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Ephraim’s Idolatry

13 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling and terror.
He exalted himself [above the other tribes] in Israel;
But through [the worship of] Baal he became guilty and died [spiritually, and then came ruin, sealing Israel’s doom as a nation].

And now they sin more and more,
And make for themselves molten images,
Idols skillfully made from their silver [as it pleased them],
All of them the work of the craftsmen.
They say of these [very works of their hands], “Let those who sacrifice kiss and show respect to the calves [as if they were living gods]!”

Therefore they will be [swiftly dissipated] like the morning cloud
Or like dew which soon disappears,
Like chaff which swirls with the whirlwind from the threshing floor,
And like smoke from the chimney or through the window [worthless and without substance —they will vanish].


Yet I have been the Lord your God
Since [the time you became a nation in] the land of Egypt;
And you were not to know any god except Me,
For there is no savior besides Me.

I knew and regarded you and cared for you in the wilderness,
In the land of drought.

When they had their pasture, they became satisfied,
And being satisfied, their heart became proud (self-centered);
Therefore they forgot Me.

So I will be like a lion to them;
Like a leopard I will watch and lie in wait [ready to attack] by the road [to Assyria].

I will encounter them like a bear robbed of her cubs,
And I will tear open their chests;
There I will also devour them like a lioness,
As a wild beast would tear them.


It is your destruction, O Israel,
Because you are against Me, [and have rebelled] against your help.
10 
Where now is your king
That he may save you [when you are attacked] in all your cities?
And your judges of whom you asked,
“Give me a king and princes”?
11 
I gave you a king in My anger,
And I took him away in My wrath [as punishment].

12 
The wickedness of Ephraim [which is not yet completely punished] is bound up [as in a bag];
His sin is stored up [for judgment and destruction].
13 
The pains of childbirth come on him;
But he is not a wise son,
For it is not the time to delay [his chance at a new birth] as the womb opens [but he ignores the opportunity to change].
14 
Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol (the place of the dead)?
Shall I redeem them from death?
[a]O death, where are your thorns?
O Sheol, where is your sting?
Compassion is hidden from My eyes [because of their failure to repent].(A)

15 
For though he flourishes among the reeds (his fellow tribes),
An east wind (Assyria) will come,
The breath of the Lord rising from the desert;
And Ephraim’s spring will become dry
And his fountain will be dried up.
Assyria will plunder his treasury of every precious object.
16 
Samaria will be found guilty [and become desolate],
Because she rebelled against her God;
They will fall by the sword,
Their infants will be dashed in pieces,
And their pregnant women will be ripped open.

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 13:14 The apostle Paul brings this passage to mind—but with a change of meaning made possible by the resurrection of Christ.

The Lord’s Anger Against Israel

13 When Ephraim spoke, people trembled;(A)
    he was exalted(B) in Israel.
    But he became guilty of Baal worship(C) and died.
Now they sin more and more;
    they make(D) idols for themselves from their silver,(E)
cleverly fashioned images,
    all of them the work of craftsmen.(F)
It is said of these people,
    “They offer human sacrifices!
    They kiss[a](G) calf-idols!(H)
Therefore they will be like the morning mist,
    like the early dew that disappears,(I)
    like chaff(J) swirling from a threshing floor,(K)
    like smoke(L) escaping through a window.

“But I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt.(M)
You shall acknowledge(N) no God but me,(O)
    no Savior(P) except me.
I cared for you in the wilderness,(Q)
    in the land of burning heat.
When I fed them, they were satisfied;
    when they were satisfied, they became proud;(R)
    then they forgot(S) me.(T)
So I will be like a lion(U) to them,
    like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
Like a bear robbed of her cubs,(V)
    I will attack them and rip them open;
like a lion(W) I will devour them—
    a wild animal will tear them apart.(X)

“You are destroyed, Israel,
    because you are against me,(Y) against your helper.(Z)
10 Where is your king,(AA) that he may save you?
    Where are your rulers in all your towns,
of whom you said,
    ‘Give me a king and princes’?(AB)
11 So in my anger I gave you a king,(AC)
    and in my wrath I took him away.(AD)
12 The guilt of Ephraim is stored up,
    his sins are kept on record.(AE)
13 Pains as of a woman in childbirth(AF) come to him,
    but he is a child without wisdom;
when the time(AG) arrives,
    he doesn’t have the sense to come out of the womb.(AH)

14 “I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;(AI)
    I will redeem them from death.(AJ)
Where, O death, are your plagues?
    Where, O grave, is your destruction?(AK)

“I will have no compassion,
15     even though he thrives(AL) among his brothers.
An east wind(AM) from the Lord will come,
    blowing in from the desert;
his spring will fail
    and his well dry up.(AN)
His storehouse will be plundered(AO)
    of all its treasures.
16 The people of Samaria(AP) must bear their guilt,(AQ)
    because they have rebelled(AR) against their God.
They will fall by the sword;(AS)
    their little ones will be dashed(AT) to the ground,
    their pregnant women(AU) ripped open.”[b]

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 13:2 Or “Men who sacrifice / kiss
  2. Hosea 13:16 In Hebrew texts this verse (13:16) is numbered 14:1.

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