Tag Archives: Hosea
John 1:46-51 Children Reading The Bible
1 [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.
- 12:1a Verses 12:1-14 are numbered 12:2-15 in Hebrew text.
- 12:1b Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 12:8, 14.
- 12:2 Jacob sounds like the Hebrew word for “deceiver.”
- 12:4 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads to us.
- 12:9 Hebrew as in the days of your appointed feast.
- 12:12 Hebrew Israel. See note on 10:11b.
- 12:13 Hebrew brought Israel. See note on 10:11b.
The Lord’s Love for Israel
1 “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
- 11:2 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads the more they called to him, the farther he moved from them.
- 11:3 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 11:8, 9, 12.
- 11:12a Verse 11:12 is numbered 12:1 in Hebrew text.
- 11:12b Or and Judah is unruly against God, the faithful Holy One. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
The Lord’s Judgment against Israel
1 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.
- 10:5a Beth-aven means “house of wickedness”; it is being used as another name for Bethel, which means “house of God.”
- 10:5b Or will be taken away into exile.
- 10:8 Aven is a reference to Beth-aven; see 10:5a and the note there.
- 10:11a Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel.
- 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.
Hosea Announces Israel’s Punishment
1 O people of Israel,
do not rejoice as other nations do.
For you have been unfaithful to your God,
hiring yourselves out like prostitutes,
worshiping other gods on every threshing floor.
2 So now your harvests will be too small to feed you.
There will be no grapes for making new wine.
3 You may no longer stay here in the Lord’s land.
Instead, you will return to Egypt,
and in Assyria you will eat food
that is ceremonially unclean.
4 There you will make no offerings of wine to the Lord.
None of your sacrifices there will please him.
They will be unclean, like food touched by a person in mourning.
All who present such sacrifices will be defiled.
They may eat this food themselves,
but they may not offer it to the Lord.
5 What then will you do on festival days?
How will you observe the Lord’s festivals?
6 Even if you escape destruction from Assyria,
Egypt will conquer you, and Memphis[a] will bury you.
Nettles will take over your treasures of silver;
thistles will invade your ruined homes.
7 The time of Israel’s punishment has come;
the day of payment is here.
Soon Israel will know this all too well.
Because of your great sin and hostility,
you say, “The prophets are crazy
and the inspired men are fools!”
8 The prophet is a watchman over Israel[b] for my God,
yet traps are laid for him wherever he goes.
He faces hostility even in the house of God.
9 The things my people do are as depraved
as what they did in Gibeah long ago.
God will not forget.
He will surely punish them for their sins.
10 The Lord says, “O Israel, when I first found you,
it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert.
When I saw your ancestors,
it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season.
But then they deserted me for Baal-peor,
giving themselves to that shameful idol.
Soon they became vile,
as vile as the god they worshiped.
11 The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird,
for your children will not be born
or grow in the womb
or even be conceived.
12 Even if you do have children who grow up,
I will take them from you.
It will be a terrible day when I turn away
and leave you alone.
13 I have watched Israel become as beautiful as Tyre.
But now Israel will bring out her children for slaughter.”
14 O Lord, what should I request for your people?
I will ask for wombs that don’t give birth
and breasts that give no milk.
15 The Lord says, “All their wickedness began at Gilgal;
there I began to hate them.
I will drive them from my land
because of their evil actions.
I will love them no more
because all their leaders are rebels.
16 The people of Israel are struck down.
Their roots are dried up,
and they will bear no more fruit.
And if they give birth,
I will slaughter their beloved children.”
17 My God will reject the people of Israel
because they will not listen or obey.
They will be wanderers,
homeless among the nations.
Israel Harvests the Whirlwind
1 “Sound the alarm!
The enemy descends like an eagle on the people of the Lord,
for they have broken my covenant
and revolted against my law.
2 Now Israel pleads with me,
‘Help us, for you are our God!’
3 But it is too late.
The people of Israel have rejected what is good,
and now their enemies will chase after them.
4 The people have appointed kings without my consent,
and princes without my approval.
By making idols for themselves from their silver and gold,
they have brought about their own destruction.
5 “O Samaria, I reject this calf—
this idol you have made.
My fury burns against you.
How long will you be incapable of innocence?
6 This calf you worship, O Israel,
was crafted by your own hands!
It is not God!
Therefore, it must be smashed to bits.
7 “They have planted the wind
and will harvest the whirlwind.
The stalks of grain wither
and produce nothing to eat.
And even if there is any grain,
foreigners will eat it.
8 The people of Israel have been swallowed up;
they lie among the nations like an old discarded pot.
9 Like a wild donkey looking for a mate,
they have gone up to Assyria.
The people of Israel[a] have sold themselves—
sold themselves to many lovers.
10 But though they have sold themselves to many allies,
I will now gather them together for judgment.
Then they will writhe
under the burden of the great king.
11 “Israel has built many altars to take away sin,
but these very altars became places for sinning!
12 Even though I gave them all my laws,
they act as if those laws don’t apply to them.
13 The people love to offer sacrifices to me,
feasting on the meat,
but I do not accept their sacrifices.
I will hold my people accountable for their sins,
and I will punish them.
They will return to Egypt.
14 Israel has forgotten its Maker and built great palaces,
and Judah has fortified its cities.
Therefore, I will send down fire on their cities
and will burn up their fortresses.”
8:9 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 8:11.
Israel’s Love for Wickedness
1“I want to heal Israel, but its[a] sins are too great.
Samaria is filled with liars.
Thieves are on the inside
and bandits on the outside!
2 Its people don’t realize
that I am watching them.
Their sinful deeds are all around them,
and I see them all.
3 “The people entertain the king with their wickedness,
and the princes laugh at their lies.
4 They are all adulterers,
always aflame with lust.
They are like an oven that is kept hot
while the baker is kneading the dough.
5 On royal holidays, the princes get drunk with wine,
carousing with those who mock them.
6 Their hearts are like an oven
blazing with intrigue.
Their plot smolders[b] through the night,
and in the morning it breaks out like a raging fire.
7 Burning like an oven,
they consume their leaders.
They kill their kings one after another,
and no one cries to me for help.
8 “The people of Israel mingle with godless foreigners,
making themselves as worthless as a half-baked cake!
9 Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength,
but they don’t even know it.
Their hair is gray,
but they don’t realize they’re old and weak.
10 Their arrogance testifies against them,
yet they don’t return to the Lord their God
or even try to find him.
11 “The people of Israel have become like silly, witless doves,
first calling to Egypt, then flying to Assyria for help.
12 But as they fly about,
I will throw my net over them
and bring them down like a bird from the sky.
I will punish them for all the evil they do.[c]
13 “What sorrow awaits those who have deserted me!
Let them die, for they have rebelled against me.
I wanted to redeem them,
but they have told lies about me.
14 They do not cry out to me with sincere hearts.
Instead, they sit on their couches and wail.
They cut themselves,[d] begging foreign gods for grain and new wine,
and they turn away from me.
15 I trained them and made them strong,
yet now they plot evil against me.
16 They look everywhere except to the Most High.
They are as useless as a crooked bow.
Their leaders will be killed by their enemies
because of their insolence toward me.
Then the people of Egypt
will laugh at them.
A Call to Repentance
1“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces;
now he will heal us.
He has injured us;
now he will bandage our wounds.
2 In just a short time he will restore us,
so that we may live in his presence.
3 Oh, that we might know the Lord!
Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
or the coming of rains in early spring.”
4 “O Israel[a] and Judah,
what should I do with you?” asks the Lord.
“For your love vanishes like the morning mist
and disappears like dew in the sunlight.
5 I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces—
to slaughter you with my words,
with judgments as inescapable as light.
6 I want you to show love,[b]
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me[c]
more than I want burnt offerings.
7 But like Adam,[d] you broke my covenant
and betrayed my trust.
8 “Gilead is a city of sinners,
tracked with footprints of blood.
9 Priests form bands of robbers,
waiting in ambush for their victims.
They murder travelers along the road to Shechem
and practice every kind of sin.
10 Yes, I have seen something horrible in Ephraim and Israel:
My people are defiled by prostituting themselves with other gods!
11 “O Judah, a harvest of punishment is also waiting for you,
though I wanted to restore the fortunes of my people.
The Failure of Israel’s Leaders
1“Hear this, you priests.
Pay attention, you leaders of Israel.
Listen, you members of the royal family.
Judgment has been handed down against you.
For you have led the people into a snare
by worshiping the idols at Mizpah and Tabor.
2 You have dug a deep pit to trap them at Acacia Grove.[a]
But I will settle with you for what you have done.
3 I know what you are like, O Ephraim.
You cannot hide yourself from me, O Israel.
You have left me as a prostitute leaves her husband;
you are utterly defiled.
4 Your deeds won’t let you return to your God.
You are a prostitute through and through,
and you do not know the Lord.
5 “The arrogance of Israel testifies against her;
Israel and Ephraim will stumble under their load of guilt.
Judah, too, will fall with them.
6 When they come with their flocks and herds
to offer sacrifices to the Lord,
they will not find him,
because he has withdrawn from them.
7 They have betrayed the honor of the Lord,
bearing children that are not his.
Now their false religion will devour them
along with their wealth.[b]
8 “Sound the alarm in Gibeah!
Blow the trumpet in Ramah!
Raise the battle cry in Beth-aven[c]!
Lead on into battle, O warriors of Benjamin!
9 One thing is certain, Israel[d]:
On your day of punishment,
you will become a heap of rubble.
10 “The leaders of Judah have become like thieves.[e]
So I will pour my anger on them like a waterfall.
11 The people of Israel will be crushed and broken by my judgment
because they are determined to worship idols.[f]
12 I will destroy Israel as a moth consumes wool.
I will make Judah as weak as rotten wood.
13 “When Israel and Judah saw how sick they were,
Israel turned to Assyria—
to the great king there—
but he could neither help nor cure them.
14 I will be like a lion to Israel,
like a strong young lion to Judah.
I will tear them to pieces!
I will carry them off,
and no one will be left to rescue them.
15 Then I will return to my place
until they admit their guilt and turn to me.
For as soon as trouble comes,
they will earnestly search for me.”
- 5:2 Hebrew at Shittim. The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
- 5:7 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 5:8 Beth-aven means “house of wickedness”; it is being used as another name for Bethel, which means “house of God.”
- 5:9 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 5:11, 12, 13, 14.
- 5:10 Hebrew like those who move a boundary marker.
- 5:11 Or determined to follow human commands. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
The Lord’s Case against Israel
1 Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel!
The Lord has brought charges against you, saying:
“There is no faithfulness, no kindness,
no knowledge of God in your land.
2 You make vows and break them;
you kill and steal and commit adultery.
There is violence everywhere—
one murder after another.
3 That is why your land is in mourning,
and everyone is wasting away.
Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky,
and the fish of the sea are disappearing.
4 “Don’t point your finger at someone else
and try to pass the blame!
My complaint, you priests,
is with you.[a]
5 So you will stumble in broad daylight,
and your false prophets will fall with you in the night.
And I will destroy Israel, your mother.
6 My people are being destroyed
because they don’t know me.
Since you priests refuse to know me,
I refuse to recognize you as my priests.
Since you have forgotten the laws of your God,
I will forget to bless your children.
7 The more priests there are,
the more they sin against me.
They have exchanged the glory of God
for the shame of idols.[b]
8 “When the people bring their sin offerings, the priests get fed.
So the priests are glad when the people sin!
9 ‘And what the priests do, the people also do.’
So now I will punish both priests and people
for their wicked deeds.
10 They will eat and still be hungry.
They will play the prostitute and gain nothing from it,
for they have deserted the Lord
11 to worship other gods.
“Wine has robbed my people
of their understanding.
12 They ask a piece of wood for advice!
They think a stick can tell them the future!
Longing after idols
has made them foolish.
They have played the prostitute,
serving other gods and deserting their God.
13 They offer sacrifices to idols on the mountaintops.
They go up into the hills to burn incense
in the pleasant shade of oaks, poplars, and terebinth trees.
“That is why your daughters turn to prostitution,
and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
14 But why should I punish them
for their prostitution and adultery?
For your men are doing the same thing,
sinning with whores and shrine prostitutes.
O foolish people! You refuse to understand,
so you will be destroyed.
15 “Though you, Israel, are a prostitute,
may Judah not be guilty of such things.
Do not join the false worship at Gilgal or Beth-aven,[c]
and do not take oaths there in the Lord’s name.
16 Israel is stubborn,
like a stubborn heifer.
So should the Lord feed her
like a lamb in a lush pasture?
17 Leave Israel[d] alone,
because she is married to idolatry.
18 When the rulers of Israel finish their drinking,
off they go to find some prostitutes.
They love shame more than honor.[e]
19 So a mighty wind will sweep them away.
Their sacrifices to idols will bring them shame.
- 4:4 Hebrew Your people are like those with a complaint against the priests.
- 4:7 As in Syriac version and an ancient Hebrew tradition; Masoretic Text reads I will turn their glory into shame.
- 4:15 Beth-aven means “house of wickedness”; it is being used as another name for Bethel, which means “house of God.”
- 4:17 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel.
- 4:18 As in Greek version; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.