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Hosea 2 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

So let your brothers be called “My People” and your sisters be called “Shown Mercy.”[a]

The Lord Promises To Punish Israel

Accuse! Accuse your mother!
    She is no longer my wife,
and now I, the Lord,
    am not her husband.
Beg her to give up prostitution
    and stop being unfaithful,[b]
or I will strip her naked
    like the day she was born.
I will make her barren
like a desert,
    and she will die of thirst.
You children are the result
of her unfaithfulness,
    and I’ll show you no pity.
Your mother was unfaithful.
She was disgraceful and said,
    “I’ll run after my lovers.
Everything comes from them—
    my food and drink,
    my linen and wool,
    my olive oil and wine.”

I, the Lord, will build
a fence of thorns
    to block her path.
She will run after her lovers,
    but not catch them;
she will search,
    but not find them.
Then she will say, “I’ll return
to my first husband.
    Life was better then.”
She didn’t know that her grain,
wine, and olive oil
    were gifts from me,
as were the gold and silver
    she used in worshiping Baal.[c]

So I’ll hold back the harvest
    of grain and grapes.
I’ll take back
my wool and my linen
    that cover her body.
10 Then I’ll strip her naked
in the sight of her lovers.[d]
    No one can rescue her.

11 I’ll stop Israel’s celebrations—
no more New Moon Festivals,
    Sabbaths, or other feasts.
12 She said, “My lovers gave me
vineyards and fig trees
    as payment[e] for sex.”

Now I, the Lord, will ruin
    her vineyards and fig trees;
they will become clumps of weeds
    eaten by wild animals.

13 I’ll punish her for the days
she worshiped Baal
    and burned incense to him.
I’ll punish her for the times
    she forgot about me
and wore jewelry and rings
to attract her lovers.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!

The Lord Will Help Israel

14 Israel, I, the Lord,
will lure you into the desert
    and speak gently to you.
15 I will return your vineyards,
and then Trouble Valley[f]
    will become Hopeful Valley.
You will say “Yes” to me
as you did in your youth,
    when leaving Egypt.

16 I promise that from that day on, you will call me your husband instead of your master.[g] 17 I will no longer even let you mention the names of those pagan gods that you called “Master.” 18 And I will agree to let you live in peace—you will no longer be attacked by wild animals and birds or by weapons of war. 19 I will accept you as my wife forever, and instead of a bride price[h] I will give you justice, fairness, love, kindness, 20 and faithfulness. Then you will truly know who I am.

21 I will command the sky to send rain on the earth, 22 and it will produce grain, grapes, and olives in Jezreel Valley. 23 I will scatter the seeds and show mercy to Lo-Ruhamah.[i] I will say to Lo-Ammi,[j] “You are my people,” and they will answer, “You are our God.”

Footnotes:

  1. 2.1 My People. . . Shown Mercy: In Hebrew “My People” is “Ammi” and “Shown Mercy” is “Ruhamah” (see Lo-Ruhamah in 1.6 and Lo-Ammi in 1.9).
  2. 2.2 prostitution. . . unfaithful: See the note at 1.2.
  3. 2.8 Baal: A Canaanite god of fertility.
  4. 2.10 I’ll strip. . . lovers: Or “I’ll show her lovers how disgusting she is.”
  5. 2.12 fig trees. . . payment: Hosea uses an unusual word for “fig tree,” which is spelled something like the word for “payment.”
  6. 2.15 Trouble Valley: Or “Achor Valley.” The exact location of the valley is unknown, but in Hebrew “Achor” sounds like “Achan,” who brought trouble on Israel by disobeying the Lord (see Joshua 7.24-26).
  7. 2.16 husband. . . master: In Hebrew the word “master” is the same as the name of the god Baal. But the Lord promises that his people will have a deep personal relationship with him (like a devoted wife and husband) rather than merely a legal tie (like a wife and her “master”).
  8. 2.19 bride price: It was the custom for the husband to pay his wife’s parents a bride price. Instead of money, the Lord will give much better benefits to Israel.
  9. 2.23 Lo-Ruhamah: See the note at 1.6.
  10. 2.23 Lo-Ammi: See the note at 1.9.

Hosea 2 New International Version (NIV)

[a]“Say of your brothers, ‘My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’

Israel Punished and Restored

“Rebuke your mother, rebuke her,
    for she is not my wife,
    and I am not her husband.
Let her remove the adulterous look from her face
    and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.
Otherwise I will strip her naked
    and make her as bare as on the day she was born;
I will make her like a desert,
    turn her into a parched land,
    and slay her with thirst.
I will not show my love to her children,
    because they are the children of adultery.
Their mother has been unfaithful
    and has conceived them in disgrace.
She said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
    who give me my food and my water,
    my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’
Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
    I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
    she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
    ‘I will go back to my husband as at first,
    for then I was better off than now.’
She has not acknowledged that I was the one
    who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold
    which they used for Baal.

“Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens,
    and my new wine when it is ready.
I will take back my wool and my linen,
    intended to cover her naked body.
10 So now I will expose her lewdness
    before the eyes of her lovers;
    no one will take her out of my hands.
11 I will stop all her celebrations:
    her yearly festivals, her New Moons,
    her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals.
12 I will ruin her vines and her fig trees,
    which she said were her pay from her lovers;
I will make them a thicket,
    and wild animals will devour them.
13 I will punish her for the days
    she burned incense to the Baals;
she decked herself with rings and jewelry,
    and went after her lovers,
    but me she forgot,
declares the Lord.

14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her;
    I will lead her into the wilderness
    and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
    and will make the Valley of Achor[b] a door of hope.
There she will respond[c] as in the days of her youth,
    as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

16 “In that day,” declares the Lord,
    “you will call me ‘my husband’;
    you will no longer call me ‘my master.[d]
17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
    no longer will their names be invoked.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them
    with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
    and the creatures that move along the ground.
Bow and sword and battle
    I will abolish from the land,
    so that all may lie down in safety.
19 I will betroth you to me forever;
    I will betroth you in[e] righteousness and justice,
    in[f] love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in[g] faithfulness,
    and you will acknowledge the Lord.

21 “In that day I will respond,”
    declares the Lord
“I will respond to the skies,
    and they will respond to the earth;
22 and the earth will respond to the grain,
    the new wine and the olive oil,
    and they will respond to Jezreel.[h]
23 I will plant her for myself in the land;
    I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.[i]
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,[j]’ ‘You are my people’;
    and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Hosea 2:1 In Hebrew texts 2:1-23 is numbered 2:3-25.
  2. Hosea 2:15 Achor means trouble.
  3. Hosea 2:15 Or sing
  4. Hosea 2:16 Hebrew baal
  5. Hosea 2:19 Or with
  6. Hosea 2:19 Or with
  7. Hosea 2:20 Or with
  8. Hosea 2:22 Jezreel means God plants.
  9. Hosea 2:23 Hebrew Lo-Ruhamah (see 1:6)
  10. Hosea 2:23 Hebrew Lo-Ammi (see 1:9)
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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