Hosea 12

10  qIsrael is a luxuriant vine

that yields its fruit.

The more his fruit increased,

rthe more altars he built;

as his country improved,

he improved his pillars.

Their heart is false;

now they must bear their guilt.

The Lord1 will break down their altars

and destroy their pillars.

For now they will say:

sWe have no king,

for we do not fear the Lord;

and a kingwhat could he do for us?

They utter tmere words;

with empty2 oaths they make covenants;

so ujudgment springs up like poisonous weeds

vin the furrows of the field.

The inhabitants of Samaria tremble

for wthe calf3 of xBeth-aven.

Its people mourn for it, and so do its idolatrous priests

those who rejoiced over it and yover its glory

for it has departed4 from them.

zThe thing itself shall be carried to Assyria

as tribute to athe great king.5

Ephraim shall be put to shame,

and Israel shall be ashamed bof his idol.6

cSamaria's king shall perish

like a twig on the face of the waters.

The high places of xAven, dthe sin of Israel,

shall be destroyed.

eThorn and thistle shall grow up

on their altars,

and fthey shall say to the mountains, Cover us,

and to the hills, Fall on us.

From gthe days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel;

there they have continued.

Shall not the war against the unjust7 overtake them in Gibeah?

10  hWhen I please, iI will discipline them,

and nations shall be gathered against them

when they are bound up for jtheir double iniquity.

11  Ephraim was a trained calf

that kloved to thresh,

and I spared her fair neck;

but I will put lEphraim to the yoke;

lJudah must plow;

Jacob must harrow for himself.

12  mSow for yourselves righteousness;

reap steadfast love;

nbreak up your fallow ground,

for it is the time to seek the Lord,

that he may come and orain righteousness upon you.

13  pYou have plowed iniquity;

you have reaped injustice;

you have eaten the fruit of lies.

Because you have trusted in your own way

and in the multitude of your warriors,

14  therefore qthe tumult of war shall arise among your people,

and all your fortresses shall be destroyed,

as rShalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle;

smothers were dashed in pieces with their children.

15  Thus it shall be done to you, O tBethel,

because of your great evil.

At dawn athe king of Israel

shall be utterly cut off.

The Lord's Love for Israel

11  uWhen Israel was a child, vI loved him,

and out of Egypt I wcalled xmy son.

yThe more they were called,

the more they went away;

zthey kept sacrificing to the Baals

and burning offerings to idols.

Yet it was aI who taught Ephraim to walk;

I took them up by their arms,

but they did not know that bI healed them.

cI led them with cords of kindness,1

with the bands of love,

and dI became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,

and eI bent down to them and fed them.

fThey shall not2 return to the land of Egypt,

but gAssyria shall be their king,

hbecause ithey have refused to return to me.

jThe sword shall rage against their cities,

consume the bars of their gates,

and devour them kbecause of their own counsels.

My people are bent lon turning away from me,

and though mthey call out to the Most High,

he shall not raise them up at all.

How can I give you up, O Ephraim?

How can I hand you over, O Israel?

nHow can I make you olike Admah?

How can I treat you olike Zeboiim?

pMy heart recoils within me;

my compassion grows warm and tender.

I will not execute my burning anger;

I will not again destroy Ephraim;

qfor I am God and not a man,

rthe Holy One in your midst,

and I will not come in wrath.3

10  sThey shall go after the Lord;

the will roar like a lion;

when he roars,

his children shall come trembling ufrom the west;

11  they shall come trembling like birds vfrom Egypt,

and wlike doves xfrom the land of Assyria,

and I will return them to their homes, declares the Lord.

12  4 Ephraim yhas surrounded me with lies,

and the house of Israel with deceit,

but Judah still walks with God

and is faithful to the Holy One.

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,1 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 destroys2 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.3

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  4 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 vows1 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 my2 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.3

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.