Hosea's Unfaithful Wife and Her Children
2 When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, "Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord." 3 So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 Then the Lord said to Hosea, "Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 In that day I will break Israel's bow in the Valley of Jezreel." 6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to Hosea, "Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means "not loved"), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them. 7 Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them-not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them."
8 After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. 9 Then the Lord said, "Call him Lo-Ammi (which means "not my people"), for you are not my people, and I am not your God. 10 "Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'children of the living God.' 11 The people of Judah and the people of Israel will come together; they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.
The LORD's Love for His Unfaithful People
2 1 "Say of your brothers, 'My people,' and of your sisters, 'My loved one.' 2 "Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts. 3 Otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born; I will make her like a desert, turn her into a parched land, and slay her with thirst. 4 I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery. 5 Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.'
6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. 7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.' 8 She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold- which they used for Baal. 9 "Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her naked body. 10 So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands. 11 I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days-all her appointed festivals. 12 I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers; I will make them a thicket, and wild animals will devour them. 13 I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot," declares the Lord.
14 "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. 15 There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. 16 "In that day," declares the Lord, "you will call me 'my husband'; you will no longer call me 'my master. ' 17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. 18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. 19 I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. 20 I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. 21 "In that day I will respond," declares the Lord- "I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; 22 and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. 23 I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one. ' I will say to those called 'Not my people, ' 'You are my people'; and they will say, 'You are my God.' "
Hosea and the Adulteress
3 1 The Lord said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes." 2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. 3 Then I told her, "You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you." 4 For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. 5 Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.
The LORD's Controversy with Israel
4 1 Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites, because the Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: "There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. 2 There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3 Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away. 4 "But let no one bring a charge, let no one accuse another, for your people are like those who bring charges against a priest. 5 You stumble day and night, and the prophets stumble with you. So I will destroy your mother-
6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. 7 The more priests there were, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful. 8 They feed on the sins of my people and relish their wickedness. 9 And it will be: Like people, like priests. I will punish both of them for their ways and repay them for their deeds. 10 "They will eat but not have enough; they will engage in prostitution but not flourish, because they have deserted the Lordto give themselves 11 to prostitution; old wine and new wine take away their understanding.
12 My people consult a wooden idol, and a diviner's rod speaks to them. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God. 13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar and terebinth, where the shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery. 14 "I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes- a people without understanding will come to ruin! 15 "Though you, Israel, commit adultery, do not let Judah become guilty. "Do not go to Gilgal; do not go up to Beth Aven.And do not swear, 'As surely as the Lord lives!' 16 The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. How then can the Lord pasture them like lambs in a meadow? 17 Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone! 18 Even when their drinks are gone, they continue their prostitution; their rulers dearly love shameful ways. 19 A whirlwind will sweep them away, and their sacrifices will bring them shame.
The Punishment for Israel's Apostasy
5 1 "Hear this, you priests! Pay attention, you Israelites! Listen, royal house! This judgment is against you: You have been a snare at Mizpah, a net spread out on Tabor. 2 The rebels are knee-deep in slaughter. I will discipline all of them. 3 I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from me. Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt. 4 "Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord. 5 Israel's arrogance testifies against them; the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble in their sin; Judah also stumbles with them. 6 When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them. 7 They are unfaithful to the Lord; they give birth to illegitimate children. When they celebrate their New Moon feasts, he will devour their fields.
8 "Sound the trumpet in Gibeah, the horn in Ramah. Raise the battle cry in Beth Aven ; lead on, Benjamin. 9 Ephraim will be laid waste on the day of reckoning. Among the tribes of Israel I proclaim what is certain. 10 Judah's leaders are like those who move boundary stones. I will pour out my wrath on them like a flood of water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed, trampled in judgment, intent on pursuing idols. 12 I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah. 13 "When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his sores, then Ephraim turned to Assyria, and sent to the great king for help. But he is not able to cure you, not able to heal your sores. 14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, like a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them.
The Insincerity of Israel's Repentance
15 Then I will return to my lair until they have borne their guilt and seek my face- in their misery they will earnestly seek me."
6 1 "Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 3 Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."
4 "What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears. 5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth- then my judgments go forth like the sun. 6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. 7 As at Adam, they have broken the covenant; they were unfaithful to me there. 8 Gilead is a city of evildoers, stained with footprints of blood. 9 As marauders lie in ambush for a victim, so do bands of priests; they murder on the road to Shechem, carrying out their wicked schemes. 10 I have seen a horrible thing in Israel: There Ephraim is given to prostitution, Israel is defiled. 11 "Also for you, Judah, a harvest is appointed. "Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,
Israel's Iniquity and Rebellion
7 1 whenever I would heal Israel, the sins of Ephraim are exposed and the crimes of Samaria revealed. They practice deceit, thieves break into houses, bandits rob in the streets; 2 but they do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds. Their sins engulf them; they are always before me. 3 "They delight the king with their wickedness, the princes with their lies. 4 They are all adulterers, burning like an oven whose fire the baker need not stir from the kneading of the dough till it rises. 5 On the day of the festival of our king the princes become inflamed with wine, and he joins hands with the mockers. 6 Their hearts are like an oven; they approach him with intrigue. Their passion smolders all night; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire. 7 All of them are hot as an oven; they devour their rulers. All their kings fall, and none of them calls on me.
8 "Ephraim mixes with the nations; Ephraim is a flat loaf not turned over. 9 Foreigners sap his strength, but he does not realize it. His hair is sprinkled with gray, but he does not notice. 10 Israel's arrogance testifies against him, but despite all this he does not return to the Lord his God or search for him. 11 "Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless- now calling to Egypt, now turning to Assyria. 12 When they go, I will throw my net over them; I will pull them down like the birds in the sky. When I hear them flocking together, I will catch them. 13 Woe to them, because they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, because they have rebelled against me! I long to redeem them but they speak about me falsely. 14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail on their beds. They slash themselves, appealing to their gods for grain and new wine, but they turn away from me. 15 I trained them and strengthened their arms, but they plot evil against me. 16 They do not turn to the Most High; they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of their insolent words. For this they will be ridiculed in the land of Egypt.
1:1 Hebrew "Joash," a variant of "Jehoash"
1:9 Or "your I " AM
1:11 In Hebrew texts 1:10,11 is numbered 2:1,2.
2:15 "Achor" means "trouble."
2:15 Or "sing"
2:16 Hebrew "baal"
2:19 Or "with" ; also in verse 20
2:19 Or "with"
2:22 "Jezreel" means "God plants."
2:23 Hebrew "Lo-Ruhamah" (see 1:6)
2:23 Hebrew "Lo-Ammi" (see 1:9)
3:2 That is, about 6 ounces or about 170 grams
3:2 A homer and a lethek possibly weighed about 430 pounds or about 195 kilograms.
4:2 That is, to pronounce a curse on
4:7 Syriac (see also an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition); Masoretic Text "me;" / "I will exchange their glory"
4:15 "Beth Aven" means "house of wickedness" (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means "house of God" ).
5:7 Or "Now their New Moon feasts" / "will devour them and"
5:8 "Beth Aven" means "house of wickedness" (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means "house of God" ).
5:11 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
6:5 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
6:7 Or "Like Adam" ; or "Like human beings"
7:14 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts "They gather together"