Hosea 8-14 Bible in Basic English

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The Rebuke of Israel's Idolatry

8 1  Put the horn to your mouth. He comes like an eagle against the house of the Lord; because they have gone against my agreement, they have not kept my law. 2  They will send up to me a cry for help: We, Israel, have knowledge of you, O God of Israel. 3  Israel has given up what is good; his haters will go after him. 4  They have put up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, but I had no knowledge of it; they have made images of silver and gold, so that they may be cut off. 5  I will have nothing to do with your young ox, O Samaria; my wrath is burning against them; how long will it be before the children of Israel make themselves clean? 6  The workman made it, it is no god; the ox of Samaria will be broken into bits. 7  For they have been planting the wind, and their fruit will be the storm; his grain has no stem, it will give no meal, and if it does, a strange nation will take it.

8  Israel has come to destruction; now they are among the nations like a cup in which there is no pleasure. 9  For they have gone up to Assyria like an ass going by himself; Ephraim has given money to get lovers. 10  But though they give money to the nations for help, still I will send them in all directions; and in a short time they will be without a king and rulers. 11  Because Ephraim has been increasing altars for sin, altars have become a cause of sin to him. 12  Though I put my law in writing for him in ten thousand rules, they are to him as a strange thing. 13  He gives the offerings of his lovers, and takes the flesh for food; but the Lord has no pleasure in them; now he will keep in mind their evil-doing and give them the punishment of their sins; they will go back to Egypt. 14  For Israel has no memory of his Maker, and has put up the houses of kings; and Judah has made great the number of his walled towns. But I will send a fire on his towns and put an end to his great houses.

The Punishment for Israel's Persistent Unfaithfulness

9 1  Have no joy, O Israel, and do not be glad like the nations; for you have been untrue to your God; your desire has been for the loose woman's reward on every grain-floor. 2  The grain-floor and the place where the grapes are crushed will not give them food; there will be no new wine for them. 3  They will have no resting-place in the Lord's land, but Ephraim will go back to Egypt, and they will take unclean food in Assyria. 4  They will give no wine offering to the Lord, they will not make offerings ready for him; their bread will be like the bread of those in sorrow; all who take it will be unclean, because their bread will be only for their desire, it will not come into the house of the Lord. 5  What will you do on the day of worship, and on the day of the feast of the Lord? 6  For see, they are going away into Assyria; Egypt will get them together, Memphis will be their last resting-place; their fair silver vessels will be covered over with field plants, and thorns will come up in their tents.

7  The days of punishment, the days of reward are come; Israel will be put to shame; the prophet is foolish, the man who has the spirit is off his head, because of your great sin. 8  There is great hate against the watchman of Ephraim, the people of my God; as for the prophet, there is a net in all his ways, and hate in the house of his God. 9  They have gone deep in evil as in the days of Gibeah; he will keep in mind their wrongdoing, he will give them punishment for their sins. 10  I made discovery of Israel as of grapes in the waste land; I saw your fathers as the first-fruits of the fig-tree in her early fruit time; but they came to Baal-peor, and made themselves holy to the thing of shame, and became disgusting like that to which they gave their love.

11  As for Ephraim, their glory will go in flight like a bird: there will be no birth and no one with child and no giving of life. 12  Even though their children have come to growth I will take them away, so that not a man will be there; for their evil-doing will be complete and they will be put to shame because of it. 13  As I have seen a beast whose young have been taken from her, so Ephraim will give birth to children only for them to be put to death. 14  O Lord, what will you give them? Give them bodies which may not give birth and breasts without milk. 15  All their evil-doing is in Gilgal; there I had hate for them; because of their evil-doing I will send them out of my house; they will no longer be dear to me; all their rulers are uncontrolled. 16  The rod has come on Ephraim, their root is dry, let them have no fruit; even though they give birth, I will put to death the dearest fruit of their bodies. 17  My God will give them up because they did not give ear to him; they will be wandering among the nations.

10 1  Israel is a branching vine, full of fruit; as his fruit is increased, so the number of his altars is increased; as the land is fair, so they have made fair pillars. 2  Their mind is taken away; now they will be made waste: he will have their altars broken down, he will give their pillars to destruction. 3  Now, truly, they will say, We have no king, we have no fear of the Lord; and the king, what is he able to do for us? 4  Their words are foolish; they make agreements with false oaths, so punishment will come up like a poison-plant in a ploughed field. 5  The people of Samaria will be full of fear because of the ox of Beth-aven; its people will have sorrow for it, and its priests will give cries of grief for its glory, for the glory has gone in flight. 6  And they will take it to Assyria and give it to the great king; shame will come on Ephraim, and Israel will be shamed because of its image. 7  As for Samaria, her king is cut off, like mist on the water. 8  And the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will come to destruction; thorns and waste plants will come up on their altars; they will say to the mountains, Be a cover over us; and to the hills, Come down on us.

9  O Israel, you have done evil from the days of Gibeah; there they took up their position, so that the fighting against the children of evil might not overtake them in Gibeah. 10  I will come and give them punishment; and the peoples will come together against them when I give them the reward of their two sins. 11  And Ephraim is a trained cow, taking pleasure in crushing the grain; but I have put a yoke on her fair neck; I will put a horseman on the back of Ephraim; Judah will be working the plough, Jacob will be turning up the earth. 12  Put in the seed of righteousness, get in your grain in mercy, let your unploughed earth be turned up: for it is time to make search for the Lord, till he comes and sends righteousness on you like rain. 13  You have been ploughing sin, you have got in a store of evil, the fruit of deceit has been your food: for you put faith in your way, in the number of your men of war. 14  So a great outcry will go up from among your people, and all your strong places will be broken, as Beth-arbel was broken by Shalman in the day of war, as the mother was broken on the rocks with her children. 15  So will Beth-el do to you because of your evil-doing; at dawn will the king of Israel be cut off completely.

God Yearns for His Wayward People

11 1  When Israel was a child he was dear to me; and I took my son out of Egypt. 2  When I sent for them, then they went away from me; they made offerings to the Baals, burning perfumes to images. 3  But I was guiding Ephraim's footsteps; I took them up in my arms, but they were not conscious that I was ready to make them well. 4  I made them come after me with the cords of a man, with the bands of love; I was to them as one who took the yoke from off their mouths, putting meat before them. 5  He will go back to the land of Egypt and the Assyrian will be his king, because they would not come back to me. 6  And the sword will go through his towns, wasting his children and causing destruction because of their evil designs. 7  My people are given up to sinning against me; though their voice goes up on high, no one will be lifting them up.

8  How may I give you up, O Ephraim? how may I be your saviour, O Israel? how may I make you like Admah? how may I do to you as I did to Zeboim? My heart is turned in me, it is soft with pity. 9  I will not put into effect the heat of my wrath; I will not again send destruction on Ephraim; for I am God and not man, the Holy One among you; I will not put an end to you. 10  They will go after the Lord; his cry will be like that of a lion; his cry will be loud, and the children will come from the west, shaking with fear; 11  Shaking with fear like a bird, they will come out of Egypt, like a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will give them rest in their houses, says the Lord.

Ephraim Rebuked for Falsehood and Oppression

12 1  The deceit of Ephraim and the false words of Israel are about me on every side. ... 2  Ephraim's food is the wind, and he goes after the east wind: deceit and destruction are increasing day by day; they make an agreement with Assyria, and take oil into Egypt. 3  The Lord has a cause against Judah, and will give punishment to Jacob for his ways; he will give him the reward of his acts. 4  In the body of his mother he took his brother by the foot, and in his strength he was fighting with God; 5  He had a fight with the angel and overcame him; he made request for grace to him with weeping; he came face to face with him in Beth-el and there his words came to him; 6  Even the Lord, the God of armies; the Lord is his name.

7  So then, come back to your God; keep mercy and right, and be waiting at all times on your God. 8  As for Canaan, the scales of deceit are in his hands; he takes pleasure in twisted ways. 9  And Ephraim said, Now I have got wealth and much property; in all my works no sin may be seen in me. 10  But I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt; I will give you tents for your living-places again as in the days of the holy meeting. 11  My word came to the ears of the prophets and I gave them visions in great number, and by the mouths of the prophets I made use of comparisons. 12  In Gilead there is evil. They are quite without value; in Gilgal they make offerings of oxen; truly their altars are like masses of stones in the hollows of a ploughed field. 13  And Jacob went in flight into the field of Aram, and Israel became a servant for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep. 14  And by a prophet the Lord made Israel come up out of Egypt, and by a prophet he was kept safe. 15  I have been bitterly moved to wrath by Ephraim; so that his blood will be on him, and the Lord will make his shame come back on him.

The Utter Destruction of Ephraim Foretold

13 1  When the words of my law came from Ephraim, he was lifted up in Israel; but when he did evil through the Baal, death overtook him. 2  And now their sins are increased; they have made themselves a metal image, false gods from their silver, after their designs, all of them the work of the metal-workers; they say of them, Let them give offerings, let men give kisses to the oxen. 3  So they will be like the morning cloud, like the dew which goes early away, like the dust of the grain which the wind is driving out of the crushing-floor, like smoke going up from the fireplace. 4  But I am the Lord your God, from the land of Egypt; you have knowledge of no other God and there is no saviour but me.

5  I had knowledge of you in the waste land where no water was. 6  When I gave them food they were full, and their hearts were full of pride, and they did not keep me in mind. 7  So I will be like a lion to them; as a cruel beast I will keep watch by the road; 8  I will come face to face with them like a bear whose young ones have been taken from her, and their inmost hearts will be broken; there the dogs will make a meal of them; they will be wounded by the beasts of the field.

9  I have sent destruction on you, O Israel; who will be your helper? 10  Where is your king, that he may be your saviour? and all your rulers, that they may take up your cause? of whom you said, Give me a king and rulers. 11  I have given you a king, because I was angry, and have taken him away in my wrath. 12  The wrongdoing of Ephraim is shut up; his sin is put away in secret. 13  The pains of a woman in childbirth will come on him: he is an unwise son, for at this time it is not right for him to keep his place when children come to birth. 14  I will give the price to make them free from the power of the underworld, I will be their saviour from death: O death! where are your pains? O underworld! where is your destruction? my eyes will have no pity. 15  Though he gives fruit among his brothers, an east wind will come, the wind of the Lord coming up from the waste land, and his spring will become dry, his fountain will be without water: it will make waste the store of all the vessels of his desire.

Israel Entreated to Return to the LORD

14 1  Samaria will be made waste, for she has gone against her God: they will be cut down by the sword, their little children will be broken on the rocks, their women who are with child will be cut open. 2  O Israel, come back to the Lord your God; for your evil-doing has been the cause of your fall. 3  Take with you words, and come back to the Lord; say to him, Let there be forgiveness for all wrongdoing, so that we may take what is good, and give in payment the fruit of our lips.

4  Assyria will not be our salvation; we will not go on horses; we will not again say to the work of our hands, You are our gods; for in you there is mercy for the child who has no father. 5  I will put right their errors; freely will my love be given to them, for my wrath is turned away from him. 6  I will be as the dew to Israel; he will put out flowers like a lily, and send out his roots like Lebanon. 7  His branches will be stretched out, he will be beautiful as the olive-tree and sweet-smelling as Lebanon.

8  They will come back and have rest in his shade; their life will be made new like the grain, and they will put out flowers like the vine; his name will be like the wine of Lebanon. 9  As for Ephraim, what has he to do with false gods any longer? I have given an answer and I will keep watch over him; I am like a branching fir-tree, from me comes your fruit. 10  He who is wise will see these things; he who has good sense will have knowledge of them. For the ways of the Lord are straight, and the upright will go in them, but sinners will be falling in them.

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