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Hosea 6:4-9:6 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

‘What can I do with you, Ephraim?
    What can I do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist,
    like the early dew that disappears.
Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,
    I killed you with the words of my mouth –
    then my judgments go forth like the sun.[a]
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
    and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
As at Adam,[b] they have broken the covenant;
    they were unfaithful to me there.
Gilead is a city of evildoers,
    stained with footprints of blood.
As marauders lie in ambush for a victim,
    so do bands of priests;
they murder on the road to Shechem,
    carrying out their wicked schemes.
10 I have seen a horrible thing in Israel:
    there Ephraim is given to prostitution,
    Israel is defiled.

11 ‘Also for you, Judah,
    a harvest is appointed.

‘Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,
whenever I would heal Israel,
the sins of Ephraim are exposed
    and the crimes of Samaria revealed.
They practise deceit,
    thieves break into houses,
    bandits rob in the streets;
but they do not realise
    that I remember all their evil deeds.
Their sins engulf them;
    they are always before me.

‘They delight the king with their wickedness,
    the princes with their lies.
They are all adulterers,
    burning like an oven
whose fire the baker need not stir
    from the kneading of the dough till it rises.
On the day of the festival of our king
    the princes become inflamed with wine,
    and he joins hands with the mockers.
Their hearts are like an oven;
    they approach him with intrigue.
Their passion smoulders all night;
    in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
All of them are hot as an oven;
    they devour their rulers.
All their kings fall,
    and none of them calls on me.

‘Ephraim mixes with the nations;
    Ephraim is a flat loaf not turned over.
Foreigners sap his strength,
    but he does not realise it.
His hair is sprinkled with grey,
    but he does not notice.
10 Israel’s arrogance testifies against him,
    but despite all this
he does not return to the Lord his God
    or search for him.

11 ‘Ephraim is like a dove,
    easily deceived and senseless –
now calling to Egypt,
    now turning to Assyria.
12 When they go, I will throw my net over them;
    I will pull them down like the birds in the sky.
When I hear them flocking together,
    I will catch them.
13 Woe to them,
    because they have strayed from me!
Destruction to them,
    because they have rebelled against me!
I long to redeem them
    but they speak about me falsely.
14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts
    but wail on their beds.
They slash themselves,[c] appealing to their gods
    for grain and new wine,
    but they turn away from me.
15 I trained them and strengthened their arms,
    but they plot evil against me.
16 They do not turn to the Most High;
    they are like a faulty bow.
Their leaders will fall by the sword
    because of their insolent words.
For this they will be ridiculed
    in the land of Egypt.

Israel to reap the whirlwind

‘Put the trumpet to your lips!
    An eagle is over the house of the Lord
because the people have broken my covenant
    and rebelled against my law.
Israel cries out to me,
    “Our God, we acknowledge you!”
But Israel has rejected what is good;
    an enemy will pursue him.
They set up kings without my consent;
    they choose princes without my approval.
With their silver and gold
    they make idols for themselves
    to their own destruction.
Throw out your calf-idol, Samaria!
    My anger burns against them.
How long will they be incapable of purity?
    They are from Israel!
This calf – a metalworker has made it;
    it is not God.
It will be broken in pieces,
    that calf of Samaria.

‘They sow the wind
    and reap the whirlwind.
The stalk has no head;
    it will produce no flour.
Were it to yield grain,
    foreigners would swallow it up.
Israel is swallowed up;
    now she is among the nations
    like something no one wants.
For they have gone up to Assyria
    like a wild donkey wandering alone.
    Ephraim has sold herself to lovers.
10 Although they have sold themselves among the nations,
    I will now gather them together.
They will begin to waste away
    under the oppression of the mighty king.

11 ‘Though Ephraim built many altars for sin offerings,
    these have become altars for sinning.
12 I wrote for them the many things of my law,
    but they regarded them as something foreign.
13 Though they offer sacrifices as gifts to me,
    and though they eat the meat,
    the Lord is not pleased with them.
Now he will remember their wickedness
    and punish their sins:
    they will return to Egypt.
14 Israel has forgotten his Maker
    and built palaces;
    Judah has fortified many towns.
But I will send fire on their cities
    that will consume their fortresses.’

Punishment for Israel

Do not rejoice, Israel;
    do not be jubilant like the other nations.
For you have been unfaithful to your God;
    you love the wages of a prostitute
    at every threshing-floor.
Threshing-floors and winepresses will not feed the people;
    the new wine will fail them.
They will not remain in the Lord’s land;
    Ephraim will return to Egypt
    and eat unclean food in Assyria.
They will not pour out wine offerings to the Lord,
    nor will their sacrifices please him.
Such sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners;
    all who eat them will be unclean.
This food will be for themselves;
    it will not come into the temple of the Lord.

What will you do on the day of your appointed festivals,
    on the feast days of the Lord?
Even if they escape from destruction,
    Egypt will gather them,
    and Memphis will bury them.
Their treasures of silver will be taken over by briers,
    and thorns will overrun their tents.

Footnotes:

  1. Hosea 6:5 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
  2. Hosea 6:7 Or Like Adam; or Like human beings
  3. Hosea 7:14 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts They gather together
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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