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Hosea 4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

God’s Controversy with Israel

Listen to the word of the Lord, you sons of Israel,
Because the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
For there is no [a]faithfulness, nor [b]loyalty,
Nor knowledge of God in the land.
There is oath-taking, [c]denial, murder, stealing, and adultery.
They employ violence, so that bloodshed [d]follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land mourns,
And everyone who lives in it languishes
Along with the animals of the field and the birds of the sky,
And even the fish of the sea [e]disappear.

Yet let no one [f]find fault, and let no one rebuke;
For your people are like those who contend with a priest.
So you will stumble by day,
And the prophet also will stumble with you by night;
And I will destroy your mother.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Since you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being My priest.
Since you have forgotten the Law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me;
I will change their glory into shame.
They feed on the [g]sin of My people,
And long for their wrongdoing.
And it will be, like people, like priest;
So I will punish them for their ways
And repay them for their deeds.
10 They will eat, but not have enough;
They will play the prostitute, but not [h]increase,
Because they gave up devoting themselves to the Lord.

11 [i]Infidelity, wine, and new wine take away the [j]understanding.
12 My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them;
For a spirit of infidelity has led them astray,
And they have been unfaithful, departing [k]from their God.
13 They offer sacrifices on the tops of the mountains
And [l]burn incense on the hills,
Under oak, poplar, and terebinth,
Because their shade is pleasant.
Therefore your daughters play the prostitute,
And your [m]brides commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the prostitute,
Or your [n]brides when they commit adultery,
Because the men themselves slip away with the prostitutes
And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes;
So the people without understanding are ruined.

15 Though you, Israel, play the prostitute,
Judah must not become guilty;
Also you are not to go to Gilgal,
Nor go up to Beth-aven
And take the oath:
“As the Lord lives!”
16 Since Israel is stubborn
Like a stubborn cow,
[o]Will the Lord now pasture them
Like a lamb in a large field?
17 Ephraim is allied with idols;
Leave him alone.
18 Their liquor is gone,
They prostitute themselves continually;
[p]Their [q]rulers dearly love shame.
19 The wind wraps them in its wings,
And they will be [r]put to shame because of their sacrifices.


  1. Hosea 4:1 Or truth
  2. Hosea 4:1 Or kindness
  3. Hosea 4:2 I.e., of truth
  4. Hosea 4:2 Lit touches
  5. Hosea 4:3 Lit are taken away
  6. Hosea 4:4 Lit contend
  7. Hosea 4:8 Or sin offering
  8. Hosea 4:10 I.e., either in population or wealth
  9. Hosea 4:11 Or Prostitution
  10. Hosea 4:11 Lit heart
  11. Hosea 4:12 Lit from under
  12. Hosea 4:13 Or offer sacrifices
  13. Hosea 4:13 Or daughters-in-law
  14. Hosea 4:14 Or daughters-in-law
  15. Hosea 4:16 Or The Lord will now pasture...field.
  16. Hosea 4:18 Another reading is They dearly love the shame of gifts
  17. Hosea 4:18 Lit shields
  18. Hosea 4:19 Or ashamed
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

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.


  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.

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