Hosea 12–14; Revelation 4

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.


The Throne in Heaven

After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me flike a trumpet, said, gCome up here, and hI will show you what must take place after this. At once iI was in the Spirit, and behold, ja throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of kjasper and carnelian, and around the throne was la rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were mtwenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, nclothed in white garments, with ogolden crowns on their heads. From the throne came pflashes of lightning, and rumblings1 and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning qseven torches of fire, rwhich are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was sas it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are tfour living creatures, ufull of eyes in front and behind: vthe first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. And the four living creatures, weach of them with six wings, are xfull of eyes all around and within, and yday and night they never cease to say,

zHoly, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,

awho was and is and is to come!

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, bwho lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders cfall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast dtheir crowns before the throne, saying,

11  eWorthy are you, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for fyou created all things,

and gby your will they existed and were created.