“I wanted to forgive Israel, but her sins were far too great—no one can even live in Samaria without being a liar, thief, and bandit!

“Her people never seem to recognize that I am watching them. Their sinful deeds give them away on every side; I see them all. The king is glad about their wickedness; the princes laugh about their lies. They are all adulterers; as a baker’s oven is constantly aflame—except after he kneads the dough and waits for it to rise again—so are these people constantly aflame with lust.

“On the king’s birthday, the princes get him drunk; he makes a fool of himself and drinks with those who mock him. Their hearts blaze like a furnace with intrigue. Their plot smolders through the night, and in the morning it flames forth like raging fire.

“They kill their kings one after another,[a] and no one cries out to me for help.

“My people mingle with the heathen, picking up their evil ways; thus they become as good-for-nothing as a half-baked cake!

“Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength, but they don’t know it. Ephraim’s hair is turning gray, and he doesn’t even realize how weak and old he is. 10 His pride in other gods has openly condemned him; yet he doesn’t return to his God, nor even try to find him.

11 “Ephraim is a silly, witless dove, calling to Egypt, flying to Assyria. 12 But as she flies, I throw my net over her and bring her down like a bird from the sky; I will punish her for all her evil ways.

13 “Woe to my people for deserting me; let them perish, for they have sinned against me. I wanted to redeem them but their hard hearts would not accept the truth. 14 They lie there sleepless with anxiety but won’t ask my help. Instead, they worship heathen gods, asking them for crops and for prosperity.

15 “I have helped them and made them strong, yet now they turn against me.

16 “They look everywhere except to heaven, to the Most High God. They are like a crooked bow that always misses targets; their leaders will perish by the sword of the enemy for their insolence to me. And all Egypt will laugh at them.

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 7:7 They kill their kings one after another. Three Israelite kings were assassinated during Hosea’s lifetime—Zechariah, Shallum, and Pekahiah.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

whenever I would heal Israel,
the sins of Ephraim are exposed
    and the crimes of Samaria revealed.(A)
They practice deceit,(B)
    thieves break into houses,(C)
    bandits rob in the streets;(D)
but they do not realize
    that I remember(E) all their evil deeds.(F)
Their sins engulf them;(G)
    they are always before me.

“They delight the king with their wickedness,
    the princes with their lies.(H)
They are all adulterers,(I)
    burning like an oven
whose fire the baker need not stir
    from the kneading of the dough till it rises.
On the day of the festival of our king
    the princes become inflamed with wine,(J)
    and he joins hands with the mockers.(K)
Their hearts are like an oven;(L)
    they approach him with intrigue.
Their passion smolders all night;
    in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
All of them are hot as an oven;
    they devour their rulers.
All their kings fall,(M)
    and none of them calls(N) on me.

“Ephraim mixes(O) with the nations;
    Ephraim is a flat loaf not turned over.
Foreigners sap his strength,(P)
    but he does not realize it.
His hair is sprinkled with gray,
    but he does not notice.
10 Israel’s arrogance testifies against him,(Q)
    but despite all this
he does not return(R) to the Lord his God
    or search(S) for him.

11 “Ephraim is like a dove,(T)
    easily deceived and senseless—
now calling to Egypt,(U)
    now turning to Assyria.(V)
12 When they go, I will throw my net(W) over them;
    I will pull them down like the birds in the sky.
When I hear them flocking together,
    I will catch them.
13 Woe(X) to them,
    because they have strayed(Y) from me!
Destruction to them,
    because they have rebelled against me!
I long to redeem them
    but they speak about me(Z) falsely.(AA)
14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts(AB)
    but wail on their beds.
They slash themselves,[a] appealing to their gods
    for grain and new wine,(AC)
    but they turn away from me.(AD)
15 I trained(AE) them and strengthened their arms,
    but they plot evil(AF) against me.
16 They do not turn to the Most High;(AG)
    they are like a faulty bow.(AH)
Their leaders will fall by the sword
    because of their insolent(AI) words.
For this they will be ridiculed(AJ)
    in the land of Egypt.(AK)

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 7:14 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts They gather together
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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