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 Hosea

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.

2When Jehovah spoke at the first by Hosea, Jehovah said unto Hosea, Go, take unto you a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom; for the land does commit great whoredom, departing from Jehovah. 3So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bare him a son. 4And 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. 5And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. 6And 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 way pardon them. 7But 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.

8Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. 9And Jehovah said, Call his name Lo-ammi; for you are not my people, and I will not be your God. 10Yet 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, you are not my people, it shall be said unto them, you are the sons of the living God. 11And 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.

 

2 Say unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. 2Contend 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; 3lest 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. 4Yes, upon her children will I have no mercy; for they are children of whoredom; 5for their mother has played the harlot; she that conceived them has done shamefully; for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.

6Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, that she shall not find her paths. 7And 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. 8For 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. 9Therefore 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. 10And now will I uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of my hand. 11I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feasts, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn assemblies. 12And I will lay waste her vines and her fig-trees, whereof she has 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. 13And 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 forgot me, says Jehovah.

14Therefore, behold, I will lure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. 15And I will give her her vineyards from then, 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. 16And it shall be at that day, says Jehovah, that you shall call me Ishi, and shall call me no more Baali. 17For I will take away the names of the Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be mentioned by their name. 18And 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. 19And I will betroth you unto me for ever; yes, I will betroth you unto me in righteousness, and in justice, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. 20I will even betroth you unto me in faithfulness; and you shall know Jehovah. 21And it shall come to pass in that day, I will answer, says Jehovah, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth; 22and the earth shall answer the grain, and the new wine, and the oil; and they shall answer Jezreel. 23And 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, you are my people; and they shall say, you are my God.

 

3 And Jehovah said unto me, Go again, love a woman beloved of her friend, and an adulteress, even as Jehovah loves the children of Israel, though they turn unto other gods, and love cakes of raisins. 2So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and a homer of barley, and a half-homer of barley; 3and I said unto her, you shall abide for me many days; you shall not play the harlot, and you shall not be any manís wife: so will I also be toward you. 4For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without pillar, and without ephod or images: 5afterward 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.

 

4 Hear the word of Jehovah, you children of Israel; for Jehovah has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor goodness, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2There is nothing but swearing and breaking faith, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery; they break out, and blood touches blood. 3Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwells therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens; yes, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. 4Yet let no man strive, neither let any man reprove; for your people are as they that strive with the priest. 5And you shall stumble in the day, and the prophet also shall stumble with you in the night; and I will destroy your mother.

6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. 7As they were multiplied, so they sinned against me: I will change their glory into shame. 8They feed on the sin of my people, and set their heart on their iniquity. 9And it shall be, like people, like priest; and I will punish them for their ways, and will recompense them their doings. 10And 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. 11Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the understanding.

12My people ask counsel at their stock, and their staff declares unto them; for the spirit of whoredom has caused them to err, and they have played the harlot, departing from under their God. 13They 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. 14I 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 does not understand shall be overthrown. 15Though you, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not unto Gilgal, neither go up to Beth-aven, nor swear, As Jehovah lives. 16For Israel has behaved himself stubbornly, like a stubborn heifer: now will Jehovah feed them as a lamb in a large place. 17Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone. 18Their drink is become sour; they play the harlot continually; her rulers dearly love shame. 19The wind has wrapped her up in its wings; and they shall be put to shame because of their sacrifices.

 

5 Hear this, O you priests, and hearken, O house of Israel, and give ear, O house of the king; for unto you pertains the judgment; for you have been a snare at Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor. 2And the revolters are gone deep in making slaughter; but I am a rebuker of them all. 3I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me; for now, O Ephraim, you have played the harlot, Israel is defiled. 4Their doings will not suffer them to turn unto their God; for the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they know not Jehovah. 5And the pride of Israel does testify to his face: therefore Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in their iniquity; Judah also shall stumble with them. 6They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek Jehovah; but they shall not find him: he has withdrawn himself from them. 7They have dealt treacherously against Jehovah; for they have borne strange children: now shall the new moon devour them with their fields.

8Blow the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: sound an alarm at Beth-aven; behind you, O Benjamin. 9Ephraim shall become a desolation in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. 10The princes of Judah are like them that remove the landmark: I will pour out my wrath upon them like water. 11Ephraim is oppressed, he is crushed in judgment; because he was content to walk after manís command. 12Therefore am I unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. 13When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw 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. 14For 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. 15I 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 Come, and let us return unto Jehovah; for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has affected, and he will bind us up. 2After two days will he revive us: on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live before him. 3And 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 waters the earth.

4O Ephraim, what shall I do unto you? O Judah, what shall I do unto you? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the dew that goes away early. 5Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and your judgments are as the light that goes forth. 6For I desire goodness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings. 7But they like Adam have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. 8Gil-e-ad is a city of them that work iniquity; it is stained with blood. 9And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way toward Shechem; yes, they have committed lewdness. 10In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing: there whoredom is found in Ephraim, Israel is defiled. 11Also, O Judah, there is a harvest appointed for you, when I bring back the captivity of my people.

 

7 When I would heal Israel, then is the iniquity of Ephraim uncovered, and the wickedness of Samaria; for they commit falsehood, and the thief entered in, and the troop of robbers ravages without. 2And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now have their own actions beset them about; they are before my face. 3They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies. 4They are all adulterers; they are as an oven heated by the baker; he ceases to stir the fire, from the kneading of the dough, until it is leavened. 5On the day of our king the princes made themselves sick with the heat of wine; he stretched out his hand with scoffers. 6For 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. 7They are all hot as an oven, and devour their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calls unto me.

8Ephraim, he mixes himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake not turned. 9Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knows it not: yes, gray hairs are here and there upon him, and he knows it not. 10And the pride of Israel does testify to his face: yet they have not returned unto Jehovah their God, nor sought him, for all this. 11And Ephraim is like a silly dove, without understanding: they call unto Egypt, they go to Assyria. 12When 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 has heard. 13Woe 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. 14And 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. 15Though I have taught and strengthened their arms, yet do they devise mischief against me. 16They 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.

 

8 Set the trumpet to your mouth. As an eagle he comes against the house of Jehovah, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law. 2They shall cry unto me, My God, we Israel know you. 3Israel has cast off that which is good: the enemy shall pursue him. 4They have set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. 5He has cast off your calf, O Samaria; my anger is kindled against them: how long will it be until they attain to innocence? 6For from Israel is even this; the workman made it, and it is no God; yes, the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. 7For they sow to the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: he has no standing grain; the blade shall yield no meal; if so be it yield, strangers shall swallow it up.

8Israel is swallowed up: now are they among the nations as a vessel wherein none delights. 9For they are gone up to Assyria, like a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim has hired lovers. 10Yes, though they hire among the nations, now will I gather them; and they begin to be diminished by reason of the burden of the king of princes. 11Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning, altars have been unto him for sinning. 12I wrote for him the ten thousand things of my law; but they are counted as a strange thing. 13As for the sacrifices of my offerings, they sacrifice flesh and eat it; but Jehovah accepts them not: now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins; they shall return to Egypt. 14For Israel has forgotten his Maker, and built palaces; and Judah has multiplied fortified cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the castles thereof.

 

9 Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, like the peoples; for you have played the harlot, departing from your God; you have loved hire upon every grain-floor. 2The threshing-floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail her. 3They shall not dwell in Jehovahís land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean food in Assyria. 4They shall not pour out wine-offerings to Jehovah, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted; for their bread shall be for their appetite; it shall not come into the house of Jehovah. 5What will you do in the day of solemn assembly, and in the day of the feast of Jehovah? 6For, lo, they are gone away from destruction; yet Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them; their pleasant things of silver, nettles shall possess them; thorns shall be in their tents.

7The days of visitation are come, the days of recompense are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the man that has the spirit is mad, for the abundance of your iniquity, and because the enmity is great. 8Ephraim was a watchman with my God: as for the prophet, a fowlerís snare is in all his ways, and enmity in the house of his God. 9They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins. 10I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first-ripe in the fig-tree at its first season: but they came to Baal-peor, and consecrated themselves unto the shameful thing, and became abominable like that which they loved.

11As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird: there shall be no birth, and none with child, and no conception. 12Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, so that not a man shall be left: yes, woe also to them when I depart from them! 13Ephraim, like as I have seen Tyre, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring out his children to the slayer. 14Give them, O Jehovah--what will you give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. 15All their wickedness is in Gilgal; for there I hated them: because of the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of my house; I will love them no more; all their princes are revolters. 16Ephraim is affected, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yes, though they bring forth, yet will I slay the beloved fruit of their womb. 17My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him; and they shall be wanderers among the nations.

 

10 Israel is a flurishing vine, that puts forth his fruit: according to the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars; according to the goodness of their land they have made goodly pillars. 2Their heart is divided; now shall they be found guilty: he will strike their altars, he will destroy their pillars. 3Surely now shall they say, We have no king; for we fear not Jehovah; and the king, what can he do for us? 4They speak vain words, swearing falsely in making covenants: therefore judgment springs up as the hemlock in the furrows of the field. 5The inhabitants of Samaria shall be in terror for the calves of Beth-aven; for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced over it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it. 6It also shall be carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel. 7As for Samaria, her king is cut off, as foam upon the water. 8The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.

9O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood; the battle against the children of iniquity does not overtake them in Gibeah. 10When it is my desire, I will chastise them; and the peoples shall be gathered against them, when they are bound to their two transgressions. 11And Ephraim is a heifer that is taught, that loves to tread out the grain; but I have passed over upon her fair neck: I will set a rider on Ephraim; Judah shall plow, Jacob shall break his clods. 12Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to kindness; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek Jehovah, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 13You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped iniquity; you have eaten the fruit of lies; for you did trust in your way, in the multitude of your mighty men. 14Therefore shall a tumult arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces with her children. 15So shall Beth-el do unto you because of your great wickedness: at daybreak shall the king of Israel be utterly cut off.

 

11 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. 2The more the prophets called them, the more they went from them: they sacrificed unto the Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. 3Yet I taught Ephraim to walk; I took them on my arms; but they knew not that I healed them. 4I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love; and I was to them as they that lift up the yoke on their jaws; and I laid food before them. 5They shall not return into the land of Egypt; but the Assyrian shall be their king, because they refused to return to me. 6And the sword shall fall upon their cities, and shall consume their bars, and devour them, because of their own counsels. 7And my people are bent on backsliding from me: though they call them to him that is on high, none at all will exalt him.

8How shall I give you up, Ephraim? how shall I cast you off, Israel? how shall I make you as Admah? how shall I set you as Zeboiim? my heart is turned within me, my compassions are kindled together. 9I will not execute the fierceness of my anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of you; and I will not come in wrath. 10They shall walk after Jehovah, who will roar like a lion; for he will roar, and the children shall come trembling from the west. 11They shall come trembling as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria; and I will make them to dwell in their houses, says Jehovah. 12Ephraim compasses me about with falsehood, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Judah yet rules with God, and is faithful with the Holy One.

 

12 Ephraim feeds on wind, and follows after the east wind: he continually multiplies lies and desolation; and they make a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried into Egypt. 2Jehovah has also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him. 3In the womb he took his brother by the heel; and in his manhood he had power with God: 4yes, he had power over the angel, and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him at Beth-el, and there he spoke with us, 5even Jehovah, the God of hosts; Jehovah is his memorial name. 6Therefore turn you to your God: keep kindness and justice, and wait for your God continually.

7He is a trafficker, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loves to oppress. 8And Ephraim said, Surely I am become rich, I have found wealth: in all my labors they shall find in me no iniquity that were sin. 9But I am Jehovah your God from the land of Egypt; I will yet again make you to dwell in tents, as in the days of the solemn feast. 10I have also spoken unto the prophets, and I have multiplied visions; and by the ministry of the prophets have I used similitudes. 11Is Gil-e-ad iniquity? they are altogether false; in Gilgal they sacrifice bullocks; yes, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the field. 12And Jacob fled into the field of Aram, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep. 13And by a prophet Jehovah brought Israel up out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved. 14Ephraim has provoked to anger most bitterly: therefore shall his blood be left upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.

 

13 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling; he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died. 2And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, even idols according to their own understanding, all of them the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves. 3Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the dew that passes away early, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the threshing-floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney. 4Yet I am Jehovah your God from the land of Egypt; and you shall know no god but me, and besides me there is no saviour.

5I did know you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. 6According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted: therefore have they forgotten me. 7Therefore I am unto them as a lion; as a leopard will I watch by the way; 8I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the lining of their heart; and there will I devour them like a lioness; the wild beast shall tear them.

9It is your destruction, O Israel, that you are against me, against your help. 10Where now is your king, that he may save you in all your cities? and your judges, of whom you said, Give me a king and princes? 11I have given you a king in my anger, and have taken him away in my wrath. 12The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is laid up in store. 13The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son; for it is time he should not tarry in the place of the breaking forth of children. 14I will ransom them from the power of Sheol; I will redeem them from death: O death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your destruction? repentance shall be hid from my eyes. 15Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the breath of Jehovah coming up from the wilderness; and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall make plunder of the treasure of all goodly vessels. 16Samaria shall bear her guilt; for she has rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword; their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

 

14 O Israel, return unto Jehovah your God; for you have fallen by your iniquity. 2Take with you words, and return unto Jehovah: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and accept that which is good: so will we render as bullocks the offering of our lips. 3Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses; neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, you are our gods; for in you the fatherless finds mercy.

4I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for my anger is turned away from him. 5I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. 6His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive-tree, and his smell as Lebanon. 7They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the grain, and blossom as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

8Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have answered, and will regard him: I am like a green fir-tree; from me is your fruit found. 9Who is wise, that he may understand these things? prudent, that he may know them? for the ways of Jehovah are right, and the just shall walk in them; but transgressors shall fall therein.

  

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  All text copyright © 2005 Aaron Randall. All rights reserved.  Photos, unless otherwise credited, are the property of the auth, all rights reserved.  Originally posted February 24, 2004.  Revised: April 07, 2010.