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Hosea 4 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

God’s Case against Israel

Hear the word of the Lord, people of Israel,
for the Lord has a case
against the inhabitants of the land:
There is no truth, no faithful love,
and no knowledge of God in the land!
Cursing, lying, murder, stealing,
and adultery are rampant;
one act of bloodshed follows another.
For this reason the land mourns,
and everyone who lives in it languishes,
along with the wild animals and the birds of the sky;
even the fish of the sea disappear.
But let no one dispute; let no one argue,
for My case is against you priests.[a][b]
You will stumble by day;
the prophet will also stumble with you by night.
And I will destroy your mother.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I will reject you from serving as My priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I will also forget your sons.

The more they multiplied,
the more they sinned against Me.
I[c] will change their honor[d] into disgrace.
They feed on the sin[e] of My people;
they have an appetite for their transgressions.
The same judgment will happen
to both people and priests.
I will punish them for their ways
and repay them for their deeds.
10 They will eat but not be satisfied;
they will be promiscuous but not multiply.
For they have abandoned their devotion to the Lord.
11 Promiscuity, wine, and new wine
take away one’s understanding.

12 My people consult their wooden idols,
and their divining rods inform them.
For a spirit of promiscuity leads them astray;
they act promiscuously
in disobedience to[f] their God.
13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops,
and they burn offerings on the hills,
and under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,
because their shade is pleasant.
And so your daughters act promiscuously
and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters
when they act promiscuously
or your daughters-in-law
when they commit adultery,
for the men themselves go off with prostitutes
and make sacrifices with cult prostitutes.
People without discernment are doomed.

Warnings for Israel and Judah

15 Israel, if you act promiscuously,
don’t let Judah become guilty!
Do not go to Gilgal
or make a pilgrimage to Beth-aven,[g]
and do not swear an oath: As the Lord lives!
16 For Israel is as obstinate as a stubborn cow.
Can the Lord now shepherd them
like a lamb in an open meadow?
17 Ephraim is attached to idols;
leave him alone!
18 When their drinking is over,
they turn to promiscuity.
Israel’s leaders[h] fervently love disgrace.[i]
19 A wind with its wings will carry them off,[j]
and they will be ashamed of their sacrifices.

Footnotes:

  1. Hosea 4:4 Text emended; MT reads argue, and your people are like those contending with a priest
  2. Hosea 4:4 Hb obscure
  3. Hosea 4:7 Alt Hb tradition, Syr, Tg read They
  4. Hosea 4:7 Ancient Jewish tradition reads My honor
  5. Hosea 4:8 Or sin offerings
  6. Hosea 4:12 Lit promiscuously from under
  7. Hosea 4:15 = House of Wickedness
  8. Hosea 4:18 Lit Her shields; Ps 47:9; 89:18
  9. Hosea 4:18 Hb obscure
  10. Hosea 4:19 Lit wind will bind it in its wings

Hosea 4 New International Version (NIV)

The Charge Against Israel

Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites,
    because the Lord has a charge to bring
    against you who live in the land:
“There is no faithfulness, no love,
    no acknowledgment of God in the land.
There is only cursing,[a] lying and murder,
    stealing and adultery;
they break all bounds,
    and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Because of this the land dries up,
    and all who live in it waste away;
the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
    and the fish in the sea are swept away.

“But let no one bring a charge,
    let no one accuse another,
for your people are like those
    who bring charges against a priest.
You stumble day and night,
    and the prophets stumble with you.
So I will destroy your mother
    my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

“Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
    I also will ignore your children.
The more priests there were,
    the more they sinned against me;
    they exchanged their glorious God[b] for something disgraceful.
They feed on the sins of my people
    and relish their wickedness.
And it will be: Like people, like priests.
    I will punish both of them for their ways
    and repay them for their deeds.

10 “They will eat but not have enough;
    they will engage in prostitution but not flourish,
because they have deserted the Lord
    to give themselves 11 to prostitution;
old wine and new wine
    take away their understanding.
12 My people consult a wooden idol,
    and a diviner’s rod speaks to them.
A spirit of prostitution leads them astray;
    they are unfaithful to their God.
13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops
    and burn offerings on the hills,
under oak, poplar and terebinth,
    where the shade is pleasant.
Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution
    and your daughters-in-law to adultery.

14 “I will not punish your daughters
    when they turn to prostitution,
nor your daughters-in-law
    when they commit adultery,
because the men themselves consort with harlots
    and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes
    a people without understanding will come to ruin!

15 “Though you, Israel, commit adultery,
    do not let Judah become guilty.

“Do not go to Gilgal;
    do not go up to Beth Aven.[c]
    And do not swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’
16 The Israelites are stubborn,
    like a stubborn heifer.
How then can the Lord pasture them
    like lambs in a meadow?
17 Ephraim is joined to idols;
    leave him alone!
18 Even when their drinks are gone,
    they continue their prostitution;
    their rulers dearly love shameful ways.
19 A whirlwind will sweep them away,
    and their sacrifices will bring them shame.

Footnotes:

  1. Hosea 4:2 That is, to pronounce a curse on
  2. Hosea 4:7 Syriac (see also an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition); Masoretic Text me; / I will exchange their glory
  3. Hosea 4:15 Beth Aven means house of wickedness (a derogatory name for Bethel, which means house of God).
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.

Hosea 4 King James Version (KJV)

Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.

Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.

Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.

They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.

And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.

10 For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the Lord.

11 Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.

12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.

13 They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery.

14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.

15 Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The Lord liveth.

16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the Lord will feed them as a lamb in a large place.

17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.

18 Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye.

19 The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

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