Hosea 4:12-19; Hosea 5; Hosea 6; Hosea 7:1-11
of my people. They consult a wooden idol and are answered by a stick of wood. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God.
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.
"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!
"Though you commit adultery, O Israel, let not 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!'
The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. How then can the LORD pasture them like lambs in a meadow?
Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone!
Even when their drinks are gone, they continue their prostitution; their rulers dearly love shameful ways.
A whirlwind will sweep them away, and their sacrifices will bring them shame.
"Hear this, you priests! Pay attention, you Israelites! Listen, O royal house! This judgment is against you: You have been a snare at Mizpah, a net spread out on Tabor.
The rebels are deep in slaughter. I will discipline all of them.
I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from me. Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt.
"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.
Israel's arrogance testifies against them; the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble in their sin; Judah also stumbles with them.
When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the LORD, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them.
They are unfaithful to the LORD; they give birth to illegitimate children. Now their New Moon festivals will devour them and their fields.
"Sound the trumpet in Gibeah, the horn in Ramah. Raise the battle cry in Beth Aven; lead on, O Benjamin.
Ephraim will be laid waste on the day of reckoning. Among the tribes of Israel I proclaim what is certain.
Judah's leaders are like those who move boundary stones. I will pour out my wrath on them like a flood of water.
Ephraim is oppressed, trampled in judgment, intent on pursuing idols.
I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah.
"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.
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.
Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me."
"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.
After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.
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."
"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.
Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth; my judgments flashed like lightning upon you.
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Like Adam, they have broken the covenant-- they were unfaithful to me there.
Gilead is a city of wicked men, stained with footprints of blood.
As marauders lie in ambush for a man, so do bands of priests; they murder on the road to Shechem, committing shameful crimes.
I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel. There Ephraim is given to prostitution and Israel is defiled.
"Also for you, Judah, a harvest is appointed. "Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,
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;
but they do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds. Their sins engulf them; they are always before me.
"They delight the king with their wickedness, the princes with their lies.
They are all adulterers, burning like an oven whose fire the baker need not stir from the kneading of the dough till it rises.
On the day of the festival of our king the princes become inflamed with wine, and he joins hands with the mockers.
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.
All of them are hot as an oven; they devour their rulers. All their kings fall, and none of them calls on me.
"Ephraim mixes with the nations; Ephraim is a flat cake not turned over.
Foreigners sap his strength, but he does not realize it. His hair is sprinkled with gray, but he does not notice.
Israel's arrogance testifies against him, but despite all this he does not return to the LORD his God or search for him.
"Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless-- now calling to Egypt, now turning to Assyria.