Hosea 4-7 - God's Controversy with Israel; The People's Apostasy Rebuked; Ephraim's Iniquity

God's Controversy with Israel

1 Listen to the word of the LORD,

O sons of Israel,

For the LORD has a case against the

inhabitants of the land,

Because there is no faithfulness or kindness

Or knowledge of God in the land.

2 There is swearing, deception, murder,

stealing and adultery.

They employ violence, so that bloodshed

follows bloodshed.

3 Therefore the land mourns,

And everyone who lives in it languishes

Along with the beasts of the field and

the birds of the sky,

And also the fish of the sea disappear.

4 Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer


For your people are like those who contend

with the priest.

5 So you will stumble by day,

And the prophet also will stumble with you

by night;

And I will destroy your mother.

6 My people are destroyed for lack of


Because you have rejected knowledge,

I also will reject you from being My priest.

Since you have forgotten the law of your God,

I also will forget your children.

7 The more they multiplied, the more they

sinned against Me;

I will change their glory into shame.

8 They feed on the sin of My people

And direct their desire toward their iniquity.

9 And it will be, like people, like priest;

So I will punish them for their ways

And repay them for their deeds.

10 They will eat, but not have enough;

They will play the harlot, but not increase,

Because they have stopped giving heed

to the LORD.

11 Harlotry, wine and new wine take away

the understanding.

12 My people consult their wooden idol,

and their diviner's wand informs them;

For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray,

And they have played the harlot, departing

from their God.

13 They offer sacrifices on the tops of the


And burn incense on the hills,

Under oak, poplar and terebinth,

Because their shade is pleasant.

Therefore your daughters play the harlot

And your brides commit adultery.

14 I will not punish your daughters when

they play the harlot

Or your brides when they commit adultery,

For the men themselves go apart with


And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes;

So the people without understanding are


15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot,

Do not let Judah become guilty;

Also do not go to Gilgal,

Or go up to Beth-aven

And take the oath:

"As the LORD lives!"

16 Since Israel is stubborn

Like a stubborn heifer,

Can the LORD now pasture them

Like a lamb in a large field?

17 Ephraim is joined to idols;

Let him alone.

18 Their liquor gone,

They play the harlot continually;

Their rulers dearly love shame.

19 The wind wraps them in its wings,

And they will be ashamed because of

their sacrifices.

Hosea 5

The People's Apostasy Rebuked

1 Hear this, O priests!

Give heed, O house of Israel!

Listen, O house of the king!

For the judgment applies to you,

For you have been a snare at Mizpah

And a net spread out on Tabor.

2 The revolters have gone deep in


But I will chastise all of them.

3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not

hidden from Me;

For now, O Ephraim, you have played

the harlot,

Israel has defiled itself.

4 Their deeds will not allow them

To return to their God.

For a spirit of harlotry is within them,

And they do not know the LORD.

5 Moreover, the pride of Israel testifies

against him,

And Israel and Ephraim stumble in their


Judah also has stumbled with them.

6 They will go with their flocks and herds

To seek the LORD, but they will not find


He has withdrawn from them.

7 They have dealt treacherously against the


For they have borne illegitimate children.

Now the new moon will devour them with

their land.

8 Blow the horn in Gibeah,

The trumpet in Ramah.

Sound an alarm at Beth-aven:

"Behind you, Benjamin!"

9 Ephraim will become a desolation in the

day of rebuke;

Among the tribes of Israel I declare what

is sure.

10 The princes of Judah have become like

those who move a boundary;

On them I will pour out My wrath like water.

11 Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment,

Because he was determined to follow man's


12 Therefore I am like a moth to Ephraim

And like rottenness to the house of Judah.

13 When Ephraim saw his sickness,

And Judah his wound,

Then Ephraim went to Assyria

And sent to King Jareb.

But he is unable to heal you,

Or to cure you of your wound.

14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim

And like a young lion to the house of Judah.

I, even I, will tear to pieces and go away,

I will carry away, and there will be none to


15 I will go away and return to My place

Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek

My face;

In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.

Hosea 6

The Response to God's Rebuke

1 "Come, let us return to the LORD.

For He has torn us, but He will heal us;

He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.

2 "He will revive us after two days;

He will raise us up on the third day,

That we may live before Him.

3 "So let us know, let us press on to know

the LORD.

His going forth is as certain as the dawn;

And He will come to us like the rain,

Like the spring rain watering the earth."

4 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?

What shall I do with you, O Judah?

For your loyalty is like a morning cloud

And like the dew which goes away early.

5 Therefore I have hewn them in pieces

by the prophets;

I have slain them by the words of My mouth;

And the judgments on you are like the light

that goes forth.

6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice,

And in the knowledge of God rather than

burnt offerings.

7 But like Adam they have transgressed the


There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

8 Gilead is a city of wrongdoers,

Tracked with bloody footprints.

9 And as raiders wait for a man,

So a band of priests murder on the way to


Surely they have committed crime.

10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible


Ephraim's harlotry is there, Israel has defiled


11 Also, O Judah, there is a harvest appointed

for you,

When I restore the fortunes of My people.

Hosea 7

Ephraim's Iniquity

1 When I would heal Israel,

The iniquity of Ephraim is uncovered,

And the evil deeds of Samaria,

For they deal falsely;

The thief enters in,

Bandits raid outside,

2 And they do not consider in their hearts

That I remember all their wickedness.

Now their deeds are all around them;

They are before My face.

3 With their wickedness they make the

king glad,

And the princes with their lies.

4 They are all adulterers,

Like an oven heated by the baker

Who ceases to stir up the fire

From the kneading of the dough until

it is leavened.

5 On the day of our king, the princes

became sick with the heat of wine;

He stretched out his hand with scoffers,

6 For their hearts are like an oven

As they approach their plotting;

Their anger smolders all night,

In the morning it burns like a flaming fire.

7 All of them are hot like an oven,

And they consume their rulers;

All their kings have fallen.

None of them calls on Me.

8 Ephraim mixes himself with the nations;

Ephraim has become a cake not turned.

9 Strangers devour his strength,

Yet he does not know it;

Gray hairs also are sprinkled on him,

Yet he does not know it.

10 Though the pride of Israel testifies

against him,

Yet they have not returned to the LORD

their God,

Nor have they sought Him, for all this.

11 So Ephraim has become like a silly dove,

without sense;

They call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.

12 When they go, I will spread My net over


I will bring them down like the birds of the sky.

I will chastise them in accordance with the

proclamation to their assembly.

13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from


Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled

against Me!

I would redeem them, but they speak lies

against Me.

14 And they do not cry to Me from their heart

When they wail on their beds;

For the sake of grain and new wine they

assemble themselves,

They turn away from Me.

15 Although I trained and strengthened their


Yet they devise evil against Me.

16 They turn, but not upward,

They are like a deceitful bow;

Their princes will fall by the sword

Because of the insolence of their tongue.

This will be their derision in the land of Egypt.

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