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Chapter 12

Infidelity of Israel[a]

Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
    the house of Israel, with deceit;
Judah still wanders about with gods,
    and is faithful to holy ones.[b]
[c]Ephraim shepherds the wind,
    and pursues the east wind all day long.
He multiplies lies and violence:
    They make a covenant with Assyria,
    and oil is carried to Egypt.

The Lord has a dispute with Judah,
    and will punish Jacob[d] for his conduct,
    and repay him for his deeds.

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  1. 12:1–15 This chapter draws a parallel between the history of Israel and events in the life of Jacob-Israel, the ancestor.
  2. 12:1 An attack on the idolatry of both kingdoms, Israel and Judah. Holy ones: subordinate gods, members of the divine council.
  3. 12:2 Hosea frequently condemns the alliances with Assyria and Egypt, the two world powers (7:8–16).
  4. 12:3 Jacob: whose name was changed to Israel (Gn 35:10).

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