Hosea's Unfaithful Wife and Her Children
1 1 The word of the Lord which came to 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 The start of the word of the Lord by Hosea: And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take for yourself a wife of loose ways, and children of the same, for the land has been untrue to the Lord. 3 So he took as his wife Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she gave birth to a son. 4 And the Lord said to him, Give him the name of Jezreel, for after a little time I will send punishment for the blood of Jezreel on the line of Jehu, and put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 And in that day I will let the bow of Israel be broken in the valley of Jezreel. 6 And after that she gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said, Give her the name Lo-ruhamah; for I will not again have mercy on Israel, to give them forgiveness. 7 But I will have mercy on Judah and will give them salvation by the Lord their God, but not by the bow or the sword or by fighting or by horses or horsemen.
8 Now when Lo-ruhamah had been taken from the breast, the woman gave birth to a son. 9 And the Lord said, Give him the name Lo-ammi; for you are not my people, and I will not be your God. 10 But still the number of the children of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which may not be measured or numbered; and in place of its being said to them, You are not my people, it will be said to them, You are the sons of the living God 11 And the children of Israel and the children of Judah will come together and take for themselves one head, and will go up from the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.
The LORD's Love for His Unfaithful People
2 1 Say to your brothers, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. 2 Take up the cause against your mother, take it up, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband; let her put away her loose ways from her face, and her false ways from between her breasts; 3 For fear that I may take away her robe from her, making her uncovered as in the day of her birth; making her like a waste place and a dry land, causing her death through need of water. 4 And I will have no mercy on her children, for they are the children of her loose ways. 5 For their mother has been untrue; she who gave them birth has done things of shame, for she said, I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my wine.
6 For this cause I will put thorns in her road, building up a wall round her so that she may not go on her way. 7 And if she goes after her lovers she will not overtake them; if she makes search for them she will not see them; then will she say, I will go back to my first husband, for then it was better for me than now. 8 For she had no knowledge that it was I who gave her the grain and the wine and the oil, increasing her silver and gold which they gave to the Baal. 9 So I will take away again my grain in its time and my wine, and I will take away my wool and my linen with which her body might have been covered. 10 And now I will make her shame clear before the eyes of her lovers, and no one will take her out of my hand. 11 And I will put an end to all her joy, her feasts, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her regular meetings. 12 And I will make waste her vines and her fig-trees, of which she has said, These are the payments which my lovers have made to me; and I will make them a waste of trees, and the beasts of the field will take them for food. 13 And I will give her punishment for the days of the Baals, to whom she has been burning perfumes, when she made herself fair with her nose-rings and her jewels, and went after her lovers, giving no thought to me, says the Lord.
14 For this cause I will make her come into the waste land and will say words of comfort to her. 15 And I will give her vine-gardens from there, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she will give her answer there as in the days when she was young, and as in the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt. 16 And in that day, says the Lord, you will say to me, Ishi; and you will never again give me the name of Baali; 17 For I will take away the names of the Baals out of her mouth, and never again will she say their names. 18 And in that day I will make an agreement for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of heaven and the things which go low on the earth; I will put an end to the bow and the sword and war in all the land, and will make them take their rest in peace. 19 And I will take you as my bride for ever; truly, I will take you as my bride in righteousness and in right judging, in love and in mercies. 20 I will take you as my bride in good faith, and you will have knowledge of the Lord. 21 And it will be, in that day, says the Lord, that I will give an answer to the heavens, and the heavens to the earth; 22 And the earth will give its answer to the grain and the wine and the oil, and they will give an answer to Jezreel; 23 And I will put her as seed in the earth, and I will have mercy on her to whom no mercy was given; and I will say to those who were not my people, You are my people, and they will say, My God.
Hosea and the Adulteress
3 1 And the Lord said to me, Give your love again to a woman who has a lover and is false to her husband, even as the Lord has love for the children of Israel, though they are turned to other gods and are lovers of grape-cakes. 2 So I got her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley; 3 And I said to her, You are to be mine for a long space of time; you are not to be false to me, and no other man is to have you for his wife; and so will I be to you. 4 For the children of Israel will for a long time be without king and without ruler, without offerings and without pillars, and without ephod or images. 5 And after that, the children of Israel will come back and go in search of the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come in fear to the Lord and to his mercies in the days to come.
The LORD's Controversy with Israel
4 1 Give ear to the word of the Lord, O children of Israel; for the Lord has a cause against the people of this land, because there is no good faith in it, and no mercy and no knowledge of God in the land. 2 There is cursing and broken faith, violent death and attacks on property, men are untrue in married life, houses are broken into, and there is blood touching blood. 3 Because of this the land will be dry, and everyone living in it will be wasted away, with the beasts of the field and the birds of heaven; even the fishes of the sea will be taken away. 4 Let no man go to law or make protests, for your people are like those who go to law with a priest. 5 You will not be able to keep on your feet by day, and by night the prophet will be falling down with you, and I will give your mother to destruction.
6 Destruction has overtaken my people because they have no knowledge; because you have given up knowledge, I will give you up, so that you will be no priest to me, because you have not kept in mind the law of your God, I will not keep your children in my memory. 7 Even while they were increasing in number they were sinning against me; I will let their glory be changed into shame. 8 The sin of my people is like food to them; and their desire is for their wrongdoing. 9 And the priest will be like the people; I will give them punishment for their evil ways, and the reward of their acts. 10 They will have food, but they will not be full; they will be false to me, but they will not be increased, because they no longer give thought to the Lord. 11 Loose ways and new wine take away wisdom.
12 My people get knowledge from their tree, and their rod gives them news; for a false spirit is the cause of their wandering, and they have been false to their God. 13 They make offerings on the tops of mountains, burning perfumes in high places, under trees of every sort, because their shade is good: and so your daughters are given up to loose ways and your brides are false to their husbands. 14 I will not give punishment to your daughters or your brides for their evil behaviour; for they make themselves separate with loose women, and make offerings with those who are used for sex purposes in the worship of the gods: the people who have no wisdom will be sent away. 15 Do not you, O Israel, come into error; do not you, O Judah, come to Gilgal, or go up to Beth-aven, or take an oath, By the living Lord. 16 For Israel is uncontrolled, like a cow which may not be controlled; now will the Lord give them food like a lamb in a wide place. 17 Ephraim is joined to false gods; let him be. 18 Their drink has become bitter; they are completely false; her rulers take pleasure in shame. 19 They are folded in the skirts of the wind; they will be shamed because of their offerings.
The Punishment for Israel's Apostasy
5 1 Give ear to this, O priests; give attention, O Israel, and you, family of the king; for you are to be judged; you have been a deceit at Mizpah and a net stretched out on Tabor. 2 They have gone deep in the evil ways of Shittim, but I am the judge of all. 3 I have knowledge of Ephraim, and Israel is not secret from me; for now, O Ephraim, you have been false to me, Israel has become unclean. 4 Their works will not let them come back to their God, for a false spirit is in them and they have no knowledge of the Lord. 5 And the pride of Israel gives an answer to his face; and Ephraim will have a fall through his sins, and the fall of Judah will be the same as theirs. 6 They will go, with their flocks and their herds, in search of the Lord, but they will not see him; he has taken himself out of their view. 7 They have been false to the Lord; they have given birth to strange children; now the new moon will make them waste with their fields.
8 Let the horn be sounded in Gibeah and in Ramah; give a loud cry in Beth-aven, They are after you, O Benjamin. 9 Ephraim will become a waste in the day of punishment; I have given knowledge among the tribes of Israel of what is certain. 10 The rulers of Judah are like those who take away a landmark; I will let loose my wrath on them like flowing water. 11 Ephraim is troubled; he is crushed by his judges, because he took pleasure in walking after deceit. 12 And so to Ephraim I am like a wasting insect, and a destruction to the children of Judah. 13 When Ephraim saw his disease and Judah his wound, then Ephraim went to Assyria and sent to the great king; but he is not able to make you well or give you help for your wound. 14 For I will be to Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the children of Judah; I, even I, will give him wounds and go away; I will take him away, and there will be no helper.
The Insincerity of Israel's Repentance
15 I will go back to my place till they are made waste; in their trouble they will go after me early and will make search for me.
6 1 Come, let us go back to the Lord; for he has given us wounds and he will make us well; he has given blows and he will give help. 2 After two days he will give us life, and on the third day he will make us get up, and we will be living before him. 3 And let us have knowledge, let us go after the knowledge of the Lord; his going out is certain as the dawn, his decisions go out like the light; he will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.
4 O Ephraim, what am I to do to you? O Judah, what am I to do to you? For your love is like a morning cloud, and like the dew which goes early away. 5 So I have had it cut in stones; I gave them teaching by the words of my mouth; 6 Because my desire is for mercy and not offerings; for the knowledge of God more than for burned offerings. 7 But like a man, they have gone against the agreement; there they were false to me. 8 Gilead is a town of evil-doers, marked with blood. 9 And like a band of thieves waiting for a man, so are the priests watching secretly the way of those going quickly to Shechem, for they are working with an evil design. 10 In Israel I have seen a very evil thing; there false ways are seen in Ephraim, Israel is unclean; 11 And Judah has put up disgusting images for himself.
Israel's Iniquity and Rebellion
7 1 When my desire was for the fate of my people to be changed and to make Israel well, then the sin of Ephraim was made clear, and the evil-doing of Samaria; for their ways are false, and the thief comes into the house, while the band of outlaws takes property by force in the streets. 2 And they do not say to themselves that I keep in mind all their sin; now their evil acts come round them on every side; they are before my face. 3 In their sin they make a king for themselves, and rulers in their deceit. 4 They are all untrue; they are like a burning oven; the bread-maker does not make up the fire from the time when the paste is mixed till it is leavened. 5 On the day of our king, the rulers made him ill with the heat of wine; his hand was stretched out with the men of pride. 6 For they have made their hearts ready like an oven, while they are waiting secretly; their wrath is sleeping all night; in the morning it is burning like a flaming fire. 7 They are all heated like an oven, and they put an end to their judges; all their kings have been made low; not one among them makes prayer to me.
8 Ephraim is mixed with the peoples; Ephraim is a cake not turned. 9 Men from other lands have made waste his strength, and he is not conscious of it; grey hairs have come on him here and there, and he has no knowledge of it. 10 And the pride of Israel gives an answer to his face; but for all this, they have not gone back to the Lord their God, or made search for him. 11 And Ephraim is like a foolish dove, without wisdom; they send out their cry to Egypt, they go to Assyria. 12 When they go, my net will be stretched out over them; I will take them like the birds of heaven, I will give them punishment, I will take them away in the net for their sin. 13 May trouble be theirs! for they have gone far away from me; and destruction, for they have been sinning against me; I was ready to be their saviour, but they said false words against me. 14 And they have not made prayer to me in their hearts, but they make loud cries on their beds; they are cutting themselves for food and wine, they are turned against me. 15 Though I have given training and strength to their arms, they have evil designs against me. 16 They have gone to what is of no value; they are like a false bow; their captains will come to destruction by the sword, and their ruler by my wrath; for this, the land of Egypt will make sport of them.