Hosea's Unfaithful Wife and Her Children
1 1 The word of Jehovah that came unto Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
2 When Jehovah spake at the first by Hosea, Jehovah said unto Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom; for the land doth commit great whoredom, [departing] from Jehovah. 3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bare him a son. 4 And Jehovah said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease. 5 And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. 6 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And [Jehovah] said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah; for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, that I should in any wise pardon them. 7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by Jehovah their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.
8 Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. 9 And [Jehovah] said, Call his name Lo-ammi; for ye are not my people, and I will not be your [God]. 10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass that, in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God. 11 And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint themselves one head, and shall go up from the land; for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
The LORD's Love for His Unfaithful People
2 1 Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. 2 Contend with your mother, contend; for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband; and let her put away her whoredoms from her face, and her adulteries from between her breasts; 3 lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst. 4 Yea, upon her children will I have no mercy; for they are children of whoredom; 5 for their mother hath played the harlot; she that conceived them hath done shamefully; for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.
6 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, that she shall not find her paths. 7 And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. 8 For she did not know that I gave her the grain, and the new wine, and the oil, and multiplied unto her silver and gold, which they used for Baal. 9 Therefore will I take back my grain in the time thereof, and my new wine in the season thereof, and will pluck away my wool and my flax which should have covered her nakedness. 10 And now will I uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of my hand. 11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feasts, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn assemblies. 12 And I will lay waste her vines and her fig-trees, whereof she hath said, These are my hire that my lovers have given me; and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them. 13 And I will visit upon her the days of the Baalim, unto which she burned incense, when she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith Jehovah.
14 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. 15 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she shall make answer there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. 16 And it shall be at that day, saith Jehovah, that thou shalt call me Ishi, and shalt call me no more Baali. 17 For I will take away the names of the Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be mentioned by their name. 18 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the birds of the heavens, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the land, and will make them to lie down safely. 19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in justice, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. 20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know Jehovah. 21 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will answer, saith Jehovah, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth; 22 and the earth shall answer the grain, and the new wine, and the oil; and they shall answer Jezreel. 23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them that were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, [Thou art] my God.
Hosea and the Adulteress
3 1 And Jehovah said unto me, Go again, love a woman beloved of [her] friend, and an adulteress, even as Jehovah loveth the children of Israel, though they turn unto other gods, and love cakes of raisins. 2 So I bought her to me for fifteen [pieces] of silver, and a homer of barley, and a half-homer of barley; 3 and I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be any man's wife: so will I also be toward thee. 4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without pillar, and without ephod or teraphim: 5 afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek Jehovah their God, and David their king, and shall come with fear unto Jehovah and to his goodness in the latter days.
The LORD's Controversy with Israel
4 1 Hear the word of Jehovah, ye children of Israel; for Jehovah hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor goodness, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2 There is nought but swearing and breaking faith, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery; they break out, and blood toucheth blood. 3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. 4 Yet let no man strive, neither let any man reprove; for thy people are as they that strive with the priest. 5 And thou shalt stumble in the day, and the prophet also shall stumble with thee in the night; and I will destroy thy mother.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children. 7 As they were multiplied, so they sinned against me: I will change their glory into shame. 8 They feed on the sin of my people, and set their heart on their iniquity. 9 And it shall be, like people, like priest; and I will punish them for their ways, and will requite them their doings. 10 And they shall eat, and not have enough; they shall play the harlot, and shall not increase; because they have left off taking heed to Jehovah. 11 Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the understanding.
12 My people ask counsel at their stock, and their staff declareth unto them; for the spirit of whoredom hath caused them to err, and they have played the harlot, [departing] from under their God. 13 They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and terebinths, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters play the harlot, and your brides commit adultery. 14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot, nor your brides when they commit adultery; for [the men] themselves go apart with harlots, and they sacrifice with the prostitutes; and the people that doth not understand shall be overthrown. 15 Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Beth-aven, nor swear, As Jehovah liveth. 16 For Israel hath behaved himself stubbornly, like a stubborn heifer: now will Jehovah feed them as a lamb in a large place. 17 Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone. 18 Their drink is become sour; they play the harlot continually; her rulers dearly love shame. 19 The wind hath wrapped her up in its wings; and they shall be put to shame because of their sacrifices.
The Punishment for Israel's Apostasy
5 1 Hear this, O ye priests, and hearken, O house of Israel, and give ear, O house of the king; for unto you pertaineth the judgment; for ye have been a snare at Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor. 2 And the revolters are gone deep in making slaughter; but I am a rebuker of them all. 3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me; for now, O Ephraim, thou hast played the harlot, Israel is defiled. 4 Their doings will not suffer them to turn unto their God; for the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they know not Jehovah. 5 And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in their iniquity; Judah also shall stumble with them. 6 They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek Jehovah; but they shall not find him: he hath withdrawn himself from them. 7 They have dealt treacherously against Jehovah; for they have borne strange children: now shall the new moon devour them with their fields.
8 Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: sound an alarm at Beth-aven; behind thee, O Benjamin. 9 Ephraim shall become a desolation in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. 10 The princes of Judah are like them that remove the landmark: I will pour out my wrath upon them like water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed, he is crushed in judgment; because he was content to walk after [man's] command. 12 Therefore am I unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. 13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah [saw] his wound, then went Ephraim to Assyria, and sent to king Jareb: but he is not able to heal you, neither will he cure you of your wound. 14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and there shall be none to deliver.
The Insincerity of Israel's Repentance
15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me earnestly.
6 1 Come, and let us return unto Jehovah; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days will he revive us: on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live before him. 3 And let us know, let us follow on to know Jehovah: his going forth is sure as the morning; and he will come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain that watereth the earth.
4 O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the dew that goeth early away. 5 Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are [as] the light that goeth forth. 6 For I desire goodness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings. 7 But they like Adam have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. 8 Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity; it is stained with blood. 9 And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way toward Shechem; yea, they have committed lewdness. 10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing: there whoredom is [found] in Ephraim, Israel is defiled. 11 Also, O Judah, there is a harvest appointed for thee, when I bring back the captivity of my people.
Israel's Iniquity and Rebellion
7 1 When I would heal Israel, then is the iniquity of Ephraim uncovered, and the wickedness of Samaria; for they commit falsehood, and the thief entereth in, and the troop of robbers ravageth without. 2 And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now have their own doings beset them about; they are before my face. 3 They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies. 4 They are all adulterers; they are as an oven heated by the baker; he ceaseth to stir [the fire], from the kneading of the dough, until it be leavened. 5 On the day of our king the princes made themselves sick with the heat of wine; he stretched out his hand with scoffers. 6 For they have made ready their heart like an oven, while they lie in wait: their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire. 7 They are all hot as an oven, and devour their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me.
8 Ephraim, he mixeth himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake not turned. 9 Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth [it] not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, and he knoweth [it] not. 10 And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: yet they have not returned unto Jehovah their God, nor sought him, for all this. 11 And Ephraim is like a silly dove, without understanding: they call unto Egypt, they go to Assyria. 12 When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the birds of the heavens; I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard. 13 Woe unto them! for they have wandered from me; destruction unto them! for they have trespassed against me: though I would redeem them, yet they have spoken lies against me. 14 And they have not cried unto me with their heart, but they howl upon their beds: they assemble themselves for grain and new wine; they rebel against me. 15 Though I have taught and strengthened their arms, yet do they devise mischief against me. 16 They return, but not to [him that is] on high; they are like a deceitful bow; their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.