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Ephraim Reminded

12 Ephraim feeds on the [emptiness of the] wind
And [continually] pursues the [parching] east wind [which brings destruction];
Every day he multiplies lies and violence.
Further, he makes a covenant with Assyria
And (olive) oil is carried to Egypt [to seek alliances].(A)

The Lord also has a dispute [a legal complaint and an indictment] with Judah,
And He will punish Jacob in accordance with his ways;
He will repay him in accordance with his deeds.

In their mother’s womb he took his brother by the heel,
And in his maturity he contended with God.(B)

He wrestled with the angel and prevailed;
He wept [in repentance] and sought His favor.
He met Him at Bethel
And there God spoke with [him and through him with] us—(C)

Even the Lord, the God of hosts,
The name of Him [who spoke with Jacob] is the Lord.

Therefore, return [in repentance] to your God,
Observe and highly regard kindness and justice,
And wait [expectantly] for your God continually.

A merchant, in whose hand are false and fraudulent balances;
He loves to oppress and exploit.

Ephraim said, “I have indeed become rich [and powerful as a nation];
I have found wealth for myself.
In all my labors they will not find in me
Any wickedness that would be sin.”(D)

But I have been the Lord your God since [you became a nation in] the land of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
As in the days of the appointed and solemn [a]festival.(E)
10 
I have also spoken to [you through] the prophets,
And I gave [them] many visions [to make My will known],
And through the prophets I gave parables [to appeal to your sense of right and wrong].
11 
Is there wickedness (idolatry) in Gilead?
Surely the people there are worthless.
In Gilgal [they defy Me when] they sacrifice bulls,
Yes, [after My judgment] their [pagan] altars are like the stone heaps
In the furrows of the fields.

12 
Now Jacob (Israel) fled into the open country of Aram (Paddan-aram),(F)
And [there] Israel (Jacob) worked and served for a wife,
And for a wife he kept sheep.(G)
13 
And by a prophet (Moses) the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt,
And by a prophet Israel was preserved.
14 
Ephraim has provoked most bitter anger;
So his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him [invoking punishment]
And bring back to him his shame and dishonor.

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 12:9 I.e. the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles).

12 [a]Ephraim(A) feeds on the wind;(B)
    he pursues the east wind all day
    and multiplies lies and violence.(C)
He makes a treaty with Assyria(D)
    and sends olive oil to Egypt.(E)
The Lord has a charge(F) to bring against Judah;(G)
    he will punish(H) Jacob[b] according to his ways
    and repay him according to his deeds.(I)
In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel;(J)
    as a man he struggled(K) with God.
He struggled with the angel and overcame him;
    he wept and begged for his favor.
He found him at Bethel(L)
    and talked with him there—
the Lord God Almighty,
    the Lord is his name!(M)
But you must return(N) to your God;
    maintain love and justice,(O)
    and wait for your God always.(P)

The merchant uses dishonest scales(Q)
    and loves to defraud.
Ephraim boasts,(R)
    “I am very rich; I have become wealthy.(S)
With all my wealth they will not find in me
    any iniquity or sin.”

“I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt;(T)
I will make you live in tents(U) again,
    as in the days of your appointed festivals.
10 I spoke to the prophets,
    gave them many visions
    and told parables(V) through them.”(W)

11 Is Gilead wicked?(X)
    Its people are worthless!
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?(Y)
    Their altars will be like piles of stones
    on a plowed field.(Z)
12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram[c];(AA)
    Israel served to get a wife,
    and to pay for her he tended sheep.(AB)
13 The Lord used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,(AC)
    by a prophet he cared for him.(AD)
14 But Ephraim has aroused his bitter anger;
    his Lord will leave on him the guilt of his bloodshed(AE)
    and will repay him for his contempt.(AF)

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 12:1 In Hebrew texts 12:1-14 is numbered 12:2-15.
  2. Hosea 12:2 Jacob means he grasps the heel, a Hebrew idiom for he takes advantage of or he deceives.
  3. Hosea 12:12 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia

12 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.

The Lord hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.

He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:

Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;

Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial.

Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on thy God continually.

He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.

And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin.

And I that am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.

10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields.

12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep.

13 And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.

14 Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.

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