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Hosea 9

Arrival of divine judgment

1 Don't rejoice, Israel! Don't celebrate as other nations do; for as whores you have gone away from your God. You have loved a prostitute's pay on all threshing floors of grain.
2 Threshing floor and wine vat won't feed them; the new wine will fail them.
3 They won't remain in the land of the LORD; but Ephraim will return to Egypt, and in Assyria they will eat unclean food.
4 They won't pour wine as an offering to the LORD; their sacrifices won't please him. Such sacrifices will be like food for those who touch the dead; all who eat of it will be unclean; their bread will be for their hunger alone; it will not come to the LORD's house.
5 What will you do on the day of appointed festival, on the day of the LORD's festival?
6 Even if they escape destruction, Egypt will gather them, Memphis will bury them. Briars will possess their precious things of silver; thorns will be in their tents.
7 The days of punishment have come; the days of judgment have arrived; Israel cries, "The prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad!" Because of your great wickedness, your rejection of me is great.

Tragic consequences

8 The prophet is God's watchman looking over Ephraim, yet a hunter's trap is set, covering all his ways, and rejection is in his God's house.
9 They have corrupted themselves terribly as in the days of Gibeah; he will remember their wickedness; he will punish their sins.
10 Like grapes in the wilderness, I found Israel. In its first season, like the first fruit on the fig tree, I saw your ancestors. But they came to Baal-peor, and worshipped a thing of shame; they became detestable like the thing they loved.
11 Ephraim's glory will fly away like a bird— no birth, no pregnancy, no conception!
12 Though they bring up children, I will make them childless until no one is left. Doom to them indeed when I leave them!
13 When I looked toward Tyre, Ephraim was planted in a lovely meadow; but now Ephraim must lead out his children for slaughter.
14 Give them, LORD— what will you give them? Give them a womb that miscarries and breasts that are dried up.
15 Every wickedness of theirs began at Gilgal; there I came to hate them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no more; all their officials are rebels.
16 Ephraim is sick, their root is dried up, they will bear no fruit. Even though they give birth, I will put to death their much-loved little ones.
17 Because they haven't listened to him, my God will reject them; they will wander among the nations.
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