JB HOSEA Chapter 1
1:1 The word of Yahweh that was addressed to Hosea son of Beeri when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were reigning in Judah, and Jeroboam son of Joash in Israel.[*a]
I. THE MARRIAGE OF HOSEA AND ITS SYMBOLISM
Hosea’s marriage: his three children
1:2 When Yahweh first spoke through Hosea, Yahweh said this to him, ‘Go, marry a whore, and get children with a whore, for the country itself has become nothing but a whore by abandoning Yahweh’.
1:3 So he went; and he took Gomer daughter of Diblaim, who conceived and bore him a son.
1:4 ‘Name him Jezreel’, Yahweh told him ‘for it will not be long before I make the House of Jehu pay for the bloodshed at Jezreel[*b] and I put an end to the sovereignty of the House of Israel.
1:5 When that day comes I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.'[*c]
1:6 She conceived a second time and gave birth to a daughter. ‘Name her Unloved’ Yahweh told him. ‘No more love shall the House of Israel have from me in future, no further forgiveness.
1:7 (But my love shall go to the House of Judah and through Yahweh their God I mean to save them – but not by bow or sword or battle, horse or horseman.)’
1:8 She weaned Unloved, conceived again and gave birth to a son.
1:9 ‘Name him No-People-of-Mine’ Yahweh said. ‘You are not my people and I am not your God.’
JB HOSEA Chapter 2
Yahweh and his unfaithful wife
2:4 Denounce your mother, denounce her, for she is not my wife nor am I her husband. Let her rid her face of her whoring, and her breasts of her adultery[*a],
2:5 or else I will strip her naked, expose her as on the day she was born; I will make a wilderness of her, turn her into an arid land, and leave her to die of thirst.
2:6 I will not love her children, since they are the children of whoring.
2:7 Yes, their mother has played the whore, she who conceived them has disgraced herself. ‘I am going to court my lovers’ she said ‘who give me my bread and water, my wool, my flax, my oil and my drink.'[*b]
2:10 She would not acknowledge, not she, that I was the one who was giving her the corn, the wine, the oil, and who freely gave her that silver and gold of which they have made Baals.
2:11 That is why, when the time comes, I mean to withdraw my corn, and my wine, when the season for it comes. I will retrieve my wool, my flax, that were intended to cover her nakedness;
2:12 so will I display her shame before her lovers’ eyes and no one shall rescue her from my power.
2:14 I will lay her vines and fig trees waste, those of which she used to say, ‘These are the pay my lovers gave me’; I am going to make them into thickets for the wild beasts to ravage.
2:13 I will put an end to all her rejoicing, her feasts, her New Moons, her sabbaths and all her solemn festivals.
2:15 I mean to make her pay for all the days when she burnt offerings to the Baals and decked herself with rings and necklaces to court her lovers, forgetting me. It is Yahweh who is speaking.
2:8 That is why I am going to block her way with thorns, and wall her in so that she cannot find her way;
2:9 she will chase after her lovers and never catch up with them, she will search for them and never find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, I was happier then than I am today’.
2:16 That is why I am going to lure her and lead her out into the wilderness and speak to her heart.
2:17 I am going to give her back her vineyards, and make the Valley of Achor[*c] a gateway of hope.
There she will respond to me as she did when she was young, as she did when she came out of the land of Egypt.
2:18 When that day comes – it is Yahweh who speaks – she will call me, ‘My husband’, no longer will she call me, ‘My Baal'[*d]
2:19 I will take the names of the Baals off her lips, their names shall never be uttered again.
2:20 When that day comes I will make a treaty on her behalf with the wild animals, with the birds of heaven and the creeping things of the earth; I will break bow, sword and battle in the country, and make her sleep secure.
2:21 I will betroth you to myself for ever, betroth you with integrity and justice, with tenderness and love;
2:22 I will betroth you to myself with faithfulness, and you will come to know Yahweh.
2:23 When that day comes – it is Yahweh who speaks – the heavens will have their answer from me, the earth its answer from them,
2:24 the grain, the wine, the oil, their answer from the earth, and Jezreel his answer[*e] from them.
2:25 I will sow him in the country, I will love Unloved; I will say to No-People-of-Mine, ‘You are my people’, and he will answer, ‘You are my God’.
JB HOSEA Chapter 3
Hosea takes his unfaithful wife back and tests her fidelity. The symbol explained
3:1 Yahweh said to me, ‘Go a second time, give your love to a woman, loved by her husband but an adulteress in spite of it, just as Yahweh gives his love to the sons of Israel though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes’.
3:2 So I bought her for fifteen silver shekels and a bushel-and-a-half of barley,
3:3 and said to her, ‘For many days you must keep yourself quietly for me, not playing the whore or offering yourself to others; and I will do the same for you’.
3:4 For the sons of Israel will be kept for many days without a king, without a leader, without sacrifice or sacred stone, without ephod or teraphim[*a] .
3:5 Afterwards the sons of Israel will come back; they will seek Yahweh their God and David their king; they will come trembling to Yahweh, come for his good things in those days to come.
The great future
3:1 And the number of the sons of Israel will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where they were told, ‘You are no people of mine’, they will be called, ‘The sons of the living God’.
3:2 The sons of Judah and of Israel will be one again and choose themselves one single leader, and they will spread far beyond their country; so great will be the day of Jezreel.
3:3 To your brother say, ‘People-of-Mine’, to your sister, ‘Beloved’.
JB HOSEA Chapter 4
II. THE CRIMES AND PUNISHMENT OF ISRAEL
4:1 Sons of Israel, listen to the word of Yahweh, for Yahweh indicts the inhabitants of the country:
4:2 there is no fidelity, no tenderness, no knowledge of God in the country, only perjury and lies, slaughter, theft, adultery and violence, murder after murder.
4:3 This is why the country is in mourning, and all who live in it pine away, even the wild animals and the birds of heaven; the fish of the sea themselves are perishing.
Against the priests
4:4 But let no man denounce, no man rebuke; it is you, priest, that I denounce.
4:5 Day and night you stumble along, the prophet stumbling with you, and you are the ruin of your people.
4:6 My people perish for want of knowledge. As you have rejected knowledge so do I reject you from my priesthood; you have forgotten the teaching of your God, I in my turn will forget your children.
4:7 Many as they are, all of them have sinned against me, they have bartered their glory for shame.
4:8 They feed on the sin of my people, they are all greedy for their iniquity.
4:9 But as with the people, so let it be with the priest: I will make them pay for their conduct, I will pay them out for their deeds.
4:10 They will eat but never be satisfied, they will play the whore but still be sterile, because they have deserted Yahweh to give themselves up
4:11 to whoring.
Worship in Israel is now idolatrous and debauched
Wine, new wine addles the wits.
4:12 My people consult their block of wood, a rod answers their questions[*a]; for a prostituting spirit leads them astray, they renounce their God to play the whore.
4:13 They offer sacrifice on the mountain tops, burn their offerings on the hills, under oak and poplar and terebinth, so pleasant is their shade. So, although your daughters prostitute themselves and your sons’ wives commit adultery,
4:14 I shall not be hard on your daughters for their whoring or on your sons’ wives for their adultery, when everyone else is wandering off with whores and offering sacrifice with sacred prostitutes. Thus does a senseless people run to ruin.
A warning to Judah
4:15 Though you, Israel, play the whore, there is no need for Judah to sin too. Do not go to Gilgal, do not go up to Beth-aven[*b], do not take the oath, ‘As Yahweh lives!’
Israel the stubborn heifer
4:16 Since Israel is as obstinate as a stubborn heifer, how can Yahweh pasture him like a lamb in rolling pastures?
4:17 Ephraim is wedded to idols, they sprawl
4:18 in the company of drunkards; whoring is all they care about, they barter their glory for shame.
4:19 The wind will carry them off on its wings, then all their altars will bring them is disappointment.
JB HOSEA Chapter 5
Priests, nobles and king are the ruin of the nation
5:1 Listen to this, priests, attend, House of Israel, listen, royal household, you who are responsible for justice, for you have been a snare at Mizpah, and a net outspread on Tabor.
5:2 They are entrenched in their deceitfulness and so I am going to punish them all.
5:3 I know all about Ephraim, Israel has no secrets for me; yes Ephraim, you have played the whore, Israel has defiled himself.
5:4 Their deeds do not allow them to return to their God, since a prostituting spirit possesses them; they do not know Yahweh.
5:5 The arrogance of Israelis his own accuser, the iniquity of Ephraim knocks him down, and down comes Judah with him.
5:6 Though they go in search of Yahweh with their sheep and oxen, they do not find him; for he has withdrawn from them.
5:7 They have proved unfaithful to Yahweh, they have fathered bastards, and now the destroyer will devour them, them and their estates.
The brothers’ war
5:8 Sound the horn in Gibeah, the trumpet in Ramah, give the alarm at Beth-aven, call Benjamin to arms!
5:9 Ephraim shall be laid waste when the day comes for punishment; I pronounce certain doom for the tribes of Israel[*a].
5:10 The leaders of Judah are like men who displace the boundary mark; I mean to pour my anger out on them in a flood.
5:11 Ephraim is an oppressor, he tramples on justice, so set is he on his pursuit of nothingness.
5:12 Very well, I myself will be the moth of Ephraim, the canker of the House of Judah.
The folly of foreign alliances
5:13 Ephraim has seen how sick he is and Judah the extent of his wound, so Ephraim has turned to Assyria, Judah has appealed to the Great King[*b]; but he has no power to cure you nor to heal your wound.
5:14 For I mean to be like a lion to Ephraim, like a young lion to the House of Judah; I, yes I, will tear to pieces, then go my way, I will carry off my prey, and no one can snatch it from me.
Yahweh abandons his people
5:15 Yes, I am going to return to my dwelling place until they confess their guilt and seek my face; they will search for me in their misery.
JB HOSEA Chapter 6
Israel’s short-lived and shallow repentance
6:1 ‘Come, let us return to Yahweh. He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; he has struck us down, but he will bandage our wounds;
6:2 after a day or two he will bring us back to life, on the third day he will raise us and we shall live in his presence.
6:3a Let us set ourselves to know Yahweh; that he will come is as certain as the dawn
6:5b his judgement will rise like the light,
6:3b he will come to us as showers come, like spring rains watering the earth.’
6:4 What am I to do with you, Ephraim? What am I to do with you, Judah? This love of yours is like a morning cloud, like the dew that quickly disappears.
6:5a This is why I have torn them to pieces by the prophets, why I slaughtered them with the words from my mouth,
6:6 since what I want is love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts.
The past and present sins of Israel
6:7 But they have violated the covenant at Adam, they have proved unfaithful to me there.
6:8 Gilead is a town of evil-doers, full of bloody footprints.
6:9 Like so many robbers in ambush a band of priests commits murder on the road to Shechem-appalling behaviour, indeed!
6:10 I have seen horrors in Bethel; that is where Ephraim plays the whore and Israel defiles himself.
6:11 Judah, I intend a harvest for you, too, when I restore the fortunes of my people.
JB HOSEA Chapter 7
7:1 Whenever I want to heal Israel, I am confronted by the guilt of Ephraim and the wickedness of Samaria; deceit is their principle of behaviour, thieves break into houses and bandits raid outside.
7:2 They never pause to consider that I know about all their wickedness; yet their actions are all round them, they stare me in the face.
Conspiracy the order of the day in Israel
7:3 Such is their cunning, they beguile the king, and the leaders too, such is their treachery.
7:4 But they breathe fury, all of them, as fiery as an oven which the baker does not need to stoke from the time he has kneaded the dough until it rises.
7:5 They addle the king and leaders with wine fumes as he mixes with these scoundrels.
7:6 Their hearts reach oven-heat in the excitement of the plot; their fury smoulders all night and in the morning blazes like a fierce flame;
7:7 all burn at oven-heat and they consume the men who rule them. Thus have all their kings fallen, not one of them has ever called on me[*a].
Israel ruined by relying on foreign powers
7:8 Ephraim mixes with the nations, Ephraim is a half-baked cake.
7:9 Foreigners eat his strength away, he is unconscious of it; grey hairs are scattered on his head: he is unconscious of it.
7:10 (The arrogance of Israel is his own accuser; they will not come back to Yahweh their God; in spite of all this they will not seek him.)
7:11 Ephraim is like a silly, witless dove, calling on Egypt, turning to Assyria.
7:12 Wherever they turn, I will spread my net over them, I mean to bring them down like the birds of heaven, I will punish them for their perversity.
The ingratitude and punishment of Israel
7:13 Trouble is coming to them, for they have strayed from me! Ruin on them, for they have rebelled against me! I wanted to redeem them, but they tell lies about me.
7:14 Theirs is no heartfelt cry to me when they lament on their beds. They gash themselves for the sake of corn and wine, yet they rebel against me.
7:15 I it was who gave strength to their arms, yet all they do is make wicked plots against me.
7:16 They turn to Baal, they are like a treacherous bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of their arrogant talk, and how they will be laughed at in the land of Egypt!
JB HOSEA Chapter 8
Sound the alarm!
8:1 Put the trumpet to your lips like a watchman on duty at the house of Yahweh, because they have violated my covenant and rebelled against my Law.
8:2 Useless now to shout, ‘God of Israel, we acknowledge you’.
8:3 Israel has rejected the good; the enemy[*a] will hunt him down.
Civil anarchy and idolatry
8:4 They have set up kings, but not with my consent, and appointed princes, but without my knowledge. Out of their own silver and gold they have made idols, which are doomed to destruction.
8:5 I spurn your calf, Samaria, my anger blazes against it. (How long will it be before they purge themselves of this,
8:6 the sons of Israel?) A workman made the thing, this cannot be God! Yes, the calf of Samaria shall go up in flames.
8:7 They sow the wind, they will reap the whirlwind; their wheat will yield no ear, the ear will yield no flour, or, if it does, foreigners will swallow it.
Israel ruined by relying on foreign powers
8:8 Israel himself has been swallowed, and is destined now to stay among the nations like a crock that no one wants,
8:9 for making approaches to Assyria – that wild ass living alone. Ephraim is renting lovers.
8:10 Right; let them rent them among the nations, I am going to disperse them this minute; that will soon put a stop to their anointing kings and leaders.
Against the outward show of worship
8:11 Ephraim has built altar after altar, they have only served him as occasion for sin.
8:12 Were I to write out the thousand precepts of my Law for him, they would be paid no more attention than those of a stranger.
8:13 They love sacrificing; right, let them sacrifice! They love meat; right, let them eat it! Yahweh takes no pleasure in these. He is now going to remember their iniquity and punish their sins; they will have to go back to Egypt.
Against extravagance in building
8:14 Israel has forgotten his Maker and has built palaces; Judah has built fortified town after fortified town; right, I will rain fire on his towns, it will devour his palaces.
JB HOSEA Chapter 9
The sorrows of exile
9:1 Let us have no rejoicing, Israel, no exulting like the other peoples; for you have deserted God to play the whore, you have enjoyed the prostitute’s pay on every threshing-floor.
9:2 Neither floor nor vat will nourish them, the new wine will disappoint them.
9:3 They will no longer live in the land of Yahweh, Ephraim will have to go back to Egypt, and in Assyria they will eat food that is unclean.
9:4 They will pour libations of wine to Yahweh no longer, nor offer sacrifice to him; their bread will be like mourners’ bread, all those who eat it will become unclean; for their’ bread will serve only for themselves, it must not enter the house of Yahweh.
9:5 What will you do on the day of solemn festival, the day of the feast of Yahweh?
9:6 Why, they will have gone, gone from the devastation. Egypt will receive them, Memphis bury them, nettles will inherit their treasures of silver, and brambles invade their tents.
Persecution, the prophet’s reward for foretelling the punishment
9:7 Now the days of reckoning have come, the days of reprisals are here. ‘The prophet is mad,’ Israel protests ‘this inspired fellow is raving.’-Ah yes, but only because your iniquity is so great, your apostasy so grave.
9:8 Ephraim watches the prophet’s tent, traps are set for him on all his paths,
9:9 in the house of his God enmity awaits him. These men are as steeped in corruption as in the days of Gibeah; Yahweh will remember their iniquity, he will punish their sins.
Punishment for the crime at Baal-peor
9:10 It was like finding grapes in the wilderness when I found Israel, like seeing early fruit on the fig tree when I saw your fathers; but when they reached Baal-peor they devoted themselves to shame and became as hateful as the thing they loved.
9:11 The glory of Ephraim will fly away like a bird: no giving birth, no pregnancy, no conceiving.
9:12 And if they rear sons, I will take these from them before they come to manhood; trouble for them indeed when I abandon them.
9:13 Ephraim, I see, has made his sons a prey, Ephraim must lead his sons to the slaughter house.
9:14 Give them, Yahweh – what are you to give? – give them wombs that miscarry, and dried-up breasts.
Punishment for the crime at Gilgal
9:15 Their wickedness appeared in full at Gilgal[*a], there I came to hate them. Because of their wicked deeds I will drive them out of my house; I will love them no longer, for their leaders are all rebels.
9:16 Ephraim is cut down, their roots are withered; they will bear no fruit. And if they bear children, I will kill the darlings of their womb.
9:17 Because they have not listened to him, my God will cast them off and they will be wanderers throughout the nations.
JB HOSEA Chapter 10
The destruction of Israel’s cultic objects
10:1 Israel was a luxuriant vine yielding plenty of fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; the richer his land became, the richer he made the sacred stones.
10:2 Their heart is a divided heart; very well, they must pay for it: Yahweh is going to break their altars down and destroy their sacred stones.
10:3 Then they will say, ‘We have no king because we have not feared Yahweh’. But what can a king do for us?
10:4 Words, words! False oaths! Alliances! And judgement is only a poisonous weed that thrives in the furrows of the field.
10:5 The inhabitants of Samaria are trembling for the calf of Beth-aven; yes, its people mourn for it, its so-called priests bewail its glory, now this has vanished.
10:6 The calf itself shall be carried off to Assyria as tribute to the Great King. Ephraim will reap the shame, and Israel blush for his idol.
10:7 Samaria has had her day. Her king[*a] is like a straw drifting on the water.
10:8 The idolatrous high places shall be destroyed-that sin of Israel; thorn and thistle will grow on their altars. Then they will say to the mountains, ‘Cover us!’ and to the hills, ‘Fall on us!’
10:9 Ever since the days at Gibeah, Israel, you have sinned. Things are still the same. And will not war overtake the guilty at Gibeah?
10:10 I shall come and punish them. The nations will muster against them to punish them for their double crime.
Threats and an invitation to repentance
10:11 Ephraim is a well trained heifer that loves to tread the threshing-floor; very well, I myself mean to lay the yoke on that fine neck of hers, I am going to put Ephraim in harness, Israel will have to plough, Jacob must draw the harrow.
10:12 Sow integrity for yourselves, reap a harvest of kindness, break up your fallow ground: it is time to go seeking Yahweh until he comes to rain salvation on you.
The end of Israel
10:13 Why have you ploughed iniquity, reaped injustice, and eaten the produce, lies? Because you have trusted in your chariots, and in your host of warriors,
10:14 turmoil is going to break out in your towns, and all your fortresses will be laid waste, as Shalman[*b] laid Beth-arbel waste on the day of the battle, when mothers fell, dashed to pieces, on their children.
10:15 That is what I mean to do to you, House of Israel, because of your great wickedness; and in the storm the king of Israel is going to disappear for ever.
JB HOSEA Chapter 11
God’s love despised: his vengeance
11:1 When Israel was a child I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt.
11:2 But the more I called to them, the further they went from me; they have offered sacrifice to the Baals and set their offerings smoking before the idols.
11:3 I myself taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in my arms; yet they have not understood that I was the one looking after them.
11:4 I led them with reins of kindness, with leading-strings of love. I was like someone who lifts an infant close against his cheek; stooping down to him I gave him his food.
11:5 They will have to go back to Egypt, Assyria must be their king, because they have refused to return to me.
11:6 The sword will rage through their towns, wiping out their children, glutting itself inside their fortresses.
God’s love proves stronger than his vengeance
11:7 My people are diseased through their disloyalty; they call on Baal, but he does not cure them.
11:8 Ephraim, how could I part with you? Israel, how could I give you up? How could I treat you like Admah, or deal with you like Zeboiim?[*a] My heart recoils from it, my whole being trembles at the thought.
11:9 I will not give rein to my fierce anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again, for I am God, not man: I am the Holy One in your midst and have no wish to destroy.
The return from exile
11:10 They will follow behind Yahweh; he will be roaring like a lion-how he will roar!-and his sons will come speeding from the west;
11:11 they will come speeding from Egypt like a bird, speeding from the land of Assyria like a dove, and I will settle them in their homes-it is Yahweh who speaks.
JB HOSEA Chapter 12
Israel’s religion and policy both alike perverse
12:1 All round me are the lies of Ephraim and the deceit of the House of Israel. But God still recognises Judah, and he is still called the people of the Holy One.
12:2 Ephraim feeds on the wind, forever chasing the wind from the East, accumulating falsehood and fraud, making treaties with Assyria, sending oil to Egypt.
12:3 Yahweh has a case against Israel, he will pay Jacob as his conduct merits, and will repay him as his deeds deserve.
12:4 In the very womb he supplanted his brother, in maturity he wrestled against God.
12:5 He wrestled with the angel and beat him, he wept and pleaded with him. He met him at Bethel and there God spoke to him.
12:6 Yes, Yahweh God of Sabaoth, Yahweh is his name.
12:7 Turn again, then, to your God, hold fast to love and justice, and always put your trust in your God.
Greed and the punishment of Israel
12:8 Canaan holds fraudulent scales in his hands, to defraud is his delight.
12:9 ‘How rich I have become!’ says Ephraim ‘I have amassed a fortune.’ But he will keep nothing of all his profits, because of the guilt that he has brought on himself.
The prospect of reconciliation between Yahweh and Israel
12:10 have been Yahweh, your God, since the days in the land of Egypt I will make you live in tents again as on the day of Meeting[*a].
12:11 I will speak to the prophets, I will increase the visions and through the prophets I will deal out death.
12:12 Gilead is nothing but iniquity, they are falsehood, nothing else; at Gilgal they sacrifice to bulls; their altars shall be reduced to heaps of stones in a ploughed field.
Against Jacob and Ephraim
12:13 Jacob fled to the plains of Aram, Israel worked to win a wife, to win a wife he looked after sheep.
12:14 But Yahweh brought Israel out of Egypt by a prophet, and a prophet looked after Israel.
12:15 Ephraim has given bitter provocation and Yahweh means to bring his bloodshed down on him, his Lord will repay him for his insults.
JB HOSEA Chapter 13
13:1 When Ephraim spoke, all trembled, so great was he in Israel, but through Baal he brought guilt on himself and perished.
13:2 And now they add sin to sin, they smelt images from their silver, idols of their own manufacture, smith’s work, all of it. ‘Sacrifice to them’ they say. Men blow kisses to calves!
13:3 Therefore they will be like morning mist, like the dew that quickly disappears, like the chaff whirled from the threshing-floor, like smoke escaping through the window.
The punishment for ingratitude
13:4 Yet I am Yahweh, your God since the days in the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, there is no other saviour.
13:5 I pastured you in the wilderness; in the land of drought
13:6 I pastured them, and they were satisfied; once satisfied, their hearts grew proud, and so they came to forget me.
13:7 Very well, I will be a lion to them, a leopard lurking by the way;
13:8 like a bear robbed of her cubs I will pounce on them, and tear the flesh round their hearts; the dogs shall eat their flesh, the wild beasts tear them to pieces.
The end of the monarchy
13:9 I mean to destroy you, Israel; who can come to your help?
13:10 Your king, where is he now, to save you[*a], where are your leaders to champion you? Those of whom you used to say, ‘Give me a king and leaders’.
13:11 In my anger I gave you a king and in my wrath I take him away.
The inevitability of ruin
13:12 The iniquity of Ephraim is carefully hoarded, his sin is safely stored away.
13:13 Pangs as of childbirth overtake him, and a stupid child it is, its time is up but it does not leave the womb.
13:14 And am I to save them from the power of Sheol? Am I to rescue them from Death? Where is your plague, Death? Where are your scourges, Sheol? I have no eyes for pity.
13:15 Ephraim may flourish among the reeds, but the wind from the East will come, the breath of Yahweh will rise from the desert to dry his water-sources, to parch his springs, to strip his land of all its treasures.
JB HOSEA Chapter 14
14:1 Samaria must atone for rebelling against her God. They shall fall by the sword, their little children be dashed to pieces, their pregnant women disembowelled.
III. THE REPENTANCE AND RECONCILIATION OF ISRAEL. A PROMISE OF FUTURE HAPPINESS
The sincere conversion of Israel to Yahweh
14:2 Israel, come back to Yahweh your God; your iniquity was the cause of your downfall.
14:3 Provide yourself with words and come back to Yahweh. Say to him, ‘Take all iniquity away so that we may have happiness again and offer you our words of praise.
14:4 Assyria cannot save us, we will not ride horses any more[*a], or say, “Our God!” to what our own hands have made, for you are the one in whom orphans find compassion.
14:5 -I will heal their disloyalty, I will love them with all my heart, for my anger has turned from them.
14:6 I will fall like dew on Israel. He shall bloom like the lily, and thrust out roots like the poplar,
14:7 his shoots will spread far; he will have the beauty of the olive and the fragrance of Lebanon.
14:8 They will come back to live in my shade; they will grow corn that flourishes, they will cultivate vines as renowned as the wine of Helbon.
14:9 What has Ephraim to do with idols any more when it is I who hear his prayer and care for him? I am like a cypress ever green, all your fruitfulness comes from me.
14:10 Let the wise man understand these words. Let the intelligent man grasp their meaning. For the ways of Yahweh are straight, and virtuous men walk in them, but sinners stumble.
END OF JB HOSEA [14 Chapters].