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Hosea 1-4 Revelation 1 (Easy-to-Read Version)

Hosea 1-4

The Lord God’s Message Through Hosea

This is the Lord’s message that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the time that Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Joash was king of Israel.

This was the Lord’s first message to Hosea. The Lord said, “Go, marry a prostitute who has had children as a result of her prostitution. Do this because the people in this country have acted like prostitutes—they have been unfaithful to the Lord.”

The Birth of Jezreel

So Hosea married Gomer daughter of Diblaim. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Hosea. The Lord said to Hosea, “Name him Jezreel,[a] because soon I will punish the family of Jehu for the people he killed at Jezreel Valley.[b] Then I will put an end to the kingdom of the nation[c] of Israel. And at that time I will break Israel’s bow at Jezreel Valley.”

The Birth of Lo-Ruhamah

Then Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. The Lord said to Hosea, “Name her Lo-Ruhamah,[d] because I will not show mercy to the nation of Israel anymore, nor will I forgive them. But I will show mercy to the nation of Judah. I will save them, but I will not use bows or swords or war horses and soldiers to save them. I will save them by my own power.[e]

The Birth of Lo-Ammi

After Gomer had finished nursing Lo-Ruhamah, she became pregnant again and gave birth to a son. Then the Lord said, “Name him Lo-Ammi,[f] because you are not my people, and I am not your God.”

The Lord Speaks to the Nation of Israel

10 “In the future the number of the people of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which you cannot measure or count. In the same place that God told them, ‘You are not my people,’ he will call them ‘children of the Living God.’

11 “Then the people of Judah and the people of Israel will be gathered together. They will choose one ruler for themselves, and their nation will be too large for the land.[g] Jezreel’s day will be great!

“Then you will say to your brothers, ‘You are my people,’ and you will say to your sisters, ‘He has shown mercy to you.’”[h]

“Argue with your mother.[i] Argue with her because she is no longer my wife, and I am no longer her husband! Tell her to stop being like a prostitute. Tell her to take away her lovers[j] from between her breasts. If she refuses to stop her adultery, I will strip her naked and leave her like the day she was born. I will take away her people, and she will be like an empty, dry desert. I will kill her with thirst. I will have no pity on her children because they are the children of prostitution. Their mother has acted like a prostitute. She should be ashamed of what she did. She said, ‘I will go to my lovers,[k] who give me food and water, wool and linen, wine and olive oil.’

“So I, the Lord, will block Israel’s road with thorns, and I will build a wall. Then she will not be able to find her path. She will run after her lovers, but she will not be able to catch up with them. She will look for her lovers, but she will not be able to find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband. Life was better for me when I was with him. Life was better then than it is now.’

“Israel didn’t know that I, the Lord, was the one who gave her grain, wine, and oil. I kept giving her more and more silver and gold, but she used this silver and gold to make statues of Baal. So I will return and take back my grain at the time it is ready to be harvested. I will take back my wine at the time the grapes are ready. I will take back my wool and linen. I gave those things to her so that she could cover her naked body. 10 Now I will strip her. She will be naked, so all her lovers can see her. No one will be able to save her from my power.[l] 11 I will take away all her fun. I will stop her festivals, her New Moon celebrations, and her days of rest. I will stop all her special feasts. 12 I will destroy her vines and fig trees. She said, ‘My lovers gave these things to me.’ But I will change her gardens—they will become like a wild forest. Wild animals will come and eat from those plants.

13 “Israel served false gods,[m] so I will punish her. She burned incense to those false gods. She dressed up—she put on her jewelry and nose ring. Then she went to her lovers and forgot me.” This is what the Lord has said.

14 “So I, the Lord, will speak romantic words to her. I will lead her into the desert and speak tender words. 15 There I will give her vineyards. I will give her Achor Valley as a doorway of hope. Then she will answer as she did when she came out of the land of Egypt.” 16 This is what the Lord says.

“At that time you will call me ‘My husband.’ You will not call me ‘My Baal.’[n] 17 I will take the names of those false gods out of her mouth. Then people will not use those names again.

18 “At that time I will make an agreement for the Israelites with the animals of the field, the birds of the sky, and the crawling things on the ground. I will break the bow, the sword, and the weapons of war in that land. I will make the land safe, so the people of Israel can lie down in peace. 19 And I will make you my bride forever. I will make you my bride with goodness and justice and with love and mercy. 20 I will make you my faithful bride. Then you will really know the Lord. 21 And at that time I will answer.” This is what the Lord says.

“I will speak to the skies,
    and they will give rain to the earth.
22 The earth will produce grain, wine, and oil,
    and they will meet Jezreel’s needs.
23 I will sow her many seeds[o] on her land.
    To Lo-Ruhamah,[p] I will show mercy.
To Lo-Ammi,[q] I will say, ‘You are my people.’
    And they will say to me, ‘You are our God.’”

Hosea Buys Gomer Back From Slavery

Then the Lord said to me again, “Gomer[r] has many lovers, but you must continue loving her. Do this because it is an example of the Lord’s love for Israel. He continues to love them, but they continue to turn to other gods, and they love to eat those raisin cakes.[s]

So I bought Gomer back for 6 ounces[t] of silver and 9 bushels[u] of barley. Then I told her, “You must stay at home with me for many days. You will not be like a prostitute. You will not have sexual relations with another man. I will be your husband.”

In the same way the people of Israel will continue many days without a king or a leader. They will be without a sacrifice or a memorial stone. They will be without an ephod or a household god. After this, the people of Israel will come back and look for the Lord their God and for David their king. In the last days they will come to honor the Lord and his goodness.

The Lord Is Angry Against Israel

People of Israel, listen to the Lord’s message. The Lord has something to say against those who live in this land: “The people in this land are not honest or loyal. They don’t really know God. They are always cursing, lying, killing, stealing, and committing adultery. They murder one person after another. So the country is like someone crying for the dead, and all of its people are weak. Even the animals of the field, the birds of the sky, and the fish in the sea are dying.[v] No one should argue or blame another person. Priests, my argument is with you![w] You priests will fall in the daytime. And at night the prophet will also fall with you. I will also destroy your mother.

“My people are destroyed because they have no knowledge. You priests have refused to learn, so I will refuse to let you be priests for me. You have forgotten the law of your God, so I will forget your children. They became proud. They sinned more and more against me, so I will change their honor to shame.

“The priests fed on the people’s sins. They wanted more and more of their sin offerings.[x] So the priests are no different from the people. I will punish them for the things they did. I will pay them back for the wrong things they did. 10 They will eat, but they will not be satisfied. They will commit sexual sins, but they will not have babies.[y] This is because they left the Lord and became like prostitutes.

11 “Sexual sins, strong drink, and new wine ruin a person’s ability to think straight. 12 My people are asking pieces of wood for advice. They think those sticks will answer them! They have chased after those false gods like prostitutes and have left their own God. 13 They make sacrifices on the tops of the mountains and burn incense on the hills under oak trees, poplar trees, and elm trees.[z] The shade under those trees looks nice. So your daughters lie under those trees like prostitutes, and your daughters-in-law commit sexual sins.

14 “I cannot blame your daughters or your daughters-in-law for doing this, because your men go and have sex with the temple prostitutes[aa] and offer sacrifices with them. This is how foolish people destroy themselves.

The Shameful Sins of Israel

15 “Israel, just because you act like a prostitute doesn’t mean that Judah should feel guilty too. People, don’t go to Gilgal or Beth Aven.[ab] Don’t use the Lord’s name to make promises. Don’t say, ‘As the Lord lives …!’ 16 The Lord has given many things to Israel. He is like a shepherd who takes his sheep to a large field with plenty of grass. But Israel is stubborn like a young cow that runs away again and again.

17 “Ephraim has joined his idols, so leave him alone. 18 Ephraim has joined their drunkenness. Let them continue to be prostitutes. Let them be with their lovers.[ac] 19 They went to those gods for safety, and they have lost their ability to think.[ad] Their altars will bring them shame.

Footnotes:

  1. Hosea 1:4 Jezreel This name in Hebrew means “God will plant seeds.”
  2. Hosea 1:4 people … at Jezreel Valley See 2 Kings 9-10 for the story of Jehu’s revolt at Jezreel Valley.
  3. Hosea 1:4 nation Literally, “house.” This might mean the royal family of that country. Also in verse 6.
  4. Hosea 1:6 Lo-Ruhamah This name in Hebrew means “She receives no mercy.” Also in verse 8.
  5. Hosea 1:7 by my own power Literally, “by the Lord their God.”
  6. Hosea 1:9 Lo-Ammi This name in Hebrew means “not my people.”
  7. Hosea 1:11 their nation … land Literally, “they will go up from the land.”
  8. Hosea 2:1 Or “Then say to your brothers, ‘My people,’ and to your sisters, ‘You have been shown mercy.’”
  9. Hosea 2:2 mother This means the nation of Israel.
  10. Hosea 2:2 her lovers Or “adulteries.” Adultery means breaking a marriage promise by sexual sin. God was like a husband to Israel. But Israel was worshiping false gods—this was spiritual adultery against God.
  11. Hosea 2:5 lovers This means Israel’s false gods. Also in verses 7, 10, 13.
  12. Hosea 2:10 power Literally, “hand.”
  13. Hosea 2:13 false gods Literally, “Baals.”
  14. Hosea 2:16 My Baal This is a wordplay. Baal was a Canaanite god, but the name also means “lord or husband.”
  15. Hosea 2:23 I will sow her many seeds Jezreel, Lo-Ruhamah, and Lo-Ammi are Hosea’s children. But the names also have special meanings. The name Jezreel means “God will plant seeds.” But Jezreel is also the name of a large valley in Israel. This probably shows that God will bring his people back to Israel.
  16. Hosea 2:23 Lo-Ruhamah This name in Hebrew means “She receives no mercy.”
  17. Hosea 2:23 Lo-Ammi This name in Hebrew means “not my people.”
  18. Hosea 3:1 Gomer Literally, “a woman.”
  19. Hosea 3:1 raisin cakes This food was used in the feasts that honored false gods such as the “Queen of Heaven.”
  20. Hosea 3:2 6 ounces Literally, “15 shekels” (172.5 g).
  21. Hosea 3:2 9 bushels Literally, “1 homer and 1 letek” (231 l).
  22. Hosea 4:3 dying Literally, “being taken away.”
  23. Hosea 4:4 Or “The people cannot complain or blame someone else. The people are helpless, like arguing with a priest.” Many times the priests and Levites served as judges, and their decisions were final.
  24. Hosea 4:8 This is a wordplay. The word “sins” also means “sin offerings.” So instead of eating sacrifices, the priests became hungry for sin itself.
  25. Hosea 4:10 They … babies A part of worshiping the false gods was having sexual relations with temple prostitutes. The people thought this would make the gods happy. And then the gods would give the people large families and good crops.
  26. Hosea 4:13 under … trees Trees and groves were an important part of worshiping false gods.
  27. Hosea 4:14 temple prostitutes Women who were prostitutes at the temples of the false gods. Their sexual sins were part of worshiping those false gods.
  28. Hosea 4:15 Beth Aven A name meaning “House of Evil.” It is a wordplay on the name “Bethel,” a name meaning “House of God.” There was a temple in this town. Also in 5:8.
  29. Hosea 4:18 lovers This means Israel’s false gods.
  30. Hosea 4:19 They … think Or “The wind has carried them away on its wings” or “The spirit held them tight in its wings.” The Hebrew text here is hard to understand.
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Revelation 1

John Tells About This Book

This is a revelation[a] from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must happen soon. And Christ sent his angel to show it to his servant John, who has told everything he saw. It is the truth that Jesus Christ told him; it is the message from God. Great blessings belong to the person who reads the words of this message from God and to those who hear this message and do what is written in it. There is not much time left.

John Writes to the Churches

From John,

To the seven churches in the province of Asia:

Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is coming; and from the seven spirits before his throne; and from Jesus Christ. Jesus is the faithful witness. He is first among all who will be raised from death. He is the ruler of the kings of the earth.

Jesus is the one who loves us and has made us free from our sins with his blood sacrifice. He made us his kingdom and priests who serve God his Father. To Jesus be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.

Look, Jesus is coming with the clouds! Everyone will see him, even those who pierced[b] him. All peoples of the earth will cry loudly because of him. Yes, this will happen! Amen.

The Lord God says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.[c] I am the one who is, who always was, and who is coming. I am the All-Powerful.”

I am John, your fellow believer. We are together in Jesus, and we share these things: suffering, the kingdom, and patient endurance. I was on the island of Patmos[d] because I was faithful to God’s message and to the truth of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day, the Spirit took control of me. I heard a loud voice behind me that sounded like a trumpet. 11 It said, “Write down in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

12 I turned to see who was talking to me. When I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands. 13 I saw someone among the lampstands who looked like the Son of Man. He was dressed in a long robe, with a golden sash tied around his chest. 14 His head and hair were white like wool—wool that is white as snow. His eyes were like flames of fire. 15 His feet were like brass that glows hot in a furnace. His voice was like the noise of flooding water. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand. A sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth. He looked like the sun shining at its brightest time.

17 When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man. He put his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the one who lives. I was dead, but look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. 19 So write what you see. Write the things that happen now and the things that will happen later. 20 Here is the hidden meaning of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands that you saw: The seven lampstands are the seven churches. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches.

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 1:1 revelation An opening up (making known) of truth that was hidden.
  2. Revelation 1:7 pierced When Jesus was killed, he was stabbed with a spear in the side. See Jn. 19:34.
  3. Revelation 1:8 Alpha … Omega The first and last letters in the Greek alphabet, meaning the beginning and the end.
  4. Revelation 1:9 Patmos A small island in the Aegean Sea, near the coast of modern Turkey.
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Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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