Bible: Hos 4

The Lord’s Covenant Lawsuit against the Nation Israel

4:1 Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites! 1 

For the Lord has a covenant lawsuit 2  against the people of Israel. 3 

For there is neither faithfulness nor loyalty in the land,

nor do they acknowledge God. 4 

4:2 There is only cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery.

They resort to violence and bloodshed. 5 

4:3 Therefore the land will mourn,

and all its inhabitants will perish. 6 

The wild animals, 7  the birds of the sky,

and even the fish in the sea will perish.

The Lord’s Dispute against the Sinful Priesthood

4:4 Do not let anyone accuse or contend against anyone else: 8 

for my case is against you priests! 9 

4:5 You stumble day and night,

and the false prophets stumble with you;

You have destroyed your own people! 10 

4:6 You have destroyed 11  my people

by failing to acknowledge me!

Because you refuse to acknowledge me, 12 

I will reject you as my priests.

Because you reject 13  the law of your God,

I will reject 14  your descendants.

4:7 The more the priests increased in numbers,

the more they rebelled against me.

They have turned 15  their glorious calling

into a shameful disgrace!

4:8 They feed on the sin offerings of my people;

their appetites long for their iniquity!

4:9 I will deal with the people and priests together: 16 

I will punish them both for their ways,

and I will repay them for their deeds.

4:10 They will eat, but not be satisfied;

they will engage in prostitution, but not increase in numbers;

because they have abandoned the Lord

by pursuing other gods. 17 

Judgment of Pagan Idolatry and Cultic Prostitution

4:11 Old and new wine

take away the understanding of my people. 18 

4:12 They consult their wooden idols,

and their diviner’s staff answers with an oracle.

The wind of prostitution blows them astray;

they commit spiritual adultery 19  against their God.

4:13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops,

and burn offerings on the hills;

they sacrifice 20  under oak, poplar, and terebinth,

because their shade is so pleasant.

As a result, your daughters have become cult prostitutes,

and your daughters-in-law commit adultery!

4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit prostitution,

nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery.

For the men consort with harlots,

they sacrifice with temple prostitutes.

It is true: 21  “A people that lacks understanding will come to ruin!

Warning to Judah: Do Not Join in Israel’s Apostasy!

4:15 Although you, O Israel, commit adultery,

do not let Judah become guilty!

Do not journey to Gilgal!

Do not go up to Beth Aven! 22 

Do not swear, “As surely as the Lord lives!

4:16 Israel has rebelled 23  like a stubborn heifer!

Soon 24  the Lord will put them out to pasture

like a lamb in a broad field! 25 

4:17 Ephraim has attached himself to idols;

Do not go near him!

The Shameful Sinners Will Be Brought to Shame

4:18 They consume their alcohol,

then engage in cult prostitution;

they dearly love their shameful behavior.

4:19 A whirlwind has wrapped them in its wings;

they will be brought to shame because of their idolatrous worship. 26 

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