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10 Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.
2 Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.
3 For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the Lord; what then should a king do to us?
4 They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it.
6 It shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.
7 As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water.
8 The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.
9 O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.
10 It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows.
11 And Ephraim is as an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break his clods.
12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.
14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children.
15 So shall Bethel do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.
Israel’s Sin and Captivity
10 Israel empties his vine;
He brings forth fruit for himself.
According to the multitude of his fruit
He has increased the altars;
According to the bounty of his land
They have embellished his sacred pillars.
2 Their heart is divided;[a]
Now they are held guilty.
He will break down their altars;
He will ruin their sacred pillars.
3 For now they say,
“We have no king,
Because we did not fear the Lord.
And as for a king, what would he do for us?”
4 They have spoken words,
Swearing falsely in making a covenant.
Thus judgment springs up like hemlock in the furrows of the field.
5 The inhabitants of Samaria fear
Because of the calf[b] of Beth Aven.
For its people mourn for it,
And [c]its priests shriek for it—
Because its glory has departed from it.
6 The idol also shall be carried to Assyria
As a present for King Jareb.
Ephraim shall receive shame,
And Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.
7 As for Samaria, her king is cut off
Like a twig on the water.
8 Also the high places of [d]Aven, the sin of Israel,
Shall be destroyed.
The thorn and thistle shall grow on their altars;
They shall say to the mountains, “Cover us!”
And to the hills, “Fall on us!”
9 “O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah;
There they stood.
The battle in Gibeah against the children of [e]iniquity
Did not [f]overtake them.
10 When it is My desire, I will chasten them.
Peoples shall be gathered against them
When I bind them [g]for their two transgressions.
11 Ephraim is a trained heifer
That loves to thresh grain;
But I harnessed her fair neck,
I will make Ephraim [h]pull a plow.
Judah shall plow;
Jacob shall break his clods.”
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness;
Reap in mercy;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
13 You have plowed wickedness;
You have reaped iniquity.
You have eaten the fruit of lies,
Because you trusted in your own way,
In the multitude of your mighty men.
14 Therefore tumult shall arise among your people,
And all your fortresses shall be plundered
As Shalman plundered Beth Arbel in the day of battle—
A mother dashed in pieces upon her children.
15 Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
Because of your great wickedness.
At dawn the king of Israel
Shall be cut off utterly.
a. Hosea 10:2 Divided in loyalty
b. Hosea 10:5 Lit. calves, images
c. Hosea 10:5 idolatrous priests
d. Hosea 10:8 Lit. Idolatry or Wickedness
e. Hosea 10:9 So with many Heb. mss., LXX, Vg.; MT unruliness
f. Hosea 10:9 Or overcome
g. Hosea 10:10 Or in their two habitations
h. Hosea 10:11 Lit. to ride
10 Israel was a spreading vine;
he brought forth fruit for himself.
As his fruit increased,
he built more altars;
as his land prospered,
he adorned his sacred stones.
2 Their heart is deceitful,
and now they must bear their guilt.
The Lord will demolish their altars
and destroy their sacred stones.
3 Then they will say, “We have no king
because we did not revere the Lord.
But even if we had a king,
what could he do for us?”
4 They make many promises,
take false oaths
and make agreements;
therefore lawsuits spring up
like poisonous weeds in a plowed field.
5 The people who live in Samaria fear
for the calf-idol of Beth Aven.[a]
Its people will mourn over it,
and so will its idolatrous priests,
those who had rejoiced over its splendor,
because it is taken from them into exile.
6 It will be carried to Assyria
as tribute for the great king.
Ephraim will be disgraced;
Israel will be ashamed of its foreign alliances.
7 Samaria’s king will be destroyed,
swept away like a twig on the surface of the waters.
8 The high places of wickedness[b] will be destroyed—
it is the sin of Israel.
Thorns and thistles will grow up
and cover their altars.
Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!”
and to the hills, “Fall on us!”
9 “Since the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, Israel,
and there you have remained.[c]
Will not war again overtake
the evildoers in Gibeah?
10 When I please, I will punish them;
nations will be gathered against them
to put them in bonds for their double sin.
11 Ephraim is a trained heifer
that loves to thresh;
so I will put a yoke
on her fair neck.
I will drive Ephraim,
Judah must plow,
and Jacob must break up the ground.
12 Sow righteousness for yourselves,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
and showers his righteousness on you.
13 But you have planted wickedness,
you have reaped evil,
you have eaten the fruit of deception.
Because you have depended on your own strength
and on your many warriors,
14 the roar of battle will rise against your people,
so that all your fortresses will be devastated—
as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle,
when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.
15 So will it happen to you, Bethel,
because your wickedness is great.
When that day dawns,
the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.
a. Hosea 10:5 Beth Aven means house of wickedness (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means house of God).
b. Hosea 10:8 Hebrew aven, a reference to Beth Aven (a derogatory name for Bethel); see verse 5.
c. Hosea 10:9 Or there a stand was taken
The Lord’s Judgment against Israel
10 How prosperous Israel is—
a luxuriant vine loaded with fruit.
But the richer the people get,
the more pagan altars they build.
The more bountiful their harvests,
the more beautiful their sacred pillars.
2 The hearts of the people are fickle;
they are guilty and must be punished.
The Lord will break down their altars
and smash their sacred pillars.
3 Then they will say, “We have no king
because we didn’t fear the Lord.
But even if we had a king,
what could he do for us anyway?”
4 They spout empty words
and make covenants they don’t intend to keep.
So injustice springs up among them
like poisonous weeds in a farmer’s field.
5 The people of Samaria tremble in fear
for their calf idol at Beth-aven,[a]
and they mourn for it.
Though its priests rejoice over it,
its glory will be stripped away.[b]
6 This idol will be carted away to Assyria,
a gift to the great king there.
Ephraim will be ridiculed and Israel will be shamed,
because its people have trusted in this idol.
7 Samaria and its king will be cut off;
they will float away like driftwood on an ocean wave.
8 And the pagan shrines of Aven,[c] the place of Israel’s sin, will crumble.
Thorns and thistles will grow up around their altars.
They will beg the mountains, “Bury us!”
and plead with the hills, “Fall on us!”
9 The Lord says, “O Israel, ever since Gibeah,
there has been only sin and more sin!
You have made no progress whatsoever.
Was it not right that the wicked men of Gibeah were attacked?
10 Now whenever it fits my plan,
I will attack you, too.
I will call out the armies of the nations
to punish you for your multiplied sins.
11 “Israel[d] is like a trained heifer treading out the grain—
an easy job she loves.
But I will put a heavy yoke on her tender neck.
I will force Judah to pull the plow
and Israel[e] to break up the hard ground.
12 I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness,
and you will harvest a crop of love.
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,
for now is the time to seek the Lord,
that he may come
and shower righteousness upon you.’
13 “But you have cultivated wickedness
and harvested a thriving crop of sins.
You have eaten the fruit of lies—
trusting in your military might,
believing that great armies
could make your nation safe.
14 Now the terrors of war
will rise among your people.
All your fortifications will fall,
just as when Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel.
Even mothers and children
were dashed to death there.
15 You will share that fate, Bethel,
because of your great wickedness.
When the day of judgment dawns,
the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.
a. 10:5a Beth-aven means “house of wickedness”; it is being used as another name for Bethel, which means “house of God.”
b. 10:5b Or will be taken away into exile.
c. 10:8 Aven is a reference to Beth-aven; see 10:5a and the note there.
d. 10:11a Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel.
e. 10:11b Hebrew Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
11 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
3 I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.
4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
5 He shall not return into the land of Egypt, and the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.
6 And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.
7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.
8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.
9 I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.
10 They shall walk after the Lord: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.
11 They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the Lord.
12 Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints.
God’s Continuing Love for Israel
3 “I taught Ephraim to walk,
Taking them by [d]their arms;
But they did not know that I healed them.
4 I drew them with [e]gentle cords,
With bands of love,
And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their [f]neck.
I stooped and fed them.
5 “He shall not return to the land of Egypt;
But the Assyrian shall be his king,
Because they refused to repent.
6 And the sword shall slash in his cities,
Devour his districts,
And consume them,
Because of their own counsels.
7 My people are bent on backsliding from Me.
Though [g]they call [h]to the Most High,
None at all exalt Him.
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I set you like Zeboiim?
My heart [i]churns within Me;
My sympathy is stirred.
9 I will not execute the fierceness of My anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim.
For I am God, and not man,
The Holy One in your midst;
And I will not [j]come with terror.
10 “They shall walk after the Lord.
He will roar like a lion.
When He roars,
Then His sons shall come trembling from the west;
11 They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt,
Like a dove from the land of Assyria.
And I will let them dwell in their houses,”
Says the Lord.
God’s Charge Against Ephraim
12 “Ephraim has encircled Me with lies,
And the house of Israel with deceit;
But Judah still walks with God,
Even with the [k]Holy One who is faithful.
a. Hosea 11:1 Or youth
b. Hosea 11:2 So with MT, Vg.; LXX Just as I called them; Tg. interprets as I sent prophets to a thousand of them.
c. Hosea 11:2 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX from My face
d. Hosea 11:3 Some Heb. mss., LXX, Syr., Vg. My arms
e. Hosea 11:4 Lit. cords of a man
f. Hosea 11:4 Lit. jaws
g. Hosea 11:7 The prophets
h. Hosea 11:7 Or upward
i. Hosea 11:8 Lit. turns over
j. Hosea 11:9 Or enter a city
k. Hosea 11:12 Or holy ones
God’s Love for Israel
11 “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.[a]
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.
3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.
5 “Will they not return to Egypt
and will not Assyria rule over them
because they refuse to repent?
6 A sword will flash in their cities;
it will devour their false prophets
and put an end to their plans.
7 My people are determined to turn from me.
Even though they call me God Most High,
I will by no means exalt them.
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboyim?
My heart is changed within me;
all my compassion is aroused.
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger,
nor will I devastate Ephraim again.
For I am God, and not a man—
the Holy One among you.
I will not come against their cities.
10 They will follow the Lord;
he will roar like a lion.
When he roars,
his children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come from Egypt,
trembling like sparrows,
from Assyria, fluttering like doves.
I will settle them in their homes,”
declares the Lord.
12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
Israel with deceit.
And Judah is unruly against God,
even against the faithful Holy One.[b]
The Lord’s Love for Israel
11 “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and I called my son out of Egypt.
2 But the more I called to him,
the farther he moved from me,[a]
offering sacrifices to the images of Baal
and burning incense to idols.
3 I myself taught Israel[b] how to walk,
leading him along by the hand.
But he doesn’t know or even care
that it was I who took care of him.
4 I led Israel along
with my ropes of kindness and love.
I lifted the yoke from his neck,
and I myself stooped to feed him.
5 “But since my people refuse to return to me,
they will return to Egypt
and will be forced to serve Assyria.
6 War will swirl through their cities;
their enemies will crash through their gates.
They will destroy them,
trapping them in their own evil plans.
7 For my people are determined to desert me.
They call me the Most High,
but they don’t truly honor me.
8 “Oh, how can I give you up, Israel?
How can I let you go?
How can I destroy you like Admah
or demolish you like Zeboiim?
My heart is torn within me,
and my compassion overflows.
9 No, I will not unleash my fierce anger.
I will not completely destroy Israel,
for I am God and not a mere mortal.
I am the Holy One living among you,
and I will not come to destroy.
10 For someday the people will follow me.
I, the Lord, will roar like a lion.
And when I roar,
my people will return trembling from the west.
11 Like a flock of birds, they will come from Egypt.
Trembling like doves, they will return from Assyria.
And I will bring them home again,”
says the Lord.
Charges against Israel and Judah
a. 11:2 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads the more they called to him, the farther he moved from them.
b. 11:3 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 11:8, 9, 12.
c. 11:12a Verse 11:12 is numbered 12:1 in Hebrew text.
d. 11:12b Or and Judah is unruly against God, the faithful Holy One. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
12 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.
2 The Lord hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.
3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:
4 Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;
5 Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial.
6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on thy God continually.
7 He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.
8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin.
9 And I that am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.
10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields.
12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep.
13 And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.
14 Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.
Ephraim’s Sins Rebuked by God
2 “The Lord also brings a [c]charge against Judah,
And will punish Jacob according to his ways;
According to his deeds He will recompense him.
3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb,
And in his strength he struggled with God.
4 Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed;
He wept, and sought favor from Him.
He found Him in Bethel,
And there He spoke to us—
5 That is, the Lord God of hosts.
The Lord is His memorable name.
6 So you, by the help of your God, return;
Observe mercy and justice,
And wait on your God continually.
7 “A cunning [d]Canaanite!
Deceitful scales are in his hand;
He loves to oppress.
8 And Ephraim said,
‘Surely I have become rich,
I have found wealth for myself;
In all my labors
They shall find in me no iniquity that is sin.’
9 “But I am the Lord your God,
Ever since the land of Egypt;
I will again make you dwell in tents,
As in the days of the appointed feast.
10 I have also spoken by the prophets,
And have multiplied visions;
I have given [e]symbols [f]through the witness of the prophets.”
11 Though Gilead has idols—
Surely they are [g]vanity—
Though they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal,
Indeed their altars shall be heaps in the furrows of the field.
12 Jacob fled to the country of Syria;
Israel served for a spouse,
And for a wife he tended sheep.
13 By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt,
And by a prophet he was preserved.
14 Ephraim provoked Him to anger most bitterly;
Therefore his Lord will leave the guilt of his bloodshed upon him,
And return his reproach upon him.
12 [a]1 Ephraim feeds on the wind;
he pursues the east wind all day
and multiplies lies and violence.
He makes a treaty with Assyria
and sends olive oil to Egypt.
2 The Lord has a charge to bring against Judah;
he will punish Jacob[b] according to his ways
and repay him according to his deeds.
3 In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel;
as a man he struggled with God.
4 He struggled with the angel and overcame him;
he wept and begged for his favor.
He found him at Bethel
and talked with him there—
5 the Lord God Almighty,
the Lord is his name!
6 But you must return to your God;
maintain love and justice,
and wait for your God always.
7 The merchant uses dishonest scales
and loves to defraud.
8 Ephraim boasts,
“I am very rich; I have become wealthy.
With all my wealth they will not find in me
any iniquity or sin.”
9 “I have been the Lord your God
ever since you came out of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
as in the days of your appointed festivals.
10 I spoke to the prophets,
gave them many visions
and told parables through them.”
11 Is Gilead wicked?
Its people are worthless!
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?
Their altars will be like piles of stones
on a plowed field.
12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram[c];
Israel served to get a wife,
and to pay for her he tended sheep.
13 The Lord used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,
by a prophet he cared for him.
14 But Ephraim has aroused his bitter anger;
his Lord will leave on him the guilt of his bloodshed
and will repay him for his contempt.
a. Hosea 12:1 In Hebrew texts 12:1-14 is numbered 12:2-15.
b. Hosea 12:2 Jacob means he grasps the heel, a Hebrew idiom for he takes advantage of or he deceives.
c. Hosea 12:12 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
12 [a]The people of Israel[b] feed on the wind;
they chase after the east wind all day long.
They pile up lies and violence;
they are making an alliance with Assyria
while sending olive oil to buy support from Egypt.
2 Now the Lord is bringing charges against Judah.
He is about to punish Jacob[c] for all his deceitful ways,
and pay him back for all he has done.
3 Even in the womb,
Jacob struggled with his brother;
when he became a man,
he even fought with God.
4 Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won.
He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him.
There at Bethel he met God face to face,
and God spoke to him[d]—
5 the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies,
the Lord is his name!
6 So now, come back to your God.
Act with love and justice,
and always depend on him.
7 But no, the people are like crafty merchants
selling from dishonest scales—
they love to cheat.
8 Israel boasts, “I am rich!
I’ve made a fortune all by myself!
No one has caught me cheating!
My record is spotless!”
9 “But I am the Lord your God,
who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.
And I will make you live in tents again,
as you do each year at the Festival of Shelters.[e]
10 I sent my prophets to warn you
with many visions and parables.”
11 But the people of Gilead are worthless
because of their idol worship.
And in Gilgal, too, they sacrifice bulls;
their altars are lined up like the heaps of stone
along the edges of a plowed field.
12 Jacob fled to the land of Aram,
and there he[f] earned a wife by tending sheep.
13 Then by a prophet
the Lord brought Jacob’s descendants[g] out of Egypt;
and by that prophet
they were protected.
14 But the people of Israel
have bitterly provoked the Lord,
so their Lord will now sentence them to death
in payment for their sins.
a. 12:1a Verses 12:1-14 are numbered 12:2-15 in Hebrew text.
b. 12:1b Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 12:8, 14.
c. 12:2 Jacob sounds like the Hebrew word for “deceiver.”
d. 12:4 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads to us.
e. 12:9 Hebrew as in the days of your appointed feast.
f. 12:12 Hebrew Israel. See note on 10:11b.
g. 12:13 Hebrew brought Israel. See note on 10:11b.
13 When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died.
2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves.
3 Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.
4 Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.
5 I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.
6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.
7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them:
8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.
9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
10 I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?
11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.
12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid.
13 The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children.
14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
15 Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the Lord shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.
16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.
Relentless Judgment on Israel
13 When Ephraim spoke, trembling,
He exalted himself in Israel;
But when he offended through Baal worship, he died.
2 Now they sin more and more,
And have made for themselves molded images,
Idols of their silver, according to their skill;
All of it is the work of craftsmen.
They say of them,
“Let [a]the men who sacrifice [b]kiss the calves!”
3 Therefore they shall be like the morning cloud
And like the early dew that passes away,
Like chaff blown off from a threshing floor
And like smoke from a chimney.
4 “Yet I am the Lord your God
Ever since the land of Egypt,
And you shall know no God but Me;
For there is no savior besides Me.
5 I [c]knew you in the wilderness,
In the land of [d]great drought.
6 When they had pasture, they were filled;
They were filled and their heart was exalted;
Therefore they forgot Me.
7 “So I will be to them like a lion;
Like a leopard by the road I will lurk;
8 I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs;
I will tear open their rib cage,
And there I will devour them like a lion.
The [e]wild beast shall tear them.
9 “O Israel, [f]you are destroyed,
But [g]your help is from Me.
10 [h]I will be your King;
Where is any other,
That he may save you in all your cities?
And your judges to whom you said,
‘Give me a king and princes’?
11 I gave you a king in My anger,
And took him away in My wrath.
12 “The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up;
His sin is stored up.
13 The sorrows of a woman in childbirth shall come upon him.
He is an unwise son,
For he should not stay long where children are born.
15 Though he is fruitful among his brethren,
An east wind shall come;
The wind of the Lord shall come up from the wilderness.
Then his spring shall become dry,
And his fountain shall be dried up.
He shall plunder the treasury of every desirable prize.
16 Samaria [n]is held guilty,
For she has rebelled against her God.
They shall fall by the sword,
Their infants shall be dashed in pieces,
And their women with child ripped open.
a. Hosea 13:2 Or those who offer human sacrifice
b. Hosea 13:2 Worship with kisses
c. Hosea 13:5 Cared for you
d. Hosea 13:5 Lit. droughts
e. Hosea 13:8 Lit. beast of the field
f. Hosea 13:9 Lit. it or he destroyed you
g. Hosea 13:9 Lit. in your help
h. Hosea 13:10 LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. Where is your king?
i. Hosea 13:14 Lit. hand
j. Hosea 13:14 Or Sheol
k. Hosea 13:14 LXX where is your punishment?
l. Hosea 13:14 Or Sheol
m. Hosea 13:14 LXX where is your sting?
n. Hosea 13:16 LXX shall be disfigured
The Lord’s Anger Against Israel
13 When Ephraim spoke, people trembled;
he was exalted in Israel.
But he became guilty of Baal worship and died.
2 Now they sin more and more;
they make idols for themselves from their silver,
cleverly fashioned images,
all of them the work of craftsmen.
It is said of these people,
“They offer human sacrifices!
They kiss[a] calf-idols!”
3 Therefore they will be like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears,
like chaff swirling from a threshing floor,
like smoke escaping through a window.
4 “But I have been the Lord your God
ever since you came out of Egypt.
You shall acknowledge no God but me,
no Savior except me.
5 I cared for you in the wilderness,
in the land of burning heat.
6 When I fed them, they were satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud;
then they forgot me.
7 So I will be like a lion to them,
like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
8 Like a bear robbed of her cubs,
I will attack them and rip them open;
like a lion I will devour them—
a wild animal will tear them apart.
9 “You are destroyed, Israel,
because you are against me, against your helper.
10 Where is your king, that he may save you?
Where are your rulers in all your towns,
of whom you said,
‘Give me a king and princes’?
11 So in my anger I gave you a king,
and in my wrath I took him away.
12 The guilt of Ephraim is stored up,
his sins are kept on record.
13 Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him,
but he is a child without wisdom;
when the time arrives,
he doesn’t have the sense to come out of the womb.
14 “I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
Where, O grave, is your destruction?
“I will have no compassion,
15 even though he thrives among his brothers.
An east wind from the Lord will come,
blowing in from the desert;
his spring will fail
and his well dry up.
His storehouse will be plundered
of all its treasures.
16 The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
because they have rebelled against their God.
They will fall by the sword;
their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
their pregnant women ripped open.”[b]
The Lord’s Anger against Israel
13 When the tribe of Ephraim spoke,
the people shook with fear,
for that tribe was important in Israel.
But the people of Ephraim sinned by worshiping Baal
and thus sealed their destruction.
2 Now they continue to sin by making silver idols,
images shaped skillfully with human hands.
“Sacrifice to these,” they cry,
“and kiss the calf idols!”
3 Therefore, they will disappear like the morning mist,
like dew in the morning sun,
like chaff blown by the wind,
like smoke from a chimney.
4 “I have been the Lord your God
ever since I brought you out of Egypt.
You must acknowledge no God but me,
for there is no other savior.
5 I took care of you in the wilderness,
in that dry and thirsty land.
6 But when you had eaten and were satisfied,
you became proud and forgot me.
7 So now I will attack you like a lion,
like a leopard that lurks along the road.
8 Like a bear whose cubs have been taken away,
I will tear out your heart.
I will devour you like a hungry lioness
and mangle you like a wild animal.
9 “You are about to be destroyed, O Israel—
yes, by me, your only helper.
10 Now where is[a] your king?
Let him save you!
Where are all the leaders of the land,
the king and the officials you demanded of me?
11 In my anger I gave you kings,
and in my fury I took them away.
12 “Ephraim’s guilt has been collected,
and his sin has been stored up for punishment.
13 Pain has come to the people
like the pain of childbirth,
but they are like a child
who resists being born.
The moment of birth has arrived,
but they stay in the womb!
14 “Should I ransom them from the grave[b]?
Should I redeem them from death?
O death, bring on your terrors!
O grave, bring on your plagues![c]
For I will not take pity on them.
15 Ephraim was the most fruitful of all his brothers,
but the east wind—a blast from the Lord—
will arise in the desert.
All their flowing springs will run dry,
and all their wells will disappear.
Every precious thing they own
will be plundered and carried away.
16 [d]The people of Samaria
must bear the consequences of their guilt
because they rebelled against their God.
They will be killed by an invading army,
their little ones dashed to death against the ground,
their pregnant women ripped open by swords.”
a. 13:10 As in Greek and Syriac versions and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads I will be.
b. 13:14a Hebrew Sheol; also in 13:14b.
c. 13:14b Greek version reads O death, where is your punishment? / O grave [Hades], where is your sting? Compare 1 Cor 15:55.
d. 13:16 Verse 16 is numbered 14:1 in Hebrew text.
14 O israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
2 Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.
3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.
Israel Restored at Last
14 O Israel, return to the Lord your God,
For you have stumbled because of your iniquity;
2 Take words with you,
And return to the Lord.
Say to Him,
“Take away all iniquity;
Receive us graciously,
For we will offer the sacrifices[a] of our lips.
3 Assyria shall not save us,
We will not ride on horses,
Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.’
For in You the fatherless finds mercy.”
4 “I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from him.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
He shall [b]grow like the lily,
And [c]lengthen his roots like Lebanon.
6 His branches shall [d]spread;
His beauty shall be like an olive tree,
And his fragrance like Lebanon.
7 Those who dwell under his shadow shall return;
They shall be revived like grain,
And [e]grow like a vine.
Their [f]scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 “Ephraim shall say, ‘What have I to do anymore with idols?’
I have heard and observed him.
I am like a green cypress tree;
Your fruit is found in Me.”
9 Who is wise?
Let him understand these things.
Who is prudent?
Let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right;
The righteous walk in them,
But transgressors stumble in them.
Repentance to Bring Blessing
14 [a]Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!
2 Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
“Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.[b]
3 Assyria cannot save us;
we will not mount warhorses.
We will never again say ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find compassion.”
4 “I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
he will send down his roots;
6 his young shoots will grow.
His splendor will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will dwell again in his shade;
they will flourish like the grain,
they will blossom like the vine—
Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim, what more have I[c] to do with idols?
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper;
your fruitfulness comes from me.”
9 Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.
Healing for the Repentant
14 [a]Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for your sins have brought you down.
2 Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord.
Say to him,
“Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us,
so that we may offer you our praises.[b]
3 Assyria cannot save us,
nor can our warhorses.
Never again will we say to the idols we have made,
‘You are our gods.’
No, in you alone
do the orphans find mercy.”
4 The Lord says,
“Then I will heal you of your faithlessness;
my love will know no bounds,
for my anger will be gone forever.
5 I will be to Israel
like a refreshing dew from heaven.
Israel will blossom like the lily;
it will send roots deep into the soil
like the cedars in Lebanon.
6 Its branches will spread out like beautiful olive trees,
as fragrant as the cedars of Lebanon.
7 My people will again live under my shade.
They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines.
They will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon.
8 “O Israel,[c] stay away from idols!
I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.
I am like a tree that is always green;
all your fruit comes from me.”
9 Let those who are wise understand these things.
Let those with discernment listen carefully.
The paths of the Lord are true and right,
and righteous people live by walking in them.
But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.
a. 14:1 Verses 14:1-9 are numbered 14:2-10 in Hebrew text.
b. 14:2 As in Greek and Syriac versions, which read may repay the fruit of our lips; Hebrew reads may repay the bulls of our lips.
c. 14:8 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel.
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