Hosea 12–14; Matthew 20:1–16

12  Ephraim feeds on the wind

and pursues zthe east wind all day long;

they multiply yfalsehood and violence;

athey make a covenant with Assyria,

and boil is carried to Egypt.

The Lord's Indictment of Israel and Judah

cThe Lord has an indictment against Judah

and will punish Jacob according to his ways;

he will repay him according to his deeds.

dIn the womb he took his brother by the heel,

and in his manhood he strove with God.

He strove with the angel and prevailed;

he wept and sought his favor.

eHe met God1 at Bethel,

and there God spoke with us

the Lord, the God of hosts,

fthe Lord is his memorial name:

So you, gby the help of your God, return,

hhold fast to love and justice,

and wait continually for your God.

A merchant, in whose hands are ifalse balances,

he loves jto oppress.

Ephraim has said, Ah, but kI am rich;

I have found wealth for myself;

in all my labors lthey cannot find in me iniquity or sin.

mI am the Lord your God

from the land of Egypt;

I will again make you ndwell in tents,

as in the days of the appointed feast.

10  oI spoke to the prophets;

it was I who multiplied pvisions,

and through the prophets gave parables.

11  qIf there is iniquity in Gilead,

they shall surely come to nothing:

rin Gilgal they sacrifice bulls;

stheir altars also are like stone heaps

ton the furrows of the field.

12  uJacob fled to the land of Aram;

there Israel vserved for a wife,

and for a wife he guarded sheep.

13  By wa prophet xthe Lord brought Israel up from Egypt,

and by a prophet he was guarded.

14  yEphraim has given bitter provocation;

so his Lord zwill leave his bloodguilt on him

aand will repay him for his disgraceful deeds.

The Lord's Relentless Judgment on Israel

13  When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;

bhe was exalted in Israel,

but he incurred guilt cthrough Baal and died.

And now they sin more and more,

and dmake for themselves metal images,

idols skillfully made of their silver,

eall of them the work of craftsmen.

It is said of them,

Those who offer human sacrifice fkiss calves!

Therefore they shall be glike the morning mist

or glike the dew that goes early away,

hlike the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor

or ilike smoke from a window.

But jI am the Lord your God

from the land of Egypt;

kyou know no God but me,

and lbesides me there is no savior.

mIt was I who knew you in the wilderness,

in the land of drought;

nbut when they had grazed,2 they became full,

othey were filled, and their heart was lifted up;

otherefore they forgot me.

So pI am to them like a lion;

qlike a leopard I will lurk beside the way.

I will fall upon them rlike a bear robbed of her cubs;

I will tear open their breast,

and there I will devour them like a lion,

sas a wild beast would rip them open.

He destroys3 you, O Israel,

for you are against me, against tyour helper.

10  uWhere now is your king, to save you in all your cities?

Where are all your rulers

those of whom vyou said,

Give me a king and princes?

11  wI gave you a king in my anger,

and xI took him away in my wrath.

12  The iniquity of Ephraim is ybound up;

his sin is ykept in store.

13  zThe pangs of childbirth come for him,

but he is an unwise son,

for at the right time he does not present himself

aat the opening of the womb.

14  bI shall ransom them from the power of Sheol;

bI shall redeem them from Death.4

cO dDeath, where are your plagues?

cO dSheol, where is your sting?

eCompassion is hidden from my eyes.

15  Though fhe may flourish among his brothers,

gthe east wind, the wind of the Lord, shall come,

rising from the wilderness,

hand his fountain shall dry up;

his spring shall be parched;

it shall strip ihis treasury

of every precious thing.

16  5 Samaria jshall bear her guilt,

because kshe has rebelled against her God;

they shall fall by the sword;

ltheir little ones shall be dashed in pieces,

and their mpregnant women ripped open.

A Plea to Return to the Lord

14  nReturn, O Israel, to the Lord your God,

for oyou have stumbled because of your iniquity.

Take with you words

and return to the Lord;

say to him,

Take away all iniquity;

accept pwhat is good,

and we will pay with bulls

qthe vows6 of our lips.

rAssyria shall not save us;

swe will not ride on horses;

and twe will say no more, Our God,

to the work of our hands.

uIn you the orphan finds mercy.

I vwill heal their apostasy;

wI will love them freely,

for my anger has turned from them.

xI will be like the dew to Israel;

yhe shall blossom like the lily;

he shall take root like the trees zof Lebanon;

his shoots shall spread out;

his beauty shall be alike the olive,

and his fragrance like Lebanon.

They shall return and bdwell beneath my7 shadow;

they shall flourish like the grain;

they shall blossom like the vine;

their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

O cEphraim, what have I to do with idols?

It is I who answer and look after you.8

I am like an evergreen cypress;

dfrom me comes your fruit.

eWhoever is wise, let him understand these things;

whoever is discerning, let him know them;

for the ways of the Lord are right,

and fthe upright walk in them,

fbut transgressors stumble in them.


Laborers in the Vineyard

20 For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius1 a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you. So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And gabout the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, Why do you stand here idle all day? They said to him, Because no one has hired us. He said to them, You go into the vineyard too. And hwhen evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his iforeman, Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first. And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and jthe scorching heat. 13 But he replied to one of them, kFriend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take lwhat belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 mAm I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or ndo you begrudge my generosity?2 16 So othe last will be first, and the first last.