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Hosea 4

God’s Case against Israel
1Hear the word of the Lord,#Hs 5:1 people of Israel,
for the Lord has a case#Hs 12:2; Mc 6:2
against the inhabitants of the land:
There is no truth,#Is 59:4; Jr 7:28 no faithful love,#Hs 6:6
and no knowledge of God#Hs 5:4 in the land!
2Cursing,#Hs 10:4 lying,#Hs 7:3; 10:13; 11:12 murder,#Hs 6:9 stealing,#Hs 7:1
and adultery#Hs 7:4 are rampant;
one act of bloodshed follows another.#Hs 6:8; 12:14
3For this reason the land mourns,#Is 24:4; 33:9
and everyone who lives in it languishes,
along with the wild animals#Jr 4:25 and the birds of the sky;
even the fish of the sea disappear.#Gn 1:20–25
4But let no one dispute;#Ezk 3:26; Am 5:10,13 let no one argue,
for my case is against you priests.#4:4 Text emended; MT reads argue, and your people are like those contending with a priest#4:4 Hb obscure#Dt 17:12–13
5You will stumble by day;#Ezk 14:3; Hs 5:5
the prophet will also stumble with you by night.
And I will destroy your mother.#Hs 2:2,5
6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.#Is 5:13
Because you have rejected knowledge,#Mal 2:7–8
I will reject you#Zch 11:8–9,15–17 from serving as my priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,#Hs 2:13; 8:14; 13:6
I will also forget your sons.
7The more they multiplied,#Hs 10:1; 13:6
the more they sinned against me.
I#4:7 Alt Hb tradition, Syr, Tg read They will change their#4:7 Alt Hb tradition reads my honor into disgrace.#Hab 2:16
8They feed on the sin#4:8 Or sin offerings of my people;#Hs 10:13
they have an appetite for their iniquity.#Is 56:11; Mc 3:11
9The same judgment will happen
to both people and priests.#Is 24:2; Jr 5:31
I will punish them for their ways#Hs 8:13; 9:9
and repay them for their deeds.
10They will eat but not be satisfied;#Lv 26:26; Is 65:13; Mc 6:14
they will be promiscuous#Hs 7:4 but not multiply.
For they have abandoned their devotion to the Lord.#Hs 9:17
11Promiscuity,#Hs 5:4 wine, and new wine
take away one’s understanding.#Is 5:12; 28:7
12My people consult their wooden idols,#Is 44:19; Jr 2:27
and their divining rods inform them.
For a spirit of promiscuity leads them astray;#Hs 5:4
they act promiscuously#Hs 9:1
in disobedience to#4:12 Lit promiscuously from under their God.
13They sacrifice on the mountaintops,#Jr 3:6
and they burn offerings on the hills,#Hs 2:13; 11:2
and under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,#Jr 2:20
because their shade is pleasant.
And so your daughters act promiscuously
and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
14I will not punish your daughters
when they act promiscuously
or your daughters-in-law
when they commit adultery,
for the men themselves go off with prostitutes#Hs 4:18; 7:4
and make sacrifices with cult prostitutes.#Dt 23:17
People without discernment are doomed.#Hs 5:4
Warnings for Israel and Judah
15Israel, if you act promiscuously,
don’t let Judah become guilty!
Do not go to Gilgal#Hs 9:15; 12:1
or make a pilgrimage to Beth-aven,#4:15 = House of Wickedness#1Kg 12:28–29; Hs 5:8; 10:5,8
and do not swear an oath: As the Lord lives!#Jr 5:2; 44:26
16For Israel is as obstinate as a stubborn cow.#Ps 78:8
Can the Lord now shepherd them
like a lamb in an open meadow?#Is 5:17; 7:25
17Ephraim is attached to idols;#Hs 13:2
leave him alone!#Ps 81:12; Hs 4:4
18When their drinking is over,
they turn to promiscuity.
Israel’s leaders#4:18 Lit Her shields; Ps 47:9; 89:18 fervently love disgrace.#4:18 Hb obscure
19A wind with its wings will carry them off,#4:19 Lit wind will bind it in its wings#Hs 12:1; 13:5
and they will be ashamed of their sacrifices.

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