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12 Israel is chasing the wind, yes, shepherding a whirlwind—a dangerous game![a] For she has given gifts to Egypt and Assyria to get their help, and in return she gets their worthless promises.

But the Lord is bringing a lawsuit against Judah. Jacob will be justly punished for his ways. When he was born, he struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God. Yes, he wrestled with the Angel and prevailed. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. He met God there at Bethel face-to-face. God spoke to him— the Lord, the God of heaven’s armies—Jehovah is his name.

Oh, come back to God. Live by the principles of love and justice, and always be expecting much from him, your God.

But no, my people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales—they love to cheat. Ephraim boasts, “I am so rich! I have gotten it all by myself!” But riches can’t make up for sin.

“I am the same Lord, the same God, who delivered you from slavery in Egypt, and I am the one who will consign you to living in tents again, as you do each year at the Tabernacle Feast. 10 I sent my prophets to warn you with many a vision and many a parable and dream.”

11 But the sins of Gilgal flourish just the same. Row on row of altars—like furrows in a field—are used for sacrifices to your idols. And Gilead, too, is full of fools[b] who worship idols. 12 Jacob fled to Syria and earned a wife by tending sheep. 13 Then the Lord led his people out of Egypt by a prophet, who guided and protected them. 14 But Ephraim has bitterly provoked the Lord. The Lord will sentence him to death as payment for his sins.


  1. Hosea 12:1 a dangerous game, implied.
  2. Hosea 12:11 fools, or “vanity.”
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.

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