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Hosea 1; Hosea 2; Hosea 3; Hosea 4; Hosea 5; Hosea 6; Hosea 7

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Hosea 1

1 A message came to Hosea from the Lord. He was the son of Beeri. The message came while Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. It also came while Jeroboam was king of Israel. He was the son of Jehoash. Here is what Hosea said.
2 The LORD began to speak through me. He said to me, "Go. Get married to a woman who will commit adultery. Take as your own the children who will be born as a result of her adultery. Marry her because the people of the land are guilty of the worst kind of adultery. They have not been faithful to me."
3 So I married Gomer. She was the daughter of Diblaim. Gomer became pregnant. And she had a son by me.
4 Then the LORD said to me, "Name him Jezreel. That is because I will soon punish Jehu's royal family. He killed many people at the city of Jezreel. So I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel.
5 At that time I will break their military power. It will happen in the Valley of Jezreel."
6 Gomer became pregnant again. She had a daughter. Then the LORD said to me, "Name her Lo-Ruhamah. That is because I will no longer show love to the people of Israel. I will not forgive them anymore.
7 But I will show love to the people of Judah. And I will save them. I will not use bows or swords or other weapons of war to do it. I will not save them by using horses and horsemen either. Instead, I will use my own power to save them. I am the LORD their God."
8 Later, Gomer stopped nursing Lo-Ruhamah. After that, she had another son.
9 Then the LORD said, "Name him Lo-Ammi. That is because Israel is no longer my people. And I am no longer their God.
10 "But the time will come when the people of Israel will be like the sand on the seashore. It can't be measured or counted. Now it is said about them, 'You are not my people.' But at that time they will be called 'children of the living God.'
11 The people of Judah and Israel will be brought together again. They will appoint one leader. They will increase their numbers in the land. And Jezreel's day will be great. That is because I will plant Israel in the land again.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Hosea 2

1 "People of Israel, call your brothers My People. And call your sisters My Loved Ones."
2 I said to my children, "Talk things over with your mother. Talk to her. She isn't acting like a wife to me anymore. She no longer treats me as her husband. Tell her to stop looking and acting like a prostitute. Tell her not to let her lovers lie on her breasts anymore.
3 If she doesn't stop it, I will strip her naked. I'll make her as bare as she was on the day she was born. I'll make her like a desert. She will become like dry land. And I'll let her die of thirst."
4 I won't show my love to Gomer's children. They are the children of other men.
5 Their mother hasn't been faithful to me. She who became pregnant with them has brought shame on herself. She said, "I will chase after my lovers. They give me my food and water. They provide me with wool and linen. They give me olive oil and wine."
6 So I will block her path with bushes that have thorns. I'll build a wall around her. Then she can't go to her lovers.
7 She will still chase after her lovers. But she won't catch them. She'll look for them. But she won't find them. Then she'll say, "I'll go back to my husband. That's where I was at first. I was better off then than I am now."
8 She wouldn't admit that I was the one who gave her everything she had. I provided her with grain, olive oil and fresh wine. I gave her plenty of silver and gold. But she used it to make statues of Baal.
9 So I will take away my grain when it gets ripe. I'll take my fresh wine when it's ready. I'll take back my wool and my linen. I gave them to her to cover her naked body.
10 So now I'll uncover her body. All of her lovers will see it. No one can stop me from punishing her.
11 I will put a stop to the special times she celebrates. I'll bring an end to the feasts she celebrates each year. I'll stop her New Moon Feasts and her Sabbath days. I'll bring all of her appointed feasts to an end.
12 I will destroy her vines and her fig trees. She said they were her pay from her lovers. I'll make them like clumps of bushes and weeds. Wild animals will eat them up.
13 The LORD announces, "Israel burned incense to the gods that were named after Baal. I will punish her for all of the times she did that. She decorated herself with rings and jewelry. Then she went after her lovers. But she forgot all about me.
14 "So now I am going to draw her back to me. I will lead her into the desert. There I will speak tenderly to her.
15 I will give her back her vineyards. I will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope for her. Then she will love me, as she did when she was young. She will love me just as she did when she came up out of Egypt.
16 "A new day is coming," announces the Lord. "Israel will call me My Husband. She will no longer call me My Master.
17 She will no longer speak about the gods that are named after Baal. She will not pray to them for help anymore.
18 At that time I will make a covenant for the good of my people. I will make it with the wild animals and the birds of the air. It will also be made with the creatures that move on the ground. I will remove bows and swords and other weapons of war from the land. Then my people can lie down in safety.
19 I will make Israel my own. She will belong to me forever. I will do to her what is right and fair. I will love her tenderly.
20 I will be faithful to her. And she will recognize me as the Lord.
21 "So at that time I will answer her," announces the Lord. "I will command the skies to send rain on the earth.
22 Then the earth will produce grain, olive oil and fresh wine. And Israel will be called Jezreel. That is because I will answer her prayers.
23 I will plant her in the land for myself. I will show my love to the one I called Not My Loved One. I will say, 'You are my people' to those who were called Not My People. And they will say, 'You are my God.' "
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Hosea 3

1 The LORD said to me, "Go. Show your love to your wife again. She is loved by another man. And she has committed adultery. But I want you to love her just as I love the people of Israel. They turn to other gods. And they love to offer raisin cakes to Baal and eat them. In spite of that, I love my people."
2 So I bought Gomer for six ounces of silver and about ten bushels of barley.
3 Then I told her, "You must wait for me for a long time. You must not be a prostitute. You must not have sex with any man. And I will wait for you."
4 So the people of Israel will live for a long time without a king or prince. They won't have sacrifices or sacred stones. They won't have sacred linen aprons or statues of family gods.
5 After that, the people of Israel will return to the LORD their God. They will look to him and to a king from the family line of David. In the last days, they will tremble with fear as they come to the Lord. And they will receive his full blessing.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Hosea 4

1 People of Israel, listen to the LORD's message. He is bringing charges against you who live in Israel. He says, "There is no faithfulness or love in the land. No one recognizes me as God.
2 People call down curses on others. They tell lies and commit murder. They steal and commit adultery. They break all of my laws. They keep on spilling the blood of others.
3 That is why the land is drying up. All those who live in it are getting weaker and weaker. The wild animals and the birds of the air are dying. So are the fish in the ocean.
4 "But you priests should not blame the people. You should not find fault with one another. After all, your people could also bring charges against you.
5 You trip and fall day and night. And the prophets fall down along with you. So I will destroy your nation. She is the one who gave birth to you.
6 My people are destroyed because they do not know me. "You priests have refused to obey me. So I will refuse to accept you as my priests. You have not paid any attention to my law. So I will not let your children be my priests.
7 The more priests there are, the more they sin against me. They have traded their glorious God for that shameful god Baal.
8 They live off the sins of my people. And they want them to keep on sinning.
9 So here is what I will do. I will punish people and priests alike. I will judge them because of their sinful lives. I will pay them back for the evil things they have done.
10 "My people will eat. But they will not have enough. They will have sex with prostitutes. But they will not have any children. That is because they have deserted me.
11 They have sex with prostitutes. They drink old wine and fresh wine. When they do those things, it destroys their ability to understand.
12 They ask a wooden statue of a god for advice. They expect to get answers from a stick of wood. They act like prostitutes. That leads them down the wrong path. I am their God. But they are not faithful to me.
13 They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops. They burn offerings on the hills. They worship under oak, poplar and terebinth trees. The trees provide plenty of shade. So your daughters become prostitutes. And your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
14 "I will not punish your daughters when they become prostitutes. I will not judge your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery. After all, the men themselves have sex with sinful women. They offer sacrifices where temple prostitutes earn their living. People who can't understand will be destroyed!
15 "Israel, you are not faithful to me. But I do not want Judah to become guilty too. "My people, do not go to Gilgal to offer sacrifices. Do not go up to Bethel to worship other gods. Do not take an oath and say, 'You can be sure that the LORD is alive.'
16 The people of Israel are stubborn. They are as stubborn as a young cow. So how can I take care of them like lambs in a meadow?
17 The people of Ephraim have joined themselves to other gods. And nothing can be done to help them.
18 They continue to be unfaithful to me even when their drinks are gone. And their rulers love to do shameful things.
19 A windstorm will blow all of them away. And their sacrifices will bring shame on them.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Hosea 5

1 "Listen to me, you priests! Pay attention, people of Israel! Listen, you members of the royal family! Here is my decision against you. You have been like a trap at Mizpah. You have been like a net spread out on Mount Tabor.
2 You refuse to obey me. You offer sacrifices to other gods. So I will punish all of you.
3 People of Ephraim, I know all about you. What you are doing is not hidden from me. Now you have joined yourselves to other gods. You have made yourselves 'unclean.'
4 "You can't return to me because you have done so many evil things. In your hearts you long to act like prostitutes. You do not recognize me as the Lord.
5 Israel, your pride witnesses that you are guilty. People of Ephraim, you trip and fall because you have sinned. Judah, you fall down along with them.
6 Israel, you will come to worship me. You will bring your animals to offer as sacrifices. But you will not find me. I have turned away from you.
7 You are not faithful to me. Your children do not belong to me. The way you act at your New Moon Feasts will destroy you and your fields.
8 "My people, blow trumpets in Gibeah! Blow horns in Ramah! Shout the battle cry in Bethel! Say to Benjamin, 'The Assyrian army is coming!'
9 People of Ephraim, you will be completely destroyed when it is time for me to punish you. You can be sure it will happen. I am announcing it among your tribes.
10 Judah, your leaders have stolen some land. They have moved their borders farther north. So I will pour out my anger on you like a flood of water.
11 Ephraim, you will soon be crushed. The Assyrians will stomp all over you. It will happen because you have made up your minds to chase after other gods.
12 Ephraim, I will be like a moth to you. Judah, I will cause you to rot away.
13 "Ephraim, you saw how sick you were. Judah, you saw that you were wounded. Ephraim, you turned to Assyria for help. You sent gifts to the great King Tiglath-Pileser. But he is not able to make you well. He can't heal your wounds.
14 Ephraim, I will be like a lion to you. Judah, I will attack you like a powerful lion. I will tear you to pieces. I will drag you off. Then I will leave you. No one will be able to save you.
15 I will go back to my home in heaven. I will stay there until you admit you have sinned. Then you will turn to me. You will suffer so much that you will really want me to help you."
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Hosea 6

1 The people say, "Come. Let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces. But he will heal us. He has wounded us. But he'll bandage our wounds.
2 After two days he will give us new life. On the third day he'll make us like new again. Then we will enjoy his blessing.
3 Let's recognize him as the Lord. Let's keep trying to really know him. You can be sure the sun will rise. And you can be just as sure the LORD will appear. He will come to renew us like the winter rains. He will be like the spring rains that water the earth."
4 The LORD says, "Ephraim, what can I do with you? And what can I do with you, Judah? Your love for me vanishes like the morning mist. It soon disappears like the early dew.
5 So I used the words of my prophets to cut you in pieces. I used my words to put you to death. When I judged you, I struck you like lightning.
6 I want mercy and not sacrifice. I want you to recognize me as God instead of bringing me burnt offerings.
7 Just as Adam disobeyed me, you have broken the covenant I made with you. You were not faithful to me in the land I gave you.
8 Ramoth Gilead is a city where sinful people live. It is stained with footprints of blood.
9 On the road to Shechem, groups of priests act like robbers. They hide and wait to attack people. They murder them and commit other shameful crimes.
10 People of Israel, I have seen a horrible thing in your land. People of Ephraim, you have joined yourselves to other gods. You have made yourselves 'unclean.'
11 "People of Judah, I have appointed a time for you to be destroyed. "My people, I would like to bless you with great success again."
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Hosea 7

1 The LORD says, "I would like to heal Israel. But when I try to, Ephraim's sins are brought out into the open. The crimes of Samaria are made known to everyone. The people tell lies. They break into houses and steal. They rob others in the streets.
2 But they do not realize that I remember all of the evil things they do. Their sins pile up and cover them. I am always aware of those sins.
3 "Their evil conduct even makes the king glad. Their lies make the princes happy.
4 But all of the people are unfaithful to the king. Their anger against him burns like the coals in an oven. The baker does not even need to stir up the fire until the dough is ready."
5 On special days to honor our king, the princes get drunk with wine. And the king enjoys the party. He joins hands with those who pretend to be faithful to him.
6 Their hearts are as hot as an oven. They make evil plans to get rid of him. Their anger burns like a slow fire all night. In the morning it blazes out like a flaming fire.
7 All of them are as hot as an oven. They destroy their rulers. All of their kings fall from power. But none of them calls on the LORD for help.
8 The people of Ephraim mix with the nations. They are like a flat cake that is baked on only one side.
9 People from other lands make them weaker and weaker. But they don't realize it. Their hair is becoming gray. But they don't even notice it.
10 The pride of Israel witnesses that they are guilty. But in spite of everything, they don't return to the LORD their God. They don't go to him for help.
11 The LORD says, "The people of Ephraim are like a dove. They are easily tricked. They do not have any sense at all. First they call out to Egypt for help. Then they turn to Assyria.
12 When they send for help, I will throw my net over them. I will capture them like birds of the air. I will punish them, just as I warned them I would.
13 How terrible it will be for them! They have wandered away from me. So they will be destroyed. They have refused to obey me. I long to save them. But they tell lies about me.
14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts. Instead, they just lie on their beds and sob. They cut themselves when they pray to Baal for grain and fresh wine. So they turn away from me.
15 I brought them up and made them strong. But they make evil plans against me.
16 I am the Most High God. But they do not turn to me. They are like a bow that does not shoot straight. Their leaders will be killed with swords. They will die because they have spoken too proudly. The people of Egypt will make fun of them."
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.