Hosea 2
1So let your brothers be called “My People” and your sisters be called “Shown Mercy”.#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).
The LORD promises to punish Israel
2Accuse! 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,#2.2 prostitution…unfaithful: See the note at 1.2.
3or 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.
4You children are the result
of her unfaithfulness,
and I'll show you no pity.
5Your 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.”
6I, the LORD, will build
a fence of thorns
to block her path.
7She 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.”
8She didn't know that her grain,
wine, and olive oil
were gifts from me,
as were the gold and silver
she used in worshipping Baal.#2.8 Baal: A Canaanite god of fertility.
9So I'll hold back the harvest
of grain and grapes.
I'll take back
my wool and my linen
that cover her body.
10Then I'll strip her naked
in the sight of her lovers.#2.10 I'll strip…lovers: Or “I'll show her lovers how disgusting she is.”
No one can rescue her.
11I'll stop Israel's celebrations—
no more New Moon Festivals,
Sabbaths, or other feasts.
12She said, “My lovers gave me
vineyards and fig trees
as payment#2.12 fig trees…payment: Hosea uses an unusual word for “fig tree”, which is spelt something like the word for “payment”. for sex.”
Now I, the LORD, will ruin
her vineyards and fig trees;
they will become clumps of weeds
eaten by wild animals.
13I'll punish her for the days
she worshipped Baal
and burnt incense to him.
I'll punish her for the times
she forgot about me
and wore jewellery and rings
to attract her lovers.
I, the LORD, have spoken!
The LORD will help Israel
14Israel, I, the LORD,
will lure you into the desert
and speak gently to you.
15I will return your vineyards,#Js 7.24-26.
and then Trouble Valley#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).
will become Hopeful Valley.
You will say “Yes” to me
as you did in your youth,
when leaving Egypt.
16I promise that from that day on, you will call me your husband instead of your master.#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”). 17I will no longer even let you mention the names of those pagan gods that you called “Master”. 18And 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. 19I will accept you as my wife for ever, and instead of a bride price#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. I will give you justice, fairness, love, kindness, 20and faithfulness. Then you will truly know who I am.
21I will command the sky to send rain on the earth, 22and it will produce grain, grapes, and olives in Jezreel Valley. 23I will scatter the seeds and show mercy to Lo-Ruhamah.#2.23 Lo-Ruhamah: See the note at 1.6. I will say to Lo-Ammi,#2.23 Lo-Ammi: See the note at 1.9. “You are my people,” and they will answer, “You are our God.”#Ro 9.25; 1 P 2.10.