Hosea 1-7 World English Bible

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Hosea's Unfaithful Wife and Her Children

1 1  The word of Yahweh that 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  When Yahweh spoke at first by Hosea, Yahweh said to Hosea, “Go, take for yourself a wife of prostitution and children of unfaithfulness; for the land commits great adultery, forsaking Yahweh.” 3  So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bore him a son. 4  Yahweh said to him, “Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and will cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease. 5  It will happen in that day that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.” 6  She conceived again, and bore a daughter.

Then he said to him, “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah [1]; for I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, that I should in any way pardon them. 7  But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and will save them by Yahweh their God, and will not save them by bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen.”

8  Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived, and bore a son. 9  He said, “Call his name Lo-Ammi [2]; for you are not my people, and I will not be yours. 10  Yet the number of the children of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, which can’t be measured nor numbered; and it will come to pass that, in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ 11  The children of Judah and the children of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint 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, ‘My people!’ [3]
and to your sisters, ‘My loved one!’ [4] 2  Contend with your mother!
Contend, for she is not my wife,
neither am I her husband;
and let her put away her prostitution from her face,
and her adulteries from between her breasts; 3  Lest I strip her naked,
and make her bare as in the day that she was born,
and make her like a wilderness,
and set her like a dry land,
and kill her with thirst. 4  Indeed, on her children I will have no mercy;
for they are children of unfaithfulness; 5  For their mother has played the prostitute.
She who conceived them has done shamefully;
for she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
who give me my bread and my water,
my wool and my flax,
my oil and my drink.’

6  Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns,
and I will build a wall against her,
that she can’t find her way. 7  She will follow after her lovers,
but she won’t overtake them;
and she will seek them,
but won’t find them.
Then she will 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, the new wine, and the oil,
and multiplied to her silver and gold, which they used for Baal. 9  Therefore I will take back my grain in its time,
and my new wine in its season,
and will pluck away my wool and my flax which should have covered her nakedness. 10  Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers,
and no one will deliver her out of my hand. 11  I will also cause all her celebrations to cease:
her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her solemn assemblies. 12  I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,
about which she has said, ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me;
and I will make them a forest,’
and the animals of the field shall eat them. 13  I will visit on her the days of the Baals,
to which she burned incense,
when she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels,
and went after her lovers,
and forgot me,” says Yahweh.

14  “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her. 15  I will give her vineyards from there,
and the valley of Achor for a door of hope;
and she will respond there,
as in the days of her youth,
and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. 16  It will be in that day,” says Yahweh,
“that you will call me ‘my husband,’
and no longer call me ‘my master.’ 17  For I will take away the names of the Baals out of her mouth,
and they will no longer be mentioned by name. 18  In that day I will make a covenant for them with the animals of the field,
and with the birds of the sky,
and with the creeping things of the ground.
I will break the bow, the sword, and the battle out of the land,
and will make them lie down safely. 19  I will betroth you to me forever.
Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in loving kindness, and in compassion. 20  I will even betroth you to me in faithfulness;
and you shall know Yahweh. 21  It will happen in that day, I will respond,” says Yahweh,
“I will respond to the heavens,
and they will respond to the earth; 22  and the earth will respond to the grain, and the new wine, and the oil;
and they will respond to Jezreel. 23  I will sow her to me in the earth;
and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy;
and I will tell those who were not my people, ‘You are my people;’
and they will say, ‘My God!’”

Hosea and the Adulteress

3 1  Yahweh said to me, “Go again, love a woman loved by another, and an adulteress, even as Yahweh loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods, and love cakes of raisins.” 2  So I bought her for myself for fifteen pieces of silver and a homer [5] and a half of barley. 3  I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days. You shall not play the prostitute, and you shall not be with any other man. I will also be so toward you.” 4  For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without sacred stone, and without ephod or idols. 5  Afterward the children of Israel shall return, and seek Yahweh their God, and David their king, and shall come with trembling to Yahweh and to his blessings in the last days.

The LORD's Controversy with Israel

4 1  Hear the word of Yahweh, you children of Israel;
for Yahweh has a charge against the inhabitants of the land:
“Indeed there is no truth,
nor goodness,
nor knowledge of God in the land. 2  There is cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery;
they break boundaries, and bloodshed causes bloodshed. 3  Therefore the land will mourn,
and everyone who dwells therein will waste away.
all living things in her,
even the animals of the field and the birds of the sky;
yes, the fish of the sea also die. 4  “Yet let no man bring a charge, neither let any man accuse; For your people are like those who bring charges against a priest. 5  You will stumble in the day,
and the prophet will also stumble with you in the night;
and I will destroy your mother.

6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you,
that you may be no priest to me.
Because you have forgotten your God’s law,
I will also forget your 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  It will be, like people, like priest;
and I will punish them for their ways,
and will repay them for their deeds. 10  They will eat, and not have enough.
They will play the prostitute, and will not increase;
because they have abandoned giving to Yahweh. 11  Prostitution, wine, and new wine take away understanding.

12  My people consult with their wooden idol,
and answer to a stick of wood.
Indeed the spirit of prostitution has led them astray,
and they have been unfaithful to their God. 13  They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains,
and burn incense on the hills, under oaks and poplars and terebinths,
because its shade is good.
Therefore your daughters play the prostitute,
and your brides commit adultery. 14  I will not punish your daughters when they play the prostitute,
nor your brides when they commit adultery;
because the men consort with prostitutes,
and they sacrifice with the shrine prostitutes;
so the people without understanding will come to ruin. 15  “Though you, Israel, play the prostitute,
yet don’t let Judah offend;
and don’t come to Gilgal,
neither go up to Beth Aven,
nor swear, ‘As Yahweh lives.’ 16  For Israel has behaved extremely stubbornly, like a stubborn heifer.
Then how will Yahweh feed them like a lamb in a meadow. 17  Ephraim is joined to idols.
Leave him alone! 18  Their drink has become sour.
They play the prostitute continually.
Her rulers dearly love their shameful way. 19  The wind has wrapped her up in its wings;
and they shall be disappointed because of their sacrifices.

The Punishment for Israel's Apostasy

5 1  “Listen to this, you priests!
Listen, house of Israel,
and give ear, house of the king!
For the judgment is against you;
for you have been a snare at Mizpah,
and a net spread on Tabor. 2  The rebels are deep in slaughter;
but I discipline all of them. 3  I know Ephraim,
and Israel is not hidden from me;
for now, Ephraim, you have played the prostitute.
Israel is defiled. 4  Their deeds won’t allow them to turn to their God;
for the spirit of prostitution is within them,
and they don’t know Yahweh. 5  The pride of Israel testifies to his face.
Therefore Israel and Ephraim will stumble in their iniquity.
Judah also will stumble with them. 6  They will go with their flocks and with their herds to seek Yahweh;
but they won’t find him.
He has withdrawn himself from them. 7  They are unfaithful to Yahweh;
for they have borne illegitimate children.
Now the new moon will devour them with their fields.

8  “Blow the cornet in Gibeah,
and the trumpet in Ramah!
Sound a battle cry at Beth Aven, behind you, Benjamin! 9  Ephraim will become a desolation in the day of rebuke.
Among the tribes of Israel, I have made known that which will surely be. 10  The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark.
I will pour out my wrath on them like water. 11  Ephraim is oppressed,
he is crushed in judgment;
Because he is intent in his pursuit of idols. 12  Therefore I am to Ephraim like a moth,
and to the house of Judah like rottenness. 13  “When Ephraim saw his sickness,
and Judah his wound,
Then Ephraim went 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 to Ephraim like a lion,
and like a young lion to the house of Judah.
I myself will tear in pieces and go away.
I will carry off, and there will be no one to deliver.

The Insincerity of Israel's Repentance

15  I will go and return to my place,
until they acknowledge their offense,
and seek my face.
In their affliction they will seek me earnestly.”

6 1  “Come, and let us return to Yahweh;
for he has torn us to pieces,
and he will heal us;
he has injured us,
and he will bind up our wounds. 2  After two days he will revive us.
On the third day he will raise us up,
and we will live before him. 3  Let us acknowledge Yahweh.
Let us press on to know Yahweh.
As surely as the sun rises,
Yahweh will appear.
He will come to us like the rain,
like the spring rain that waters the earth.”

4  “Ephraim, what shall I do to you?
Judah, what shall I do to you?
For your love is like a morning cloud,
and like the dew that disappears early. 5  Therefore I have cut them to pieces with the prophets;
I killed them with the words of my mouth.
Your judgments are like a flash of lightning. 6  For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice;
and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 7  But they, like Adam, have broken the covenant.
They were unfaithful to me, there. 8  Gilead is a city of those who work iniquity;
it is stained with blood. 9  As gangs of robbers wait to ambush a man,
so the company of priests murder in the way toward Shechem,
committing shameful crimes. 10  In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing.
There is prostitution in Ephraim.
Israel is defiled. 11  “Also, Judah, there is a harvest appointed for you,
when I restore the fortunes of my people.

Israel's Iniquity and Rebellion

7 1  When I would heal Israel,
then the iniquity of Ephraim is uncovered,
also the wickedness of Samaria;
for they commit falsehood,
and the thief enters in,
and the gang of robbers ravages outside. 2  They don’t consider in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness.
Now their own deeds have engulfed them.
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 burning like an oven that the baker stops stirring,
from the kneading of the dough, until it is leavened. 5  On the day of our king, the princes made themselves sick with the heat of wine.
He joined his hand with mockers. 6  For they have made ready their heart like an oven,
while they lie in wait.
Their baker sleeps all the night.
In the morning it burns as a flaming fire. 7  They are all hot as an oven,
and devour their judges.
All their kings have fallen.
There is no one among them who calls to me.

8  Ephraim, he mixes himself among the nations.
Ephraim is a pancake not turned over. 9  Strangers have devoured his strength,
and he doesn’t realize it.
Indeed, gray hairs are here and there on him,
and he doesn’t realize it. 10  The pride of Israel testifies to his face;
yet they haven’t returned to Yahweh their God,
nor sought him, for all this. 11  “Ephraim is like an easily deceived dove, without understanding.
They call to Egypt.
They go to Assyria. 12  When they go, I will spread my net on them.
I will bring them down like the birds of the sky.
I will chastise them, as their congregation has heard. 13  Woe to them!
For they have wandered from me.
Destruction to them!
For they have trespassed against me.
Though I would redeem them,
yet they have spoken lies against me. 14  They haven’t cried to me with their heart,
but they howl on their beds.
They assemble themselves for grain and new wine.
They turn away from me. 15  Though I have taught and strengthened their arms,
yet they plot evil against me. 16  They return, but not to the Most High.
They are like a faulty bow.
Their princes will fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue.
This will be their derision in the land of Egypt.

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Footnotes

[1] 1:6 Lo-Ruhamah means “not loved.”

[2] 1:9 Lo-Ammi means “not my people”

[3] 2:1 ‘Ammi’ in Hebrew

[4] 2:1 ‘Ruhamah’ in Hebrew

[5] 3:2 1 homer is about 220 litres or 6 bushels

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