1 [HOSEA], SAY to your brethren, Ammi [or You-are-my-people], and to your sisters, Ruhamah [or You-have-been-pitied-and-have-obtained-mercy].
2 Plead with your mother [your nation]; plead, for she is not My wife and I am not her Husband; [plead] that she put away her [marks of] harlotry from her face and her adulteries from between her breasts, [Isa. 50:1.]
3 Lest I strip her naked and make her as in the day she was born, and make her as a wilderness and set her like a parched land and slay her with thirst.
4 Yes, for her children I will have no love nor pity nor mercy, for they are the children of harlotry.
5 For their mother has played the harlot; she who conceived them has done shamefully, for she said, I will go after my lovers that give me my food and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my refreshing drinks.
6 Therefore, behold, I [the Lord God] will hedge up her way [even yours, O Israel] with thorns; and I will build a wall against her that she shall not find her paths.
7 And she shall follow after her lovers but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them [inquiring for and requiring them], but shall not find them. Then shall she say, Let me go and return to my first husband, for then was it better with me than now.
8 For she has not noticed, understood, or realized that it was I [the Lord God] Who gave her the grain and the new wine and the fresh oil, and Who lavished upon her silver and gold which they used for Baal and made into his image.
9 Therefore will I return and take back My grain in the time for it and My new wine in the season for it, and will pluck away and recover My wool and My flax which were to cover her [Israel's] nakedness.
10 And now will I uncover her lewdness and her shame in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of My hand.
11 I will also cause to cease all her mirth, her feastmaking, her New Moons, her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts and appointed festive assemblies.
12 And I will lay waste and destroy her vines and her fig trees of which she has said, These are my reward or loose woman's hire that my lovers have given me; and I will make [her plantations] an inaccessible forest, and the wild beasts of the open country shall eat them.
13 And I will visit [punishment] upon her for the feast days of the Baals, when she burned incense to them and decked herself with her earrings and nose rings and her jewelry and went after her lovers and forgot Me, says the Lord.
14 Therefore, behold, I will allure her [Israel] and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart.
15 There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [troubling] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as at the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt. [Exod. 15:2; Josh. 7:24-26.]
16 And it shall be in that day, says the Lord, that you will call Me Ishi [my Husband], and you shall no more call Me Baali [my Baal].
17 For I will take away the names of Baalim [the Baals] out of her mouth, and they shall no more be mentioned or seriously remembered by their name.
18 And in that day will I make a covenant for Israel with the living creatures of the open country and with the birds of the heavens and with the creeping things of the ground. And I will break the bow and the sword and [abolish battle equipment and] conflict out of the land and will make you lie down safely.
19 And I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy.
20 I will even betroth you to Me in stability and in faithfulness, and you shall know (recognize, be acquainted with, appreciate, give heed to, and cherish) the Lord.
21 And in that day I will respond, says the Lord; I will respond to the heavens [which ask for rain to pour on the earth], and they shall respond to the earth [which begs for the rain it needs],
22 And the earth shall respond to the grain and the wine and the oil [which beseech it to bring them forth], and these shall respond to Jezreel [restored Israel, who prays for a supply of them].
23 And I will sow her for Myself anew in the land, and I will have love, pity, and mercy for her who had not obtained love, pity, and mercy; and I will say to those who were not My people, You are My people, and they shall say, You are my God! [I Pet. 2:9, 10.]