    I took them up in my[o] arms,
    but they did not know that I healed them.(AG)
I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with bands of love.
I was to them like those
    who lift infants to their cheeks.[p]
    I bent down to them and fed them.(AH)

They shall return to the land of Egypt,
    and Assyria shall be their king,
    because they have refused to return to me.(AI)
The sword rages in their cities;
    it consumes their oracle priests
    and devours because of their schemes.(AJ)
My people are bent on turning away from me.
    To the Most High they call,
    but he does not raise them up at all.[q](AK)

How can I give you up, Ephraim?
    How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
    How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
    my compassion grows warm and tender.(AL)
I will not execute my fierce anger;
    I will not again destroy Ephraim,
for I am God and no mortal,
    the Holy One in your midst,
    and I will not come in wrath.[r](AM)

10 They shall go after the Lord,
    who roars like a lion;
when he roars,
    his children shall come trembling from the west.(AN)
11 They shall come trembling like birds from Egypt
    and like doves from the land of Assyria,
    and I will return them to their homes, says the Lord.(AO)

12 [s]Ephraim has surrounded me with lies
    and the house of Israel with deceit,
but Judah still walks[t] with God
    and is faithful to the Holy One.(AP)


  1. 9.1 Gk: Heb To exultation
  2. 9.6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. 9.7 Or will know
  4. 9.13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. 10.2 Heb he
  6. 10.5 Gk Syr: Heb calves
  7. 10.5 Cn: Heb exult
  8. 10.6 Cn: Heb to a king who will contend
  9. 10.6 Cn: Heb plan
  10. 10.10 Cn Compare Gk: Heb In my desire
  11. 10.10 Gk: Heb bound
  12. 10.13 Gk: Heb your way
  13. 11.2 Gk: Heb they
  14. 11.2 Gk: Heb them
  15. 11.3 Gk Syr Vg: Heb his
  16. 11.4 Or who ease the yoke on their jaws
  17. 11.7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  18. 11.9 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  19. 11.12 12.1 in Heb
  20. 11.12 Heb roams or rules

The Message to Sardis

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars:

“I know your works; you have a name of being alive, but you are dead.(A) Wake up and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard; obey it and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.(B) Yet you have still a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.(C) If you conquer, you will be clothed like them in white robes, and I will not erase your name from the book of life; I will confess your name before my Father and before his angels.(D) Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

The Message to Philadelphia

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of the Holy One, the True One,
    who has the key of David,
    who opens and no one will shut,
        who shuts and no one opens:(E)

“I know your works. Look, I have set before you an open door that no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.(F) I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not but are lying—I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.(G) 10 Because you have kept my word of endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.(H) 11 I am coming soon; hold fast to what you have, so that no one takes away your crown. 12 If you conquer, I will make you a pillar in the temple of my God; you will never go out of it. I will write on you the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem that comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.(I) 13 Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

The Message to Laodicea

14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin[a] of God’s creation:(J)

15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.(K) 18 Therefore I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white robes to clothe yourself and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.(L) 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.(M) 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you with me.(N) 21 To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.(O) 22 Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”


  1. 3.14 Or beginning