Hosea 4
Israel’s sins and coming punishment
1Hear the LORD’s word,
people of Israel;
for the LORD has a dispute
with the inhabitants of the land.
There’s no faithful love or loyalty,
and no knowledge of God in the land.
2Swearing, lying, murder,
together with stealing and adultery are common;
bloody crime followed by bloody crime.
3Therefore, the earth itself becomes sick,
and all who live on it grow weak;
together with the wild animals
and the birds in the sky,
even the fish of the sea are dying.
4Yet let no one protest,
and let no one complain.
Listen, priest, I am angry with your people.#Heb uncertain
5You will stumble by day;
and at nighttime so will your prophet,
and I will destroy your mother.
6My people are destroyed
from lack of knowledge.
Since you have rejected knowledge,
so I will reject you from serving me as a priest.
Since you have forgotten the Instruction of your God,
so also I will forget your children.
7The more they increased,
the more they sinned against me;
they exchanged their glory for shame.
8They feed on the sin of my people;
they set their hearts on evil things.
9The priest will be just like the people;
I will punish them for their ways,
and judge them for their deeds.
10They will eat but not be satisfied;
they will have sex like prostitutes,
but they will not have children,
because they have rejected the LORD
to devote themselves to 11false religious practices.
Description of Israel’s idolatry
Wine and new wine
destroy understanding.
12My people take advice from a piece of wood,
and their divining rod gives them predictions.
A spirit of prostitution has led them astray;
they have left God to follow other gods.
13They offer sacrifices on mountaintops,
and make entirely burned offerings on hills;
they offer sacrifices under various green trees,
because their shade is pleasant.
Therefore, your daughters act like prostitutes,
and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
14I will not punish your daughters because they act like prostitutes,
nor your daughters-in-law because they commit adultery;
for the men themselves visit prostitutes,
and offer sacrifices with consecrated workers at temples;
so now the people without sense must come to ruin.
15Israel, even though you act like a prostitute,
don’t let Judah become guilty.
Don’t enter into Gilgal,
or go up to Beth-aven,
and don’t swear, "As the LORD lives."
16Like a stubborn cow Israel is stubborn.
Now the LORD will tend them,#Or her
as the LORD tends a lamb in a pasture.
17Ephraim is associated with idols—
let him alone!
18Though they have stopped drinking,
they continue to behave like prostitutes;
indeed, they “love”; shame is their pride.
19The wind has wrapped her in its wings;
they will be ashamed of their sacrifices.
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