Bible: Hosea 9-14
Fertility Cult Festivals Have Intoxicated Israel
9:1 O Israel, do not rejoice jubilantly 1 like the nations,
for you are unfaithful 2 to your God.
You love to receive a prostitute's wages 3
on all the floors where you thresh your grain.
9:2 Threshing floors and wine vats will not feed the people, 4
and new wine only deceives them. 5
Assyrian Exile Will Reverse the Egyptian Exodus
9:3 They will not remain in the
Ephraim will return to Egypt;
they will eat ritually unclean food in Assyria.
9:4 They will not pour out drink offerings of wine to the
they will not please him with their sacrifices.
Their sacrifices will be like bread eaten while in mourning;
all those who eat them will make themselves ritually unclean.
For their bread will be only to satisfy their appetite;
it will not come into the temple of the
9:5 So what will you do on the festival day,
on the festival days of the
No Escape for the Israelites This Time!
Egypt will take hold 8 of them,
and Memphis will bury them.
The weeds will inherit the silver they treasure 9 –
thorn bushes will occupy their homes. 10
Let Israel know! 15
Israel Rejects Hosea’s Prophetic Exhortations
The prophet is considered a fool 16 –
because of the multitude of your sins
and your intense 19 animosity.
animosity rages against him in the land 26 of his God.
The Best of Times, the Worst of Times
9:9 They have sunk deep into corruption 27
as in the days of Gibeah.
He will remember their wrongdoing.
He will repay them for their sins.
9:10 When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the wilderness.
I viewed your ancestors 28 like an early fig on a fig tree in its first season.
Then they came to Baal-Peor and they dedicated themselves to shame –
they became as detestable as what they loved.
The Fertility Worshipers Will Become Infertile
9:11 Ephraim will be like a bird;
what they value 29 will fly away.
They will not bear children –
they will not enjoy pregnancy –
they will not even conceive! 30
9:12 Even if they raise their children,
I will take away every last one of them. 31
Woe to them!
For I will turn away from them.
9:13 Just as lion cubs are born predators, 32
so Ephraim will bear his sons for slaughter.
9:14 Give them, O
what will you give them?
Give them wombs that miscarry,
and breasts that cannot nurse! 33
9:15 Because of all their evil in Gilgal,
I hate them there.
On account of their evil deeds,
I will drive them out of my land. 34
I will no longer love them;
all their rulers are rebels.
9:16 Ephraim will be struck down 35 –
their root will be dried up;
they will not yield any fruit.
Even if they do bear children,
I will kill their precious offspring.
9:17 My God will reject them,
for they have not obeyed him;
so they will be fugitives among the nations.
Israel is Guilty of Fertility Cult Worship
10:1 Israel was a fertile vine
that yielded fruit.
As his fruit multiplied,
he multiplied altars to Baal. 36
As his land prospered,
they adorned the fertility pillars.
10:2 Their heart is slipping;
soon they will be punished for their guilt.
he will completely destroy their fertility pillars.
The Lord Will Punish Israel by Removing Its Kings
10:3 Very soon they will say, “We have no king
since we did not fear the
But what can a king do for us anyway?”
Therefore legal disputes sprout up
like poisonous weeds 42 in the furrows of a plowed field.
The Calf Idol and Idolaters of Samaria Will Be Exiled
Its people will mourn over it;
because its splendor will be taken from them 49 into exile.
10:6 Even the calf idol 50 will be carried to Assyria,
as tribute for the great king. 51
Ephraim will be disgraced;
10:7 Samaria and its king will be carried off 54
like a twig 55 on the surface of the waters.
it is the place where Israel sins.
Thorns and thistles will grow up over its altars.
Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!”
and to the hills, “Fall on us!”
Failure to Learn from the Sin and Judgment of Gibeah
10:9 O Israel, you have sinned since the time 58 of Gibeah,
and there you have remained.
Did not war overtake the evildoers in Gibeah?
I will gather nations together to attack them, 61
Fertility Imagery: Plowing, Sowing, and Reaping
10:11 Ephraim was a well-trained heifer who loved to thresh grain;
I myself put a fine yoke 64 on her neck.
I will harness Ephraim.
Let Judah plow! 65
Let Jacob break up 66 the unplowed ground for himself!
10:12 Sow righteousness for yourselves,
reap unfailing love.
Break up the unplowed ground for yourselves,
for it is time to seek the
until he comes and showers deliverance 67 on you.
10:13 But you have plowed wickedness;
you have reaped injustice;
you have eaten the fruit of deception.
Because you have depended on your chariots; 68
you have relied 69 on your many warriors.
Bethel Will Be Destroyed Like Beth Arbel
10:14 The roar of battle will rise against your people;
all your fortresses will be devastated,
just as Shalman devastated 70 Beth Arbel on the day of battle,
when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.
10:15 So will it happen to you, O Bethel, 71
because of your great wickedness!
When that day dawns, 72
the king of Israel will be destroyed. 73
Reversal of the Exodus: Return to Egypt and Exile in Assyria
11:1 When Israel was a young man, I loved him like a son, 74
and I summoned my son 75 out of Egypt.
11:2 But the more I summoned 76 them,
the farther they departed from me. 77
They sacrificed to the Baal idols
and burned incense to images.
11:3 Yet it was I who led 78 Ephraim,
I took them by the arm;
but they did not acknowledge
that I had healed them. 79
11:4 I led them with leather 80 cords,
with leather 81 ropes;
and gently fed them. 84
11:5 They will return to Egypt! 85
Assyria will rule over them 86
because they refuse to repent! 87
11:6 A sword will flash in their cities,
it will destroy the bars of their city gates,
and will devour them in their fortresses.
they call to Baal, 90 but he will never exalt them!
The Divine Dilemma: Judgment or Mercy?
11:8 How can I give you up, 91 O Ephraim?
How can I surrender you, O Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboiim?
I have had a change of heart! 92
All my tender compassions are aroused! 93
11:9 I cannot carry out 94 my fierce anger!
I cannot totally destroy Ephraim!
Because I am God, and not man – the Holy One among you –
I will not come in wrath!
God Will Restore the Exiles to Israel
11:10 He will roar like a lion,
and they will follow the
when he roars,
his children will come trembling 95 from the west.
11:11 They will return in fear and trembling 96
like birds from Egypt,
like doves from Assyria,
and I will settle them in their homes,” declares the
God’s Lawsuit against Israel: Breach of Covenant
11:12 97 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies;
the house of Israel has surrounded me 98 with deceit.
But Judah still roams about with 99 God;
he remains faithful to the Holy One.
12:1 Ephraim continually feeds on the wind;
he chases the east wind all day;
he multiplies lies and violence.
They make treaties 100 with Assyria,
and send olive oil as tribute 101 to Egypt.
he will punish Jacob according to his ways
and repay him according to his deeds.
Israel Must Return to the God of Jacob
12:3 In the womb he attacked his brother;
in his manly vigor he struggled 103 with God.
12:4 He struggled 104 with an angel and prevailed;
he wept and begged for his favor.
and there he spoke with him! 107
12:5 As for the
12:6 But you must return 109 to your God,
by maintaining love and justice,
The Lord Refutes Israel’s False Claim of Innocence
12:7 The businessmen love to cheat; 112
they use dishonest scales. 113
12:8 Ephraim boasts, 114 “I am very rich!
I have become wealthy! 115
In all that I have done to gain my wealth, 116
I will make you live in tents again as in the days of old. 121
12:10 I spoke to the prophets;
I myself revealed many visions; 122
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?
Surely their altars will be like stones heaped up on a plowed field!
Jacob in Aram, Israel in Egypt, and Ephraim in Trouble
12:12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram,
then Israel worked 129 to acquire a wife;
he tended sheep to pay for her.
12:14 But Ephraim bitterly 133 provoked him to anger;
so he will hold him accountable for the blood he has shed, 134
Baal Worshipers and Calf Worshipers to be Destroyed
he was exalted 140 in Israel,
but he became guilty by worshiping Baal and died.
13:2 Even now they persist in sin! 141
They make metal images for themselves,
idols that they skillfully fashion 142 from their own silver;
all of them are nothing but the work of craftsmen!
There is a saying about them: 143
like early morning dew that evaporates, 148
like chaff that is blown away 149 from a threshing floor,
like smoke that disappears through an open window.
Well-Fed Israel Will Be Fed to Wild Animals
13:4 But I am the
who brought you out of Egypt.
Therefore, you must not acknowledge any God but me;
except me there is no Savior.
13:5 I cared 150 for you in the wilderness,
in the dry desert where no water was. 151
13:6 When they were fed, 152 they became satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud; 153
as a result, they forgot me!
like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
13:8 I will attack them like a bear robbed of her cubs –
I will rip open their chests.
I will devour them there like a lion –
like a wild animal would tear them apart.
Israel’s King Unable to Deliver the Nation
13:9 I will destroy you, 156 O Israel!
Who 157 is there to help you?
13:10 Where 158 then is your king,
that he may save you in all your cities?
Where are 159 your rulers for whom you asked, saying,
“Give me a king and princes”?
13:11 I granted 160 you a king in my anger,
and I will take him away in my wrath!
Israel’s Punishment Will Not Be Withheld Much Longer
his punishment is being stored up for the future.
13:13 The labor pains of a woman will overtake him,
but the baby will lack wisdom;
when the time arrives,
he will not come out of the womb!
The Lord Will Not Relent from the Threatened Judgment
13:14 Will I deliver them from the power of Sheol? No, I will not! 163
Will I redeem them from death? No, I will not!
O Death, bring on your plagues! 164
O Sheol, bring on your destruction! 165
My eyes will not show any compassion! 166
The Capital of the Northern Empire Will Be Destroyed
13:15 Even though he flourishes like a reed plant, 167
a scorching east wind will come,
a wind from the
As a result, his spring will dry up; 168
his well will become dry.
That wind 169 will spoil all his delightful foods
in the containers in his storehouse.
because she rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword,
their infants will be dashed to the ground –
their 172 pregnant women will be ripped open.
Prophetic Call to Genuine Repentance
14:1 Return, O Israel, to the
for your sin has been your downfall! 173
14:2 Return to the
Say to him: “Completely 175 forgive our iniquity;
that we may offer the praise of our lips as sacrificial bulls. 178
14:3 Assyria cannot save us;
we will not ride warhorses.
We will never again say, ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made.
For only you will show compassion to Orphan Israel!” 179
Divine Promise to Relent from Judgment and to Restore Blessings
14:4 “I will heal their waywardness 180
and love them freely, 181
for my anger will turn 182 away from them.
14:5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily,
he will send down his roots like a cedar of 183 Lebanon.
14:6 His young shoots will grow;
his splendor will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
14:7 People will reside again 184 in his shade;
they will plant and harvest grain in abundance. 185
They will blossom like a vine,
and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.
14:8 O Ephraim, I do not want to have anything to do 186 with idols anymore!
I will answer him and care for him.
your fruitfulness comes from me! 189
14:9 Who is wise?
Let him discern 190 these things!
Who is discerning?
Let him understand them!
For the ways of the
the godly walk in them,
but in them the rebellious stumble.