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    Hosea

    Septuagint text: Our version of this book reads differently to other Bibles. Why? We use the much older Greek Septuagint manuscripts – and most will closely resemble the versions used by many 1st-century Christians, including the Apostles. These older manuscripts escaped the censorship applied to the Hebrew manuscripts. Our translation is created by volunteers, and we are always correcting and refining the text. Learn what [brackets] and other insertions mean.

    About this book A prophecy primarily against the breakaway 10-tribe Kingdom of IsraEl in the north. It was written sometime between 790 BCE and 830 BCE. Hosea warns them that God sees their crimes – which include child sacrifice – and will punish them by allowing the Assyrians to invade.Most of this book is poetrySomething that only a Bible translator would notice is when words are in the form of Hebrew poetry. There’s a definite cadence that can be seen in the original language. Therefore, because this is the chosen style of God, we’ve tried to recreate it as it was originally intended: in poetic verse.Why use poetry?Poetry must conform to a certain rhythm and style. These act as memory aids, helping you to recall the words, making it easier for messages to be spread via the most common communication method of the time: song.Who was talking?When translating the words of the Prophets, you can’t help but notice the constant changing personal pronouns (I, you, he, they, etc.) used in the text. It makes it very confusing to figure out exactly who’s talking.However, we now realize one reason for the confusion that’s usually overlooked: God didn’t speak to the Prophets personally. Rather, He sent His messages through a mediator, either referred to as a messenger (an angel), or sometimes as ‘The Word’ (which some interpret to mean Jesus).So there are actually three voices speaking:1. That of the Prophet, who sometimes quotes himself,2. That of the angelic messenger who’s bringing the message from God,3. The words of God Himself (which we put in italics).How can we tell the difference? From the context, the pronouns, and the tenses:1. When the Prophet speaks, he’s either clearly reporting what he said or did, or is simply saying what was happening.2. When the angelic messenger speaks, he talks about God in the third person.3 When God is speaking, all references to God are naturally spoken in the first person.Did we get it all right? Probably not, but it has been an honest attempt at doing so. If you think you’ve spotted a place where our choice is incorrect, please let us know and we’ll reconsider it.

    1

    1The Word of Jehovah came to Hosea (the son of BeEri) in the days of UzziAh, JoTham Ahaz, and HezekiAh the kings of Judah, and in the days of JeroBoam (the son of JoAsh) the king of IsraEl.2This is the beginning of the Word of Jehovah by Hosea.The [messenger of the] Lord spoke to Hosea and said this:‘Take a woman for yourself from the whoresSo that children [can be born] from her whoring;Because, by chasing after immoral sex,The land has strayed from Jehovah.’3So [Hosea] went and took Gomer, the daughter of DiBlaim and she got pregnant and bore a son to him.4Then [the messenger of] the Lord said to him:‘Call his name JezreEl;For, in a short while, I’ll bring vengeanceOn the house of Judah for [the city of] JezreEl’s blood,And to the Kingdom of IsraEl,I’m also bringing an end.5In that day, I’ll break IsraEl’s bowThere in the valley of JezreEl.’6Then she got pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And [the messenger of the Lord] said to him:‘Call her name, Show No Mercy;For on IsraEl’s house, I’ll show no mercy…Yes I’ll stand against and oppose them.7‘Yet, by the power of Jehovah their God,I’ll show mercy upon Judah’s sonsAnd I’ll bring them salvation.But, I’ll not save by the bow or the sword,Nor by battles of horses and horsemen.’8Well, after she weaned Show No Mercy, she got pregnant again and bore another son to him. 9And [the messenger of the Lord] said:‘Call his name, Not My People;For, you’re no longer my people,And I’m no part of you.10‘Yet the number of IsraEl’s sonsWill become as great as the sands of the seas,So that no one can measure or count them.‘And it’ll be in that placeWhere I told them that they’re no longer my people;They’ll be called, The Living God’s Sons.11‘Then they’ll gather the sons of IsraEl and JudahAnd appoint someone to rule over them.But, from this land,They’ll [now be taken away];For, [the city of] JezreEl’s day [of reckoning] will be great!’

    2

    1[‘And God said:]‘Now the brother, Not My People, should speak,As should his sister, Show No Mercy.2They should plead with their mother,Although she’s not really My womanAnd I’m not really her man.‘For I’ll bring an end to her whoringAnd the adultery she commits between her two breasts.3Then I’ll strip her down ‘til she’s nakedAnd make her like the day she was born.‘To be wiped away, I’ll appoint her,And I’ll make her a waterless land…Then I’ll destroy her with thirst.4‘And on her children, I won’t show mercy,For, they’re the result of her whoring…5Because their mother was immoral,The one who bore them, disgraced them.‘For she said:‘I’ll follow my lovers…Those who provided my water and bread,As well as my clothes and fine linen robes,Along with my olive oil,And the rest of the things that I truly deserve.’6‘For this, {Look!} with barbs, I’ll close up her way…I’ll block her ways and her roadsSo she’ll not be easily found.7‘Then, when she chases her lovers,She’ll not be able catch them…She’ll search for them, but not find them.‘Then she’ll say:‘I’ll return to my man,For with him, things had always been better.’8‘But she doesn’t know that I’m the oneWho provided her grain and her wine,As well as her oil and her silver.‘But then she took My silver and goldAnd used it to make things for BaAl.9And for doing this, I’ll returnAnd remove my grain in its season,As well as my wine in its time.‘Then I’ll take away all of her clothes,As well as My linen robes,And leave her with nothing to cover her shame.10‘I’ll expose her filth to her lovers,And from My hand, she won’t be saved.11I’ll remove the joy of her feasts,And her holidays, New Moons, and Sabbaths.12I’ll also take all the grapes and the figsThat she thought were the pay from her lovers.‘Then I’ll appoint [those men] to witness [against her],And she’ll be eaten by the beasts in the fields,As well as by the birds in the skiesAnd the things that crawl on the ground.13‘Yes, I’ll take vengeance upon herFor each day that she offered to BaAl…When she put on her necklace and earringsAnd forgot Me to chase after lovers,’ said Jehovah.14‘And for this, {Look!} I’ll cause her to wander,And I’ll order desolation upon her.But then, I’ll speak to her heart,And I’ll give back her things…I’ll turn that troublesome valleyInto a valley of hope.15I’ll make her as humble as she was in her youth…Like the day that she came up from Egypt.16‘And in that day, says Jehovah,She will call Me her Husband…No more will she call out to a BaAl!17For the name of a BaAl, I’ll lift from her mouth,And she won’t remember his name.18‘And in that day, I’ll concludeAn agreement with the beasts of the fields,As well as with the birds in the skies,And with the things that crawl on the ground.‘I’ll also break all the broadswords and bows…Yes, I’ll bring an end to the wars,And I’ll send hope to the land.19‘I’ll take her as My woman throughout the agesI’ll take her rightly and fairly…In mercy and compassion, [I’ll welcome her back].20I’ll take her to Myself in full trust,And she’ll think of Me as her Lord.21‘And in that day, says Jehovah,To the skies, I’ll turn My attention.Then, they’ll tend to the land,22And the land will tend to the grainAs well as to the wine and the oil…To [the city of] JezreEl they’ll pay attention once more.23‘I’ll plant her in the ground for Myself,And I’ll love the one who’s unloved.Then I’ll say:‘You’re My people!’‘To those who weren’t really Mine;And she will say:Jehovah is My God!’

    3

    1And the [messenger of the] Lord said to me:‘Go again and love an adulteressWho wishes to do what’s evil!For, even though Jehovah loved IsraEl’s sons,They’ve looked to strange gods,And of raisin cakes, they’ve been fond!’2So I hired [such a woman] for myself for 15 silver coins, 200 quarts (190l) of barley, and a skin flask of wine. 3And I said to her:‘You must now sit next to me and you may not be immoral or be with [another man] for many days… You must be mine alone! 4For this is how the sons of IsraEl will sit for some time… Without a king or a ruler, and with no altar, sacrifices, priesthood, or anything else to give them direction.5‘But after these things are completed, IsraEl’s sons will return to search for their God Jehovah and for David to serve as their king. So at the end of the days, they’ll find joy in Jehovah and with the good things that He provides.’

    4

    1[Hosea now says:]‘O sons of IsraEl, hear the Word of Jehovah!‘For He has a case against all of you…Those who now live in this land,Because you have no mercy or truth,Or any knowledge of God:2‘Cursing, lying, murder, and fraud,As well as adultery, cover your land.You’ve also mingled blood with your blood…And for this, your land will now mourn.3‘So those living here will be fewer…And all the game in the fields,All the birds in the skies,And all the fish in the seas will now fail.4‘Then there’ll be no priests or judges to scold you;5For each day, I’ll be making them weaker.And I’ll do the same to your prophets…So your mother will then be [the darkness of] night.6‘For, from my people, they’ve taken the knowledge…And because they’ve pushed higher knowledge away,I’ll push them away…They won’t be My priests anymore!‘And because you’ve forgotten the laws of your God,I’ll be forgetting your children.7So because of your sins against Me,Their glory, I’ll appoint to dishonor.8Then My people will have to eat their own sins,As their lives will be claimed by their unrighteous ways.9‘And these things that will happen to the peopleWill also happen to the priests…Yes I’ll bring my vengeance upon themFor all of their evil ways,And I’ll pay them back for their [unrighteous] thoughts.10‘Then they’ll eat and never be filled;For, they’ve become whores who can’t straighten their ways.They no longer look [to their God] anymore;Yes, they’ve abandoned Jehovah!11For whoring, wine, and strong drinkHave captured the hearts of My people.12‘They now look to omens for answers,And [wave magic] wands for replies.In a spirit of whoring, they’ve wandered,And to their God, they’re unfaithful.13‘They offer sacrifices upon the hill topsAnd beneath the oaks and white poplars,As well under the rest of the trees,[To ask] for good and protection.‘For this, your daughters will all become whoresAnd your brides will be filled with adultery.14Then, I’ll not visit your daughtersWhen they’re found guilty of whoring!Nor [will I visit] your daughters-in-lawWhen they’re committing adultery!‘Among prostitutes, they’ll all be mixed(Among those [that offer their bodies]).And since the men won’t understand,They’ll just treat them like whores.’15‘So IsraEl... Stop being stupid!And Judah... Stop going to GilGalAnd to the temple at BethEl!‘Nor should you say, ‘As Jehovah is living,’When you’re swearing your oaths!16For since IsraEl is now like a heifer in heat,She’ll be fattened like a lamb in a feedlot.17‘And because Ephraim has partnered with idols,He’s set his own snares.18For with CanaAnite whores he’s had sex,And he’s loved the dishonor of their neighing.19So a mighty wind will now sweep him away,And his altars will bring him disgrace.’

    5

    1[And Hosea continues:]‘Hear these things, O you priests…And house of IsraEl, you should pay close attention.O house of the king, you must listen too;For there’s a judgment that’s coming against you![‘For God says:]‘Despite your important positions,You’ve become your own snares.So I’m stretching a net on [Mount] Tabor2(The type that they use to catch game),And I’ll be the One who corrects you.3‘I remember Ephraim and IsraElBefore they had strayed far from Me.But, Ephraim has since been immoral,And IsraEl is also defiled…4Neither has remembered to turn to their God.’‘Now the spirit of whoring is in them,And they’ve [forgotten] Jehovah.5So because of her insolent ways,IsraEl’s face will be humbled.And for Ephraim’s unrighteous ways,I’ll bring weakness upon him…And I’ll also bring weakness on Judah.’6‘Although they bring before Him their sheep and their calves,There’s no way that they’ll follow Jehovah.So now, they can no longer find Him,Because they’ve all turned away.7‘Yes, they’ve abandoned Jehovah,And to children of strangers, they’re now giving birth.So, they and all that they’d hope to inheritWill soon be eaten by blight.8[‘For God says:]‘So, blow the trumpets on the hill tops…Sound it from all the high places!In the house of On, you should proclaim it,So that BenJamin will also be shaken.9For, Ephraim will soon be destroyedIn the day of correction!‘Although IsraEl’s tribes once put faith in Me,10The rulers of Judah then joined with the restThat moved the property markers…So I’ll pour My rage upon them like water!11‘Yes, Ephraim [will be oppressed]Because he’s trampled on justice,And because he’s chased worthless things.12So to Ephraim, I’m sending disturbance,And to the house of Judah, I’ll now be a spur.13‘Although Ephraim saw his disease,And although Judah understood his reasons for grief;Ephraim looked to AssyriaAnd asked their king for his aid…But [that king] won’t be able to save them,And he won’t bring an end to their grief.14‘So to Ephraim, I’ll now be a panther,And to the house of Judah, a lion…For I’ll snatch them away and I’ll go…I’ll grab them and no one will save them.15Then I’ll go back to My place,And I won’t be seen again ‘til the timeThat they turn and search for My face.’

    6

    1‘But, when they’re oppressed, they’ll rise early;And then, about Jehovah, they’ll say:‘We should return to our God;For He’ll snatch us away and then heal us.He’ll attack them and then dress our wounds…2Yes, after two days, He’ll restore us;Then, by the third day, we’ll be aliveAnd we’ll be standing before Him!3‘Knowledge of Him, we’ll know and pursue…We’ll find Him at the first crack of dawn.Then like morning rain, He will arrive…Yes, like evening rain on the ground.’4‘[But right now God says:]‘O Ephraim, what must I do?And Judah, what must I do?For your mercy is like morning fog,Which like the dew, fades away.5‘So, by the Prophets, I’ve mowed you down,And I’ve killed you with words from My mouth…My judgments upon you have gone forth like light.6‘What I want is mercy, not sacrifice…Higher knowledge instead of burnt-offerings!7But you’ve broken your Sacred Agreement with Me,And you’ve shown Me your hatred.8‘GileAd is a city of wasted deeds…One which muddies the water.9For her strength now comes from her thieves,And her priests also murder from ambush.‘So, SheChem has committed unrighteous actsAgainst the house of IsraEl,10And causes for shuddering, I’ve seen there;So because of Ephraim’s whoring,Both IsraEl and Judah have now been defiled.11Thus they’ll reap [from the vine] of rebellionUntil I bring back My people.’

    7

    1[‘And God continues:]‘When I brought healing to IsraEl,It exposed the injustice of Ephraim,As well as Samaria’s evils.For at first, they all just told lies;Then, from among them, came thieves,And robbers led them out to the highways.2‘They sang together of the evil in their hearts,Remembering all the [bad things] they’d done.And now, they’re covered by the things that they chose…What they did in front of My face!3‘And all the bad things that they’ve doneHave gladdened [the hearts] of their kings…Their lying ways delighted their rulers!4‘Now, all those who are committing adulteryAre in an ‘oven’ that’s heated for baking by flames…They’ve been ‘kneaded’ and allowed to grow fatAnd the [whole ball] has ‘fermented.’5‘For, in the days of their kings,Their rulers became enraged by their wine,And they held out their [arms] towards vile men…6Those whose hearts were burning like kilns.‘Then, Ephraim’s sleep became filledWith [thoughts of destroying] all night…And in the morning, they burst into flames.7They all became heated like ovens,And then they devoured their judges.So, although all their kings have now fallen,No one has called out to Me.8‘Now, Ephraim’s people are all intermixed…They’re like a cake that’s been baked in hot ashes,Which [no one has bothered] to turn.9‘So, strangers have eaten his strengthWhile he wasn’t paying attention…And after that, his hair all turned grey;Yet, he was still unaware.’10[Hosea says:]‘Now, IsraEl’s insolent waysWill bring humility to their faces;For, they haven’t turned towards Jehovah their GodNo, after these things have all happened,They haven’t gone looking for Him.11‘So Ephraim has become like a doveThat has no mind and no heart.First, he called out to Egypt,And then, to Assyria, he [turned].12[‘And God says:]‘But, when they go there, I’ll throw out My netAnd I’ll catch them like birds…I’ll drag them down and correct them,And listen as they’re tormented.13‘Yes, woe to them, for they’ve leaped away…O how wretched their lives have becomeIn their irreverence towards Me.‘Although I’m the One who once paid their ransom,They spoke against Me and lied…14In their hearts, they failed to call out…They just laid there and shrieked in their beds,As they sold themselves for wine and for bread.15‘When they were corrected by Me,I also strengthened their arms!But then, against Me, they hatched wicked plots.16‘So when they return, they’ll have nothing…They’ll be like a bow that’s stretched tight,And their rulers will fall by the sword,Because they’ve said stupid things;Then in the land of Egypt, they’ll all be defiled.’

    8

    1‘Yes their land is in [Egypt’s hands],And against them, an eagle now flies,Because they’ve broken [God’s] Sacred Agreement,And they’ve disregarded His Laws.2‘However, before Him, they cry out:‘O God, Aren’t we the same ones who’ve known You?’3‘But they threw away the good things He sentAnd turned to His enemies for aid.’4[For God said:]‘By themselves, they chose their own rulers(No, they didn’t ask Me),And when these men started to rule,They saw no reason to tell Me.Then with silver and gold they made idols…So now, they must be wiped away!5‘O Samaria; get rid of your calves,Because they provoke Me to rage…How much longer will IsraEl stay dirty?6For [your calves] are just things that you’ve made [with your hands]…No, they aren’t really gods!And Samaria; you’ve strayed because of your calves!7‘Yes, the seeds of destruction, you’ve sown to the wind,And now your end is searching for you.You’re a stalk of grain too weak to give flour,And if you could give just a little,It would be eaten by strangers.8‘So IsraEl will be swallowed down,And they won’t be a power among other nations.9For, up to Assyria she traveled,And as Ephraim so loves to do,She offered them bribes [for their aid].10‘So among the nations, they’ll be scatteredAnd there, they’ll just be too weakTo again anoint rulers and kings for themselves.11‘Ephraim has built many altars,And these alters that she loves are the [roots] of her sins.12So for them, I’ll write extra laws,Because she loves those strange altars.’13[And Hosea comments:]‘But if they place their sacrifices on them,And if they thereafter eat all the meat;[God] still won’t receive them in favor.‘For, their unrighteous ways are what He’ll recall…And for their sins, He’ll send vengeance upon them.Yes, they’ve turned back to Egypt,14And forgotten the One by whom they were made.[‘For God says:]‘Sacred precincts have also been establishedWithin the walls of the cities of Judah.So, I’ll send fire to their citiesAnd burn them to their foundations.’

    9

    1‘Therefore, IsraEl; don’t rejoice,For your people don’t have any reasons for joy.Since against Jehovah, you’ve been a whore.‘You’ve loved the gifts of the grainFrom the threshing floors where they laid you.2But your threshing-floor grain [won’t feed you],And the wine in your vats will [soon fail].3‘For you chose not to dwell in the land of Jehovah…Yes, life in Egypt is what you preferred,And with the Assyrians, you ate what’s unclean.4‘You offered Jehovah no wine,And set nothing delicious before Him.So your sacrifices became like the breadThat’s offered in mourning…It defiles all those who would eat it.‘So, since you can’t bring your bread to [His Temple]For [the purpose of saving] your lives;5What will you do on your feasts to JehovahAnd on His festival days?6{Look!} For, because you’ve done all of these wicked things,To the misery of Egypt, I’ll send you!‘Then, Memphis will watch over you,And in Machmas, you’ll be buried.So then ruin will inherit your silver,And thorns will grow in your tents.7For the days of His vengeance will have arrived…The time when you’ll receive what you’re due!‘As a prophet without inspiration,Is how IsraEl will view her affliction…Like a man blown away by the wind.And because you’ve been so unrighteous,The pressures [in your lives] will increase.8‘Even though Ephraim’s watchmen once [walked] with God;Their prophets have become crooked snares,And madness [now reigns] in their temples.9‘Yes, they’ve been corrupt since the days of the hills;So He won’t forget their unrighteous ways,And He’ll punish them for all their sins.10[‘And God says:]‘O IsraEl,Back when I had first found you,It was like finding grapes in the desertOr early figs on a tree.But thereafter, as I was still watching,Your fathers [chose to bow to] BaAl Peor…And that’s when you left [Me] in shameTo become something disgusting…Something that’s no longer loved.11‘Now, Ephraim’s like a bird that flew [from its nest],For they’ve lost the glory of [the place of] their birthAs well as their pangs of conception.12So, although they still nourish their children,They’ll soon be childless along with the rest.‘O woe, when I tear away all their flesh!13For Ephraim’s young will be treated like game…Their children will be led out and stabbed!’14[And Hosea says:]‘Yes, give it to them, O Jehovah…Yes, please give it to them!Give them a womb that’s childless,As well as breasts that are dry!15[‘For God says:]‘In GilGal their evil deeds are now done,And that’s where [they’ve gained] all My hatred.Because of the evils they’ve done there,I’ll throw them away and love them no more,For none of their rulers [will listen].16‘Although Ephraim was [like a vine] I tended and hoed,His roots have still become dry,And this is why he no longer bears fruit.Thus, when they give birth, I’ll destroyThose whom they love from their bellies.17‘Yes, I’ll push them away,Because they’re refusing to listen to Me…Then, among the gentiles, they’ll wander.’

    10

    1IsraEl was a vine with many good branches,And her fruit was [once] straight and true.But the more of her fruit [I provided],The more they built altars to others.And the more prosperity [I brought to] the land,The more they built [shrines to other gods].2‘Yes they gave their hearts to such things,So now, they’ll be wiped away.For I’ll cut their altars down to the groundAnd empty out all of their shrines.3‘They say:‘We don’t have a king anymore…Someone we feared [more than God];For, what was Jehovah able to do?’4‘So they give excuses and lie;But because I had an agreement with them,My judgments will soon rise against themLike weeds in an untended field.5‘To the calf in the [temple] at BethElThe people of Samaria now go.And there, My people have wailed…Which has embittered My soul.For when they should have rejoiced in My glory,They chose to move far away.6‘So Assyrians will chain them and lead them awayAs gifts and tributes to their king.And then it’ll be by His decreeThat Ephraim and IsraEl will be shamed.7Samaria threw away her [true] King,As though throwing a stick across water.8So the shrines at BethEl (IsraEl’s sin)Will soon be lifted away.‘Then upon all of their altarsThorns and thistles will grow.So, they’ll say to the mountains:‘Come and cover us over!’And they’ll say to the hills:‘Fall upon us!’9‘But for as long as the hills have existed,IsraEl has stood in her sins.So no way will her hills [then come to her aid]When war arrives on her unrighteous young10To correct them and bind them together…For, it’ll take [war] to straighten their ways.11Ephraim is [like] a heifer who’s learned to love fights;But, I’ll [grab hold] of her neckAnd lead Ephraim off as [a captive].I [will also force] Judah [to plow],And Jacob [to break the hard ground].’12‘So, you should sow what’s righteous,And gather the vintage of life!On yourselves, you should shine light of knowledge,And keep on seeking JehovahUntil your [hearts] become righteous!13‘Why prefer to overlook the bad things you doAnd gather the vintage [wine] of the unrighteous?For you’re eating fruit that’s false,And in [war] chariots, you’re putting your faith…You’re trusting in your own power.14But destruction will come to your people,And all your walled [cities] will fall!‘O house of IsraEl,‘As ShalMan once treated the house of JeroBoamIn the day of their war,And dashed the mothers on top of their young…15That’s how I’ll treat you for your wicked ways!’

    11

    1[And God continues:]‘It was early on when they were disowned,And IsraEl’s kings were also disowned.But as an infant, IsraEl was so deeply loved,So I called his children from Egypt.2But, as I was calling them back,They started turning from Me…To BaAl Im they brought sacrifices,And burned incense before the idols they carved.3‘I once held Ephraim [tight] in my arms…And when he didn’t know Me, I healed him.4While he was in the corrupt state of men,I wrapped him in the bonds of My love.‘To him, I became like a [father]…One who disciplines him…So I’ll watch over him and I’ll win!5‘But to the land of Egypt, he won’t return,For Assyria’s king will now rule himBecause he refused to turn from [bad ways].6‘So, swords will rage in their citiesAnd they’ll consume the bars on their gates…For their bad decisions, they’ll be destroyed!7‘Their people have clung to the things in their homes,And I’m enraged by the things they hold dear.So as a result, I won’t bless them.8‘How should I treat you, O Ephraim…How can I shield you, O IsraEl?Should I treat you the same as I’ve treated AdMah?Will I appoint you as I did to Zeboim?‘Will My heart be changed in such matters…Shouldn’t such things upset Me…Yes, shouldn’t such deeds make Me sad?9‘But no way will I send all My rage upon you…No way will I wipe Ephraim away.For, I am your God (not a man)…I’m the Holy One in your midst,So I won’t enter your cities!’10[And Hosea pleads:]‘But now, you must [return to] Jehovah;Or He will roar like a lionAnd startle your young by the sea in the west.[‘For God says:]11‘They’ll be startled like a bird out of Egypt,And like Assyrian doves;Then I’ll bring them back to their homes,’ says Jehovah.12‘By Ephraim, I was circled with lies…By the irreverence of the houses of IsraEl and Judah.’‘But Jehovah will know them once moreAnd call them The Holy People of God.’

    12

    1‘Like an evil wind, Ephraim’s become…One who pursues burning winds all day longAnd does many things that are empty and vain.With Assyria, he’s made treaties of peace,And he’s traded olive oil down in Egypt.2‘And Jehovah has a case against Judah,So He’ll punish Jacob according to his ways,Then pay him back for the bad things he’s done.3‘For, while he was still in the womb,He caught the heel of his brotherAnd grew in strength with his God.4With an angel, he wrestled and won;Then he wept and begged [for a blessing].’[‘And God said:]‘So, there in [BethEl], he found Me.5And it was also there where I saidFrom now on, I must be rememberedAs Jehovah, the Almighty.’6‘So, you should return to your God…Show mercy and learn to be fair…Yes, always [stay close] to Jehovah![‘Yet God says:]7‘Yet, in [your land], you have unrighteous scales,And you love to tyrannize others.8So, Ephraim is saying:‘I’ve become rich,And I’ve found many ways to relax.’‘But he’ll never see the fruits of his work,Because of the evil he’s doing.9‘I am Jehovah, your God…I’m the One who led you from Egypt.And I’ll settle you in your tents once againAs I did in the days of My holiday feasts.10‘Once more, I’ll speak by My Prophets,And many visions, I’ll send them;For it’s through the hands of the ProphetsThat I’m being described.’11[And Hosea says:]GilGal no longer existsBecause their kings offered things that were false.So their altars are heaps of turtle manure…The type that’s found in unplanted fields.12‘To the plains of Syria, Jacob had gone,As IsraEl’s servant searched for a wife;Then, for a woman, he watched over sheep.13‘And it was by [JoSeph], a Prophet of God,That IsraEl was led down to Egypt.Then, by that very same Prophet,IsraEl’s people were saved.14‘But now that Ephraim’s provoked [God] to rage;His blood will be poured out upon him…For Jehovah will pay him back for his scorn.’

    13

    1‘According to what Ephraim said;IsraEl’s righteous laws came from Him…Then he turned to a BaAl and he died.2‘Yet, they’ve continued to sin,And cast images of idols with their silver,Which are thereafter finished by craftsmenWho say:‘Now we must sacrifice men,Because there aren’t enough calves anymore!’3‘So, they’re like morning fog,Which like the dew, fades away…As chaff on the floors, they’ll just blow away,And like tears, they’ll dry.4‘[God says:]‘I am Jehovah your GodI’m the One who led you from Egypt,And no other God, should you know,For there are no saviors other than Me!5‘I shepherded you in the desert,And in barren lands, made pastures for you.6But then, your hearts became haughty,And because of this, you forgot Me.7So I’ll be like a panther or a leopard to you…Like the ways of the Assyrian people.8Then like an angry bear, I’ll attack you!Yes, I’ll rip you to pieces,Then feed you to my cubs in the woods…Wild beasts of the fields will rip you apart!’9‘O IsraEl,‘Because you’re now so corrupt,Who will come to your aid?10‘And what has happened to your king…Why isn’t he saving your cities…Why doesn’t he come and serve as your judge?‘A long time ago you had asked MeTo give you a king as your ruler!11So I gave you a king in My anger,And My rage was then satisfied.12‘But from Ephraim, then came much injustice,And he tried to cover his sins.13So the pangs of birth are now coming to him.And even his smartest of sonsWon’t stop the destruction of his young.14‘Will I save them from the hands of the grave?Will I [pay] their ransom from death?Where is your punishment, O death,And where is your sting, O place of the dead?For, consoling them is far from My eyes!15‘This is why I’ll separate brothersAnd send burning winds from the desert to them,Which will dry up their veinsAnd wipe away all their springs…Their land and good things will wither and dry.16Samaria will be wiped awayBecause she resisted her God.So her people will fall by the sword…Then those by her breasts will be dashed [to the ground]And those in the womb will be shredded!’

    14

    1[And Hosea continues:]‘O IsraEl,‘Return to Jehovah, your God!For because of your sins, you’ve become weak.2Follow your own [good advice]And then turn back to Jehovah!‘Just ask Him to please overlookAll of your unrighteous waysSo that you can receive what’s goodAnd be repaid for the fruit of your lips.3[‘For God says:]‘Assyria won’t be your savior,And upon their war horses, you’ll never ride.So stop calling those hand-made things gods,And start showing mercy to orphans!4Then I’ll repair all your homes;I’ll turn back my rage;And I’ll confess that I love you!5‘To IsraEl, once more, I’ll becomeLike dew that arrives in the morning;Then, like a lily, he’ll blossom againAnd grow roots like Lebanon’s [trees].6‘Yes his branches will grow very full;And like olive trees, he’ll bear so much fruitThat to Lebanon, its scent will be carried.7‘Then, they’ll all be returned,And in His protection, they’ll sit.They’ll live amidst plenty of grain,And like grapevines, they’ll blossom…They’ll be remembered like Lebanon’s wines.8[‘For God says:]‘O Ephraim,What good are all of your idols?Am I not the One who is humbling youAnd the One who can make you strong once again?For I’m a dense juniper tree,And it’s only by Me that you can bear fruit!’9‘So, who among you is wise,And who understands all these things…Who among you can recognize them?For the ways of Jehovah are straight,And the righteous will live by these waysWhile the irreverent will stumble and fall.’


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